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I went in for LASIK and they did PRK surgery–My Experience

March 2, 2018  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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I’ve been waiting to write this post until my vision became a little more stable and maybe I was a little less angry about the situation I’m in–but so many of you have asked about my eyes “How are they doing?!” that I thought I’d take this normal “Casual Friday” post and talk about how these last two weeks have been.

In a word, they’ve been difficult. Unexpected. Challenging. Hopeful. Emotional. Scary. Choose any of those. Even as I type this, my computer screen is zoomed in three times so I can make out the words I am putting on the screen. Not exactly an ideal situation for someone who blogs for a living.

For those of you who don’t know, Thursday, February 15, 2018 I went in for Lasik eye surgery. I had researched the surgery for about six months before making my first pre-op appointment at the end of last year to see if I was even a candidate. They did a series of tests that probably took 30 minutes and then later that week I got a call that I was an ideal candidate for Lasik. My vision was never horrible (both of my contacts were -1.75), but I worried the astigmatism in both eyes would rule Lasik out–nope! I set a date for my surgery in mid-February, having to have another, more in-depth pre-op appointment at the midway mark, two weeks before my scheduled surgery.

Two weeks before my surgery, I was no longer allowed to wear contacts–glasses only and this appointment was with, what they called, my surgery co-manager. A different doctor, closer to my home, that would double check to make sure everything was ideal with my eyes before surgery, and would also see me post op. This ended up being a very long appointment. I remember texting Chris cancelling plans we had because I was there close to 2 hours. In addition to a lot of the tests they did at my initial pre-op (done at the actual surgery center I was scheduled to have Lasik done), this doctor also dilated my pupils and did more in-depth…exploring? The truth is, I don’t know what they were checking for. They didn’t even tell me I was getting my eyes dilated that day. Which isn’t a huge deal–I just had to wear sunglasses for the next 24 hours. But he did answer all my questions. I had a lot of fears and concerns but he assured me Lasik was a breeze. That my surgeon was the best in the area and he had done over 12,000 Lasik procedures. I would be good as new, with perfect vision probably by the time the sun went down the day of.

One week before my surgery, I could no longer wear makeup and 24 hours before my surgery, I started a regimen of anti-biotic eye drops 4 times a day. There were also a lot of very specific, odd instructions. All of my clothes I wore the day of had to be freshly laundered because any sort of oils transferred from wearing them could interfere with the laser. I was to shower but not put on any deodorant. I wasn’t allowed to apply any lotion in the 24 hours prior to surgery either. And the instructions said if there was any trace of makeup found, I would be sent home. All of these things could interfere with the laser I was told. It was hard not to be nervous.

The morning of my surgery, I went in for my Lasik at 9 am. I signed a bunch of paperwork for it first thing and they said my surgery would be at 11, but they do one last round of tests beforehand. Chris looked at the clock and said he was going to go grocery shopping until it was time for my surgery (which he was invited to watch on a screen in a green room type setting). They, again, did a lot of the same tests they did in my previous two pre-ops. Look at the hot air balloon. Don’t blink. Don’t blink. Don’t blink. Okay, rest. I also did a few vision tests and then they made me watch a video about Lasik eye surgery outlining all the expectations and risks and I had to take a quiz on it–which brought me strangely back to high school. After the quiz, a third doctor came in, whom I had never met, and told me that they need to redo a test because one of the results “came back borderline.” I did the dot, blinky test again and went back into the lobby.

Within a few minutes, they called me back to the on-deck room. My surgery was up next. There was a sweet, older nurse there that handed me a surgery cap and booties. She gave me half a Valium and prescription Aleve while we waited for Chris. Soon the surgeon appeared and told me that my cornea was borderline too thin for Lasik and they were going to have to do something called PRK. “The recovery is a little longer, but the results are exactly the same” is all I was told. I texted Chris and told him they were switching the surgery. I had plans with my girlfriends that weekend at our cabin (a galentine getaway we had been planning for weeks) and I asked the nurse if I was still going to be able to make those and she said, “No, but you’ll probably be better by Monday.” I must have gotten a little bit visually upset because she gave me the other half of the Valium.

Chris showed up and they gave me the PRK consent paperwork to sign. (I need to pause here to say, I know now this is illegal. A patient cannot consent to surgery while they are drugged. Period.) To be honest, I don’t remember much else from that day. I remember the surgery smelled bad–like burnt flesh. I remember after the surgery, I could see enough to be ushered into a post-op room and then I remember my eyes shutting. The pain was so extreme. A nurse was teaching Chris how to administer eye drops by pulling my bottom lids open because my eyes couldn’t open.

There were 4 different eye drops. Numbing eye drops to be administered every hour for the first day only (no longer!), anti-biotic drops 4x a day for the first week, steroid drops (Predinisolone) 4x a day for a month and Refresh drops that I was told to put in as often as I needed, which was multiple times an hour for the first several days and I still drop them in my eyes around once an hour. The surgery has made my eyes incredibly dry. I was also sent home with Tramadol for pain and a prescription for Norco, too.

Like I said, I don’t remember much past the pre-op room that first day–that’s a side effect of Valium. But around 11pm at night, I was having trouble breathing. Every time I started nodding off, it’s like I would forget to breathe. I alerted Chris who called my doctor. The after hours nurse connected us to his personal line and he said it sounded like I was having an allergic reaction to the Tramadol and to give me Benedryl. Chris ran to the store to get some and I called my mom to try to stay awake so I wouldn’t stop breathing. I just remember it felt really difficult to breathe. Not like I was suffocating. But like every breath took an immense amount of concentration.

When Chris got home, I told him I was too afraid to take the Benadryl. I was afraid it was going to knock me out and then I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on breathing. Instead, I asked him to help me stay awake until the medication wore off. I don’t know how late we were awake (it’s really difficult to stay awake when your eyes can’t open anyway. Ha!), but I clearly survived the night.

Well, kind of. Remember, I was not allowed to take any numbing drops past the first day and apparently I was having an allergic reaction to my pain killers so everything to mask the pain from surgery gradually wore off. In the middle of the night, I woke up in the most intense pain I have ever been in. It felt like glass shards were in my eyes. Chris put some of the other drops in and I was able to go back to sleep, but by morning I was in bad shape. Coming from someone that never took anything more than Ibuprofen after having a baby, I thought for sure that would be sufficient for PRK. I lasted until noon before my back was arching and my toes were curled–in so much pain!!–I took another Tramadol. Which, when I think back, is crazy! But I couldn’t take the pain for one more minute. The pain melted away and miraculously, I had no trouble breathing.

I don’t know why for sure, but I have a theory (stemming from a steroid drops incident that occurred over the next few days) that the numbing drops are to blame for my difficulty breathing. They made their way from my eyes, through the pin holes in the corner (the lacrimal punctum) which is a gateway to your nose and down to your mouth and throat and eventually stomach. Everything was numb, and I think that was the cause of my breathing issues. The rest of the weekend was spent sleeping and trying to keep my eyes moist.

Tuesday (5 days post-op) I remember waking up and being able to see things I never saw before. I think I read the time on the stove and told Chris, “it’s fun to be able to see and read. I just want to go read things for fun.” I’m really cool. It didn’t last long. I’d go from being able to see pretty well to feeling almost blind within hours. I couldn’t drive because it seemed to come and go. In the morning things were clear, by night, I couldn’t make out any text on a screen.

Wednesday, 6 days post op, I took a turn for the worse. My lack of steady vision was giving me a headache and making me dizzy and the steroid drops were making me incredibly nauseated. This is when my anger at the entire situation started erupting. How could they pull this bait and switch on me!? How could they not prepare me for any of this!? Why did they tell me I was a perfect candidate for Lasik and then switch to a completely different surgery at the last minute?! 

I still feel this way. I’m still upset. I’m still livid, actually. I feel tricked. I feel shocked that they could let someone undergo a surgery that they knew nothing about, with such an intense recovery time without any preparation or planning. They didn’t ask me what I did for a living or if I had any kids. I went in there for a one day recovery surgery and now they are telling me it could take up to 6 months to have the vision I thought I was getting that day. It’s disheartening.

I have since learned if I plug my tear ducts for 5 minutes, 4 x a day when I administer the steroid drops that I won’t get any of the nausea I was getting before. I have learned that my eye sight seems to be the best in the morning and tapers off by afternoon–so I try to at least answer my email first thing.

The eye guards seen above I wore day and night for the first 4 days and now just wear at night to make sure I don’t touch my eyes while sleeping while they heal. A lot of people tell me this will all be worth it. My doctor even told me that at my one week post-op where he removed my in-eye contact bandages. I told him that I was not prepared for this and that I felt tricked. He said, “The results will be the same soon.” I’ve since been back to see him for the Corneal Edema I’ve developed. My corneas have swelled up due to the trauma, making it even more difficult to see–we’re both glad it’s not glaucoma.

15 days, post surgery, I’m still hopeful it will all be worth it. But when someone asks me if I would recommend PRK surgery, I can’t answer that. Because in my mind, for the last 6 months I wasn’t getting PRK surgery. I was getting Lasik. And I know I didn’t get Lasik, I got PRK, but the experience has been tainted. If I knew I was getting PRK, and what that consisted of, I could have prepared. I maybe could have rejoiced a little more when I saw things clearly for a few hours. I wouldn’t have to spend the time I could see googling “is ____ normal after PRK surgery” because I would have already done my research. I wouldn’t be so unprepared. So angry. So lost. I would NEVER have done it when I did. At this point, I’m not sure I would have done it at all–but I’m not on the other side of it yet. Which makes you kind of wonder if that’s why they waited until I had popped half a Valium to spill that kind of news.

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What do you think?

  1. Nayia says:

    Hi, there.

    Thanks for this post and I really hope your eyesight’s perfect now. I would love to hear an update – how long did it take you in the end to be able to see perfectly?

    I’m going though the same absolutely frustrating experience. I had PRK about 3 1/2 wks ago and my vision is still not 20/20, far from it. I was not terribly near sighted either, about -2.0 in one eye and -2.50 in the other. Straightforward they said. 100% safe and 100% efffective, they said.
    My surgeon said I could go back to work (I work in front of a screen for 10hrs a day) on day 5 and my vision would be perfect by day 10. I now know that this was a blatant lie and I have had a go at him twice already. Had I been warned, had I been properly informed by the two different, bloody ophtalmologists that I consulted with ,that PRK recovery is a 3 month process (or longer from what I;m reading in some blogs) I would have opted for Lasik. Or I would have backed out from surgery altogether. Or I would have done it at a time when I’d be less busy with work and other responsibilities. I was not properly informed and hence did not make an informed decsion. This is unethical (and potentially illegal).

    So here I am now, not beeing able to read clearly on the computer, or my phone or a book. Really brurry vision for a couple of hrs in the morning and also again after dusk. Watching a film on the TV is also a struggle with lots of blurriness. And of course, the constant fear gnawing at me: what if my eyes remain like this for the rest of my life. While the doctor (two doctors again, as I wanted another post-op opinion) have said that this is normal (NOW they tell me), I’m still scared.

    Apologies for the doom and gloom. I would love to hear an update on your eyesight from you.

    Best,
    Nayia , Greece

  2. Kris says:

    Wow. I have been reading all the posts here and it disgusts me how doctors downplay the complications, and conduct themselves so poorly. I never had any corrective eye surgery, but I was very close to getting ICL this year. If you don’t know what ICL is, in a nutshell its a lens implant (si ikar in a way to cataract surgery) that enables patients with high myopia, dry eyes, and who are not eligible for traditional Lasik/PRK surgery to see without glasses and contacts. If there are any issues with the implant you can have them extracted. However, the risks are very great in comparison to the rewards, if any. Let me explain further on what happened to me.

    Without any corrective eye surgery done, I still stand as high myopic (approx -8.25 left and -8 right with very little astigmatism, enough to be negated altogether). I have worn glasses for about 31 years now and hate them due to the overall encumbrance, general misery, and really bad, sloppy opticians who do not know how to adjust frames properly, let alone supply adequate lenses. My old optician of 22 years abandoned me as well, but that is another story. Moreover, contact lenses are not an option for me because I naturally have dry eyes, albeit mild but still noticeable. It also did not help matters to be hyper sensitive, along with some OCD. So, I took the leap to see if I could be free from this visual “prison”. This is where things got interesting.

    The first place I went to just did Lasik/PRK surgeries. Here I was automatically disqualified because I have hypothyroid and an autoimmune disease called Ulcerative Colitis, a form of irritable bowel disease. And I am also a suspect for Glaucoma due to high myopia and both my eyes having a large cup to fundus ratio. The pressures of my eyes have always been between 13-15 mm hg, within normal range since Glaucoma pressure is 22 mm hg and higher. Distraught and desperate, I did some more research and discovered ICL surgery. Where I live there are only 3 surgeons that do this procedure locally.

