All of us Vs Keratoconus

Members Login
Chatbox
Please log in to join the chat!
Post Info
TOPIC: PRK & Crosslinking in Athens, Greece - Full Story


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 47
Date: Tue Nov 6 11:53 PM, 2007
PRK & Crosslinking in Athens, Greece - Full Story
Permalink   
 


My PRK & Cross-linking Surgery in Athens, Greece

COST - 4500€ per eye

Doctor: Anastasios John Kanellopoulos
Location: Athens, Greece
Website: Laservison.gr
Email: info@laservision.gr
Phone: (30 210) 7472777


Hotel: The President Hotel
Website: www.president.gr
Location: Athens, Greece (5 min walk from Laservision.gr & metro station)
Room Rate: 85€ a night (special rate - single room w/breakfast)

Pre-surgery Day 1 & Day 2

I chose the airline Lufthansa to fly to Greece. My reasons: all planes are Lufthansa planes, there are free meals and free no limit alcohol(I wouldn't drink for a month after surgery if I were you) and the service is amazing. Air Canada maybe a star alliance member but it is a horrible airline now that they cheap out on everything, no meals, not alcohol, not sure if you even get a drink, you have been warned. I flew out of Vancouver International Airport on a Thursday at 15:50h there were 2 meals on the flight and I arrived in Frankfurt Germany at 10:40h. The stopover in Germany was 2h 45min. The food at the airport is very expensive and not much selection. One place sold chicken snichzels that was decent for the money unlike the rest of the stuff I saw. I had to go through customs in Vancouver as well as a 2nd time in Germany. I flew out of Frankfurt Germany at 13:25h.There was one meal on this flight. The total flight time was 17 hours to Athens, Greece. I arrived in Athens at 17:05h. Flying through the week is cheapest (tues-thur).

I highly recommend buying a Lonely Planet guide on Greece it has all of the important emergency numbers and other valuable info such as embassy numbers etc.

Arriving in Athens airport was pretty straight forward. My girlfriend and I were really tired though. Once we arrived and got our luggage we needed to the President Hotel in Athens. Dr. Kanellopoulos’s receptionist will book you a Hotel reservation at the President hotel in advance so make sure you have the reservation paper printed for your entire stay. Patients get a special single room rate of 85€ a night this includes a single buffet breakfast (extra person is 10€ at breakfast) The food is NOT amazing but edible I would never pay 10€ for it, I would say maybe 5€ is fair. There is a restaurant at the hotel which is overpriced and crappy 20€ buffet dinner. I never ate dinner at the restaurant just breakfast, lots of restraurants around better and cheaper. There is a bar fridge in your room as well so you can keep food in it.

So your options for getting to the hotel are the metro(subway) for 5€ or a taxi for 35-45€. I took the metro because it was around 16:00H and runs almost directly to the president hotel about 6 blocks away. Even taking the metro and then a cab is way cheaper (5€metro + 3-7€ for a taxi) than a direct taxi to the hotel.

Once I arrived at the hotel most people spoke little or no English so I had already printed out my reservation from the email I received from Dr. Kanellopoulos’s receptionist.
I gave it to the Hotel receptionist and got my room key and went up to my room. My girlfriend came in after to avoid an extra charge for the room.

There is a safe in the room to put your passport in and any other valuables. I used it and had no problems. As well the hotel doors DO NOT LOCK from the inside of the room. So anyone with a key can come in all the time.


Pre-surgery day 3 & 4

Well now since I was in Greece and the time is 10 hours ahead of Vancouver my sleeping was completely screwed up. So I suggest you arrive at least 3 days early so you can adjust to the time change. If your eyes are tired for the surgery you will be making the operation even more painful on yourself.

I spent the next 3 days learning the area and made sure my girlfriend knew exactly where she was on a map and how to get back to the hotel. I walked to Laservision.gr and made sure I knew where it was. I found the grocery store down the street from the president hotel (it’s close). Tried to relax walked all the way to Acropolis this involves walking by the embassy’s and the Hilton Hotel. The metro goes downtown as well.

There is a public sight-seeing bus that stops in front of the Hilton Hotel ever 30 min. For 5€ you can ride anywhere on the buses and metro and tram except to the airport for 24 hours with the ticket. You purchase in on the bus from the tour guide. This is a great way to see how big the downtown is and what you can do for 2-3 days. You can also buy a 24 hour metro/bus pass (airport excluded) for 3€ from a ticket booth at the metro stations. You MUST validate you ticket the first time you use it!!!!

