Kevin Porte is a Laser Vision Coordinator at Image Plus Laser Eye Centre. After working at Image Plus for 6 months, he had laser vision correction in 2007.

My Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) surgery will always be remembered. I had the procedure done on February 22, 2007. I was brought into the surgery room, leaving my glasses behind. This gave me a great feeling inside, knowing that after wearing contacts and glasses for over 15 years, I could finally rid myself of them!

Surgery Day

After being given some instructions from the staff in the OR, I had a drape placed over my right eye and Dr. Wiens entered the room and put on his surgical gloves. This was it! I received some numbing drops and then heard the soft brush that would remove the top layer of the cornea. This surprisingly tickled when he removed this layer, and it didn’t take long at all.

The lights dropped down and darkness filled the room in preparation for my treatment. The laser locked onto my eye – and as it started I saw some colorful lights and heard the snapping sound of the laser. I knew that it was removing microscopic amounts of tissue to correct my vision, and I felt very calm. One of the surgical staff was counting down the laser for me, which was great, along with Dr. Wiens reassurance that everything was going well was appreciated. I just had a sense that I was in good hands.

When it was finished, a smile came to my face as I could see, even if it was a bit blurry immediately after the treatment. It was definitely better vision than when I went into the surgery room 15 minutes earlier. Dr. Wiens checked my eyes at a table in the surgical room and then I was led out of the room to a comfy chair. I chatted with the staff for a few minutes and then went home to rest. After a few hours of being restless from my exciting day, I watched my surgery DVD that I received, as it was interesting to see the other end of it. Each laser has a camera that shows what the surgeon sees.

The Week After

The next day I came in for my follow up appointment with Dr. Wiens and my eyes felt the same as they did that previous night: no pain or real discomfort, only a slightly dry feeling. My vision turned out to be 20/20 in my right eye and 20/10 in my left eye at this one-day appointment. I was pleasantly surprised but knew the vision would get slightly more blurry in the coming days as the top layer of the cornea grew back.

I saw Dr. Wiens on the Saturday where he changed my contact lenses and I still felt the same, no discomfort but I knew it was coming. Shortly after that appointment I had walked a couple blocks to Portage Place and suddenly became very light sensitive. Luckily I had my sunglasses with me to put on and went straight home as any light made my eyes water. This lasted till Sunday night, but Monday when I woke up I felt much better and returned to work. I couldn’t see well enough to use the computers or read as everything was still hazy but I felt I could still do some work.

One contact was removed on Monday and the other changed, then both were out on Tuesday and this felt much better as the eyes felt dry at this point from the contacts.

At the week point Dr. Wiens felt my vision was at the legal driving limit so I could then drive again, which is a long time to not drive, as I’m used to driving every day. I felt like a free man, but still the vision was fluctuating which took another week or two to settle down. This always depends on how fast a person heals and can fluctuate from person to person but I guess I was an average healer at this point.

Life Without Boundaries

After about a month, my night vision stabilized and improved dramatically. I never felt comfortable driving at night before my surgery as I suffered from halos and glare. Now I feel like I have normal night vision and much more comfortable behind the wheel, not large halos and distractions around the lights. This is due to the Advanced Custom Wavefront system picking up the imperfections in my eyes and being able to treat them, which glasses or contacts can’t do.

Now almost nine years after my PRK procedure my vision is still 20/10 and my night driving is still a pleasure as there are no problems with those distortions I had previous to my surgery. I have no regrets about my laser vision correction and really have and continue to enjoy the benefits of not wearing glasses or contacts.

The biggest and most memorable event that laser eye surgery allowed me to enjoy was snorkelling in Mexico. It would have been a nightmare before my surgery to even attempt snorkeling, but I loved it and couldn’t believe how clear it was under the water. Other than that, sports, driving and seeing the alarm clock in the morning are all great benefits which I enjoy regularly now.

My only regret is that I should have done this years ago!

Kevin Porte
Laser Vision Coordinator at Image Plus Laser Eye Centre