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%
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
410 upvotes
Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 8:29 pm
Now I'm confused. How did they "accept" you as a "potential candidate" without getting any test results from you first?
Well they did have my prescription. Which was low enough (~-5.5 or so for both eyes, ~-1D astigmatism) that there was little doubt about my candidacy. I'm not sure what other "eye health" items were on the initial report though. Optometrists refer people to opthamologists for surgery all the time, whether it be PRK/LASIK, lens exchange (cataracts), etc., so I presume she filled out some pretty standard form for the purpose and sent it to them with a referral note.

It was sort of a leap of faith, because they could have rejected me at any point in the process*, including when I was literally moments away from being lasered (after spending $$$ to get to Vancouver!)**. PRK has a wider range of treatment eligibility than LASIK, but even so, if you have a higher prescription (ie: >-10, or significant hyperopia), you really should have a conversation with your optometrist about your range of options for treatment because even PRK might not be for you***. As an out-of-town-patient, much of the 'counselling' component is left to the co-managing optometrist. In fact, I wasn't even shown the "video" that PLEC typically shows its patients -- I literally walked in there, signed the consent form (which I had been provided a month earlier during the booking process!)/paid the fee, and about an hour later, was lasered, examined, counselled for drops/precautions, and in a cab back to the hotel!

If you're in your early 40s or older, I would add, you really should have a conversation with your optometrist about presbyopia (worsening close-up vision when wearing full-distance correction!) which may include a trial of monovision contact lens correction.

* I could have rejected them as well. PLEC doesn't ask for a booking deposit unlike other clinics.
** One possible reason for rejection could be unreasonable expectations. The Dr. interviewed me as to why I wanted the surgery, what I hoped to accomplish from it, etc. to verify that informed consent existed. If you want, PM me and I'll tell you an amusing anecdote!
*** It is certainly possible that they detect an eye disease, such as kerotaconus/ectasia, etc., that an optometrist may not have detected on their exam, but are detectable with the specialized equipment in the surgeon's office. If this is the case, then you may need to consider some different treatment options which PLEC may or may not be able to provide that day. I think @peanutz unexpectedly required punctal plugs inserted, for example, at a $75 expense to him/her, due to dry eyes.
Last edited by burnt69 on Apr 4th, 2017 8:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Oct 3, 2006
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burnt69 wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 8:43 pm
Well they did have my prescription. Which was low enough (~-5.5 or so for both eyes, ~-1D astigmatism) that there was little doubt about my candidacy. I'm not sure what other "eye health" items were on the initial report though. Optometrists refer people to opthamologists for surgery all the time, whether it be PRK/LASIK, lens exchange (cataracts), etc., so I presume she filled out some pretty standard form for the purpose and sent it to them with a referral note.

It was sort of a leap of faith, because they could have rejected me at any point in the process*, including when I was literally moments away from being lasered (after spending $$$ to get to Vancouver!)**. PRK has a wider range of treatment eligibility than LASIK, but even so, if you have a higher prescription (ie: >-10, or significant hyperopia), you really should have a conversation with your optometrist about your range of options for treatment because even PRK might not be for you. As an out-of-town-patient, much of the 'counselling' component is left to the co-managing optometrist. In fact, I wasn't even shown the "video" that PLEC typically shows its patients -- I literally walked in there, signed the consent form (which I had been provided a month earlier during the booking process!)/paid the fee, and about an hour later, was lasered, examined, counselled for drops/precautions, and in a cab back to the hotel!

If you're in your early 40s or older, I would add, you really should have a conversation with your optometrist about presbyopia (worsening close-up vision when wearing full-distance correction!) which may include a trial of monovision contact lens correction.