    The first surgeon ran all the tests and said I was a perfect candidate for the ICL surgery, taking into consideration of all my previous stated health issues. He also told me that I will be able to achieve 20/20 vision (maybe even better) after the implant, something I wanted with any corrective surgery. I was almost sold but still cautious since the first surgeon lectured me of keeping my expectations realistic, etc. I was about to proceed with this surgery until I began asking and emailing the surgeon a bunch of pertinent questions. He did answer most of them earlier on but it was an information overload. I was also in shock to be a qualified candidate. Long story short, this surgeon refused to do the surgery because he said I asked too many questions, and did not feel comfortable proceeding. This was aldo partially due to Covid, since he also felt the entire clinic could not give me the level of after-care that I required. Of course I thought this was strange.

    Distraught AGAIN, I sought the last local surgeon for ICL. There is another one but I have been to that guy for prescription glasses in the past and he had totally messed them up. Plus, he is known fir many botched surgeries, so he is definitely not an option. This last doctor, however, showed some initial promise. His surgical tech was very scattered though, and would constantly leave the room during the pre-screenjng; thus lengthening my appointment time by an additional 2 hours. At the end of the day, this last surgeon deemed me an excelkent candidate for both PRK and ICL surgeries. This was 4 months ago.

    Here is where it got weird for me again. I was scheduled for ICL surgery a month later (August, 2020) but I was in a process of a large house move, so had to postpone it. There was no subsequent date made because the clinic needed prior approval for the following month to do the back-to-back surgery. Time went by, I settled into my new home and heard nothing from this clinic for nearly 2 months. By late September, 2020 I rang them and was told that the surgical tech suddenly quit the company in August, throwing everyone under the bus. They had no tech and were looking for one in the states (I live in Canada), but due to Covid they could not get one through the border. They had no ETA on this in the foreseeable future. Rightly so I was shocked and disappointed AGAIN. Had I not called I would have still been kept in the dark. I did not realize until a few months later to today’s date (December, 2020) that this was a blessing in disguise.

    This last surgeon apparently owns and operates from at least 4 different clinics. I won’t get into specifics on this, suffice to say he HAS crossed the border the oerform surgeries. I know this because I did so.e research and found reviews that were written a week ago from his other clinics. So were they lying about the surgical thing? I cannot co firm this for certain but I smell a rat.

    Last month I did another visual field rest to test my eyes for Glaucoma. I was in the clear and forwarded the results to that ICL surgeon, who then invited me to come back to be reevaluated for ICL candidacy. They need to do this anyway, so I agreed. 2 days ago I went to be reevaluated. The girl that took the measurements on my eyes was optimistic, saying if I was a candidate the last time I should still be one today. That gave me comfort cause I was super anxious. She also gave me a thumbs up on my eye pressure and everything else. Allseemed well until I saw the surgeon again. This time he was unprofessional and sloppy. When he took the measurements of my current prescription against what it was 4 months ago, he told me that my prescription got stronger. I was floored. How could it have so fast when my eyes only changed .25 or so from 2018 to late 2019? The prescription device was a bad experience cause the lens I had to look through had a lot of condensation and my mask kept fogging it up. We had to take my prescription a few times due to this, and because each time the surgeon was flicking through each lens comparison so rapidly. I told him to slow down but he refused to listen…another red flag.

    At the end of the day, the surgeon told me I was still a candidate but not a strong one like I had been 4 months ago. He said it had to do with my prescription not being as stable as he wanted and me being a suspect for Glaucoma. I told him that my ophthalmologist gave me the clear on that. I once had to be checked every 6 months but because there were no changes on that end I am called to do it every year. Even so, the surgeon wanted me to come togothrough the entire gamut of pre-evaluations from scratch, including a visual field test in their clinic.

    Some of you may think that this is good because the surgeon was not eager to jump on surgery right away. I agree, but there were a lot of red flags, most I have not disclosed here, regarding this particular surgeon. One thing I will say is that he did say that ICL surgery WILL raise the pressure of my eyes, regardless if you are a suspect or not. Even if I was the healthiest person on the planet this surgery comes with enormous risks. And if I ever needed to get the lenses out my vision and eyes overall will never be the same. This is something not clearly advertised anywhere. They say its a reversible procedure, should complications arise, but this is not the case. I feel alot is hidden for both Lasik/PRK and ICL surgeries. Another thing I was told is that there are NO guarantees that I will achieve 20/20 vision. I may still need glasses, with any complications that may likely happen. And my prescription will change.

    I decided to NOT proceed. This was also due to the fact that they would likely need to do PRK on me to “top off” what ICL could not complete, leaving me with worse dry eyes than what I have naturally without any surgery. Its also a super expensive surgery, much more than Lasik/PRK. I was never given the exact figure or any safety instructions pre or post op, so that is another thin to be considered. Lastly, if I ever need to gave the lenses removed it would cost me about the same as when I had them installed.

    No…technology today for thos dirt if thing is still too primitive and dangerous. Sure, there are success stories but there are no absolute guarantees. Everyone’s body is different and so are the surgeons, who you can be certain are motivated by greed. As for me, I’m glad I got all these red flags before I signed anything and went thru with the surgery. I had my doubts I would have remained a candidate anyway, especially given how quickly everything changed. I am still baffled by this because I see fine with the same eyeglass prescription that I have worn for the last 2 years. Weird.

    I just wish there was something for unfortunate high myopia like myself. I heard there is technology for children to prevent the onset anc progression of myopia, but what about the adults still suffering with it naturally and after surgery? I dont know. That’s my experience anyway.

  3. Jin says:

    It does seem like you were allergic to one of the medication. Everyone is different, I had lasik as well and had an initial 2 hour assessment and then a scheduled date for surgery on April fools 2017.

    That had a redo of tests 1 hour prior to surgery, I was given Valium prior nor was I told to use antibiotics prior.

    My surgery lasted 15 mins qnd felt nothing. I did smell the laser burning my lens. Nothing uncomfortable.

    After that I was sent on my way with teardrops and antibiotics. (I was told to not swallow or inhale while I put the antibiotics because it go to the other mucus membranes on the face) so basically she said I would taste the antibiotics.

    Then I slept for 4 hours and all was great.

    I’m sorry you had to go through this, I hope you found out or will find out if you had allergies to something.

    Were you anxious or did they feel like you were anxious? Valium, Tramadol and Norco is quite extreme for eye surgery :(

    I would seek other advice as well.

    Best of luck !

  4. Sarah J Oneson says:

    Julia,
    I am getting ready to have this surgery done. I am scared and worry about the pain. I don’t do pain well, and I also worry that it could be worse than wearing glasses. Can you help me with back up pain plans and what has helped you get though this.

  5. Sharilee says:

    Hello. I am in the same boat you were in, mostly. I have not had any adverse reactions to any drops or medications. But I am two weeks post op and bounce between hopeful and depressed. Do you mind sharing what your final outcome was or more of what followed post op?

  6. Christian says:

    Hello all, I would like to share my wife´s experience in case it helps. She had Lasik done 10 years ago to correct for -2.5/-2.0 myopia. She had a wonderful result and had perfect vision for about 7 years. Unfortunately she was in the small % of people who experience some regression after some years. 10 years after her Lasik she was back at -2.0 in both eyes. At age 41, she was told she was no longer a Lasik candidate but she could get fixed with a small PRK “touch up”. She was told she would experience severe pain for 3-4 days but could be back at work 6-8 days post-op. After her bandage lenses were removed her vision was completely blurry at all distances. The next appointment she had with her Dr. he told her the surgery induced astigmatism which she never had before, and had accelerated her near vision loss so she would have to use reading glasses going forward. This was a shock to her since she had always had excellent near vision and her work depends on it, and was never told that by eliminating her myopia her loss of near vision would immediately present itself. 2 months after post-op she still sees blurry at all distances. Her short distance vision is so bad she can´t even read a computer screen with the assistance of glasses. We are still waiting since the Drs. keep telling us her eyes still have time to heal, but she has already lost several work projects due to this. She is depressed, sad and angry for having opted to do the procedure. I realize she is in the 1% that has these types of complications, but if she had been informed about these 1% possible compications she would never had it done. Bottom line, if you are managing ok with eye-glasses, don´t do PRK, the risks are not worth it.

  7. Raka Adhyatma says:

    very interesting self experience. i really enjoy to read this very entertaining and clear explanation. I hope to everyone who want to take an eye laser treatment to read this. thank you for sharing laatjeogenlaseren.nl

  8. Alisha says:

    I can share that I had the EXACT experience. My recovery was so painful! It’s been a year and a half and I still get sore eyes from makeup. My so also arent 20 20… devastating. I also signed after having the Valium, ready for lasik.

  9. Thanks for sharing! This is a great article, and something I think needs to be communicated more often. Hoping to see some more informative posts from your end in the future. Thanks!!

  10. Kristen says:

    I had PRK surgery 10 days ago and I am extremely pleased so far. I was very nervous reading about how so many people had severe pain. However I never once had any pain. I had moments when my eyes would water uncontrollably similar to how it feels to have bad allergies. And just my eyes feeling that they wanted to be closed. My doctor started me on antibiotic, steroid, and refresh OTC omega-3 drops 2 days before my surgery and taking lots of vitamin C. I continued my eye drops to the T and feel like that helped me a lot. I never once had to take the pain medication that was prescribed to me.

    I had terrible vision -4.75 with astigmatism and my other eye was -6. One eye is healing a little faster than the other however that is completely normal.

    I did a lot of research before ultimately going with PRK due to not having a lap that LASIK creates. My ultimate goal to join the military as a pilot and I need good vision to make that happen. PRK is recommended more by the military so I went with what I was getting hyped up to be an extremely painful experience but it truly wasn’t. Everyone is different but I feel the pretreatment and post treatment with drops helped greatly.

  11. Steph says:

    Hello!
    I know it is a bit later in the thread, but I am curious for those that had PRK done for mono-vision, if you are happy with it now? I just had it done a week ago on my right eye and I am still completely burry in that eye. I am nervous that I went from just dealing with readers to now being completely screwed up. I am still wearing readers for my left eye, forcing me to close my right eye. My depth perception is off kilter and I still can’t drive, etc.

    Please let me know if this is normal and it will improve to be what was promised with “mono-vision”. Sheesh. :\

  12. Jeannie says:

    I’m just 4 months post op PRK. Had I known what my eyes were going to feel like after I would have stuck with my glasses. Does it get better? Hope your on the other side of it now!❤️

  13. Greg V says:

    I started with lasik. Turn out my eyes have a condition where the cells don’t stick together as well as they should. I am 58 so had monovision done. My left eye for close had some cells come loose but the dr said he was able to push them back into place. My right (distance) eye was worse and he had to scraped off a layer of cells to get it smooth. So ended up with a bandage contact on that eye. I experienced terrible light sensitivity afterwards. My distance vision stabilized after a few months but was not good enough even for things like watching tv. I decided to go ahead with a prk enhancement back in february which was about a year after my original lasik. This time the dr had me start drops and oral anitibiotics a week before the surgery. He said my eyelids seemed to inflame easily. Also used eye wash pads to clean them every night before bed. The prk went ok. Normal pain recovery. Had the surgery on thursday and did go into work for awhile on monday. Probably helped that I only had prk on one eye and my eye for computer vision was not touched. I must say his plan did work as my light sensitivity was much better than after the lasik surgery. They took out the bandage contact after about a week. Then I had a bad episode the day I went in to renew my drivers license. Felt like I had something in my eye and they would not stop watering. Of course I was not able to pass the vision test to renew my license. Went back the to dr the next day and they put the bandage contact back in. They think what had happened is blinking had dislodged some of the newly healed cells. Went back after and week and they said my cornea was still not smooth so contact for another week. I think they did another so had the contact for a third week. Finally was able to get the contact out but they did say my cornea had not appeared to heal fully yet as the surface was uneven. Now four months post op my distance vision is no better than when I had PRK done, although finally now it has stabilized where is had been jumping up and down. So now they say they want to try PRK again. Going to talk to the actual surgeon today. I am leaning toward not doing it and going back to glasses and trying to get my money back. I hate that thought after all I have been through but don’t have much confidence another PRK will fix it when it did not work last time. They said astigmatism is what has come back to make my vision worse. Like the layer of new cells reshaped my eye to cause the astigmatism. Those were not there right after the surgery (I actually could see well the second night after surgery). I see the surgeon a couple of hours from now and I think if he expresses any doubts at all about in working this time I will not go through it again.