I brought a laptop thinking it would be easy to get internet, well someone misunderstood me at the hotel reception desk and told me it was 40€ and hour. I was pissed it turns out that was a mistake and it took me 2 days to find out that it was only 7€ for 2 hours and you need to use a card that can be purchased from the bar while it is open. Make sure to bring your own Ethernet cable with you! There are Ethernet ports in the hotel rooms, wireless reception sucked in my room. They do have 2 computers in the lobby that you can use they would cost you the same 7 euro for 2 hours of use using a time card. Basically you can use 5 minute increments if you want.


Pre-surgery day 5

I walked over to Laservision.gr confirmed my appointment and made sure that everything was to go as planned. They asked if everything was ok with the hotel. My appointment was for Day 7 at 11:30h. They called me later in the day at the hotel and left a message. I received it later that day and called them. They asked me to come in the following day at 10:30h so they could do measurements for the surgery earlier. This made the day of the surgery much easier and relaxed.


Pre-surgery Day 6

I came in the following day and they did many different tests not 1 or 2 times but 4 or 5 times on each eye. This included the pentacam of each eye. These test were done by Maria I believe she is another eye surgeon there. She made sure that all the measurements she was gathering were extremely accurate. I had no doubts as to what they were doing the whole time. The doctor’s spoke fluent English very well. I did not have any issues with a language barrier. They always answered any question’s I had and never hid anything from me. Unlike almost all of my experiences I have had in Canada. Everything went well and I paid a measurements fee separate from the surgery and I was to return the following day for surgery by Dr. Kanellopoulos.

I left the Laservision.gr office and went to the grocery store and bought pop juice, fruits, chips, cereal and milk. They also have cooked chickens so you can make chicken sandwiches in your room and ready to eat hot pasta.


Day 7 - Surgery

I woke up and got dressed in some comfortable clothing and ate some breakfast at the buffet. I arrived at Laservision.gr it was very busy the waiting room was almost full. I checked in with the receptionist and took a seat in the waiting area.

Soon my name was called. Maria took me into one of the examination rooms and tested my eyes with my glasses on (I don’t use contacts and you should not where contacts for 3 weeks prior to surgery if you have RGP and 1 week for soft contacts). Next I put on surgery slippers, poncho and hat. I waited a bit and then was told to eat a pill that would make me calm. I can’t remember If I had to put drops in my eyes or not? I waited for 30min in the waiting room.

Next I was moved into another room that had a digital camera that was able to look at the eye really close on a plasma screen TV. Dr. Kanellopoulos came in the room examined my eye with the machine and saw that there was residue buildup of the liquid in my eye on the keratoconus and he could see the ring it was forming. He made a DVD video of it for me and his records.
Next I waited around probably for 30 or 40 more minutes and then was asked to go into the surgery room.

I walked in and there were 2 other surgeons in there. Booth surgeons spoke English& Greek. One of them wiped a paste on my lower eyelids and I think put drops in my eyes (there has been too many drops I don’t remember hehe). I laid on the table they talked to me, asked me where I was from, how I had heard about this surgery… The one surgeon loaded the machine with my pentacam topography. Confirming with me that my name and age matched the pentacam topography that he was loading into the machine…They were very nice. Soon Dr. Kanellopoulos came into the surgery room. He asked me how I was and made sure everything was alright.

1. He taped my eye lids back

2. Clamped my eye open

3. Positioned me under the laser

4. Asked me to stare at the green light

5. He then used a tool and Mitomycin to remove the epithelium (this hurt a lot)

6. I think he patched my other eye next

7. Dr. Kanellopoulos told me to look at the green light (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT DON’T MOVE). There were rows of lasers I think 2 walls( 1” piece flat material) with 9 lasers on each attached to a head that rotated. The lasers were all pointed at my eye. Suddenly the things the lasers were on spun once really fast and in 1 ½ seconds the PRK was done. I could suddenly smell the burn from my cornea. It smelled like burnt hair (no pain from this). The other eye was done next so he clamped open my other eye and did the same again.

8. Cross-linking was now preformed on both eyes at the same time. I was feeling pretty ****ty at this point I might add. My eyes were tearing and in intense pain. My right eye was killing me but my left eye felt bad to but nothing like my right eye did. Something was put above or around my head with 6 green Ultra Violet lights on it. I was instructed to stare at the grey area in the center of the lights. This had to be the hardest thing I have ever done. I just wanted to die! My eyes were killing me and what I was looking at kept going out of focus and my eyes kept wondering every now and then. It was like I was seeing cross-eyed. Some anesthetic drops were put in when I complained about the pain but I got cut off and had to suffer (too much anesthetic will prevent the epithelium from healing). All I could think about was fainting from the pain.

