Not for the squeamish!
There, you’ve been warned. If you don’t want to see photos of Eldest Son’s laser eye surgery that occurred last Friday, BROWSE AWAY FROM MY WEBSITE NOW!
No, don’t wait two seconds. Don’t wait ten minutes. Don’t look down. Don’t scroll!! Just hop on over to another blog.
However, if, like me, you once wanted to be a pathologist or an opthamologist or a dentist (I collected teeth as a child—don’t judge me!) (I only collected about 3) (they were my brother’s) (his molars are still in my childhood scrapbook, sealed behind plastic wrap and tape), but once you reached grade 11 realized you were crappy at any science other than biology (chemistry sucks; sorry, but it’s true), so you took law and history instead, then, by all means, continue to view this post.
It was only natural that I wanted to be a doctor. How could I resist the possibility of being called Dr. Procter? I can’t tell you how much I loved the doctor’s kit I received the Christmas I was 5. And, I have an excellent bedside manner. Well, I’m marginally polite. Some days. That works, no? Alas, my brain Would Not Have It. My brain insisted it was in love with words instead. I’m rather fond of my brain, so I’ve learned to listen to it.
All right, I’ve wasted enough space that you should have BROWSED AWAY FROM MY WEBSITE if you don’t wish to see pictures of Custom Wavefront PRK Laser Eye Surgery. Why not LASIK, you ask? Because E.S.’s corneas were too thin.
What, you want me to explain the differences between LASIK and PRK? I refuse. You can follow this link instead.
Okay, you’re duly (as opposed to dully) informed. Yet you still wish to see the pictures. So here they are. And it’s coming up on Christmas, which means I’m super busy and these pictures will be here for some time. That’s what you get for volunteering to view them.
Last warning! BROWSE AWAY!
You’re still here. Welcome…to my lab.
E.S. had Custom Wavefront PRK Laser Eye Surgery on Friday. I think I was more nervous than he was. But the clinic we chose was amazing. There were other patients due to go before E.S., either the Custom PRK or LASIK, whichever suited their needs. We sat together in a little waiting room while a nice young fellow named Reid offered coffee and Christmas cookies and explained the procedures as they were occurring in the room behind us. There was a large window, covered with open blinds. So, a degree of privacy for the patient and a degree of visibility for the folks in the waiting room. I did not expect this.
I also didn’t expect that the surgery would be projected onto a TV screen in the waiting room. When I came back from visiting the washroom and saw Reid explaining the procedure occurring on the TV screen high up in the corner, I thought it was a sample video. You know, like a childbirth video. I was surprised to realize the surgery occurring on the TV was occurring live…in the room on the other side of the blinds.
My Liege got the bright idea to take pictures of E.S.’s surgery with his cell phone. And here they are. (We also have a DVD—how cool is that?)
E.S. being made comfortable. He's under the influence of...something and, no worries, they freeze his eyes or something with drops of some sort. Hey, I never said I would get technical.
Very Clockwork Orange! Several scans have been done by this point and my son's information was fed into the computer of the laser machiney thingie. The red lights are scanning his right eye again before...zeroing in on the specific areas to be worked on. Once the unit "locks on," even if your eye moves, "it" knows what to do. Shades of Hal!
What beautiful green eyes! Behind that little instrument, that is. If you think this is gross, you're lucky I didn't show you the photos of the right eye. My husband had become better at taking pictures with his cell phone for the right eye, so the right eye photos are even more close-up.
All right, this next picture is a little icky. Here you’ll see the main difference between PRK and LASIK (surgically, anyway). In LASIK, the lens of the eye is kind of sliced and lifted up, the zapping is done, and then the lens (cornea?) is lowered back down. It heals from there. In PRK, the thingie is separated from the thingie using a thingie… Oh, that’s no good. Quoting from a PRK versus LASIK website:
PRK laser surgery differs from LASIK in that a corneal flap is not created before the laser is used to ablate the eye. During PRK, the outermost layer of the cornea, the epithelium, is completely removed. After the epithelial layer is removed, the surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea. In LASIK surgery, a corneal flap is created with a microkeratome blade or a laser, allowing the surgeon to access and reshape underlying layers of corneal tissue.
Much better than I was explaining!
So how do they remove the epithelium during PRK? Like in the photo below. Kind of gross and utterly fascinating!
Yes, I shuddered at this point. The surgeon was taking away part of my baby's eye! Almost like skimming a sunny-side-up egg with your fork. Yeah, totally disgusting. I don't eat sunny-side-up eggs. I can only eat hard-boiled eyes or scrambled eggs due to images like this one.
My Liege took a picture of the laser performing its work, but at that point the screen is dark, so I’m not posting it.
With PRK, a contact lens-type “bandage” is placed over the eye so that regrowth can occur beneath the “bandage.” PRK surgery is more difficult to recover from. Indeed, E.S. spent all of Sunday with bags of frozen corn on his eyes. They were super light sensitive. On Monday, he was in great shape. His vision isn’t perfect yet. As the healing process occurs the vision keeps improving, reaching maximum potential between 3-6 months.
Yesterday, the “bandage” contact lenses came off. The local optometrist who has been working in conjunction with the eye surgeon says E.S. is now “borderline” for driving, which is excellent! We return in a couple of days and hope to have more good news then. If all is fine, his next follow-up appointment will fall at the one-month point.
Wish him a speedy recovery! Now, go find something Christmasy to do—and no complaints about the topic of this blog. Because it’s not as if I didn’t warn you.
The surgery was E.S.’s university graduation gift. Both our kids inherited my lousy eyesight and M.L.’s…charmingly crooked smile. So both have had to endure glasses and braces during school. We promised them that if they went to university and actually graduated, we’d gift them with amazing vision. Darn kids (at least the first one so far) took us at our word.