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My Intra-LASIK surgery

It has been 14 days since I first did my operation on my left eye & 4 days on my right to correct my vision and I had friends and families asking me about the progress and my experience.

I did my best to answer them all and thought that it might be useful to the rest of you, if you are considering about doing lasik surgery yourself.

I will do my best to explain everything to you.

~~~

Pre-checkup

1 week before the checkup, I was told not to wear contact lens and to rely solely on my spectacles for vision. Reason being that contact lens, especially lens for those with astigmatic, alters the original shape of our cornea.

Hence, affecting the condition of it, for the eye surgeon to determine if your eyes are suitable for the surgery at all.

During the checkup

There are 9 procedures to it.

1. Medical History

So as it implies, I was asked to fill up a form and checklist of my medical history.

2. Visual Acuity

This is the common process whereby I was asked to read off a chart of alphabets. This step is to access how clear our vision is from whichever distance.

3. Refraction

This is the most important test involved, it determines the prescription or the power of the eye.
Hence determining the correct setting of the laser for a more accurate treatment.

This is the part where they will drip in 3 eye drops over a period of 30mins to paralyze the focusing muscles of the eye, hence, the puss in boots syndrome... meaning that it stops the pupil from moving or constricting to allow the eye surgeon to measure the exact refraction of the normal state of the eye.

Side effect of this step: you have issues reading at a near distance and normal light will seem glaring. The effect will wear off within roughly 2 days.

4. Slit Lamp Examination

From the third step, this might cause some discomfort as light is being shone into your eyes... but its bearable. The purpose of this step is for the eye surgeon to examine the cornea, eyelids, iris, lens and the transparent coating of the white of the eye.

5. Tonometry

This step aims to check if you are suffering from an eye disease that causes decreased vision and loss of visual field.

6. Retinal Examination

As the name implies, this examination checks on the condition of the retinas.

7. Corneal Topography

This step basically maps out the cornea to diagnose if you have any cornea related disease, using a machine with rings of red light.

8. Corneal Pachymetry

Using a pen like device to check the thickness of your cornea, so as to determine if the thickness of cornea available is sufficient to create a thin flap and the amount of cornea to laser off to correct your vision.

9. Pupillometry

To check the pupils in bright light, dim light and in the dark.

And an additional step that the eye surgeon performed, was to allow me to have a mini experience of the sensation I will feel during the operation. So he lay me back, pry my eye with a mental clip and had this suction cup over my eye and informed me that this is the pressure and sight (totally dark out) that I will experience. And as i mentioned before, this made me chickened out the first time round. Haha!

My Pre-OP

I woke up, washed my face and left the house without any cream or perfume, took breakfast as instructed and headed to the clinic...

Ok, personally, I was quite afraid of this operation because of all the negative outcomes friends of my friends had etc and that constant though at the back of my head that this operation involves my eyes! My vision. Between me and all those that read this, days before my operation, I went about my house doing normal things with my eyes closed, just so that in the event that i turn out blind, at least I had mentally prep myself to move about my house in total darkness. Hah!

Negative Outcomes like bloodshot eyes freak me out. I dont want to end up with eyes like that!~


Another part that add to my fear and honestly, a little sadness... was that I was to go through the operation alone. My parents had to work, as always. My brother didnt want to waste his hours there waiting for me. My boyfriend and sister were miles away from me in Aussie land. And it was kinda weird to ask my friend to do something like spending their time waiting for me.

For a moment throughout the procedures before the actual operation, I felt kind of sad for myself because everyone else who were doing their operation had someone outside waiting for them. And being truly alone, is my biggest fear (there, I admit it).

But the nurses and eye surgeon were really warm and friendly; so their robust spirit, comfort and smiles actually removed my fear C:

Part 1 of Operation

So the moment I was sent to the patients' waiting area, I was given a file to read and in it, contained the step by step procedures of the entire surgery, it even mention the experience we will/ might feel. All I can say that it was pretty comprehensive.

During this period, the nurses will call on us individually to start preparing us for the surgery. I was given a total of 5 pills to take (note: the white pill is super bitter & melts instantly in contact with liquid, get something sweet ready), put on my gown & had my hair in a shower cap.

While they prepare in the operation room, the nurses will also frequently enter the room to instill various eye drops (note: they sting a little, just keep your eyes closed as instructed).

As I have opt for an all laser procedure, part of this operation involves creating a flap using the femtosecond laser. So, before I entered the room, the head nurse instilled 3 more eye drops, probably anesthetic, cleaned my eye area with iodine and prep me up with instructions.

Ok, this is the part that a friend of might told me that her friend jerked from the pressure of this procedure, resulting in a bloodshot eye... and another told me that her friend's eye became unbalance from jerking at the pressure too.

SO~ naturally, I was mentally freaking out inside. Then the head nurse had me lying down and just before they swing me under the machine to align my gaze to the machine. I stopped them! haha! You should have seen their faces, I think they wont really expecting me to raise my hands up and say wait!!!