  14. Helen K says:

    I am so happy I found your post about your experience. I had the same exact experience with you. I was scheduled for LASIK and 5 min before surgery they said I had to get PRK instead of LASIK because my eyes had changed. I was a contact user like you. The doctor just told me it would just be more painful than LASIK and even pulled the “even I got PRK” making me feel assured that I should just go ahead with the surgery. Weeks after, I am still in a lot of pain and I cannot drive still and I get constant migraines. I felt everything you went through to even feeling like I was tricked into surgery. These companies are so greedy and care only about quotas and showing customers how many surgeries they have done on huge banners to act as advertisement to lure in more customers. My doctor did over 110,000 surgeries and it made me feel more secure but now I see how careless they are of their patients. It’s horrible and I am still suffering because the doctor did not fully disclose what I would get myself into. Thanks for your post.

  15. Yvonne Tipton says:

    I am 17 months out of PRK surgery. My eyes are severely dry and I have to use restasis 2 x a day and plugs put in upper and lower lids every 3 months. I can’t drive at night or when the sun is rising or setting due to the sun and the extreme light at certain levels in the sky. When the suns completely up it’s not an issue except with glares every now and then. I was in extreme pain for 2 weeks after surgery and now I honestly think I shouldn’t have opted to get it done. I was -4.50 and -3.75 with astigmatism in both eyes. I am now fixing to find a doctor who can give me a second opinion and possibly fix whatever is wrong. I’m miserable most of the time. I love working outside but find it hard unless I have dark sunglasses on. I have gained 40 lbs and had to start taking depression medicine. All due to PRK. The doctor who did my surgery feels I’m a difficult case. I’m still taking steroid drops (Durezol) at least 1 x a week and if needed more. I understand your pain! Good luck on your healing journey!

  16. Shanna says:

    I would not trust any doctor that would run a practice that way to do a good job of either surgery. The recovery for PRK is supposed to be nothing like that, and I see most of these horror stories are people whose doctor’s seem to have acted very unprofessionally to begin with…

  17. Ami Shue says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I have terrible vision and I had a consult a few weeks ago to see if I was a candidate for LASIK. I was informed that I wasn’t but that I did qualify for LRI (which is used to correct the astigmatism) followed by PRK. I scheduled the appointment for the first procedure but ever since then I have had this uneasy feeling and I am seriously considering canceling the appointment all together.. I’ve had people share positive experiences after having it done but I just don’t really know if I am truly ready to go through with it.

  18. Betsy says:

    Julia, would love an update on your vision. At 45, i may finally need glasses. I always thought i would have Lasik done, but second guessing since remembering your blog posts.

  19. Alice says:

    Everything you went through im also going through right now, was told i was great for LASIK but they didnt tell me until surgery day while i was laying down in the bed that my corneas were too small and prk would be better. I dont know what to do i feel horrible the pain is so bad… i had my surgery February 15th 2019 . Hopefully once they take the contact off I will be better

  20. Christine Gerhardt says:

    My adult ( very independent ) son had this surgery 02-14-19. Exactly the same experience! He is now 3 days post-op. I thought he had lasik. He just called me today yo tell me what his last 3 days have been like post PRK. He didn’t want me to know. He knew I would make a fuss and worry. He is single and lives alone. He has been doing this all alone! He did have a ride to and from surgery. He started a new job one week prior to surgery. Something I.T. Thinking, his surgery was a one day recovery!! What a mess! He sounded okay on the phone. He was also mad as soon as the procedure was over because they didn’t prepare him for what the procedure itself was going to be like! (Knowing him, he told them so!) Anyway, Thank You for your story. I don’t get much info out of him. He doesn’t like Mothering! So, Thank You once again!

  21. Holls says:

    Julia
    How are you now? I had prk done in July 2017, I’m still dealing with a lot of issues. Severe dryness, stabbing pains, migraines, inability to focus. It comes and goes, but when it comes, it’s brutal and when it goes, I’m fearful of the next episode.
    I too was misled by my dr about the entire process. I had raised several concerns due to allergies I have, I was told it would not be a problem, everything has been a problem. The stress doesn’t make it any easier. I regret giving it a shot.
    I’m able to see, but it’s not something I enjoy, bright sunny days give me blinding headaches. Dry cold days make my eyes dry and by the end of the day I have painful double vision.
    It’s been very trying on my stress levels. I’m seeing a dr today, hoping he’ll be able to help.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m dealing with the exact same thing now and had my surgery January 2017. I wish I never spent the money to get it. My head hurts constantly and I was told my left eye needs to be done over again. I’m just thinking about getting glasses and just call it a day. I will never recommend PRK.

  22. Nichole says:

    I felt like i was also tricked into PRK. I scheduled my appt for lasik and then was told i didn’t qualify anymore. But I am now 18 days post surgery. My surgery went great. I didn’t have any pain at all. I had extreme light sensitivity and wore sunglasses for the first week. I had my surgery done on a Friday and could have gone to work the following Monday but the lens was bothering my eye so I decided to stay home.

    As of now my vision is still slightly blurry and sort of doubled. My eyesight was extremely bad (-10.25 in one eye and -9.5 in the other) so i was told it would take longer for my vision to stabilize. I had dry eyes before the surgery (I had prescription eye drops) and they don’t seem to be any drier. So hopefully the vision gets better within a few days or I am going to go buy a cheap pair of glasses.

    So overall I am glad I went through it and would do it again. I had literally zero pain and didn’t use any of the numbing drops or pain pills they gave me. But I would stock up on eyedrops. Refresh plus did nothing for me but refresh optive is amazing.

  23. Allison says:

    I’m reading this 2 weeks post-op from PRK. I wish I’d read this before. I also was switched from LASIK to PRK the morning of my surgery. Technically, they’d gone over both options in my pre-op appointment, but absolutely focused on LASIK in our discussions, so I didn’t focus too much on researching PRK. The second pre-op (12 days prior to my surgery), they realized I’d be a better candidate for PRK but didn’t call me. Instead, they informed me day of. I was blind-sided, cried a lot, talked to the doctor and staff (even some who’d had PRK). They all said maybe a week of recovery max and maybe a month to get super sharp vision. My right eye was fine, progressing great 3 days post-op. Left eye was inflamed so vision was significantly worse. Now, it’s not inflamed (that I can tell) and my vision out of that eye is very marginally better than pre-op. I can drive but all my work as a teacher and a mother to a toddler has been significantly impacted and I’m seeing so blurry that, yes, it’s better than no contacts vision-wise I guess, but I’m walking around half-blind, barely able to see the computer, and feel like an idiot. Had I been realistic and informed, I either wouldn’t have done it or had done it in the summer when I’m off. I feel so stupid when people ask me about my results. I hope there is a major change soon. If I see like this for months, I’ll go crazy. However, I didn’t have half the medical complications you or other commenters had, so in a way I’m thankful. But really, who pays that much money to be miserable for so long?! Ugh.

  24. Christie says:

    My experience with Prk.

    I had prk done about a month ago. Initially I was told I would have 2 days of pain, it lasted much longer though. I have been having a constant pain like glass shards in my eyes. I literally am in bed all day because the pain is so horrendous and my dr wont prescribe pain killers, he says they offer no relief to the eye only the body. I literally cant sleep because of the pain but he told me advil is the best bet for me still. Thank God for the tramadol I had from a previous prescription left. There where very few so I tried to be very tight with them, only when I felt like I was gonna die did I use them. Thats how utterly intense my pain has been. I have 3 left which worries me. Anyway, yesterday was the first day I actually was able to do something without intense pain for about 10 hours of my day, it so happened to be my sons birthday. I had irritation but not intense like the previous day before. I’ve gone through 200 dollars in eyedrops in just 10 days . The refresh plus does absolutely nothing for moistening my eye so instead I opt for the systene ultra which is more expensive about $26 a box for 60 vials. They definitley dont tell you that before the procedure. I was never even told vials would be my only option for a year and I would have to keep putting them in consistently, intervals 15 minutes…then 30 ..then hourly for the next year assuming I dont develop chronic dry eye. Well that’s not even the worst of my experience. Five days after the procedure the Dr. was suppose to remove my bandage but he couldn’t in my right eye the cells ended up sticking to the contact and they peeled off my eye so I had to wait another 5 days for that eye. He ended up taking the left bandage off. When it came off it felt like something was in my eye. It was so intense but he said it was normal. Right after that I went to get drops and I literally went out of my mind with pain I felt so scared. I immediately told my husband take me back right now I cried, “I cant think I’m in so much pain.” I went back to the clinic and the Dr. saw me. Apparently the cells had come off on the top of the eye, most likely when he took off the contact. It literally had no protection on it and the pain was crazy so he ended up putting the bandage back on. 15 days later post OP my bandages came off, December 27. I felt so good my eyes weren’t hurting to much. I even watched TV for the first time. The next day I woke up with my eyelids close. Apparently when I slept my eyes dried out so my eyelid was getting stuck to my eyeball. The Dr saw me the same day and prescribed me a new steroid gel and told me to buy genteal gel for the night. I swear not even 5 minutes after my left eye felt extremely painful. The pain was so unbearable I was about to run to the hospital because I just couldn’t take it. I called the dr and he said sleep for 4 hous take an advil and put a prolensa drop on your eye, which is like an advil for your eye. I did just that 5 hours later I woke up still in extreme pain and it was already 9:40 pm.. My left eye was swollen and I was in the most unbearable pain of my life. I was able to text the dr he doent answer phone calls and he asked for a picture and sent me to the pharmacy for liquid steroids and he called me ….shocker and tried to explain to me what was happening. My eyesight was blurry because my cells had come off and the pain was stemming from that. The swelling was a reaction to the body telling it to close the wound fast, I guess because there was no bandage protecting it. I was using a gel steroid and the Dr. told me to stop using it along with the genteal gel as well. I ended seeing blurry after the whole ordea. The cells had peeled off In the center most likely due to the excessive blinking caused by the intense feeling of shards in my eye because I was seeing clearly when I was in pain then all of sudden everything became blurry. He told me put everything he prescribed in my eye take advil and keep your eyes closed and come in first thing in the morning. I went In and he put the bandage back on the left eye and gave me new instructions abouts my medications and drops. I came in 5 days later, pain was still intense but not crazy like without the contact. My dr checked the left eye and decided it was not ready to come off yet so I was schedule for another 5 day out which would be today. I have to say my pain has been less frequent but still intense when it does happen. I have been hesitant to say anything about my progress in the frequency of pain because I’m scared Im gonna jinx myself. Honestly, it’s kind of ironic thinking back to it just this past Sunday I went to my old church with my sunglasses and lots of drops of course and I actually went up to the pastor during reflection time which is almost at the closing of church, which I never did. I told him short and sweet about my pain and he prayed for me and while he did I could feel the tears drop rolling down my face with every single word he spoke I felt comfort in him. That’s because I’ve been triying not to cry, it’s bad for the eye right now. I do find it kind of carzy though considering that was on Sunday and Monday was the first day I felt the pain so much less . Todays Tuesday which is my appointment to remove the contact lense in my left eye. I feel like its ready and that says alot because 5 days ago I could feel it wasnt but I ended up rescheduling for Friday because well I cant drive and I have to depend on other right now. I am seeing 20/20 right now but its more out of caution till the pain subsides because im still scared of the sudden pain that may occur. Anyways throughout my whole journey Ive tried to keep my eyes closed alot of the time. Thank God for my mother in law, Im staying with her while I recover. She was able to take my 6 month old daughter while I slept. My husband works nights so it was really tough for me in that area. Overall, I do regret it but theres no looking back just forward which is all that I can do to try to get past this nightmare. In the future I hope to think that this painful experience wasn’t for nothing.

  25. Marcel says:

    I’m so thankful for everyone sharing their experience on PRK.. I Just left a LASIK office and they recommended the PRK For me.. when they mentioned the pain I would experience and at least 3 days to recover I can see from all the reviews that it maybe much longer .. I’m going to pass and continue with my monvisison contacts and wear my glasses ..

  26. Frank DiMitri says:

    Julia,
    I just had PRK 2 Months ago and I am not happy. The doctor told me it could take up to 6 months post op. Pre op they stated a couple of weeks. How are your eyes now after eight months?

    • Julia says:

      After 8 months, they are finally doing better but I still wake up some mornings to impossible dryness and I have to be careful to never rub them. My vision has improved but it took months.

      • Emily says:

        Julia, has your vision improved to being similar to how they were before PRK with glasses/contacts? Are you happy with your results now, after 8 months?

        I have a very similar experience to yours with PRK–they switched my surgery two weeks before my surgery date, and I thought I had researched as much as possible in that time to be prepared for (what I thought was) a slightly-worse recovery. Three weeks post-op at this point and I’m extremely upset at the change, and feeling very hopeless. I still am regularly worse than I was without glasses/contacts before surgery, and never even remotely close to what I saw with correction. I’m really hoping for a miraculous turn-around in the next five weeks or so, but it looks like I may be in the camp of folks who still are unhappy with their results, even months after surgery.

      • Julia says:

        I was worse for probably 6 weeks. Now, at 8 months post-op my vision is perfect!

      • Christie says:

        Why must you be careful to not rub them? Does the dryness ever go away?

