The story of my ICL and PRK corrective eye surgeries


Full Access Member
This is ot help inform others so I will go into as much reasonable detail in plain language as I can muster since I know many others are also thinking about eye surgery.
It may even sound a bit repetitive to those who are familiar with eye surgery but I want to make everything perfectly clear and understandable.

Before I go into details also let me state that my prescription was complicated as was the shape of my eyes, especially on the left.
So as a result some very high end techniques were necessary as was a 2nd surgery on one eye..
Others will likely have a much faster, cheaper and easier experience.

When I originally got my surgery I had strong myopia (near sightedness) on both eyes.
On my left also significant astigmatism and on the right slight astigmatism.

Pre-surgery Contact lenses would restore me to 20/20 or 20/25 on the left and 20/20 or sometimes even 20/15 on the right (at least early in the day when lenses where fresh and clean and my eye was rested and making plenty of tears)

Based on this the first Ophthalmologist I spoke to was unsure he even wanted to do surgery since i could see so well with contact lenses, but I often have to wear protective masks at work and be on supplied breathing air.

This dries out the lenses greatly degrading my vision when I need it the most.
(your not even supposed to wear contacts with such masks but I did anyway since glasses did not perform as well for me as the shape of my face pushed my high prescription glasses further away form my eyeballs and so glasses always gave me bad tunnel vision)

So the doctor relented and prescribed me ICL (finding me a poor candidate for LASIK and PRK due to shape +thickness of my eyes especially the greater amount of prescription needed on the left).

I had one eye done first the left, the worse one.., ICL which is a technique where they insert an artificial lens over your natural lens.... then 5 months later ICL on the right and then one month after that date PRK touch up on the left.

It has been approx 1 year total now
So both my eyes received ICL to take care of my significant myopia, which is what ICL does well.

My left got it in jan 13 and my right in April 13.


The right:
The outcome on my right is fantastic, in terms of long distance vision, went to 20/15 (!) vision from unaided 20/400.

Since I now have a second lens internal in my eye over my natural lens (ICL) the focal length of both has added so I now cannot readily focus at close and need reading glass assistance on the right eye.

Cannot see the front sight post of carbine clearly and this had limited my ability to perform with iron sights as the right is my shooting eye.

I still think this is a good trade-off since I have never seen this well with my right eye in the distance . Even with contacts I could only match it when wore fresh and newly made toric contacts and my eye was perfectly rested and had good tear production.

So even with perfect contacts as the day wore on and they dry out my vision would not be as good as it is now and I have electroptics on all my rifles now (AIMpoint PRO and EOtech 512) to address my inability to focus up close on my front sight post.

Left eye:

After the original ICL I achieved 20/40 or 20/50 vision (coming from approx 20/800!), which was a little disappointing to me at first but given where my eye was before it was a great outcome.
But the ICL only addressed myopia ( nearsightedness)and not my astigmatism.
So the doctors felt and I agreed to add PRK surgery as a touch up and we expected a significant betternment from that.

This had been understood as likely necessary right from the beginning due to my significant astigmatism.
PRK since it had to do only a smaller amount of correction was no longer disallowed on my left eye ( as it would have been had we tried to correct everything including the myopia with PRK from the beginning)

The day of my left eye PRK they also offered to give me PRK on the right as a two-fer and correct my very slight astigmatism on the right eye on the same day.

I declined as my vision was absolutely perfect except at close range .... and this the PRK would not address ,or only address at great risk, to my fantastic long range vision.

I am glad I did decline to also have astigmatism correction w/ PRK done on the right, as the PRK recovery on the left was lengthy, painful and fraught with poor vision.

On 1 August I received PRK as a "touch-up" to address my astigmatism on the left. The PRK touch up result was not good.
Especially at first. my vision being much worse than before, after just the ICL.

My vision was poor for a couple months. If I had both eyes done at the same time I definitely could not have driven a car for approx 1.5 to 2 months.

Anyone who does PRK, I STRONGLY recommend to do one eye at a time ONLY! Unless you can afford to not go to work for a couple of months.

Later my left eye stabilized at a level approx the same as pre- PRK surgery (post ICL) for distance.

Close range miraculously improved, and i can read w/o reading glasses now via my left eye.

I say miraculously because this was not predicted and they were only supposed to go after the astigmatism.. so my focal lenght should have been untouched and my near vision should not have been able to improve at all from the PRK touch up.

To this day I think maybe something was possibly set wrong with the settings or when they told me to "look wherever just straight ahead", I moved my eye to straight ahead when before it was focused on a light slightly off to left forward. maybe this was wrong thing to do and maybe the machine had already "pegged" my eye for the original position??

Either way, now 6.5 months after the PRK touch up and 13 months after my first ICL I notice my vision on the left is still slowly improving.

I am now confident that it is better on the left long distance than after the ICL only. Not tons better but a slight bit better.
Added to my better abilities up close compared to up close just post-ICL ,I think I can finally call the PRK touch up a moderate success, something I was unsure of for many many months.

Well was it worth it?

Yes, its given me something approaching normal vision w/o lenses or glasses for the first time since my early teens, but it was not a trivial process and I have been told on the open market for those who pay 100% out of pocket, this would have been nearly $12,000 worth of surgery.

Hopefully this has provided some data points for others who may also be thinking about doing this.


Super Moderator
For one, I hate messing with my eyes. I now have old man vision where I can no longer focus up close. My far vision is fine. I need reading glasses to work on the computer etc.. As I understand it this cannot be fixed with Lasik. I did try some contacts but they didn't help except for in the brightest of light. At room light they were blurry. I need to get back to the doc and get them tweaked.


Full Access Member
Getting old sucks but it beats the alternative. Trifocals were needed for competitive shooting and it got past the point of being fun.


Full Access Member
I had PRK done 8 years ago.

It. Was. Awesome.

Went from 20/400 to better than 20/15 in both eyes within an hour. Took a week to heal completely though. Did not have the recovery of several months like you had.

Still at least 20/15.

Members online

No members online now.