Beauty & Wellness

[Merged] laser eye surgery

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 20th, 2017 9:13 pm

Poll: Mid twenties a good age to get it done?

  • Total votes: 196. You have voted on this poll.
Yes
 
100
51%
No
 
29
15%
Pizza is yummy
 
67
34%
Newbie
Jan 30, 2017
17 posts
5 upvotes
peanutz wrote:
Apr 2nd, 2017 8:55 pm
PLEC's protocol is that 5-days post-op is the EARLIEST they want people removing bandage contacts. Their notes to the optometrist (provided in an envelope after the surgery) also say that the bandage contacts they use can be kept in for up to 7 days, and if the epithelium hasn't "closed" yet, it's better to err on the side of keeping in the bandage contacts longer at 6 or 7 days rather than prematurely taking them off.

My left eye was fine when they were taken out at Day 5 (morning), but my right eye could have probably stood to wait a little more, like Day 5 end of the day, or Day 6 or 7. My right eye had a mild gritty feeling that disappeared when I put in eye drops, but after a few hours would come back. The next day it was fine.

The notes say that after removal of bandage contacts, the patient shouldn't feel a grittiness or irritation that isn't soothed by eyedrops. If they DO feel a persistent grittiness, it means that the epithelium isn't closed and that (new) bandage contacts should be put back in with additional patient visits daily until they can be removed.

The literature warns of older/other brands of bandage contacts that cause hypoxic conditions on the eye and adversely affect healing beyond 3-4 days after PRK. That may be true... but PLEC's bandage contacts and healing timelines specify removal of their bandage contacts at 5-7 days. For my eyes, end of Day 5, or Day 6 would have been the sweet spot. I felt no discomfort while they were in.


This happens to me, too, when I've applied too much. Maybe just decrease the amount you put in? I've been using the eye ointment sporadically after the 1-month mark.

As for the tip of the ointment tube... I find it hard to apply without touching my lash line. Therefore when I open it for application, I swipe the tip with a cotton pad of rubbing alcohol and squeeze out/discard a bit of ointment from the tip to "clean" it before application. I let the rubbing alcohol dry for 30 seconds, and then I go. The eye ointments are anhydrous, so if there is any bacteria sitting on the outer layer, they shouldn't be penetrating and growing inward. :)
For me, I did experienced grittness when the BCL was in and the first day after the BCL was removed. Now, I feel that once in a while.
@burn69 @peanutz Did it sting a little when you instill Betoptic drops?
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
410 upvotes
bogummy wrote:
Apr 2nd, 2017 10:42 pm
For me, I did experienced grittness when the BCL was in and the first day after the BCL was removed. Now, I feel that once in a while.
@burn69 @peanutz Did it sting a little when you instill Betoptic drops?
Yup. Was taken off them after the 2 week check-up when PLEC learned that I was not a steroid responder per my optometrist's follow-up report including tonometry. But the stinging was quite minor.
Newbie
Jan 30, 2017
17 posts
5 upvotes
burnt69 wrote:
Apr 2nd, 2017 10:34 pm
I went on a 3 week holiday in Southern Florida/the Virgin Islands basically a month after my procedure, so didn't really notice the progression of my near vision. Too many margaritas and rum cocktails I guess :). It seems to be better now. My eyes are pretty close to, if not at "plano" (0.00) at my 2 month check-up, so the over-correction dissipated somewhat. I do think I have a bit of rebound haze though as I'm not even sure I can see the 20/20 line. They say 6 months to a year for a full recovery, and I've read studies in support of FDA laser approval that indicate that even with LASIK, full visual sharpening can take a year.
Wow! Did you experienced any light sensitivity during your trip?! or you always have your sunglasses on? lol
Well, I guess I just have to be patient. :)
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10279 posts
650 upvotes
Toronto
For those who did their surgery at PLEC recently. How far in advance did you have to book the surgery? I hear they're quite busy and was curious if the surgery would be months away after the consultation.
Newbie
Jan 30, 2017
17 posts
5 upvotes
Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 2nd, 2017 10:59 pm
For those who did their surgery at PLEC recently. How far in advance did you have to book the surgery? I hear they're quite busy and was curious if the surgery would be months away after the consultation.
At least 1 month in advance. :(
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 1, 2011
4859 posts
730 upvotes
I felt no grittiness while BCL were in. Only on the first day they were taken out, was there mild grittiness in right eye only, eased every time I put lubricant drops in, though. It was gone the next day.

The Betoptic-S did sting a bit, yes.

