PRK Surgery

DaveC

Well-Known Member
Anyone have experience with PRK eye surgery? I've heard the first few days suck, but that the operation is very effective. I'm working on a Marine Aviation application, so Lasik is out of the question.

Has anyone had a bad experience with this option?
 

bunk22

Well-Known Member
In Jan 2003 I had PRK as part of the study program for Navy pilots. My vision had been about 20/80 (not sure of the exact refraction or whatever it's called) for a few years. Meaning no change and I had the surgery done. Almost 6 years later, I still have about 20/13 in my right eye and 20/17 in my left eye, give or take depending on how tired I am. For me, my left eye was uncomfortable but my right eye was painfully excrutiating. Not sure why that was. I know the contact popped out by the time we got downstairs in the hospital and had to go back up to have another put in. Then, when we got home (about a 30 minute drive), the lens popped out again so had to drive back and have another put in. Again, that was my right eye having fits. It felt like somebody was holding the flame from a lighter on my eyeball. I took the numbing meds and viccodine every hour on the hour for two days. For whatever reason, my right eye healed quicker and I see better to this day.
 

DaveC

Well-Known Member
Thanks. My vision's been stable at 20/70 for at least five years now, so if the doc doesn't see any issues I think I'll get this done. If figure even if I don't get selected by the military it's worth it for the convenience of never worrying about contacts again. That and the cost of buying contacts and glasses for the next 40 years.
 

DaveC

Well-Known Member
In Jan 2003 I had PRK as part of the study program for Navy pilots. My vision had been about 20/80 (not sure of the exact refraction or whatever it's called) for a few years. Meaning no change and I had the surgery done. Almost 6 years later, I still have about 20/13 in my right eye and 20/17 in my left eye, give or take depending on how tired I am. For me, my left eye was uncomfortable but my right eye was painfully excrutiating. Not sure why that was. I know the contact popped out by the time we got downstairs in the hospital and had to go back up to have another put in. Then, when we got home (about a 30 minute drive), the lens popped out again so had to drive back and have another put in. Again, that was my right eye having fits. It felt like somebody was holding the flame from a lighter on my eyeball. I took the numbing meds and viccodine every hour on the hour for two days. For whatever reason, my right eye healed quicker and I see better to this day.
How long before you could return to service? Since I'll obviously need a new medical after this, I need to figure out how much work I'll be missing after the operation.
 

bunk22

Well-Known Member
How long before you could return to service? Since I'll obviously need a new medical after this, I need to figure out how much work I'll be missing after the operation.
I was back on the flight schedule in just over a month. Not down long at all.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
< Since this really isn't asking questions of Dr. Forred, I'm moving the thread to General Topics. >
 

falconvalley

Absentee Dad of the OOTSK, Runner, Cat Frustrator
I was back on the flight schedule in just over a month. Not down long at all.
WOW. When the AF started their program it was 12 months! I have no idea what it is now. I think they've relaxed it quite a bit.
 

febtober29

Well-Known Member
check up on the current regs, i know the AF allows lasik now and i think the navy might too, not sure about the marines.
anyway i had PRK last march. My vision was terrible beforehand which is why i chose PRK (-4.5 x 3.5) since its got a better healing rate with really bad vision like mine. First day was easy, basically kept my eyes closed and slept. Second day my eyes hurt and i think i took the vicodin vision was better than pre-op but not good. It really wasnt bad though. By the third day the pain was minimal so i was taking tylenol or whatever with no change in vision. The rest of that week was pretty much the same, poor vision, very little pain, lots of different eyedrops. Over the next 6 weeks the vision improved enough to where i could go back to work (freight pilot) and I got my medical renewed in July with no restrictions. My actual vision is more like 20/20 and 20/25 which is about what I expected because of how bad my eyes were to begin with. My eyes are still dry and vision is worse when I'm tired but thats slowly going away.
Assuming your eyes aren't as bad as mine were then 20/20 or better should be no problem, in fact I dont know of anyone else who isnt a solid 20/20.
Overall I would do it again even if it cost double, took twice the healing time and got me even close to where I am now.
 

DaveC

Well-Known Member
Thanks, I'm going in for a consultation right after the thanksgiving weekend.

Is is quicker to just get a new medical or do the paperwork to get the limitation taken off my current medical?
 
Top