I want to share with you my personal experience with PRK, the recovery period, cost of laser eye surgery and my final verdict on PRK.
Choosing a Clinic in Vancouver
Keep in mind, this is an investment for your eyes, one of our five main senses so I had to opt in for the best laser eye surgeon in Vancouver. I went with Dr.Lin from Pacific Laser Eye Centre since he’s one of the pioneers of laser eye surgery in Vancouver. They basically streamlined the entire process for consultation, pre-op check up, operation, post-operation check up and post 2 month check up. The only pitfall is their hours, they open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm so you do need to take time off work or school for this.
Booking a Consultation and Wait Time
Pacific Laser Eye is quite busy so for my consultation I had to book 3 months in advance and for my actual surgery, one month in advanced. Please note that I am doing this during summer (some say it’s not a popular season for eye surgery due to the amount of daylight we get) so I assume there will be longer wait times for fall or winter months of the year. The consultation is a must and it’s important to note that not everyone qualifies, so before you have your heart set on it, go in for a consultation first and get assessed. The consultation is also complimentary.
Cost of Laser Eye in Vancouver
Laser eye surgery can be thought of as a minimum 10 year investment. It doesn’t correct the need for reading glasses but it does correct near sighted and astigmatism. I have a prescription of -7.0 on both with astigmatism of around 1.5 to 2.0 for each eye. It came to around $3300 after a referral discount, previously quoted for $3900. There are also post operation costs to consider, which are your 5 optometry visits, independent of Pacific Laser eye. In addition to optometry visits you have to factor in medicated eye drops. I was lucky to have work benefits covering most of it, having to only pay $35 for all of my medication. Overall, I would say the entire laser eye surgery process including post operation is around $4000.
How does that compare to contacts?
- 1 year of toric contact lens: $400
- 1 year of contact solution: $80
You basically breakeven after 8 years, so if you get them done before reading glasses hits (assuming mid 40), it’s absolutely worth it in the long run.
What to Expect During the Laser Eye Surgery
During the laser eye surgery you will smell burnt hair but rest assured, you will not feel anything because they take extra precautions to ensure your eyes are numb prior to the procedure. You’re then told to keep looking at the flashing green light and in about 40-50 seconds one eye is complete and an immense amount of eye drops are dropped into your eye. During the procedure, your eyes are opened and are kept open with specialized tools but rest assured, they are not painful. In fact, you only feel a light stretch and it goes away.
Laser Eye Recovery Period
The first 5 days is probably not the best but no pain no gain right? Day 1 and 2 can be described as painful. I was on 1 extra strength Ibuprofen and 2 Extra Strength Tylenol. Luckily, I didn’t have to take the Tylenol 3s (which was prescribed to me). the pain I would say is comparable to as if someone decided to suddenly clench onto your eye for about 5-10 seconds and then fades away. Day 3 and 4 are blurry which is expected and Day 5 is ” I can see clearly now that the rain has gone” – literally. There are a lot of drops with a tight schedule so I would strongly advise to take a minimum of 5 business days off to give your eyes the rest it deserves!
Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts or questions are about PRK or share this with a friend who’s debating on the surgery! I usually share post updates on my Instagram @sayhuitolove.