      • Julia says:

        Umm… my eyes are still pretty dry almost a year later.

  27. Laura McGowan says:

    I am SO happy I read this at the doctor’s office. I literally was just put in the same situation and decided not to go through with it. No one ever even mentioned PRK to me before they told me that was my only option. I said I can’t wait that long for recovery and wanted what I was told I qualified for before, the Lasik Contoura, but the doctor refused to do that surgery. Keep in mind, I was told I have a very thick cornea and minor correction needed with slight astigmatisms, totally acceptable for Lasik, but he still refused. I was very conflicted since I had already spent $50 on Ubering to my appointment and took the day off of work, but I feel like after reading this I made the right decision. Thank you so much for posting this!

  28. Rachel Elzinga says:

    I went in for lasik yesterday and they cut my right eye open twice but couldn’t get it to fold back. The surgeon stopped and then talked to my husband and I. He said that he didn’t feel comfortable doing the lasik procedure so he was going to schedule me for PRK in the next few weeks. I had previously read this blog post so as soon as he said it, I knew I wasn’t going through with it. Imagine my husbands surprise when we go to the fromt desk to make the new appointment and I vehemently state that I am not getting the new surgery and asked for my money back. Thank you for writing this. I feel like Heavenly Father led me to this post pre surgery and I am so glad he did. I really hope you’re doing better now.

  29. Julie says:

    It’s like I wrote this myself. I’m on day 9 right now. I’m miserable. I’m disappointed. I was told I was getting lasik too then it switched. No one prepared me at all for the recovery process. I teach Chinese kids online. The company I’m contracted with allows only 6 class cancellations in 6 months. I teach roughly 15 classes per day. I had to cancel a whole weeks work Bc I was told I’d be back to normal in 3 days. So I took 4 off to be safe. On I may be losing my job over this now and it cost me $800 in missed wages! I’m furious. I’m disappointed. I would’ve never done it. I will not recommend it to anyone. Or the Lasik Vision Institute. I see people’s happy ending stories 6 months down the road. Maybe I’ll feel differently then. For now, I’m angry and sad and frustrated and disappointed.
    Julie

    • Emily says:

      Julie, how have things changed for you since this comment 3 months ago? Have things improved?
      I’m three weeks post-op and feeling very hopeless, and seem to only see positive accounts online of the recovery improving in two/three weeks, so am curious how other folks who had negative early experiences wound up faring down the road.

  30. Holly says:

    OMG it’s like I wrote this! Thank you and I’m so sorry for us. lol I’m 9 days out of PRK
    IM sad I’m angry I’m scared
    They never prepped me for any of this. I have kids
    I run a business I mean I jyst am in shock . So thankful to read this and not feel alone

  31. Rob Chan says:

    PRK is the superior procedure.

    Less tissue is lost and there is NEVER a chance of any flap dislodging. The ONLY advantage you have with LASIK is less recovery time.

    And for that you pay for, by having a flap that is vulnerable to be dislodged for your entire life, not to mention losing more of your actual eyeball than with PRK.

    I did PRK, and unlike any of the weird stories. I could pretty much go back to work and drive the same day.

    Although my eyes were uncomfortable, I did not have any of the weird or adverse reactions you hear of when you search PRK surgery on google.

    The searches seemed to be very biased with people who weren’t happy with their procedures.

    Laser eye surgery is not something to be taken lightly. I had to do it to pursue my dream of being in the military in a combat arms trade.

    I would think really hard about doing it for lifestyle reasons.

    • Rxg says:

      I am sitting in the clinic readind this blog. This is the only comment which gives me hope. Thank you! What was your power before?

    • Jenni says:

      This!
      I had my PRK Friday, it’s now Wednesday. Yes, I’m uncomfortable. Today is my first day seeing ALMOST normal, my contact bandages come out tomorrow.
      It’s been rough.
      But I’m feeling much better already.
      Light sensitivity has been my biggest issue. I pushed myself too hard by trying to go back to work Monday, and that was a miserable disaster, but that’s my fault.
      Right now the 5 day old contacts are driving me batty and I’m counting the hours until 8:45 tomorrow. But I’m already seeing about 80% better, and can admit that this was worth it! Driving to work this morning, I could already read street signs.
      I didn’t even get numbing drops or pain pills! Just the antibiotics and steroids, which taste terrible but I’m a grown up and I can handle shit. Hahaha.

  32. Thank you so much for your well written perspective on PRK. For ANYONE that is thinking about getting this surgery please do your research first. I also felt completely mis-lead, showing up for “Lasik” surgery and told minutes before they could only do PRK. When I tried to back out I felt pressure to just go ahead with the surgery and told that it would be a very similar experience and “even better” vision experience eventually. Nothing could be further from the truth. I couldn’t see for reading, writing (I work on a computer!) let alone see anything for distance for 3 weeks. It took 6 weeks to fully regain my vision and the pain was unbearable. Worse yet 5 1/2 month later I developed double vision (my right eye suddenly became lazy) which required more extensive surgery of moving my eye muscle. It took me 2 years to get up enough courage to let another doctor touch my eyes again. Thankfully, I found a specialist which fixed the double vision, and it was less painful than the PRK!

  33. Laural Brownell says:

    I had Lasik several years back and went in for a touch up on December 1, 2017. I already had my hair hat on and ready to go in when suddenly they were telling me they wanted to do PRK. They told me this was the best procedure and I would have it in the future also. I didn’t know what to do as I didn’t know anything about PRK. I have an extremely high pain level tolerance so when another Dr. there told me he had pain for a solid 3 days and it was a little tough for a week I just figured he was a wimpy man and I wouldn’t have any problems. I reluctantly agreed to have the PRK and went right in. I too signed while on Valium. I was fine most of that day. Mid day on day 2 I lost my vision and it scared me. This was Saturday so i did nothing but put tons of drops in for Sunday and stayed hoe from work on Monday too. Sat around with my eyes closed due to the pain. My husband had to drive me to work the rest of that week and a few days of the following week. Good thing I own my own business or I probably would have been fired do to not being able to see well enough to actually work. I then drove myself but quickly realized that driving after dark couldn’t be done. I couldn’t tell if the tail lights were right in front of me or blocks away and they were many “sets” of the same tail lights. The rest of that week and the following week I had to leave for home by 4:00pm at the latest so I could be home before dark. I have not been a happy camper. My vision is terrible and I am months out. I am so sorry I agreed to this PRK thing. When they wanted to change my procedure I should have walked out. I have spent lots of money for contacts, eye creams, eye washes, eye lash washes, and drops. PLUS I live i rural Colorado so all the trips to the front range have been costly also. I have read that you can do Lasik after PRK if your cornea is thick enough but finding information on that is tough. I can’t see well driving 20/60 and my near vision is not good either for computer work at my shop. I have had mono vision since I did the original Lasik and have loved it. I had absolutely no problems with the Lasik procedure and also live on a farm and help with work on the farm which is usually dirty and dusty. I’m around animals and farming equipment daily. Hind sight is 20/20 to me at this point!

  34. Erin says:

    I had PRK surgery — on purpose — at the end of January. I listened to your podcast day and night during my recovery, I don’t remember much of them now (painkillers) but they definitely pulled me through. It’s been about 2 months since the surgery and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You now never have to worry about the posssibilty of dislodging the flap from lasik, which was the thing I could never get over and was one of the deciding factors for me. Hang in there! :)

  35. Heather says:

    I read this when you first published it and I ended up in tears on the bus on the way to work. Your story sounds so similar to mine, but thankfully I did not have the reaction you did post-op. Just reading your story made me livid all over again.

    I also went in for at least two different pre-op appointments and had all the testing done and was told every time that I was a perfect candidate for Lasik. The day of the surgery, I had to sign the paperwork before I went back to do the final tests and pre-op prep. There was a section in my paperwork that said that the doctor had the right to change to PRK from Lasik after the signing of the paperwork if the doctor felt it necessary. I found it odd and a bit disconcerting considering I had only been informed about Lasik, and had known NOTHING about PRK. I even asked the person who gave me the paperwork about it, and she completely blew me and my concerns off, stating specifically that really never happens so just sign and don’t worry about it. I had reservations, but like you I had already done all of the prep work. Five minutes before surgery the doctor (with no bedside manner) came in and said he was going to do PRK. Umm, what? The clinic director then came in also because he heard me asking a bunch of questions. I too was blown off and just told that recovery is a little bit longer, I’d need to pick up another prescription after the surgery, and that it’s all pretty much the same. On top of it, I heard the nurses and doctors making fun of me right before I walked into the surgery room because of the questions I asked, and the doctor yelled at me during the surgery because I needed a moment to breathe and calm my anxiety after the first eye was done. Not a pleasant experience…

    If I had known about PRK what I found out after the surgery, my timing would have been completely different. I was heading into my busiest time at work one week later and spent two weeks straight of 12-14 hour days trying to read my computer screen even at extreme magnification. It was horrible. I was also completely blindsided by the excruciating pain for the first two days and sobbed for hours.

    All this to say, I completely understand your feelings about your experience. Even a year and a half later, my experience still makes me livid. I sure hope you can find some recourse in your situation. While it doesn’t heal the trauma of the whole ordeal, hopefully some recourse will help you feel less violated. Hugs to you.

    • Julia says:

      This is so terrible!!! While I do find some comfort in our similar experiences, I can’t believe that this is allowed! Something has to be done. The surgeries are SO different and education would have made my experience so much different.

  36. Candace says:

    So much anger and sorrow. But also, look at this community of support and information! This group rocks.

    Hoping your recovery speeds up. I can’t imagine how this feels both physically and emotionally as a mother, wife, and provider.

  37. Vicki says:

    What a horrible situation!!! I cannot imagine going through this at all and much less with no time to prepare. What if you didn’t have a nanny and what if Chris worked outside the home. I can certainly understand why you are infuriated. Prayers for you to come through this with excellent vision.

  38. Hal says:

    The same thing happened to me, only it was dealing with dentistry. The violation you feel is immense and there’s nothing to describe the anger you can feel. I’m so sorry you have to suffer through this and I hope so hard that you can say it was worth it in a few months. Hugs.

  39. Katrina says:

    Oh my gosh. This sounds awful. I know you probably can’t answer this, but I hope you are filing some sort of complaint. It seems like they should have turned you away that day and maybe in the following days had a conversation about PRK while you were sober and coherent. I can only imagine how scared and angry you are. I hope you do recover well and that your healing gets easier.

  40. Manahil Zafar says:

    Oh, this reminds me of my experience. I had to go through Lasik twice.

    I got it done once, and it was too early. And I remember it being very painful. The second time around was so much worse, even as I type about it, my eyes are watering. It was as if tiny needles were piercing me.

    I remember this one moment I was lying in the dark and I thought with all the pain I’m going through I must surely be becoming blind.

    I actually miss my glasses.

    So glad you’re doing well.

    Cheers.

  41. Catherine says:

    I’m so sorry you went through that! I had to get PRK instead of LASIK last year (but was told this way ahead of time at my first appointment) and they insisted that they would never do two eyes at once because of the pain, loss of vision, and long recovery time. I can’t believe yours went down like that!

    If it’s any small consolation, though, I’m thrilled with my results and was happy to learn that pilots are only allowed PRK – never LASIK – because the results have been proven to be more stable over time. I think that makes the crappy recovery worth it?

    Regardless, so sorry for what you went through. The comparison of your experience to mine is outrageous and I really feel for you.

  42. Sara says:

    Sounds like a law suit waiting to happen

  43. Erin says:

    I haven’t read through all the comments, so maybe this was mentioned, but make sure you’re using preservative-free Refresh. I had lasik about a year ago and it took me about 6 months to be happy I’d gotten it done, so I can’t imagine your anger. I used the lubricant eye drops very heavily afterwards and actually caused more problems, as I was sensitive to the preservatives in those bottles. Typically only the “single use” versions in little tubes are free of preservatives, so that’s what I still use, although much less frequently. And, of course, my optometrist husband was the one who pointed this out to me, not the surgeon or his staff. Good luck! I really feel for you.

  44. Elizabeth says:

    What an awful experience. With that said, I had PRK and most of what you’re going through with vision changes sounds like the experience I had. If it’s any encouragement, I was thrilled with the results of PRK in the end, and am planning to have it done again (I had it done a decade ago, and my vision has declined since) even though I’m a candidate for lasik, because it is a safer procedure and has less potential for negative side effects. My optometrist agrees–at my last appointment she said that she can always tell when people have had lasik done, but my eyes look like they’ve never been operated on. This is a long way of saying hang in there–it will get better.

  45. Alycia says:

    Gosh that’s so horrible, and so wrong of them to just spring that on you last minute without giving you all the information or the time to consider the options to decide if that was right for you and/or the right timing. Glad you’re on the recovery side of things but that just sounds like such a scary and painful process you just went through.