9. The final step was to put 0 prescription clear contacts in my both of my eyes. I could immediately see that the rings I was seeing on lights in my left eye were gone when just after they put the contact in.

10. DO THIS BEFORE THE SURGERY!!!
I paid for the surgery after which took 25 mins and had to sit there in pain waiting. I just wanted to shoot myself I was in so much pain. It was horrible I am so surprised I did not faint in the waiting room. I got a taxi and got ripped off 10 euro(I didn’t care) for the distance of a 5 min walk.

1st Recovery Night – HELL!!!

I got to the hotel and laid on the bed. The pain was so bad I didn’t even talk. I was pretty silent for the next 1 ½ days. All I could think about was I won’t both saying… It was hell!!!


Day 1 recovery

I was in a hell of a lot of pain. Could not open eyes it hurt too much. I tried to open my eyes but the light mixed the scratchy pasty feeling in my eyes was too much. If felt like my eyes were glued shut. Putting the drops in was hard!!! I felt that any light was too much the sun glasses were not enough! I had to wear a jacket over my head till until I got to Laservion.gr. They seemed to think I was going overboard with the jacket over my head and asked wear my glasses were. But I could not open my eyes. I tried to do a vision test but I could not open my eyes. Now my left eye was the one that hurt and the right one was not really noticeable. He checked the contacts to see that they were sitting in my eyes OK because I was starting to think the left one was not.

I went back to the Hotel in a Taxi and laid on the bed all day, night trying to forget about my eye not talking at all and not moving my eye under the eyelid.


Day 2 recovery

I could not open my eyes because my left one was hurting. So I concentrated on where the pain felt like it was coming from. From a previous experience with contact lenses it was feeling like my eyelid was being scratched when I moved my eye when it was closed. I started to think the contact was upside down in my eye. I went to Laservision.gr in a taxi. They Maria switched the left contact with a new one. I could immediately open my eyes almost completely pain free. My vision was crap though I could not see anything but blurs.

I actually walked back to the hotel using my eyes it was blurry though. I was starting to feel better. The pain was gone and I could lay on the bed and sleep or listen to my iPod.


Day 3 recovery

I walked to Laservision.gr to get the contact lenses removed. I thought it was a little early but this is what they told me. So they removed them with gloves and I walked around for 30 min to make sure things felt ok. Later in the day it did feel that my left epithelium was a little thin I guess. But it was not painful just a little different.

***After they took the contacts out my vision was immediately worse! ***

I was seeing ghosting doubles sideways in both eyes of my eyes. As well I did have a slight haze. But they haze was barely none existent as to what I thought it would be like. I walk back to the hotel


Day 4 recovery

I basically laid around all day on the bed, ate some food and tried to sleep with my iPod on.


DAY 5 recovery

Not much change vision was blurry it was better before the contacts were removed.


DAY 6 recovery

I left the hotel at 3:30am in a taxi 40€. I have no idea what was wrong with this taxi driver, he was about 26 y/o and hit 210KM on the highway. I was just about to say we don’t need to die on our way to the airport. He even flew by a cop on the highway and no one did anything!


DAY 7 of recovery

My epitheliums seem to be healing very well. I am seeing ghosting but it is in different directions from before mostly right and left. Before surgery the smearing duplicates were in the direction of the KC cone on the Orbscans. The Left and right ghosting should be because of the ASTIGMATSM and the imperfections in the epithelium as it heals, this is a side effect of PRK (google it). I can see far without glasses BUT I cannot read anything that well because of the ghosting which is a temporary thing with PRK. If the ghosting was gone I would be seeing 20/20 or close to it I think. So the next few days hopefully but maybe weeks or months this will be fixed. PRK can take up to 6 months to fully see the result and get rid of the ghosting, even though many doctors tell you 10 days – 1 month. Now I can just wait WITHOUT HEADACHES :D


DAY 13 of recovery

I have been outside walking around and I have noticed something very weird.

Left Eye- I can see very clear close to 20/20 (very minor ghosting not really effecting what I am seeing) in my left eye at a distance ONLY. Things up close have a lot of ghosting and are hard to read. I have the font size on my computer cranked up as well as a resolution of 800x600. The ghosting appears to be lower mostly not left to right as it was before.

