Saturday, 25 February 2012

Corneal Abrasion Surgery

Lasik Procedure with Corneal Abrasion Complication

After thinking about getting Lasik eye surgery for over 10 years I finally got it done recently. The last time (about 10 years ago) when I seriously considered getting it done a friend referred me to a website with horror stories about Lasik surgeries gone bad. The same friend eventually got the procedure and was very happy with the results.

Over the years everyone I met who had Lasik eye surgery would rave about how much they were happy with the outcome and that it was one of the best decisions they made in their life. So as the years passed I finally decided to bite the bullet and do it. I was growing really tired of wearing glasses and didn’t want to wear contact lenses because when I first tried them I didn’t like the way they felt in my eyes. Also, I have really bad allergies, especially around allergy season, and I knew contacts would be a problem then.

I initially made an appointment for a consultation and was informed that since I am over 40 years old there is a chance I may need reading glasses soon after the surgery. It was explained that people over 40 would start to need reading glasses and it is just a natural decay in your eyes that Lasik cannot fix or prevent. This was indeed a concern because I didn’t want to get Lasik and then have to wear reading glasses soon after. The problem is no one knows at what age you need reading glasses. Some people are fortunate enough to not need reading glasses until their 50s. Regardless after careful consideration I decided to have the procedure done anyway.

I ended up going with LasikPlus because the doctor came highly recommended by 2 friends who had the procedure done by the same doctor who would do my surgery. I also like the fact that the doctor has performed over 65,000 procedures and used the latest LASIK equipment. I also didn’t find much negative reviews of the doctor on the Internet. Actually, I found mostly positive reviews about his performance.

As with any medical procedure or even taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs, there are risks involved. After my consultation I was given some paperwork that described potential risks of the surgery which was scary. One of the risks listed could result in death. How scary is that?

In doing some research, I discovered about 2% of individuals having the surgery have some type of complication so I was praying that I’d fall into the 98% who have no complications. I was told I was a good candidate for the surgery and that everything should go well.

The Surgery

The surgery was fast and painless. The only discomfort was pressure on my eyes for a few seconds to make the flap. The laser to reshape each cornea took about 5 seconds each. Your eyes are numbed with eye drops so there is no pain at all. After the surgery my eyes felt a little sore and sensitive to light. While being driven home my vision was much improved but with a haze. I kept my eyes closed and just wanted to go home and take a nap, however, I couldn’t sleep because my eyes were burning. It was a slight burn but enough to make me uncomfortable. After a few hours, my right eye was extremely tearful. As soon as I open my eye water poured out. My left eye wasn’t as tearful.

My follow-up exam the next day revealed that I had a cornea abrasion on my right eye. “Just great”, I thought to my self. I wasn’t happy hearing that I had a complication.

My Complication

During the LASIK procedure I developed a small corneal abrasion in my right eye. As stated, during the first night, both eyes burned a bit, but my right eye was extremely tearful. The next morning it felt uncomfortable to open both eyes, but especially my right eye. I had a follow-up appointment that morning with an assistant doctor who told me of the corneal abrasion. I was then sent to another location where the Lasik surgeon was working that day. I was really irritated that I had this problem. I kept thinking to myself, “just my luck”.

From some research about corneal abrasion, even with excellent surgical technique and a moistened eye, a small breakdown in the epithelial surface may develop as the flap is made with the microkeratome. Corneal abrasion occurs in a small percentage of LASIK procedures because in some eyes the surface cells may not adhere well. There is no way possible to detect who may be prone to corneal abrasion. Fortunately, the epithelium grows back so quickly that eyes with an epithelial defect usually heal within a few days, even without a contact lens.

My surgeon verified that there was indeed an abrasion and that he’d place a contact lens on my eye to help it heal and make it more comfortable. As soon as he placed the contact lens in my right eye, it felt 100% better. I could immediately open my eye and there was no discomfort. My eye stopped tearing. He also numbed the eye, so that helped. As the numbness wore off my eye still felt comfortable. The contact lens was removed 3 days later and my eye still felt comfortable because the abrasion had healed.

Unfortunately, due the corneal abrasion my right eye was slightly blurred for a few days. I was told to place the prednisone anti-inflammatory drops in my eyes more frequently because my eye was inflamed at the location of the corneal abrasion. My left eye was perfect, but with my right eye was slightly blurry which was a little annoying especially when watching TV.

2 Weeks Later

Now after about 2 weeks my right eye is still slightly blurry. My left eye is 20/20 and right eye is 20/50, however with both eyes my vision is 20/20. Seems my brain has adapted for the difference. With both eyes open outside, my vision is crystal clear and I can’t see a difference but when I close each eye to compare I can see a difference. However, when I’m indoors, especially at night I can sense a difference with both eyes open. It seems indoor artificial light affects me more.

At my last check up, my surgeon stated the inflammation/swelling is gone and now the abrasion just needs to come together and that light would affect the eye making things blurry until it healed. There is an 85% chance it will heal by itself. However, if it doesn’t completely heal, he’ll do an enhancement to make the eye 20/20. I’m hoping my eye will completely heal by itself, however, if I need an enhancement I’ll have to do it. An enhancement if needed will not be done for another 3 months.


So far, I’m “almost” happy with the results. I say “almost”, because of the complication with my corneal abrasion. But even with 20/50 in one eye, my vision is almost perfect. Over the last 2 weeks, on numerous occasions I’ve attempted to take my glasses off and have to remind myself, that I’m not wearing glasses! The procedure was painless and fast. Recovery was also fast. If and when my right eye is 20/20, then I’ll be completely happy with the results.

Update on 9/11/2011:
About 3 months after my Lasik surgery my eye-sight is excellent at 20/20. My right eye with the corneal abrasion has healed nicely. My left eye which became a little blurry 2 weeks after the procedure has cleared up nicely as well. The glare / halos / starburst at night / low light have decreased dramatically to almost to being unnoticeable. I suspect over the next several months, it should be completely gone. So now I’m very happy with my decision to have Lasik. At times I’m amazed at how excellent my eye-sight is and how men created a device that uses a laser to reshape people’s cornea to fix their vision. Absolutely amazing! Just hope my eye-sight stays like this for years to come.


Related article about corneal abrasion surgery:

1 comment:

myrtle mayers said...

This is very good information.i think it's useful advice. really nice blog. keep it up!!!

- Corneal Transplant

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