  46. varya says:

    Please consider contacting an attorney. There are many red flags in this event beyond the lack of informed consent. Among them, were you nursing when they prescribed tramadol? This doc and his practice need a wake-up call before someone else has a much worse experience. So glad you are surrounded by supportive people who love you. Hope you are well and truly healed soon.

  47. Tracey says:

    Soooo shady! I’d be livid too. Your eyes are not their playthings. Lawyer up, ASAP! They shouldn’t be in business.

  48. Jennifer says:

    I hear that you feel ‘tricked’ by the bait and switch. I had PRK done 22 years ago (I still can’t believe it was that long ago!!!). I worked for an optometrist and was the office guinea pig (and later Laser Consultant). I purposely picked PRK because I didn’t want to have the cutting that LASIK had. (after 22 years, I get my eyes checked every year and the doctor has said that in the long run PRK is a much better procedure – so take heart in that). I am thrilled that I had it done. True, I looked like I had been in a boxing match afterwards, my eyes swelled, I had 2 black eyes, and I basically stayed in bed for 4 days. All of our patients that came in afterwards looked great – I was the only one in 3 years that looked that bad! I had my eyes checked every day (with in the first week) to make sure that things were ok (did you have that follow up?) . It really sounds like you had more trouble with side effects of medication than the actual surgery itself. Rest is the best thing. Even with babies, try to rest as much as you can. Once the “band aid” contacts come off, I found, it felt better. I did one eye at a time (with two weeks in between) just in case (it was pretty new still and we didn’t want me to go totally blind if it didn’t work). Depending on where you went, they should do all the follow up without any extra costs to you. (I don’t know this for sure, I’m from Canada and the follow up was all included in my initial fee). Make sure you keep up with your drops and your appointments and be patient. After 22 years I am thrilled with it (my eyes were a -4.50) and would do it again in a heart beat.

    • Crystal says:

      You say you did one eye at a time, two weeks apart. I went in for my consultation a couple weeks ago and I only qualify for PRK and have it scheduled for Nov 8th, but they didn’t even mention doing one eye at a time, although it is an option I’ve read in the packet… Do you recommend that? I just see it as double the recovery time (I’m a flight attendant) and I have an eye phobia and struggle with putting eye drops in! And this whole PRK thing requires a LOT of eye drops! I’m second guessing if I even want to do the surgery, since my main reason is because I plan to snowboard all winter and the whole glasses/goggles combo is miserable with the fogging. Lol plus it’d be nice to see. These blogs I’ve been reading have mostly been negative though, so I’m getting scared! Any advice??

  49. Emily says:

    This is so shockingly illegal. I’m so sorry. Your medical autonomy has been violated by an unscrupulous and unethical medical team, and I think everyone here would support you if you decide to hold them legally accountable. Plus, if you don’t get a settlement now, then you will be financially responsible for any complications down the line and you will not be compensated for the pain you’ve already endured. And if that’s not enough to motivate you to seek legal representation, then think of all the future patients that you’re helping by making sure this medical team knows the importance of informed consent. Sometimes helping others requires standing up for oneself. Good luck, and I wish you a speedy and full recovery!

    (PS I looked up the state law on medical consent in Idaho and here is what it says: “Consent for the furnishing of hospital, medical, dental or surgical care, treatment or
    procedures shall be valid in all respects if the person giving it is sufficiently aware of
    pertinent facts respecting the need for, the nature of and the significant risks ordinarily attendant upon such a patient receiving such care, as to permit the giving or withholding of such consent to be a reasonably informed decision.” I think your doctor violated this statute on its face.)

  50. Rachel Driscoll says:

    I can’t believe this happened to you and it sounds like an awful recovery. Hopefully in the end after all the healing it will be worth it. I had lasik a few months ago and it was a very positive experience with great results. I hope you soon will be on the other side of this journey! It is interesting that you had a possible reaction to the steroidal drops. I think I did too. I was feeling short of breath with them and having tightness in my throat. After the drops were finished I felt normal again. Looking back it had to have been the drops.

  51. Nadine says:

    It’s amazing how much recovery from surgery is psychological. My mum had keyhole surgery on her knee many years ago, and she found the whole thing a breeze. Subsequently, she needed additional surgery, and went in confident that it was a similar, minor operation.

    When I arrived at the hospital to collect her, I found out she’d actually had major invasive surgery, which no one – nurses, doctors, surgeons, etc. – had briefed her about. They didn’t even tell her she’d be unable to live alone as she recovered, even though they knew she was a widow!

    Fortunately I was able to arrange a week off work to stay with her. We muddled along just fine (watching a lot of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), and we’ll never forget the time I tried to help her take a shower #bathroomtsunami However, what was quite frightening about the situation was her mood. She is typically effervescent, but for a long time after the operation she was flat. I think partly from the painkillers, which do a real number on you, but mainly it was from the shock of an operation no one had explained or prepared her for.

    Things did improve, and her life changed for the better from a thankfully successful surgery. I hope in time you’ll feel the same, but I can totally relate to your sense of shock and anger now. Get well soon.

  52. Sarah says:

    I feel sick after reading what you went through. Nobody should have to experience that. I hope you are able to make them realize they can’t treat people the way you were treated.

  53. Mary says:

    Greetings from WV and thank you for your post. A friend shared it with me because I, too, am dealing with post-refractive surgery issues. However, mine was actually with Lasik. They had to refloat my cornea during surgery-never a phrase you want to hear-because mine wasn’t laying right. The recovery was longer than expected and at 4 weeks post op, I’m still seeing double out of my left eye. I echo all of the emotions you expressed. And I too continue to google “is xxx normal after Lasik?” Haha. I am also a bit embarrassed that my eyes failed to maximize the benefit of something so routine. Not easy to admit for a type A perfectionist! Because it was an elective surgery I somehow feel less “justified” to express my frustrations, anxiety, mixed in with a bit of regret and fear. I thank you for your story and normalizing my process. I’ll be commiserating with you as our eyes continue to heal. I am hopeful they will. Know that you are not alone and I am wishing you well!

  54. Patience says:

    I worked as an opthalmic tech in a refractive clinic for a long time and I am seriously so surprised that they switched it on you last minute. The clinics I worked at would have never done that. PRK is very painful, they physically remove a layer of your cornea to do the laser work and then your body regrows it. It’s like the most intense corneal abrasions you can experience outside of some freak eye accident. However, I personally think PRK is better than LASIK after working in the field and if I needed refractive surgery I would choose that, but the difference is is that I know all about PRK. I hope you don’t get bad “halos” at nighttime- some people really struggle with that and also chronic dry eye. Again, it floors me that they changed it on you last minute while you were half sedated. I’m sure you are talking with their HR or office management about all of this. Don’t give up!

    And I just have to say, I’ve worked with may ophthalmologists over the years and very few of them get refractive surgery. That always struck me.

  55. Karin says:

    This is a classic case of why it is illegal to ask someone to sign a consent while being half sedated. I have worked in the medical field for many years and this is clearly a case for a law suit. Not only to insure you will not have to pay for any consequences down the road out of pocket, but also to keep this from happening to someone else. I am so sorry this happened to you and I hope it will soon be better. Your brave example has already educated a number of people about the risks and dangers of this surgery, including me. Stay strong.

  56. Kate says:

    Sending you a big hug!

  57. Ally says:

    I literally had regular lasik on Monday and so far so good, my left eye is perfect my right still seem a blurry/undercorrected but my vision was BAD -7.5. The goggles/Valium/eye drop regimen seems very similar to my own experience and I was told it could take 1-2 month for everything to heal. I’m so sorry, it’s scary having anyone poke around in your eyes or feel like you are risking your vision. I think and hope you’ll have positive results soon! ❤️

  58. Lori says:

    Oh my goodness! What a horrible experience. My husband had PRK surgery and it was pretty awful even well-prepared. I can imagine how intensely frustrated you must be with that very sketchy last-minute switch. I will say that, despite the more difficult recovery, he loves his results even six years later! I hope you don’t have any more curveballs!

  59. liz mcafee says:

    I’m so sorry Julia!
    This is the scariest and most unethical story i’ve heard in awhile.
    Thank you for sharing your story. And I truly hope that you and your eyes will heal
    100 % so very soon.
    Lots of love!

  60. Cristina says:

    That sounds terrible. Especially when it’s unexpected and you were drugged up. I had my husband do prk instead of lasik because he’s in construction and there’s a chance for something hitting his eye and having the flap come up. He was pretty miserable for a couple days. Three months out he’s happy. I hope this will happen for you too.

  61. Holly says:

    Sue and report it to the medical board. They need to receive consequences for this.

  62. Betsy W says:

    I was reading and becoming angry, and confused, and hopeful, and then depressed again….I am so sorry that this experience was so awful…I had eye surgery about 4 years ago for something different (strabismus) and i have to say being prepared for a surgery makes all the difference. But of course, you are amazing and you rise above, reaching out to us, and answering our questions and responding to us (about windows or whatever!!!)
    Its early in the recovery and it took me a few months
    Hang in there – so sorry for this setback

  63. Melody says:

    I am equally as horrified as everyone else commenting, and I echo the sentiments about obtaining legal advice, but I want to focus my comment on healing. I believe you have a lot of great and loving people around you who will help you heal emotionally from this, but I want to encourage you to do things that support physical healing. Your eyes are their best in the morning because they are the most rested. Make sure you’re getting your rest, plenty of protein, extra water, and healthy fats. The more you encourage your cells to heal, the faster things will go. Just don’t try to do too much too soon. We will be here when you get back!

  64. Eliza says:

    My sister in law had PRK surgery last year at this time, and now is basically blind in one eye. She got a horrible infection in one of her eyes (thankfully not both) and now her eye will never recover. She does not even qualify for a cornea transplant now either, because so much damage has been done. She had a horrible experience with her docs as well. She has been left angry and frustrated forever now. Her other eye is fine now. So hopefully you will be alright in the end, especially since you haven’t had an infection. This happened here in SLC, Utah. She said she has never been in that much pain ever. Felt like shards of glass being twisted in her eye for 2 weeks. Beware!!

  65. Julie S says:

    I am horrified and enraged for you. What a hellish situation. What justified anger. Praying for clarity and guidance for you as you go forward.

  66. Peggi says:

    I hope you sue their @$*& off. Their behavior is unforgivable. As a person who has had a detached retina and subsequent cataract surgeries in the past year and a half, I feel some of your anger and fear. (Though, no one was at fault for my situation, and I received wonderful care, in Boise, btw.) Eye recovery seems to initially go quickly, but “full” recovery can take over a year, according to my doctors. I know anger is not very healthy, but, dang, I think you are justified. I am so sorry that you had this experience.

  67. Abbey says:

    Insanity.

  68. Colleen Clancy says:

    Oh my gosh, this was difficult to read. First things first, do not go back to that doctor. Find an ophthalmologist or cornea specialist. Everything about your surgery was illegal and unethical and should be reported to your state’s medical board.

  69. Diana says:

    I would stop going to that doctor and see someone else. Then I would call my lawyer and sue them. You are way too nice! This is one of the scariest medical stories I’ve ever read

  70. Angie says:

    This is raising all sorts of red flags for malpractice. I would at minimum file a complaint with the medical board in your state so that if this is a pattern of behavior for this office, you can help prevent this from happening to another person. I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

    • Lillian says:

      I completely agree. Use your experience and your strengths in writing to raise awareness because that is horrible and should never happen to anyone! Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery

  71. Kelly says:

    As a nurse who works in a procedural area, reading your story made me angry! That is some of the most unethical care I’ve heard of in a long time. I’m so angry for you! You should be talking to people at the surgery center about that consent and the lack of preparation and you should be finding a new doctor. This is not okay and I’m sorry you’ve had to experience it.

  72. Hilary says:

    As a surgical nurse for 12 years I am telling you this is completely illegal!! So illegal that all you would have to do is shutter the words lawyer to the practice of MD’s that did this to you and I am pretty certain they would beg you to settle out of court. They have no defense case. It’s black and white. You had no informed consent AND you had a Valium prior to signing?!?! Are they crazy????? Seriously I would be tempted to post their names so that no one ever went to them again bc this is malpractice.

  73. Elizabeth says:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reading this was like watching a Hitchcock movie. How terrifying! How powerless and angry you must feel! I’m, like, 60% sure this scenario is going to surface in my nightmares. Even if your vision turns out perfect, you have been robbed of MONTHS of productivity. Not to mention, don’t you kind of need to be able to drive, as a mom of three in Idaho? I don’t imagine there’s a subway you can hop on. I’m so sorry! I hope, when all is said and done, that you can find some peace. I echo others in encouraging you to talk to a malpractice attorney. xoxo

  74. Jenn Freeman says:

    I am so angry for you!! I can’t imagine all that you have gone through. Sending you our best and hoping the recovery speeds up and it’s all a memory soon!