* I could have rejected them as well. PLEC doesn't ask for a booking deposit unlike other clinics.
** One possible reason for rejection could be unreasonable expectations. The Dr. interviewed me as to why I wanted the surgery, what I hoped to accomplish from it, etc. to verify that informed consent existed. If you want, PM me and I'll tell you an amusing anecdote!
I'm in my late 20s and have slightly lower prescription than you for both eyes. LasikMD told me I qualify for all of their treatment options and that my numbers are normal and I can expect normal outcomes. I don't see myself being rejected as a candidate for PRK. I didn't provide PLEC with my prescription in the initial e-mail, but only asked them to tell me what test I need to do with my optometrist so they can be faxed to them to determine my candidacy.
Newbie
Sep 19, 2012
44 posts
267 upvotes
Thank you to @burnt69 and @peanutz for sharing your experience with PLEC. I'm scheduled to get my eyes done on Monday and reading through your posts on what to expect in terms of recovery, pain, medication and being able to get around (since I'll being going to the clinic by myself) has really helped to put my mind at ease. My co-workers also had PRK done and they were telling me worst case scenario stories....which did not help my nerves. However after reading everyone's experiences here, I feel more prepared and calmer.
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
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jenlin1 wrote:
Apr 8th, 2017 1:48 pm
Thank you to @burnt69 and @peanutz for sharing your experience with PLEC. I'm scheduled to get my eyes done on Monday and reading through your posts on what to expect in terms of recovery, pain, medication and being able to get around (since I'll being going to the clinic by myself) has really helped to put my mind at ease. My co-workers also had PRK done and they were telling me worst case scenario stories....which did not help my nerves. However after reading everyone's experiences here, I feel more prepared and calmer.
No problem! Took me a lot of sorting through the research studies to determine that PLEC has something truly special (in Canada at least) when it comes to PRK (there really wasn't a lot written online about "SmartSurfACE" outside of a few research papers and a few articles in opthamology profession publications). As opposed to just some surgeon trying to downplay the recovery process to drum up business (and as we all know, the Internet is full of 'marketing' material for PRK/LASIK procedures!).

Let us know how it goes.
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2002
902 posts
45 upvotes
My wife did custom PRK a week ago, and apparently her recovery is very slow (stayed mostly 50% in bed, eyes closed for about 16 hrs per day including sleep and ate normally , use all the drops once every 2 hrs for 6 straight days) , so they had to replace her contact bandages. apparently that switch hurted like hell. has anyone experienced this?
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Oct 6, 2015
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fuc847 wrote:
Apr 13th, 2017 7:19 pm
My wife did custom PRK a week ago, and apparently her recovery is very slow (stayed mostly 50% in bed, eyes closed for about 16 hrs per day including sleep and ate normally , use all the drops once every 2 hrs for 6 straight days) , so they had to replace her contact bandages. apparently that switch hurted like hell. has anyone experienced this?
Ouch, sounds horrible, but it does happen occasionally. My surgeon's post-op optometrist instructions ordered the use of anesthetic drops (Alcaine specifically) for precisely that possibility, that there might be some pain when the BCL is removed.

Is she in pain/discomfort otherwise, with the (replacement) BCL's in place? Was she a previous contact lens wearer? Alcohol-assisted, brush, or transepithelial (laser) PRK?
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2002
902 posts
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Alcohol-assisted PRK . no she is not in pain anymore as she says the drops helps alot, and yes she is previous contact lens wearer. so far seems OK after the switch , just looks like its going to be a much longer than expected recovery (no work , no driving, no outside, no computer for estimated 2 weeks from surgery date). its weird as the first 2 days she said she could see very clearly without any issues, no pain, didnt even need to take T3 or even advil (just the drops). she thought she was lucky...lol

Also as i may be also going to do PRK myself, is it normal the doctor takes off the BCL with their hand? Anyway, wife says they took the BCL off with hand, and replaced it with new BCL via tool (some kind of pincer?)
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fuc847 wrote:
Apr 13th, 2017 11:55 pm
Alcohol-assisted PRK . no she is not in pain anymore as she says the drops helps alot, and yes she is previous contact lens wearer. so far seems OK after the switch , just looks like its going to be a much longer than expected recovery (no work , no driving, no outside, no computer for estimated 2 weeks from surgery date). its weird as the first 2 days she said she could see very clearly without any issues, no pain, didnt even need to take T3 or even advil (just the drops). she thought she was lucky...lol

Also as i may be also going to do PRK myself, is it normal the doctor takes off the BCL with their hand? Anyway, wife says they took the BCL off with hand, and replaced it with new BCL via tool (some kind of pincer?)
One of the posters in this loooong thread (I sort of think a new/updated thread should be started as Part 2...or at least there should be separate threads for LASIK, PRK, and other laser surgeries because I consider them significantly different)...said that his GF got PRK and the surgeon accidentally put in the BCL's inside-out, causing her more discomfort/pain and slower healing. I can't say that that happened to your wife, but I don't think it is typical. Most PRK patients get their BCL removed at 3-7 days after surgery and do not need an extension. I do not know if your wife is an exceptionally slow healer...and if so, why.

