Post-LASIK surgery to enlarge optical zone for night vision
February 2, 2017 6:28 AM   Subscribe

Have you messed with your "20/20" vision?

I had LASIK about 15 years ago. The laser used at the time (VISX S2) has an effective zone of about 5.5mm, no transition zone, my pupils dilate to nearly 8mm in the dark, and I had about a -8 diopter correction. My night vision is garbage (surprise). Although I test out at 20/20 in the daytime, my issues with driving at night are very limiting to me (think: travel, work opportunities, or even the ability to live where I would like to) but I have had lots of time to adjust to it so I lead what looks like a pretty normal life.

Fast-forward 15 years, and we're to the point where it may be possible to fix me. The doctor I am working with is recommending Contoura to enlarge the optical zone in one eye, and PRK for the other because of the limited amount of tissue remaining. I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified, and currently trying to decide whether to go ahead with it or not.

Anyone have experience with anything like this? I'm pretty sure it's not as unusual as it sounds.
posted by LowellLarson to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why are you terrified? Surely your doc can give you statistics on how often these go wrong (almost never, I'm guessing) and you can make an informed decision from there?
posted by cmoj at 8:03 AM on February 2, 2017

If it were me, I would do the Contoura in the eye with the more tissue and wait an appropriate amount of time (a month or two?) before deciding to go with the next procedure. That way, in case anything goes wrong with one eye, you can make a much different risk reward decision with the other eye.
posted by AugustWest at 8:39 AM on February 2, 2017

Thanks for the replies so far.

cmoj, I'm terrified because I've had 5 eye surgeries so far, one of which was particularly gruesome, with less than great results. To understate matters a bit, I have changed doctors since then. My knee-jerk reaction to your response was kind of negative, but on reflection I appreciate it. It's helpful.

AugustWest, I've thought about this. The biggest difficulty is that I'm in a smallish town and the doctor who would do it is a couple hundred miles away from where I live. My local doctor has pointed out that the outcome on one eye is in no way reflective of what it will be on the other. Although, as you point out, the risk/reward calculus would be different.
posted by LowellLarson at 2:08 PM on February 2, 2017

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