  75. Global Neighbor says:

    Girl, lawyer up and change doctors. This is unacceptable.

  76. Sharon bennett says:

    Dear Julia
    I think you are extremely brave. I have worn glasses/contact lenses for 34+years and would love the ability to see clearly from the minute I woke up. Fall asleep in a book or watching the telly. But I can’t because the arm on my glasses usually is poking me and that wakes me up.

    I have known many for whom the surgery had worked. But for some the results were patchy and had to return to wearing glasses part time in less than 2 years.

    I hope this is just a blip and you restore normal sight soon. I have read some other replies and I agree with them. Change Doctor
    Take care xxx

  77. Heidi says:

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family.
    Feeling grateful for my glasses and 4.0 eyesight tonight.
    So hard to have something like this hit you from left field, especially when you made so much effort to do your homework around the issue. Truly unfortunate. So sorry for the frightening experience. Wishing your darkness will soon turn to light!

  78. Sam says:

    I’m surprised that they let you go ahead if you are still nursing. When I had my first eye surgery my daughter was a year old and I was only nursing 2x a day, but I had to push doctor to proceed. I also think it’s unethical to have you sign a consent after you’ve taken medication.
    I recently had PRK and had a similarly difficult recovery. I also found the procedure itself difficult. I had the valium too–I think that’s standard for LASIK or PRK–but I was so panicky and uncomfortable in the middle of the procedure and distinctly remember having to hold myself back from saying “please stop!” 2 days into recovery I had to call the doctor to ask for more pain meds because it was so unbearable. And my vision also fluctuated a lot. At a month it was much better but one eye was not as good as the other. My doctor said in 8-10% of people it can take longer than a month for it to heal. Of course, this was my 2nd corrective surgery because I had the far less common ICL surgery first, but it didn’t correct all my astigmatism. they did PRK to get the astigmatism they didn’t fully correct first time. If I had known how difficult recovery was, I would have been more apprehensive.

    • Calli says:

      I too am surprised they were even considering LASIK while you were still nursing. I was not even considered for LASIK until my son had turned a year old. Your eyes go through changes when pregnant and nursing and time is needed to adjust. I’m not familiar with PRK but my thoughts are with you for complete healing! And, I completely agree that they should be made accountable and you should find a new eye doctor. Best wishes in your recovery ❤️.

      • EV says:

        Same… no office here would accept me even for a consult when I was nursing.. my baby was even over a year old and I was only nursing maybe twice a day at that point, but it was a firm no from them until I was quite a bit far out from being pregnant/nursing. A friend of mine had LASIK done before she had finished childbearing and unfortunately now her eyes changed again and she needs glasses. She wishes she waited until after she’d had all her children.

  79. Heather says:

    Like many others, I’ve followed your journey so far through Instagram stories. I can’t believe what you’ve gone through! I agree with the other posts suggesting complaints to the medical board and even legal action. They took advantage of you. And who knows if/how many other times they’ve done this to other patients.

    Stay strong! I hope for a speedy recovery. I can’t imagine recovering from something like this with kids.

  80. Kristyn says:

    This is horrifying! My mom had LASIK 15ish years ago and her vision has gotten really bad again. The doctor recently said that PRK is really the only option for surgical correction. And surgical correction is really the only viable option because her LASIK was for mono-vision (one eye sees close and one far). I will be her post-surgery caregiver and your experience makes me afraid for both of us! At a minimum, we definitely need to do a lot more research. Thanks for sharing this. Hoping you end up with the results they’re promising! Please keep us posted!

  81. Kristin says:

    Find another doctor ASAP. As a three time cancer survivor, I’m telling you this because you need a second opinion.

  82. Sam says:

    You have a right to be angry, but don’t stop there. I can’t help but think this experience is to open your perspective to something more. Focusing on healing thoughts and choosing to not be a victim are the life lessons I have learned as a nurse. I think you are an amazing person.

  83. Lori says:

    I’m hard of hearing and rely on lipreading, so this is literally my nightmare scenario. I hope you heal up fast, and also that you consult a lawyer, because that last minute switch sounds like some seriously sketchy-a$$ $hit.

  84. Jeanna says:

    Oh my gosh, I am so very sorry you are having to deal with this :( At the time of your consent signing, they should have sat down and explained EVERYTHING. Those few remarks were not enough information for you to make an INFORMED DECISION. Perhaps you should consult with an attorney just to learn if you have grounds or not.

  85. Ericka says:

    Hi, Julia!

    Wow, what a scary experience you had! I can’t believe they switched you to PRK just like that and then had you sign your consent while under the influence of Valium! I would definitely talk to a lawyer about what happened. If not for yourself, then so others won’t be put through what you went through.
    I had PRK and chose it over LASIK due to what I read about long term results. I did question my decision after I first had it done though. Like you, I experienced a pain like I had never experienced. Unlike you however, my doctor didn’t prescribe any pain relief other than ibuprofen! I didn’t sleep at all that first night. It felt like someone poured acid into my eyes. The pain was so intense that I literally couldn’t open my eyes. I felt the pain even into my nostrils, if that makes any sense. It gradually improved over days. It took at least a month for my vision to normalize. Today, 12 years later, my vision is great. I have occasional dry eyes, but I experienced that before the surgery. From what I read, if you have dry eyes, LASIK is worse than PRK.
    I wish you all the best. I hope you’ll keep us posted. I think that over time you’ll be pleased with your results. Take care!

  86. Kate says:

    That’s awful! I’ve had PRK but they absolutely prepared me for it – I got it before a long weekend and had reduced my workload for the following week, had a dog walker set up for several days (they told me my light sensitivity would be off the charts), had meals prepped ahead of time, etc. all this because they had made sure I knew the recovery time was longer for PRK! I can’t believe either legally or ethically they pulled such a bait and switch on you! The only comfort I can give you – and it may be a very cold one – is that I was driving after two weeks and totally healed after a month. I know it differs with different patients but I hope your eyes start going down a similar healing path!

  87. Paige says:

    OMG! The whole situation is insane and I’m so sorry it happened to you. Like a lot of other people have said, you should at least speak to an attorney and see what legal recourse you have. If a lawsuit isn’t the right path for whatever reason, file a complaint with your state’s medical board. These people have probably done the same thing to others and need to be stopped.

  88. Monika says:

    Are you thinking of getting a second opinion from another eye surgeon/doctor? Your experience and recovery sounds extreme. Even if the second opinion is-ok you had a hard time but it’s still within “range”, then at least you have peace of mind?

  89. Nole says:

    I’ve worn glasses since I was 15, but I’ve never even considered Lasik or corrective eye surgery because I’m terrified of this exact scenario. I’m so sorry this happened to you! I 100% agree that you should talk to a lawyer and file a complaint against the practice. This should never have happened to you and should never happen again to anyone else.

  90. I am so sorry this is reality for you right now. It’s funny….as I’m reading your words I am starting to have flashbacks of my time during IVF. You set out with doctors and nurses…the PROFESSIONALS, telling you “it’s no big deal” …just sign this release form…pop this valium….shoot up with these injections. And you just say yes because you don’t think you have any other choices. Then you actually start going through the procedure/recovery/waiting period and you feel like you’ve been duped. This isn’t what you signed up for. Everything is just plain awful and there is no end in sight. I pray your amazing results come as quickly as they can. My IVF results never came. I have no baby. But even though that is my new life these days, I am at a place of peace with the chaos that took over that period of my life. It’s all very traumatic. Thank you for sharing your honest words. I am interested to hear how everything progresses.

  91. Jennifer says:

    Holy cow! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE file a complaint with the medical board in your area etc. as this is NOT acceptable practices. I’d also be consulting with another doctor for your post op care as that does not sound normal based on what I’ve researched for PRK recovery as I’m considering it myself.

  92. Sam says:

    I had literally the SAME experience!!!! OMG I thought I was alone here! The only thing I did not experience was the difficulty breathing, thank god. I went in the day of and was switched to PRK and at the time I was in my last semester of college trying to pass my online classes. I cannot even tell you how difficult trying to pass an online written exam with no eye sight hahaha looking back it cracks me up but at the time it was sooooo not funny. It took me about one month to be able to see ok and 1.5 months to have no blurryness. I had my surgery about 6 months ago and my vision is perfect. It still amazes me every single day the stuff I can see, so hang in there. I know it SUCKS SO BAD right now, but seriously it gets better. The only side effect I’ve noticed is right when I wake up every single day my eyes are terribly dry. but after about 5 minutes it dissipates.

    Best of luck to you and I’ll be sending you E-Hugs. Feel better! <3

  93. Elsie says:

    As someone whose anxiety is triggered by my vision (in my case extremely bad vitreous floaters) this all sounds so distressing! I hope for a speedy recovery and perfect vision for you soon.
    Also if anyone knows anything that might help my floaters please reply. xx

    • Lindsay says:

      There’s some procedures that could help it, but the risks are exponentially greater than the benefit……

    • Mary says:

      Elsie, have you seen an eye doctor? One or two floaters are normal especially after age 50 but more than 5 can indicate a retinal problem or possibly a retinal tear or detachment. A ‘shower’ of floaters (dozens or hundreds) is almost always a retinal detachment. I would see someone soon, preferably a retinal specialist.

  94. KLR says:

    Two and 1/2 months into our marriage, I went in for what I thought was a routine eye exam. I was told I had scarring on one eye, would never have 20/20 vision again, and had the start of glaucoma. I went for a second opinion. I had surgery to remove the scarring, my vision is 20/20 most days, and the Ophthalmologist (there are rumors he did Tiger Woods surgery) said I had a 1% chance of glaucoma. Second opinions are everything. I’ve worn glasses since I was three (was so excited to see that I didn’t take them off to shower or sleep), and when friends ask if I’ve thought about Lasik – I always say I know what not being able to see is like. I’m too afraid to mess with that (for me, not anyone else, just for me).

    My heart goes out to you. It’s no fun having eye stories. I wish you the best and hope you heal fast.

  95. Kelly says:

    What a terrible experience. I had a similar one with PRK surgery. I had injured my eye (corneal erosion) putting on mascara and the eye doctor abraded my eye to get debris out. When he did that, he realized I had an epithelial defect, and my eye would never heal correctly. It felt like glass shards in my eye, it was horrible. I had a bad enough corneal erosion two months later that I had to have PRK surgery so they could rough up my cornea, then I had to wear a big contact lens that had stem cells on it to regrow the cornea correctly. I couldn’t open my eye for three days it was swollen shut. The only pain medicine they told me to take was Advil, and they gave me a prescription for Lyrics for nerve pain, which did nothing but make me dizzy and nauseous. I was truly not ready for that kind of experience.

    I am now a year post-op and I do think it was worth it. It was overall 2 weeks of pain and discomfort but I haven’t had a corneal erosion since. I hope your surgery ends up being worth it too.

  96. Melissa says:

    I had PRK and knew what I was getting into. It was a tough, tough recovery and I didn’t have kids and was able to take a week off from work. When I did got back to work (maybe at 10 days post surgery) I couldn’t see well, I feel like it was several weeks before I could do computer stuff, and probably closer to 5 weeks before I could watch tv / read etc. Driving was also not possible for quite a while. I think for me it was because my vision had been over corrected for a long time (to be better than 20/20) so even when I was totally healed, I still doubted my ability to see clearly while driving and didn’t do it.

    I will say, despite still having issues with dry eyes at night (I sleep with an eye mask to help with that, as I find it keeps my eyes more closed and thus keeps moisture in) and having halos when I try to drive at night (even worse in the rain), it was still worth it. I was practically blind when I had the surgery and I am thankful I qualified for it at all!

    It was a totally terrifying position they put you in though, and I’m sorry you had to go through that. I hope you see a quick recovery from now.

  97. Sherri says:

    I have been reading the comments and agree that you may want to take legal action. What I think is bizarre is that they did all of those tests and only at the last minute did they see the thin cornea. And they should have definitely done a glaucoma check prior to the surgery and should have known it wasn’t that post op! May God bless you with perfect healing asap. Amen.

  98. Lynnette says:

    Holy cow, as soon as I saw the title of this post I saw red flags because my husband had PRK through the military, but we went into it knowing it was a more painful procedure with a longer recovery time. The idea that they’d bait and switch you like that is mind blowing! I don’t remember his recovery being as difficult as yours, although that first day was ROUGH, but I do remember the constant eye drops for the first six months. So sorry you’re going through this!

  99. Nicole says:

    I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this. I had LASIK almost 6 years ago with fantastic outcome (other than having to get reading glasses at age 34), but I cannot imagine how I would have felt if my experience had been different. There are a lot of red flags (I bet you see them in retrospect too) and I know this is a frustrating time, but I am glad that you are able to spend time with your wonderful family and that you have such a great support system around you. It took a lot of courage to share this story – thank you for continuing to be honest with your online family, we love and support you in our own way!