Pacific Laser Eye Centre's protocol as of January 2017 was that... if a person's epithelium hasn't closed fully by Day 5, or it is accidentally scraped off a little bit during first removal, then a new BCL is put in and the patient is seen by optometrist daily until the BCL can be appropriately removed.

Yes, when BCL was placed on the eye, the surgeon used sort some of forceps (I presume it is sterilized).

Yes, my optometrist removed my BCL by hand. She washed her hands, put in various drops into my eyes (I believe it was anaesthetic drops + Refresh Celluvisc) and she sort of swiped the BCL towards nose/downward and it peeled out. In my case, it did not hurt. She put more lubricant drops in, checked my epithelium again and said it still looked good, the healing line was still intact. Mine were removed on morning of Day 5 post-surgery.

I told my brother to schedule afternoon of Day 5, or morning of Day 6 for his planned BCL removal.
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
410 upvotes
fuc847 wrote:
Apr 13th, 2017 11:55 pm
Alcohol-assisted PRK . no she is not in pain anymore as she says the drops helps alot, and yes she is previous contact lens wearer. so far seems OK after the switch , just looks like its going to be a much longer than expected recovery (no work , no driving, no outside, no computer for estimated 2 weeks from surgery date). its weird as the first 2 days she said she could see very clearly without any issues, no pain, didnt even need to take T3 or even advil (just the drops). she thought she was lucky...lol
This might be a dumb question, but is she on preservative-free drops? I think there is national "LASIK" chain that had a PRK medication chart published online with preserved drops prescribed post-PRK procedure. Which strikes me as strange since there's definitely benefits to preservative-free drops especially early into the recovery process. If she's not on preservative-free, might be a good idea to switch (but ask your doctor!).
Also as i may be also going to do PRK myself, is it normal the doctor takes off the BCL with their hand? Anyway, wife says they took the BCL off with hand, and replaced it with new BCL via tool (some kind of pincer?)
Yeah I have deep-set eyes, so the contact lens fitting technician in my optometrist's office held my eye open, while the optometrist used her washed fingers to remove the BCL. It was kind of frustrating, but they wouldn't let me do it myself. The surgeon had a bit of trouble lasering me as well for similar reasons.
@peanutz wrote:said that his GF got PRK and the surgeon accidentally put in the BCL's inside-out, causing her more discomfort/pain and slower healing.
Ouch, that sounds awful. That's why I'm a big fan of going to an outfit which performs mostly PRK, if one is going to go the PRK route. They'll have a refined nomogram, they'll have seen lots of cases of the oddities of PRK, and they won't be doing arguably bone-headed things like telling their PRK patients to use preserved drops. Such was prominent in my decision to go out of province to get mine done.
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I'm thinking of doing eye correct surgery but really scared at the process. Recovery time may be an issue as well, but I can take 2 weeks vacation plus some sick days. Seems like the general consensus here that PLEC is the one to go for. I also heard great things about London Eye Center too, so which place be ideal? I know cost is subjective to each person, but whats the approximate range?

My eyes are OD -0.75 with stigmatism 1.25, OS -0.75 with 1.50 so my eyes aren't terribly bad but I really hate wearing glasses.
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Oct 6, 2015
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bomber17 wrote:
Apr 14th, 2017 10:42 pm
I'm thinking of doing eye correct surgery but really scared at the process. Recovery time may be an issue as well, but I can take 2 weeks vacation plus some sick days. Seems like the general consensus here that PLEC is the one to go for. I also heard great things about London Eye Center too, so which place be ideal? I know cost is subjective to each person, but whats the approximate range?
I'm personally biased very heavily towards PRK, so places that only did occasional PRK weren't of much interest. Cost-wise, PLEC's quoted pricing starts at $3100 for bilateral SmartSurfACE PRK. With your lower prescription, if your eye health is otherwise good, there's a decent chance you qualify for the lowest price. You'll need another $1000-$1200 worth of follow-up after-care, prescription, and non-prescription drops. So round up and make it $4500 all-in at PLEC.