As for appointments...my brother had to book 1 month in advance. Somehow I got lucky in January...there might have been a cancellation because at the time they were able to get me in in 2.5 weeks.
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
410 upvotes
bogummy wrote:
Apr 2nd, 2017 10:54 pm
Wow! Did you experienced any light sensitivity during your trip?! or you always have your sunglasses on? lol
Well, I guess I just have to be patient. :)
Yeah sunglasses on all the time per Dr.'s orders. I was extremely light-sensitive *before* my procedure, and the procedure actually made me more light tolerant. (I might be borderline autistic/Asperger's too, of which, excess light sensitivity is a known symptom -- I have light eyes as well!). Presumably the reduction in photophobia was through the treatment of my astigmatism.
For those who did their surgery at PLEC recently. How far in advance did you have to book the surgery? I hear they're quite busy and was curious if the surgery would be months away after the consultation.
About a month from booking to actual surgery as an out-of-town patient. But Christmas and New Years was inbetween. I was able to obtain literally my first requested date as I specifically needed a Monday appointment due to other travel arrangements. And my optometrist was great in squeezing an extra pre-op appointment into her schedule for the missing pre-op tests such as the Cycloplegic refraction.

Actually I'd totally recommend a Monday morning appointment. When I went back for my Tuesday follow-up, the office was crazy-busy because there were patients there for day-after follow-up, patients there for their procedures, and maybe even patients there for the initial consultation. Monday morning, you get the surgeon fresh off his weekend, a freshly calibrated laser, and a less hectic in-office experience. Lots of the young men and women were brought in by their moms, and many of them had to stand. :o It was kinda cute, as I'm not used to seeing young Asian men hanging out with their moms too often :o.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10279 posts
650 upvotes
Toronto
I contacted PLEC through the contact form on their website asking for a "remote" consultation. I haven't heard anything after 1 business day. For those with experience, how long did it take them to reply you?
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
410 upvotes
Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 12:10 am
I contacted PLEC through the contact form on their website asking for a "remote" consultation. I haven't heard anything after 1 business day. For those with experience, how long did it take them to reply you?
They took a solid 24 hours (maybe a bit longer) to answer a few simple, non-specific questions posed in an email. And a good week after my optometrist faxed in my referral paperwork, to get in touch with me through email to state that I was qualified and to quote a price. And then it took a bit longer to actually get a time booked as "patient counsellors" are not always available or they are busy with in-office patients.

Don't let the lack of "customer service" at least up-front turn you off though. The fact that they don't need (nor have) "sales" staff was actually a big selling point to me. :)
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10279 posts
650 upvotes
Toronto
burnt69 wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 12:24 am
They took a solid 24 hours (maybe a bit longer) to answer a few simple, non-specific questions posed in an email. And a good week after my optometrist faxed in my referral paperwork, to get in touch with me through email to state that I was qualified and to quote a price. And then it took a bit longer to actually get a time booked as "patient counsellors" are not always available or they are busy with in-office patients.

Don't let the lack of "customer service" at least up-front turn you off though. The fact that they don't need (nor have) "sales" staff was actually a big selling point to me. :)
Thanks. Also to you/Peanutz and whoever else did their surgery at PLEC. Do you guys have any surgery related complications a few months after the surgery or is everything perfect now?
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
410 upvotes
Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 1:13 am
Thanks. Also to you/Peanutz and whoever else did their surgery at PLEC. Do you guys have any surgery related complications a few months after the surgery or is everything perfect now?
Well 2.5 months in, my eyes are still a bit dryer than pre-surgery, so I'm not completely off of lubricants. And they're a lot more sensitive when cooking curries, onions, or stir frys than they were with contact lenses. I can't directly compare my recovery against "other" clinics or other processes because I have only been treated by PLEC. However, when I watched a myriad of YouTube videos of people describing their PRK recovery with other clinics, in particular, the first week, my overall experience was dramatically easier than most. With respect to light sensitivity, pain levels, "straight off the table" visual acuity, and 1-week follow-up vision.

I felt the premium, an incremental ~$1000 that PLEC cost over their Vancouver-based competition, was well worth the money based on the superior technical aspects of the laser platform and SmartSurfACE. I had the privilege and honour of being treated by a surgeon who has been trusted by another refractive surgeon for his refractive surgery needs. Dr. Holland (who, from all my research, is just as competent as Dr. Lin in operating the laser) volunteers his time to do eye surgeries and train eye care providers in the developing world in treating challenging eye health problems. PLEC has a reputation as a referral center for "fixing" the botched jobs of other refractive surgeons on other laser platforms. Any negatives (such as delayed responses to my referral paperwork, not being allowed to walk out of the clinic without a cab, not being allowed bandage contact lense removal until 7 days later instead of 4 days, accidentally buying 4 bottles of FML instead of the only 2 that I needed) were extremely minor.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 1, 2011
4859 posts
730 upvotes
Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 12:10 am
I contacted PLEC through the contact form on their website asking for a "remote" consultation. I haven't heard anything after 1 business day. For those with experience, how long did it take them to reply you?
Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 1:13 am
Thanks. Also to you/Peanutz and whoever else did their surgery at PLEC. Do you guys have any surgery related complications a few months after the surgery or is everything perfect now?
No complications as of yet...I had slightly dry eyes before, and I still need to be on lubricant eyedrops. I expect I will need to be on them 3-4 times a day for at least 6 months, possibly tapered but continuing for 1-2 years (the estimates for PRK are that it takes up to 2 years for the corneal nerves to grow back to the surface to stimulate adequate tear production. For LASIK it is estimated to be 5+ years...or possibly never.) My eyes don't actually feel dry, but the optometrist said she could see that they were.