  100. Ann says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve had such a wretched experience. I doubt you would have gotten any real help at the ER as hospitals are rarely equipped to deal with eye emergencies, but there should have been a physician at the Lasik Center on-call at all times to help you.

    If you’re using steroid drops, do monitor your pressure frequently. 30% of us are “steroid responders” in that steroids cause a rise in eye pressure.

  101. Jess says:

    YIKES! I honestly started to feel ill reading this because it sounds so, so awful! I’m sorry! Hope it gets better soon.

    I had a kinda-similar but much less extreme version regarding my wisdom teeth. They told me I’d feel “like nothing even happened” by the weekend, but I had a horrible first month and I am still recovering from jaw issues 8 months later.

  102. Jessica Dee says:

    I am posing this for others considering Lasik.

    I am a mechanical engineer and my senior design project was with an eye surgeon and PHD physicist who helped develop MRI technology and Lasik surgery among other things (a truly amazing person). He said that he was really sad about how the Lasik industry had developed and to never go to a Lasik center. He told me that If you want Lasik to go to an independent eye surgeon who is doing the surgery because you want it and have discussed what is best for you and not because that’s how they make their money day to day.

  103. Abbie says:

    I had a very similar experience, and two plus years later, I’m still frustrated with the experience. My eyes took months to adjust, and even still I have extreme dryness. It was well over a month before I was able to drive. I honestly tell people I would not recommend it… if only because of what can happen. My brother had LASIK two months before I did and was back to normal within a day or two, so I had no idea what I could be up against. Hang in there and know you’re not alone!

  104. Jennie says:

    Julia this is insane and you should absolutely contact a lawyer and AT THE VERY LEAST find a new doctor! Terrifying.

  105. Anna says:

    Oh, Julia! That is awful! Please, report them to anyone who will listen. This is unacceptable! I will pray that your vision is restored and this nightmare is just temporary!

  106. Marianne says:

    I had very successful Lasik surgery (I was considered “legally” blind, with bad astigmatism, but correctable with glasses to 20/20) 19 years ago with a group of surgeons in a hospital type setting. I could have had it done MUCH less expensively elsewhere but not with doctors with as much experience and research data behind them. I was told not to wear makeup/lotion/deodorent etc. all those years ago. Why did they give you valium? That is not for pain, but anxiety. I was never offered anything like that and would not have taken if they had. A friend had her Lasik done with same doctors soon after me and was extremely nervous and she asked for something to calm her. I would not have had an elective surgery that caused me that much anxiety. (Having said that if what they did was illegal it should be reported) My eyes too were dry for months afterward but that went away. I too did computer work and you must remember that the screen is very tiring/stressful to the eyes. I am so sorry for your pain and hope you will recover soon.

    • Julia says:

      It seemed pretty standard? I didn’t ask for the Valium.

      • Ashley says:

        Valium is definitely standard! I had successful LASIK 5 years ago and was given a small dose so that you can relax during it since you are wide awake. My friend went to the same DR as me a month later had was told she needed PRK. Her recovery was much different then mine, but she eventually made it through and can see fine now without anything. Hang in there!

      • Tashauna says:

        I had PRK over a decade ago and they administered Valium as well. I think it’s normal. I did not have a bad experience and was able to see 20/20 within a few days. It sounds like they botched something and are now covering their tracks. So sorry you are going through this!

      • Vanessa Lentine says:

        Agree, anti-anxiety meds are normal. I had LASIK a few years back and they gave me Xanax before and after the procedure to relax me and then to allow me to sleep the rest of the day. It was not optional.
        Like many other commenters, I believe you should file a claim against this office for having you sign forms after receiving Valium. And you should see another Ophthalmologist for a 2nd opinion on your recovery.

      • Elaine says:

        Had LASIK 3 years ago. Also was given Valium just to chill out. Had a fantastic experience (even with the pain immediately afterwards, I could already see better without my glasses so was immediately rewarding; the opposite of what you’re going through).

        What’s interesting is how LATE they gave you the Valium. With my procedure, we did the final exams, signed all the paperwork, paid, quadruple checked the test results and any questions THEN got the Valium and got to chill out with a tv waiting for it to kick in.

        (I honestly think the most nerve wracking part for me was thinking that they would decide I was completely ineligible for anything and i would have to continue with my glasses / contacts for forever. For comparison, I was -3.75 and -4 so seeing was not super easy. Reading the clock at night continues to be an amazing experience, 3 years later.)

  107. Cindy says:

    What a horrible thing for you to go through! Makes me so happy I cancelled my lasik procedure after having gut feelings that something wasn’t right a few years ago. Hoping all turns out ok for you, Julia.

  108. ARC says:

    Other people have said it, but it bears repeating. They are liable for the physical and emotional trauma they caused as a result of their illegal actions and borderline dangerous communication. Particularly, because this directly is impacting how you work for a living.

  109. Danielle says:

    I have no words of advice, but I am so, so sorry that this happened to you! :(

  110. Rebecca says:

    Wow, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. What a nightmare! Hope things start to turn around and that you’re healed quickly.

  111. JBC says:

    Holy sh**. I am a physician (not optho) and I am shocked and appalled at this. I know a lot of LASIK Centers are similar to Botox/Med spas – as in a great quick procedure that the doc can outsource a lot the work to mid levels (PAs, nurse practitioners) and make serious cash. I didn’t realize it was this bad. Giving you a Valium before consent is pretty bad.

    • KMR says:

      I don’t recall reading that any of this was done by mid levels. I’m not sure why that was part of the comment. This surgical procedure appears to have been done by a doctor.

  112. Jane says:

    Will you tell us where you had this done? We live in the same area, and my husband has been reasearching lasik.

    • Julia says:

      Feel free to email me. I don’t want to blast the doctor or surgery center on this public of a platform.

      • Katie says:

        It hardly seems like they deserve that consideration, but it’s super classy of you. I really respect you for it! (And I hope somehow they will still know that thousands of people are mad at them on your behalf…)

  113. Lindsay C says:

    I’m so impressed with all the comments from people who work in ophthalmology. Have you heard anything else about possible glaucoma? Or are they just symptoms that you were experiencing that made you think you may have it. My husband has glaucoma and has been through several laser eye surgeries, trabeculectomies as well as he has an eye implant. We even went to the Wills Eye Institute in Philly for a second opinion (Which i think you have family near there you’ve said?; Can’t remember). Anyways, always good to get a second opinion. It’s so scary watching him go through eye pain. He said it was like sharp needles in his eye. And in some cases they numb the eye but you’re awake! Please continue to give us updates and take your time resting. Did you get those big black geriatric sunglasses lol? We laugh about those.

  114. Ashley says:

    This whole story is wild. I feel sick just thinking about it the pain and lack of control you had over your body. I’m so sorry and wish you the healthiest recovery!

  115. kate says:

    This is so interesting to read because I had almost the exact same experience — LASIK booked followed by a last-minute switch to PRK (in my case, only in one eye, though). The recovery on the PRK eye was awful, and took SO long before I was able to actually see. [Interestingly, I too ended up in the hospital after a day due to breathing issues (we think my meds triggered an allergic reaction; the interesting thing for me is that I had discussed my allergies with the clinic before the surgery and they STILL prescribed me an inappropriate painkiller. How is this even remotely competent!?!)] Having said all that, it all worked out eventually. I was angry and felt duped during recovery, but in the end, my vision is now perfect. Keeping my fingers crossed your experience can hopefully be similar!

  116. Emily says:

    I would contact a lawyer about potential for malpractice.

  117. Liz says:

    Can you see a different doctor for the remainder of your recovery? I would be wary of going back there with the amount of misinformation they’ve given you.

  118. Kari says:

    I am so sorry for your experience, I feel so angry for you! I am a nurse and I work in the hospital with a lot of post operative patients, and I have one more theory to offer you about your breathing issues. Benzodiazepines (Valium) and narcotics are all very likely to cause respiratory depression in someone who is sensitive to their effects. Meaning they literally depress your drive to breath, especially in combination. In the hospital, this is something we monitor very closely. I imagine that you may have had this issue when both the Valium and tramadol were in your system, and that by the time you decided to start tramadol again, the Valium has left your system, and you better tolerated the tramadol alone. All to say that I am so thankful you had Chris there to watch you and keep you safe, in what was otherwise a very painful and scary night! Best of luck in your recovery.

    • Whitney says:

      Agreed that this is why you had a hard time breathing. I have stayed up with my husband to concentrate on breathing before and each time it has been when he has had an anti-anxiety plus narcotic. After doing that a couple of times we try to just avoid the use of both together. It is scary and I’m sorry youhave had such a rough go.

  119. Melissa says:

    I would speak with an attorney in your area before discussing this with anyone any further.

  120. Natalia says:

    I’m not usually one to advocate for legal action, but what happened to you was downright unethical. I feel terrible for you, especially after reading so many comments here where people had vastly different experiences. Thank you for sharing, I hope you have a full recovery!

  121. Liz W. says:

    I am SO angry for you! I know there are people posting that their PRK experience was not nearly as bad as yours, but the people I’ve seen go through it have had horrible recoveries just like yours. The doctors absolutely should have known that it was a distinct possibility that you would be in this much pain and take this long to recover. It makes my blood boil that no one suggested to you that you go home & think over whether or not you wanted PRK instead, or even consider not having a surgery at all. It really sounds like their priority was getting you into surgery so that they could make money.

    I think another poster’s suggestion of filing a complaint with the state medical board is a good one, and I’d certainly be strongly considering legal action.

  122. Melissa says:

    Wow! This is an insane story. I had PRK probably 10-12 years ago and it was definitely a rough recovery. They definitely down played the recovery and I was under the impression I would be back to normal vision after a week. It took a full month and I remember feeling really depressed, scared, and isolated. I will say that once my vision came into place it’s been great. They told me eyes will age naturally and I will need to wear reading glasses like everyone does at some point, but it has been amazing once the recovery period ended. My vision, however, was pretty bad. I had terrible astigmatism and needed my glasses as soon I woke up.

    Anyhow I hope things move along quickly and you get to that place of amazing vision soon!!!

  123. Melissa says:

    I had PRK done and recovery sucked for a week but that’s it. What happened to you and your recovery is not normal. Especially with the after eye care. I hope your recovery gets better. To give you a heads up, for about a year my eyes would dry out at night while I slept and what ended up helping that was wearing an eye mask. Not sure why, but it did. Good luck and feel better!

  124. Christina says:

    Even though I don’t have dry eyes after lasik, I have a “fogginess” or “haze” that is fixed with prescription xiidra 5% drops. It may be worth a try for you. I hope you feel better soon!

  125. Kirsten Valentine says:

    I am so sorry. It’s scary and you should have never signed a consent after Valium. I hope it is all worth it soon and this becomes a very distant experience.

  126. Dana says:

    You are right, this never should have happened the way it did and definitely needs addressed so it doesn’t happen to future patients. As someone in the medical field I will say one thing. I have never seen a doctor, nurse, tech, etc. who intentionally tricked a patient. Typically mistakes happen because of a lack of communication between providers. Does this make what who are going through better or easier? Absolutely not. I know many people will push you to pursue a lawsuit and that’s your decision to make. I’d encourage you to contact the office and tell them your story, how it has affected your life/recovery and ask that the case be reviewed for process improvement. I’m not sure how eye surgery centers work, but hospitals always have a patient advocate for you to talk to and a pier review team to look into cases like this.

    • Amanda says:

      Regardless of whether you consider this an ‘intentional trick”, Julia was asked to sign for consent when she was medically incapacitated. This is unethical and most likely illegal. If there was a possibility of Julia having to have a different operation with a completely different recovery, she should have been informed – ahead of time so that she could consider whether this would be suitable.

    • Lauren p says:

      From what I’ve heard from someone else who went to an eye surgery center, they aren’t anything like hospitals. They are run to make a huge profit and send patients through like cattle so they can make as much money as possible.

      I’m so sorry this happened to you Julia! I’ve wanted eye surgery for so long, but I’ve decided I’ll only look into a lens implant due to my vision and the side effects from other surgeries. Hopefully in the long run you will be all good!

  127. carolyn says:

    This is awful! My husband had PRK and we had a friend who did it first, so he was prepared for his vision to return slowly as the top layer of your eye heals. He was also prepared for the pain that you described (though he also had a reaction to the Oxycodone prescribed and didn’t take it anymore). His doctor said it would take 6 weeks to have perfect vision and to expect drier eyes with slightly more sensitivity to sunlight after the PRK. I cannot imagine not knowing any of this before-hand! It’s a big deal, and doctors should take their jobs more seriously.

  128. Melissa says:

    This makes me so mad on your behalf! I hope you’re at least considering talking to a lawyer, that is so wrong that they would switch and ask for your consent after drugging you.

  129. Lori says:

    I feel so angry for you.