I've heard people getting treatment at Coal Harbor or LVC for $3000 or less, all-in, if you use them for the after-care. Including drops, pain/sleeping pills, etc.

PLEC won out over LVC or Coal Harbor for the following reasons, many of which are specific to myself:

1) PLEC's laser (Schwind Amaris 1050rs) can treat out to a true 10mm optical zone. I have large pupils. The other places' lasers, it was less clear. (this guy, with large pupils, treated at LVC a few years ago, claims minor night vision problems due to optical zone mismatch)
2) In-house after-care offered by London/Coal Harbor was useless for me as I am out of province.
3) PLEC's "SmartSurfACE" (only center in North America known to offer it) provides very rapid recovery of visual acuity (20/25 for me right away, went shopping the afternoon of the procedure!) meaning I could fly away right away and needed no help.
4) PLEC can do the most difficult cases, even when there's keratoconus involved. Since I was travelling for the procedure, if I had any undetected eye disease, PLEC could probably treat it. The other places would have sent me away (or sent me to PLEC) as they don't treat patients with abnormalities. LASIK clinics have equipment to detect eye diseases that your normal optometrist does not. So there can always be 'surprises' unless you've had your topography pre-screened.

But by all means, if you don't have giant pupils, live in the Vancouver area and don't mind travelling to their clinics, and don't mind being disabled/in pain for a longer timeframe, you certainly can save some $$$ and go to the 'other' places. Lots of people do with great results with PRK.
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Would PLEC be willing to give a discount for patients from out of town since they won't need to handle the post-op care? Usually the laser eye clinic takes care of the post-op care for their patients, so I would think it's reasonable to ask for a discount for out of town folks. Anyone?
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Oct 6, 2015
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Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Apr 16th, 2017 2:58 am
Would PLEC be willing to give a discount for patients from out of town since they won't need to handle the post-op care?
Their prices are already discounted for that purpose as they don't handle routine post-op care for their routine Vancouver patients either.

I know this is RFD and everything, but really, with the reputation of the surgeons and some of their unique experience in treating challenging cases referred to them internationally, their prices are already quite low and I doubt you'll have any traction whatsoever asking for a lower price. Especially with the weak CAD$. Throw in SmartSurfACE and its accelerated recovery (versus most other PRK-type procedures), and "Corneal Wavefront" (ie: topography-guided) procedures for everyone, you're getting quite a deal just with what they're quoting. If you're coming from Toronto as @peanutz did, he/she reported no additional expense to undergo treatment by them versus the "premium" Toronto clinics, and you get a bit of a holiday out of it as well.

If you don't mind sticking around Vancouver for a week, they'll remove your BCL for free and take care of that 1-week follow-up appointment, in addition to the next-day follow-up which they request that all patients see them for regardless of travel plans.
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Dec 6, 2002
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FYI, just an update, all seems to be well now! some people just take extra long to heal i guess :)
burnt69 wrote:
Apr 14th, 2017 12:40 am
This might be a dumb question, but is she on preservative-free drops? I think there is national "LASIK" chain that had a PRK medication chart published online with preserved drops prescribed post-PRK procedure. Which strikes me as strange since there's definitely benefits to preservative-free drops especially early into the recovery process. If she's not on preservative-free, might be a good idea to switch (but ask your doctor!).



Yeah I have deep-set eyes, so the contact lens fitting technician in my optometrist's office held my eye open, while the optometrist used her washed fingers to remove the BCL. It was kind of frustrating, but they wouldn't let me do it myself. The surgeon had a bit of trouble lasering me as well for similar reasons.



Ouch, that sounds awful. That's why I'm a big fan of going to an outfit which performs mostly PRK, if one is going to go the PRK route. They'll have a refined nomogram, they'll have seen lots of cases of the oddities of PRK, and they won't be doing arguably bone-headed things like telling their PRK patients to use preserved drops. Such was prominent in my decision to go out of province to get mine done.

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