100% happy...otherwise, I would have told my brother not to do it and wait a few more years for more improvements and advances. :)

PLEC took about 2-3 business days to reply. They don't do remote consultations, per se. They ask potential patients to get a full eye exam at a local optometrist's office, get evaluated for laser eye surgery suitability...and to fax the results to their office. If they confirm that you're a suitable candidate, then you can go ahead and book a surgery date. Ideally the surgery date will be within 1-2 months of the local optometrist's evaluation for best accuracy. When you arrive in Vancouver, they do a final in-office set of exams a few days before surgery, or the day of the surgery...and then the follow-ups are again, coordinated via faxes through the local optometrist.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10279 posts
650 upvotes
Toronto
peanutz wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 5:01 pm
No complications as of yet...I had slightly dry eyes before, and I still need to be on lubricant eyedrops. I expect I will need to be on them 3-4 times a day for at least 6 months, possibly tapered but continuing for 1-2 years (the estimates for PRK are that it takes up to 2 years for the corneal nerves to grow back to the surface to stimulate adequate tear production. For LASIK it is estimated to be 5+ years...or possibly never.) My eyes don't actually feel dry, but the optometrist said she could see that they were.

100% happy...otherwise, I would have told my brother not to do it and wait a few more years for more improvements and advances. :)

PLEC took about 2-3 business days to reply. They don't do remote consultations, per se. They ask potential patients to get a full eye exam at a local optometrist's office, get evaluated for laser eye surgery suitability...and to fax the results to their office. If they confirm that you're a suitable candidate, then you can go ahead and book a surgery date. Ideally the surgery date will be within 1-2 months of the local optometrist's evaluation for best accuracy. When you arrive in Vancouver, they do a final in-office set of exams a few days before surgery, or the day of the surgery...and then the follow-ups are again, coordinated via faxes through the local optometrist.
Thanks, do they tell you what the full eye exam consists of so I can let my optometrist know which tests to conduct?
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
410 upvotes
Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 7:15 pm
Thanks, do they tell you what the full eye exam consists of so I can let my optometrist know which tests to conduct?
No. I asked them in my initial contact, and they did not specify what tests, only that once I had been accepted as a potential candidate, that a pre-op exam worksheet would be sent to my optometrist.

My optometrist ended up doing a standard adult eye exam, including retinal photography and dilation. Additionally, she did 'pachymetry' with a contact pachymeter to measure corneal thickness. Upon my request, the results of this exam were faxed to PLEC. PLEC then faxed the pre-op exam forms to her once I was confirmed with a surgical date. Most of the pre-op form could be filled out on the basis of the "standard adult eye exam + pachymetry", but I had to return to the optometrist for a 'cycloplegic refraction' as a separate visit (takes at least half an hour because of the drops, and you shouldn't drive or expect to work at a computer afterwards!).

So yeah, kind of a convoluted process. I was only charged for a single visit for both the standard adult eye exam + the pre-op. But I can't assume that every optometrist would do this. Many might charge you a separate fee for the pre-op exam. Presumably the pre-op exam was 'free' because the optometrist knew that she would be getting 7 follow-up appointments (@ $115/each, although the original quote was for $100/each, so really, it wasn't freebie at all!).
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10279 posts
650 upvotes
Toronto
burnt69 wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 8:24 pm
No. I asked them in my initial contact, and they did not specify what tests, only that once I had been accepted as a potential candidate, that a pre-op exam worksheet would be sent to my optometrist.

My optometrist ended up doing a standard adult eye exam, including retinal photography and dilation. Additionally, she did 'pachymetry' with a contact pachymeter to measure corneal thickness. Upon my request, the results of this exam were faxed to PLEC. PLEC then faxed the pre-op exam forms to her once I was confirmed with a surgical date. Most of the pre-op form could be filled out on the basis of the "standard adult eye exam + pachymetry", but I had to return to the optometrist for a 'cycloplegic refraction' as a separate visit (takes at least half an hour because of the drops, and you shouldn't drive or expect to work at a computer afterwards!).

So yeah, kind of a convoluted process. I was only charged for a single visit for both the standard adult eye exam + the pre-op. But I can't assume that every optometrist would do this. Many might charge you a separate fee for the pre-op exam. Presumably the pre-op exam was 'free' because the optometrist knew that she would be getting 7 follow-up appointments (@ $115/each, although the original quote was for $100/each, so really, it wasn't freebie at all!).
Now I'm confused. How did they "accept" you as a "potential candidate" without getting any test results from you first?

Top