  130. Alie says:

    This sounds soooo similar to my mom’s experience about six months ago. She actually had to get hers redone within a month because it didn’t “work” and made her vision worse. She felt so betrayed by the doctors and never informed of what they were doing and why (like dilating her eyes one day – they didn’t mean to do that but it happened anyway.) I sincerely hope your recovery continues to get better! XO

  131. Lindsey says:

    Hi! I’m a hospital pharmacist who works in critical care; it sounds like your trouble breathing could have been due to the combination of Valium and opioids (tramadol) which both inhibit your brain’s respiratory drive. I don’t have any knowledge about lasik vs. PRK but at the very least the nurse who told you to take Benadryl and not go to the ER needs to be educated. Feel free to email if you have any med questions.

  132. Sara says:

    I am SO sorry you had such an awful experience. Like others have said, there are so many red flags in that story, which I’m sure you see in hindsight as well. I had Lasik in 2016, and can honestly say hardly anything about your experience leading up to surgery is similar to mine. My doctor also required me to wait a minimum of 6 months after stopping breastfeeding to perform Lasik because of the effect hormones can have on your vision. I’m curious if that’s something that could’ve affected your “borderline” results. Just know that basically all of your readers are thoroughly pissed at your doctor. I hope you can start to experience some more permanent and comfortable results soon!

    • Chloe says:

      I was going to say, the last time I had my vision tested, my eye doctor said that because I was breastfeeding at the time, my vision could be impacted due to hormones. Crazy that they would let you have corrective eye surgery so soon after having a baby and nursing.

      • EV says:

        Same… I wanted Lasik and no office would even give me a consult while I was still nursing, and my baby was like a year and a half old and I was only nursing about 2x per day. They said NOPE!!!

  133. Nicole says:

    At the very least – if you don’t want to take legal action – you need to report the doctors and surgery center to the state medical board. You have a responsibility to other patients this might happen to. So sorry you’ve had such a scary and terrible experience.

    • KathieB says:

      Agree. That as well as working with the patient advocate on process improvement. Both are very good suggestions…once you are up to it. So very sorry for what you are experiencing.

  134. Becca Smith says:

    This sounds terrible and I’m sorry you have to endure it.
    For what it’s worth, I had PRK about 20 years ago. Although my eyes hurt a lot to the touch (when I accidentally rubbed soap off my face in the shower, for example) it was nothing like what you’re describing. My vision was TERRIBLE when I walked into the office (20/200!) and when I walked out with a protective contact lense, my vision was nearly perfect. Actually, now that I write that, I remember that the removal of that darn protective lense was the worst part. I’m telling you this so you have some ammunition later. I’m not a doctor, but it sounds like something went really wrong. I hope everything resolves itself soon.

  135. Ryan S. says:

    WOW. I am so angry and sad for you. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I agree with others that I would definitely encourage you to speak to a lawyer. And write down everything while it’s fresh. You have to have that documented.

    Thank you for sharing though. My husband has considered these surgeries and this definitely gives me a lot to think about.

    And please keep us posted on your recovery and how things play out. I am so sorry!

  136. Shannon says:

    I’m a nurse anesthetist and do consents and explain procedures often and there’s so much wrong with this. And not to fuel the fire I know you are upset, but I would also talk to a lawyer. Purely for the fact that you want to prevent other people from having uninformed consent…and not only uninformed but under sedation and uninformed. I am sure you are not the first person it has happened to and not the last sadly. So sorry for your experience.

  137. Lindsay says:

    Oh man! I have worked in ophthalmology for 9 years and this whole thing is appalling!!! I am so so so sorry! I hope it gets better soon. It is a longer recovery for sure, but so so many red flags from the first few paragraphs, and I am sorry you have to go through this!!! Hang in there girl!!! It will get better! ❤️❤️

  138. Hannah says:

    I’m an Ophthamology OR Nurse, the consent you signed for the PRK is absolutely not valid if you had any medication, that entire surgery was illegal. They should have had your husband sign for you or delayed your procedure. You need to talk to an attorney immediately.

  139. Annie says:

    Nobody wants to be the jerk that sues, BUT I honestly think this is a pretty good time to do it. They were obviously careless in obtaining the consent forms and switching the procedure, and one really good way for them to recognize the danger in that is to have it hurt a little bit. Maybe if you take legal action, their practice will see how big of a no-no that is and they won’t do it to future patients.

  140. Zhaleh says:

    How terrible! I had the opposite experience-I initially thought I was in for PRK (though I was told the recovery would take 1 wk by the doc and 2 months by one of my colleagues who had undergone the surgery) and ended up going to a different doctor who used more cutting edge tools and was able to do Lasik-which only required a weekend of recovery. I hope at the end of it all you that you get the vision you expected. Being able to wake up and see the alarm clock is an incredibly rewarding experience.

  141. Dimara Almeida says:

    This is horrible. I live in NYC and had lasik about 6 yrs ago after wearing glasses/contact since kindergarten. My surgeon has a well know practice in the city. I had none of the prep you did- I could wear makeup, lotion and no one said anything about clean clothes. It almost seems like they were prepping you for PRK. I’m so sorry this happened and wish you a speedy recovery.

  142. Arriane says:

    I am so sorry to hear this! This is so different from my PRK experience. I had 3 days of mild, manageable discomfort, then about 10 days of fluctuating vision and haziness when doing computer work, but I just came back from my Day 16 post op check up and I’m now at 20/20. It was seriously such a breeze – not compared to Lasik, of course, but I was expecting much worse. I’m so sorry that happened to you – eye surgery is supposed to feel fully transformative, and I feel your frustration with your doctor/clinic!

    • Gwen says:

      Agreed. I had PRK 10 years ago because of a similar reason (cornea too thin for LASIK) and while annoying, the recovery wasn’t anything remarkable. I went in on a Thursday and was back at work with no issues the following Tuesday. I do remember wearing sunglasses quite a bit because of light sensitivity for maybe 2-3 months after. But it sounds like her case was pretty extreme.

  143. Faith says:

    Was the doctor who performed the surgery an ophthalmologist? I work at a medical school and we assess doctors who have been disciplined by their hospitals or the medical board. As a patient, you have a right to file a complaint with the state medical board. Chances are, you are not the only one this has happened to and there may be other similar incidents on file about that center already. The medical board will investigate your complaint. You can also look up your doctors information via the “verify a license” tool on the medical boards website. It will tell you if there have been other disciplinary actions against him. I’m sad to say I hear these kind of stories all day. There is very little oversight in the medical community and you have to be your own advocate. I wish you a speedy recovery and I’m so sorry this happened!

    • yasmara says:

      I think filing a complaint like this seems like a really good idea.

    • Heidi says:

      As an attorney who used to work at firms that defended complaints, this situation is absolutely appropriate for a complaint. The lack of informed consent is appalling.

  144. Shannon says:

    As a nurse, I read this and there are red flags everywhere! I think I might talk to a lawyer. In the meantime, I hope your vision improves and you start feeling better. What a mess!!

    • Kristen Wax says:

      I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this. I worked in news for 10 years, and heard from many people who were victims of scams. If you don’t want to call a lawyer and sue, I would at least call the local news and talk to whoever is your consumer reporter. They investigate local crimes and try to bring criminals to light. Even if you talk “off the record”, your story and sending a reporter down a good path to investigate could help save someone else’s eyesight! I’m so sorry this happened to you. You were definitely swindled. I’m putting your eyeballs on my prayer circle!!

    • Alison says:

      I work in healthcare administration and agree. This is very concerning—especially surrounding consent. There is the malpractice route, but you could also report the provider to his state board. You have documented the experience here already. I hope the clinic has been appropriately apologetic, committed to reviewing the processes as a result of this, and either waived or significantly discounted your bill. This is how I would respond if this happened where I work. I would also share with you the documentation of the policies and training we did in repsonse to your concern so that I would never happen again to someone else. You have every right to be angry. Even great doctors make mistakes and they owe it to their patients to admit it. I hope they are acknowledging in a satisfying way how they could have done this differently. I’m sorry this happened to you and am hoping you get well soon.

  145. Lindsey says:

    This sounds like a lawsuit to me! Malpractice! I would go after him. And, this is also the reason why patients need a very strong advocate to never leave their side. I hope your eyes heal soon.

  146. Lauren says:

    Julia,
    So sorry that you have had such an awful experience and painful recovery. Thank you sharing this. You’re surrounded by a community here that cares for you. Praying that you turn the corner soon!

  147. Noelle says:

    This is horrible and I’m sure so scary. You absolutely should take legal action. I hope you heal soon. Sending good thoughts your way!

  148. Haley says:

    I am so sorry you’re going through all this. I hope the rest of your recovery goes well.
    Also, I’m with everyone else, I’m not usually the type to say this but I’d definitely be speaking with a lawyer.

  149. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. I have always thought about having LASIK but was never brave enough to look into it. It’s not at all fair that your doctors put you on the spot and switched your surgery up. Through your eyes we as your reders are able to see the beauty you create, through your eyes we are all inspired. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  150. Kristin says:

    I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. I am shocked and dismayed that something like this can happen. I hope your recovery speeds up, and that this is a distant memory soon.

  151. Kimberly says:

    I’m not usually a contentious person but this kind of thing really gets me! Mostly, that it sounds like no one cares that they acted recklessly. Is there any recourse? Patients rights is an area I know little about, maybe I should research that because this whole story makes me so uneasy.

  152. Cheryl says:

    My folks did PRK years ago when LASIK wasn’t an option and while recovery was rough, it wasn’t as bad as yours. Honestly I feel livid for you! It’s absolutely illegal to gain a patients consent while they are not fully aware and you should explore legal action.

  153. Karen says:

    So sorry to hear about this, what a scary experience. With my second birth the midwife and I throughout my pregnancy had planned a natural birth. My first was natural, and she was 9.11 pounds, so we had no reason to think anything different for the second. But when we checked in for induction, the doctor on duty told me “You know your first daughter was a tough delivery, right? Her arm got stuck and could have broken or worse. We need to deliver via c-section.” I was so caught off-guard, and when you’re that vulnerable and your primary concern is the health of your baby, you’re in a different mode. So we delivered c-section. She was under 9 lbs, so I knew I could have delivered naturally. This was so emotionally hard for me, it look well over a year not to be upset about it. (I’m still bothered 5 years later!) Its almost like patients need an advocate, but with the state of our country’s medical car, I don’t ever see that happening!

  154. Kristen says:

    Julia I am so sorry this is happening to you. I hope everything works out and you get better soon.

    I would suggest writing everything down, and have Chris do the same. All the details, timeline, conversations, etc. You never should have been treated this way, and your patient rights have definitely been violated.

    • Corey says:

      Agreed. You should consult an attorney. These people should not be allowed to ever do this again.

  155. Katy says:

    Are you going to sue? Because I know if this had happened to me, you get I would at least be speaking with a lawyer or two. This is not okay, Julia. I am so so sorry you are having to go through so much trauma for something you were not prepared for or able to legally consent to. Ugh, i am furious on your behalf. I think you’ve got a decent case here, might be worth considering.

  156. JL says:

    You are so brave to share all of this. I am so sorry. The people that you trusted to care for you at that facility should be ashamed of themselves. Ashamed. Be well. Don’t overdo. Take care.

  157. Phoua says:

    I’m so sorry you had to deal with all of this, Julia. What are your options, legally? Since you signed the consent form and all? It’s terribly cruel to bait and switch you like that. I can’t even imagine how livid you must feel. Here’s to hoping for a fast recovery and no lasting damage to your eyes! *Hugs*

  158. Christine says:

    Dear Julia,

    I am SO sorry for all you went through. It was sad to read all that went on since your surgery. I, like you, need to be informed of everything before I have anything done. Praying your healing goes well and you help others who are planning to have it done soon.

  159. Sarah says:

    holy crap
    I’m so sorry!
    This is ALL of my worst medical procedure fears come to life.

  160. Holly says:

    I had Lasik 15 years ago, but my husband had the PRK procedure 14 years ago. The preparedness you went through was not even mentioned to us that long ago, the makeup, freshly laundered clothes, oils, etc. I guess they’ve learned some things since then?? However, I will say this, my husband’s doctor knew he was doing PRK on him, and he had NONE of these side effects. He wore sunglasses and slept a lot one weekend and then he was fine. He had dry eyes for quite a few months, but he used over-the-counter drops. I’m so sorry for how this went for you. It sounds very scary. I wish you well and hope you’re on the upswing.

    • Sara says:

      I had lasik in 2016, and none of those things were required for me either! Soon as I read all those things I started to think the whole experience was weird.

      • Monica says:

        How horrible – I’m so sorry! Is there another doctor in the area that you can go to for your post-op?!? I wouldn’t go back to someone who had been so careless with my care/consent in the first place (and I second all of the above comments about filing complaints etc.)

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