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As someone who is very nearsighted with a prescription of -9, glasses and contact lens are basically essentials for my survival on earth!

Wearing them hasn’t been really fun though.

Instead of listing all the disadvantages of using glasses and contact lens, I’m gonna go straight to talk about laser vision correction which I have decided to undergo next Friday!

I’ve been DYING to have laser surgery for so long around the time when I had to decide between this or Invisalign dental treatment. At that time, I chose Invisalign over laser surgery. Contact lens have had made my life a lot easier so a laser surgery wasn’t as needed to me.

Now a few years have gone by and the thought of having laser surgery comes back lately. The trigger point is when I had to plan how I could well spend my 2-week vacation leave. Because of COVID-19, travel is out of the equation. Since laser surgery has been on my to-do list for some time, I’ve decided to research for more information.

Before surgery: research


In West Canada where I am now, it seems the first generation (PRK) and second generation (LASIK) types are currently the mainstream treatments of myopia.

The third generation, “SMILE”*, seems hasn’t been available in Vancouver yet, even though it has been performed in Hong Kong for a few years.

If you’re considering vision correction, I’d suggest you research more on the topic. After all, any surgery involves risks!

“SMILE” stands for SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction. It’s approved by FDA and said to combine the advantages of PRK and LASIK: it requires only a small incision, does not require a flap, and has a quick, LASIK-like recovery, with the additional benefit of no postoperative restrictions.

It’s currently available in East Canada in a few reputable clinics.

Further reading

Of course there’s no limit of how much you should research/read. In my opinion, it is important to do as much research as you need before making a commitment. I’ve read tons of websites, posts and watched informative videos during my research.

Initially, I was a little bit more interested in LASIK since it’s newer technology and gives a much quicker recovery time + less discomfort, which suits my modern lifestyle better. However according to what I read, PRK seems to be a more suitable choice for me who has high prescription which provides higher efficacy (source). Also, PRK doesn’t require the creation of flap like in LASIK so there’s no flap related complications.

I knew I’d need to have professional consultation before making any decision so I booked two clinics for options.

The consultation sessions

The consultation sessions are spaced one week apart. The reason is because the first clinic I called only required me to not wear my contact lens 24 hours before the consultation. The second clinic asked me to have soft contact lens removed for a week before consultation.

Clinic A:

The first clinic that I went to is a chain laser surgery company across Canada. I went to its downtown Vancouver clinic for a free consultation.

First I needed to have several eye examinations. Then shortly after a consultant came to talk to me about the analysis report.

Technically I’m eligible for both PRK and LASIK. However, I was told because of my high prescription, there’s 20-25% chance that I will experience regression some years later. When regression really does happen, I may want to have an enhancement surgery. But for LASIK which requires more cornea tissues than PRK, I’m very unlikely to be eligible for another LASIK in enhancement.

For this reason, I was recommended to have PRK. Later after I left I received some reference materials and quotations of the fees. PRK will cost me CA$3600 and LASIK will cost me CA$4000.

The assessment took me around 30 mins. The technician that helped me told me I had actually gone through hundreds of rounds of tests captured by their machines already!

Clinic B:

A week later I visited another clinic located in Burnaby.

Eye exam was similar but I could tell there were additional tests performed. Pupil dilation drops were put into my eyes for further analysis of my condition, which I didn’t have in Clinic A.

One big difference between the two consultation sessions is that for this time I got to meet the surgeon. The surgeon said I could only go PRK. In his opinion, performing LASIK on me is not a suitable option as I don’t have thick cornea tissues. He did provide me another option: ICL*. But he did mention it’s expensive: CA$7,000! The PRK he offers is single price at CA$2100 for all patients regardless of their prescriptions and other conditions.

* ICL = implantable contact lens, which are permanent contact lenses placed in your eyes to correct your vision.

You can see the price difference between the two clinics! I ultimately have decided to go for Clinic B. Even though price shouldn’t be the main factor when it comes to surgeries, I feel that getting to meet my surgeon who will perform the surgery on me and know his opinions specifically on my case gives me a much higher sense of security. In fact, the type of PRK that the clinics offer are the same (both are customized wavefront), so there isn’t a debate on technology they offer.


You may not need to pay the whole operation fee upfront!

Now many clinics offer financing options to suit your need. Usually they will provide you interest-free loan under specific terms such as 12 months or 24 months. You can ask for longer terms if paying less amount each month is more financially secure to you, but very likely they will be interest-bearing.

I’m all set now and have booked my PRK surgery next Friday! I’ll surely write about the experience. I HONESTLY CAN’T WAIT to see clearly without glasses again in my life!

Read on for my detailed report of the operation and my recovery timeline!

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