But I felt that I had to... they were all very understanding. So, I asked the eye surgeon if the pressure that I was going to feel at this part was similar to the time he experienced it on me and he assured me yes but it will be a tad bit more powerful, but bearable.

From there the head nurse instructed me to listen only to her voice from now onwards and to ignore the eye surgeon's voice.

So with my uneasiness cleared up, he swing me under the machine, fixed my gaze, swing me out, opened my eyes with the mental clip... and from there, I felt something like a suction cup over my left eye, vision from my left eye went dark, he swing me under, I felt pressure as the femtosecond laser docked into the suction cup, I was instructed to keep my gaze fixed with my right eye, I felt more pressure,the nurse counted down the seconds, the pressure left and the suction removed, I was swung out, told to stay put, felt the mental slip removed, and the eye surgeon assisted me up, brought me to check on my eye and I was sent back to the waiting room.

And that was it~

It was quick and silent, and totally no pain. The pressure was bearable and it was nice of the head nurse to inform me the moment the pressure went down on my eye. She has one of the most commanding yet soothing voice.

In case you are wondering what this part was for~ It is to split my cornea with the laser, creating mini bubbles that will form and join, resulting into a single layer of bubble (image a bubble of a bubble wrap) that will dissipate by blinking a lot. The waiting time for the bubbles to dissipate takes roughly 5 to 30mins, depending on individual; it was relatively fast for me.

It was kind of cool, it forms into this hazy circle in the center of my pupil, making me look almost vampire like, granted my vision was hazy as well and there is a very slight discomfort as i blink but no pain whatsoever~



So, after the bubbles dissipate. It is time for part 2.

Part 2 of Operation

The head nurse instilled more anesthetic eye drops into the eye, re-clean my eye area with more iodine, instructed me of the procedure of part 2 & made me practice holding my gaze.

Reason for that was because, there are green lights that will be shone from the machine (that locks onto my gaze) for the laser-off moment, but before that, the eye surgeon will be required to create the flap. And it is during this process that I have to look pass the lights to ensure that my eye wont move, to reduce the possibility of tearing of the flap.

Then she lead me to a different room with a different machine, lay me down and I had my eyelashes and surrounding skin tapped down, a drape was placed over my face and the same device placed between my eyelids to keep my eye open.

Then I was told to focus on the green light, then look pass the lights as the flap is being created, after that, I was told that it will take me 16 seconds and I am to focus on the light, then the countdown began (there will be a high-pitch clicking sort of noise) and it was done. Then I sort of saw and felt lots eye drops dripped into my eye as the eye surgeon replace my flap (Just listen to any instruction given to you, I was asked to look up, down, left & right). Then we had to wait for a few minutes, he plucked one of my tear drainage. Removed everything and that was it.

The entire process of the surgery was totally painless. If I have to name one part of it that was pain, it will have to be the moment when he removed the tape. Haha!


And the cool thing was that I could instantly see instant result. My vision was a lot better, granted it was a little blur due to the swelling of the cornea. But I was able to read words off things that I couldnt before the laser.

After the Operation

After that operation, I was lead to resting room and was instructed to try to sleep... which I did.

After waking up, the eye surgeon checked on the progress of my eye, the nurses instructed me of the various precaution I have to take, the eye drops I have instill on my own & the rest I needed and I was chauffeured back home.

I had a look at my eye after the rest and it looked like nothing was done to it even though I could feel a slight bearable discomfort in my eye. I was told that it's the opening of the flap.

In case you are wondering which eye, it's the right eye with the whitish stuff (it's from a milky eye drop).

So below are the stuff I had to do...

After lunch and dinner medication for the day of the operation; hourly eye drops I have to drip; sunglass when I'm out; and a plastic shield that I have to wear when im home and sleeping.

I took this photo after my left eye surgery to show you guys how I see. I was allowed to wear normal (not for astigmatic ) contact len in my right eye until 2 days before my right surgery or to wear my specs.

As for personal hygiene, like washing my face or hair... it can be quite tricky as I have to prevent any water from entering my eyes.

So to wash my face, I use a wet cloth. As for hair, I could either wash them salon style or use this:
So basically, you stick it on around the operated eye and wash your hair as per normal. It is only good for 1 use, which in my opinion, is so wasteful and very sinful. hahaha~ But I rather use it than risk an infection or anything else worse.



Personal Note

Firstly, I want to thank my mum for sponsoring my entire operation as my 21st gift. I think this is one of the most unique present I can ever get.

Secondly, to all of you reading this and are considering of doing Lasik surgery.

My advice to you is to choose a good eye surgeon with a team of staff who are attentive and friendly. Their support will be the factor that takes your nerves away.

Ask all the questions that you may have and inform them of your fears/ worries. They are nurses and eye surgeons, not mind readers. So let them know, and they can prepare you mentally and guide your through the procedures with ease.

Thirdly, sleep lots; hydrate yourself lots; and enjoy the funny moments when you forgot you arent wearing your spectacles anymore.

p.s. for the past few nights, just before my head hits the pillow... I reached out to my face to take off my specs, only to realise that I wasnt wearing any, anymore. haha!

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