What to Expect during a PRK Procedure

Ever wondered if you’re a candidate for LASIK? Read why PRK was right for me and what to expect during a PRK procedure. This is a sponsored post with KE Eye Centers of Texas.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Ever wondered if you're a candidate for LASIK? Read why PRK was right for me and what to expect during the procedure.

This past Monday I had my PRK procedure with Dr. Evangelista of KE Eye Centers of Texas.  (Read more about why PRK was the best choice for me in this post.)  I’m happy to report that I am seeing 20/20 after only a few days post-op.  I’ve had a lot of questions about the procedure so I wanted to share more specifics from the day of to help answer any questions.

Emily and I drove to the KE Eye Centers of Texas Plano location early Monday morning for my PRK procedure.  (You will need to have someone with you to drive you home.)  We were seated in the waiting area with two others waiting for their LASIK procedure.  I signed a few forms and then received my blue hairnet, a valium (to help me relax), and a round of antibiotic drops in each eye.

waiting office at KE Eye Centers of Texas

The surgery suite is enclosed by floor to ceiling windows just inside the reception area.  Not only are you able to see the surgery through the glass, but they also have a TV screen in the waiting area that streams the entire surgery with a closeup of each eye.  Emily had her LASIK done in their Dallas office a few weeks prior where they are currently undergoing a bit of remodeling.  They don’t have their screen posted outside of the surgery suite yet so I was excited to be able to watch the two LASIK procedures before it was my turn.

I’m in the medical field, so these types of things don’t bother me at all.  The surgery and hospital rotations in paramedical school were my favorite.  Emily isn’t squeamish- needles/ giving blood, etc doesn’t bother her, but I caught her watching the live streams through her fingers haha.  The procedures are very quick, there is no needles or blood, but if you think it will stress you out then I would recommend looking away.  Emily said afterward that she was glad she didn’t see it performed before she had hers done so take that for what you will.  I thought it was awesome and made her video mine.

When it was my turn, I went into the room where Dr. Evengelista examined my eyes one last time.  He explained the PRK surgery again in depth and went over what to expect after.  I appreciated that he took that time to make sure I understood everything and offer to answer any questions I had.

eye exam with Dr. Evangelista

He first placed some medicated numbing drops in my eyes.  Next, he used a special tool to hold my eyelids open.  This was not painful and I never felt like I was fighting against it to blink or anything.  After this Dr. Evangelista used a special tool that reminded me of a rotary toothbrush.  This wasn’t painful either, definitely not an experience you have every day and there may have been some slight pressure, but it was not painful.  He asked me a few times to try to focus straight ahead because I guess I was trying to look up, it was difficult to know where to focus with the tool in the way.

After he finished with the first tool he used what felt like a cotton swab to wipe the surface of my eye.  During this time my vision would diminish and blur but I knew to expect this and it was never alarming or painful.  Next, it was time for the laser to do its thing.  I could hear a clicking noise and saw a bright, circular light.  This took all of maybe five seconds.  After this, the doctor used more special tools/swabs to wipe my eye and then placed a tiny medicated sponge on the surface.  He removed the sponge, swabbed my eyes again, and then placed a protective contact lens “bandage.”  Finally, he removed the tool holding my eyelid open, placed a few drops in the eye he just worked on, and then moved to the second eye to complete the procedure.

PRK procedure at KE Eye Centers of Texas

The entire time I spent in the surgical suite was around eight minutes.  It was “quick and painless” as the saying goes.  I was instructed to wear the contact lenses until my follow up appointment a few days out and was given a specific eye drop routine to follow that included an antibiotic, a steroid, and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory.  Dr. Evangelista checked my eyes one last time and I was already seeing improvements in my vision.

After this, I put on my sunglasses, reclined the passenger seat, and Emily drove me home.  I wasn’t in any pain or discomfort during the 45-minute drive (Emily experienced a bit of light sensitivity and watery eyes during the drive home post-LASIK).  When we got home, I put on my special safety goggles (to prevent me from rubbing my eyes while sleeping) but I struggled to get comfortable and didn’t fall asleep right away (Emily was out as soon as her head hit the pillow after her LASIK).  This was the only time I experienced any discomfort as the numbing drops had worn off and I was ready to get some rest.

I finally decided to move from the bed (where I like to sleep on my stomach) to the recliner (where I have to sleep on my back.)  This definitely helped and I took a good three-hour nap.  I felt great when I woke up and was able to function around the house/with the kids.  I’m a few days out now and I’ve even gone a few calls for the volunteer fire department I’m with.

I will post more about the healing process in a few weeks, but know that I have since had the contacts removed and am already seeing 20/20.  Some days my vision is fuzzy or hazy, some days I see a slight double… each eye and every day is different… but, all in all, I’m seeing pretty clear.  I’m so glad I had PRK procedure done and I can’t recommend KE Eye Centers of Texas enough.

If you are interested in ditching contacts or glasses I highly recommend going in for a free consultation at KE Eye Centers.  You can start with their LASIK Self-Test online and see if you might be a good candidate.

KE Eye Centers of Texas has locations in Arlington, Plano, Dallas, Mount Pleasant, Gun Barrel City, Southlake (coming soon).  Visit LASIKsurgery.com, or call 800.714.2020, to find the location nearest you.  You can also find them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram as @keeyecenter.

Follow along with my journey to 20/20 vision on Instagram (@NineOneOneDad) where I will be sharing more about how #KEHelpedMeSee.  Also, check out Emily’s site at GraceandGoodEats.com (or @GraceGoodEats) where she will be sharing her LASIK experience as well.

James Bruno

James is a full-time firefighter/paramedic living in Texas with his wife, Emily of FarmetteKitchen.com, and their four kids. When not at the fire station, James is a hands-on dad who enjoys playing with his kids and working around the house. 911 DAD is your first call for help with all things tech, travel, food, and family.