Right Eye- things up close seem much better than in my right eye lots of ghosting as well my left eye. Things a far distance away have a ghost on them (the entire picture) . The ghosting appears to be lower mostly not left to right as it was before.

DAY 14 of recovery

Things seem very similar to Yesterday

DAY 15 of recovery

***My VISA number was stolen and I think it happened in Greece at the President Hotel. I only used it once while I was in Greece. It is was also only 1 month old***

I have Eye charts posted on my wall so I can check my own eye standing 20 feet away.

Inside with artificial light on a gloomy, overcast day here are my results:

Left Eye
-40/20
-still lots of ghosting but nothing like day 2 or day 3 of recovery still changing slowely
-I will check outside to see how distance is and update

Right Eye
-40/20
-still lots of ghosting but nothing like day 2 or day 3 of recovery still changing slowely
-I will check outside to see how distance is and update


-- Edited by cloudd at 19:19, 2007-12-22

__________________


Phase Two

Status: Offline
Posts: 479
Date: Wed Nov 7 7:54 AM, 2007
RE: PRK & Crosslinking in Athens, Greece - Full Story
Permalink   
 


Thank you very much for detailing your story Cloudd, it reads really wonderfully. I am glad you got through it (that was very unusual with the pain you was taking about) and can now rest knowing your in recovery mode with things looking good for you already.

Its a precious treatment... no doubt about that... Well done to getting back home safely (thinking about the high-speed taxi ride you mentioned !)



-- Edited by QuintriX at 06:08, 2007-11-10

__________________


Executive

Status: Offline
Posts: 437
Date: Thu Nov 8 11:35 AM, 2007
RE: PRK & Crosslinking in Athens, Greece - Full Story
Permalink   
 


hi Cloudd!
i wish you a good recovery! Your story is amasing. I think I could never do those things together on both eyes at the same day even same month: PRK + crosslinking....It's too traumatic if done one day....Wish you a good recovery!
Regards,
Y.

__________________
yarsky


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 124
Date: Thu Nov 8 5:48 PM, 2007
Permalink   
 

Hello Yarsky.

I think my friend that the treatment is not a big deal.Listen,its the same as patient goes for Lasik or PRK but also afterwards you perform the CROSSLINKING.

You are performing the limited Prk and then the crosslinking.Ten minutes for the PRK and 30 minutes for the crosslinking.And then you are enjoying beautiful vision especially at the daytime since the PRK is limited.

There is no reason for someone to be frighten or feel anxious because everything is done with cutting edge technology and are all computerized.The doctor knows the result and he is telling you that before the procedure.Meaning from your exams he is telling you what your vision acquity will be after the procedure.Nothing is left to luck my friend.I hope this treatment is GOING TO BE THE STANDARD AND GLOBAL TREATMENT FOR KERATOCONUS PATIENTS.

And i want to explain that because before you perform the crosslinking in order to freeze/halt/stop the keratoconus you NEED TO GIVE A BETTER SHAPE TO THE CORNEA.Thats the aim of the procedure.So,with a more normal shape at your cornea THE LIGHT ENTERS more accurate and better to the retina so you are having better visual quality and quantity Without glasses or contacts.Then you xlink your cornea and the shape stays that way.And the topographies you are making afterwards are saying that thing.The shape is the same for many years.

People i think that is the best treatment and Kc is becoming a less problem for our everyday life.Not just crosslinking but combined with the limited topography PRK.We should take advantage the state of the eye tecnology to give our eyes more clear and bright light.

We have the xlinking and the topography guided treatment in order to win the symptoms of kc.By perfoming only the xlinking we are not seeing the way our cornea wants to see.I know that is very simple for just saying that but the simple things in life are the most difficult to understand.

All the best,

P.S Cloudd as the time goes by, your vision will be something you are going to be the most happiest person in the world.

__________________
nothing else matters


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 51
Date: Thu Nov 8 7:52 PM, 2007
Permalink   
 

Hi Cloudd,

Thanks for sharing your story!

This treatment sounds very interesting and I'm looking forward to hearing more about it at the annual congress in
Switzerland.

I wish you a good and fast recovery. Please keep us updated.

Best regards, Jan


__________________


Executive

Status: Offline
Posts: 437
Date: Fri Nov 9 12:43 PM, 2007
Permalink   
 

Hu Zeus,
i understand all that. But the apopthosis & oedema post PRK + apopthosis and oedema post x_linking do frighten me: I just do not understand how a cornea can handle both of them (I remeber how I handled x_linking). If you have some research material on what happens inside cornea when doing both, or even just one of them (PRK, we know what happens during x_linking), I'd read it with zest. Besides, why not to perfom the two in reverse order: x_linking first, PRK second? Apparently what ccloud says about his experience is very interesting, for it shows how robust all that is.

