Saturday, June 13, 2009

What to Expect During LASIK

So, my cousin (another LASIK surgeon in Brisbane) recommended VISTA. I didn't compare VISTA with other LASIK centres though - just took my cousin's word for it. There are different types of corrective surgery: standard vs. custom; LASEK vs. LASIK; and different types of LASIK at different prices. I took custom Intralase LASIK ZY Aspheric.

My surgery (yes, even though no blade, we still call it surgery) supposed to start at 3:00pm on June 12 but I was asked to arrive at 1.30pm. A few minutes after I arrived, I was asked to go for some tests to make sure the scans they took is the same as the scans from previous tests (just to make sure the measurements or whatever is still accurate).

Then I waited an hour not knowing what I am supposed to do. Then, I was asked to go into another consultation room to mark my eye. Yes, basically staring into bright light and someone is there to MARK my eye with something which looks like marker pen. The staff marked both sides of my pupil (that's not my eye in this image obviously).

Then, I waited another 30 minutes before I was asked to wear the surgical gown, complete with cap and paper shoes. It doesn't really matter what you wear underneath, as long as it keeps you warm in the operating theatre.

Without my watch, so I didn't know how long I waited. There were so many patients we have to queue up for it. Then it's my turn to lie down on the bed of first machine which is used to cut a flap on my corneal.

Because they're using No-Blade technology, so the machine is used to shoot lil' bubbles right below the corneal to create a flap, the surgeon will then manually flip the flap over (for the laser beam to shoot in later). This flap creation process takes about 1 minute per eye (my estimation). To compare blade vs. blade-less (intralase), click here for further reading.

It's a bit scary because (after anesthetic - just eye drops - won't feel a thing) during suction (placing a tool on eye for machine to create a flap), vision will be greyish for 10 seconds (basically, blinded for 10 seconds). This is normal - you're not supposed to feel anything. If not, please inform surgeon to drip more anesthetic eye drop. They gave me a soft toy to hold on to and the surgeon and assistants kept talking to me to calm me in case I struggle. LOL. They covered one eye when they're working on the other.

Next, I was asked to move to the other bed with the LASIK machine. In this process, they covered my left eye, used a tool to force my eye open, then shoot laser into my eye. It has this loud clicking sound and smelled like something is burning. Less than 1 minute per eye (in my case, everyone differs depend on how much tissue you need to.. burn!) You'll be asked to focus on the red light. Again, it's painless.

After the procedure, I can see even the time shown on the clock, but everything is misty (I can't see anything near, very blurred). It'll take 4 hours to subside. I was given these medication to bring home. You MUST find a driver to drive you home, in my situation, it's impossible to drive without causing accidents. There are red patches on my eyes (due to the use of suction) and it'll subside only after 2 to 4 weeks (In my case, the red patches are so bad that I even wear sunglasses indoor - in McDonald's). It has not affected my vision or caused any pain. It's still tough to tell people how great it went when you have huge red spots in your eyes! According to this article, "red spots on the white of your eye are perfectly normal and those will usually fade over two weeks or so". I probably have to hide my eyes (with sun glasses, even indoor) for 2 weeks -_-"

I'm supposed to sleep with eye patches at night to prevent myself from touching my eyes accidentally, no eye make up, no eye facial treatment, no water sports for a month, and remember to put those eye drops on time!

Read what to expect before, during and after LASIK surgery here.

Q: What are the difference between custom and standard LASIK?
A: Besides the obvious price difference (in VISTA, that's RM1400 difference for both eyes), it saves more tissues compared to standard LASIK. Custom LASIK builds on the revolutionary technology employed by conventional LASIK. For example, conventional LASIK only treats vision problems known as lower order aberrations, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Custom LASIK, however, treats both lower order and higher order aberrations. Higher order aberrations affect your ability to see fine details in your environment. By correcting both types of aberrations, custom LASIK has the potential to provide you with better vision than you can get from glasses or contact lenses.

For further reading, click here.

Click here to read and compare LASIK and LASEK.

It's basically your choice to choose either custom or standard LASIK, if you can live with higher order aberrations, it's fine, basically just some glare/ starbust effect at night, I assume - which is normal in most human beings. If you compare the chart shown in my previous post, you'll know what I meant by BETTER vision at night with custom LASIK ;)

After check up on Day 1, my vision is now 0.25 (nearsightedness) on each eye, and 0.50 astigmatism on right eye; 0.75 astigmatism on left eye. The vision will fluctuate in the first week and gradually decrease in the next 3 weeks (until the flap heals). Hopefully by then I'll get perfect eyesight! :D


Chong said...

So, technically speaking, there're 'cooked tissues' in your eyeball? :P

Cheryl said...

That's incorrect. Cooked means still there right.. but some of my tissue is completely.. gone :P

Chong said...

It is technically impossible to have tissues gone just like that. It's like burning a piece of meat over a a grill and no matter how long, the meat will still be there.

Well, unless your eyeballs 'eat' them up :P

Cheryl said...

Hmm.. that makes sense, but why did they show me some Before and After figures? (of tissue loss) LOL

Chong said...

The 'art' of marketing mah. LOL

Cheryl said...

*Gasp*! So I've leftover burnt tissues still sitting in my eye!? LOL.

Ciyou said...

that looks scary~~

Cheryl said...

I feel scared also~ u should browse for intralase lasik on Youtube.. I looked at the whole procedure in less than 2 minutes video clip.. I still feel scared.. Hahaha! Luckily it's over! :D

HanLun said...

Feel like the surgery is very scary, but then wanna "leng", no choice lo :P

I wanna do too, but around the halloween. Then no need buy mask anymore :D

Cheryl said...