__________________
yarsky
jr


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 33
Date: Sat Nov 10 11:45 PM, 2007
PRK & Crosslinking in Athens, Greece - Full Story
Permalink   
 


A very interesting story that is, Cloudd, thanks for posting!

__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 47
Date: Thu Nov 29 4:35 AM, 2007
RE: PRK & Crosslinking in Athens, Greece - Full Story
Permalink   
 


DAY 16 of recovery
Pretty much the same it is an overcast day again here
DAYTIME:
Left Eye
-20/40
-still lots of ghosting but nothing like day 2 or day 3 of recovery still changing slowly
-I can see very clear it seems way better than 20/40 because I can see way further outside with my left eye than my right. As well there is a ghost to the left of the real text.

Right Eye
-20/40
-still lots of ghosting but nothing like day 2 or day 3 of recovery still changing slowly
-outside vision seems not as clear out of focus a bit details and texture are smeared as well ghosting up and downwards
NIGHT TIME:
Looking at text, traffic lights, and florescent gauges in the car in a city atmosphere

Left Eye:
-There is medium(this is compared to what I saw before surgery) ghosting on text, lights, gauges to the left and down left, and down. This is probably linked to the PRK-EPI healing because the eye is now much more dilated.

Right Eye:
-There is ghosting both up and down the same similar to what I saw in daylight earlier today.


DAY 17 of recovery

The weather is cloudy with breaks of sunlight.

DAYTIME

Left Eye:
-Inside just able to read 20/30 on the chart not as clear as my right eye
-A faint ghost images appears to the left of the letters on the chart as well as an even fainter ghost image to the bottom of the text

Right Eye:
- Inside able to read 20/30 on the chart clearer than my left eye. I can almost make out letters on the 20/20 line.
- A faint ghost images appear below the text

DAY 18 of recovery

The weather outside is sunny with blue skies.

DAYTIME
Results Inside:
Left Eye:
-Inside just able to read 20/20 on the chart not very clear
- lots of ghosting to the left, bottom left and bottom of text. The text is not as sharp/vibrant as my right eye.

Right Eye:
- Inside able to read all characters on the 20/20 line on the chart, struggling a little and they are clearer than my left eye.
-I can almost make out letters on the 20/15. It is very weird to say this if I am struggling to see the 20/20 line. It is like I can see/read both lines clear EXCEPT there is a double/ghost image below the original and this causes the 20/15 line to be unreadable and the 20/20 to be hard to read.
- A faint ghost images appears below the text


DAY 27 - (Nov19th) of recovery

Doctor's office in Canada
This was NOT a pleasant experience $200. I would have much rather paid $300 and seen Dr. Kanellopoulos

I'll skip the experience and get to the results:
Inside on their snelle chart in a dark room projected on a screen on a wall

Mid Afternoon:
Right Eye:
-20/30
-ghosting

Left Eye:
-20/25
-ghosting


DAY 35(Nov 27th) of recovery

The weather outside is sunny with blue skies.

NIGHTTIME
Results Inside:
Left Eye:
-Inside just able to read 20/30 on the chart not very clear
-lots of ghosting to the left, bottom left and bottom of text.
-I got a headache today on the left side of my forehead above my left eye.

Right Eye:
- Inside able to read all characters on the 20/15 line on the chart,
- A faint ghost images appears below the text almost directly below but a little to the right

DAY 36 (Nov 28th) of recovery

The weather outside is rainy and cold 4 Celsius.

MORNING - After shower:
Results Inside:

Left Eye:
-Inside able to read 20/20 on the chart no problem
-minor blurringfor minor ghosting does not look anything like last night’s ghosting

Right Eye:
- Inside able to read all characters on the 20/15 line on the chart no problem
- A faint ghost images appears below the text almost directly below but a little to the right

NIGHTTIME
Results Inside:

Left Eye:
-Inside vision has dropped back to 20/30 on the chart not very clear, similar almost the same as last night’s ghosting
-ghosting to the left, bottom left and bottom of text.

Right Eye:
- Inside able to read all characters on the 20/20 line on the chart
- A faint ghost images appears below the text almost directly below but a little to the right.


-- Edited by cloudd at 04:52, 2007-11-29

__________________
1 2 38  >  Last»  | Page of 8  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us

www.kcfreedom.org

Knowledge Works