Lasik Eye surgery

A blog about my Lasik eye surgery

Monday, July 31, 2006

5 Days Post Op - Reassurance

Well as my left eye was still suffering from a blurry spot (vision through it remains good apart from that) I started worrying about all the possible things that could be wrong and so turned to the internet to read up on all the possible flap complications that could be occuring - varying degrees of wrinkles etc. Anyway I decided rather than worrying about it I would call the clinic and check if what I was experiencing was normal. The receptionist I spoke to said it sounded like normal healing but it was better to be on the safe side and made an appointment for me to go in for a check up this afternoon. So off I went after lunch to see Dr. Cox again. He asked what was worrying me and then had a good look at both eyes, examining both flaps as well as looking at the back of the left eye. No problems anywhere, flaps are fine and no sign of any problems at the back of the eye. He suggested that the vision blurriness was either normal healing or maybe some stuff in the vitreous fluid (he didn't quite phrase it like that!!). Either way with everything looking fine it should settle down within the next couple of weeks. I have my normal check up scheduled for Friday (3 days time) which he said I should still keep so he can have another look and double check everything again. He was very nice about it - he did suggest that I should stop comparing one eye against the other as they will heal at different rates and in different ways (apparently everyone does this though so not just me). He stopped short of telling me to stop reading horror stories of adverse reactions on the net :-) (But BIP has already told me this ....).
Anyway I feel much better and I'm glad I went back in - at least I'm getting more value for my fees ;-) So now I'll stop worrying and wait for my left eye to be as good as my right (actually the distance ability is better when it's not blurry so that just needs to clear up.)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Op & 4 days

Left eye still a little blurry today, and right eye is starting to get a bit blurry too - I guess because my left eye was done first it's healing a bit quicker than the right eye. Would expect both to be more or less clear by tomorrow though, will ring clinic to check this is normal if not. Vision still very good though despite the blurry bits. When I drove in this morning it was still dark and I didn't find the oncoming headlights too troublesome despite the halo effect around the lights. Also as it was getting light it was the sort of conditions which can prove troublesome for driving post-Lasik as the eye does not adapt to changing light conditions so quickly but I didn't notice any problems and felt I could see as well as in daylight.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Op + 2 Days

After a couple of days of what seemed like perfect vision and just a little discomfort my eyes are now starting to heal – virtually no discomfort but fluctuations in vision with some blurriness and halos, mainly in my left eye as my right is pretty clear. This is all normal and should start to settle down from tomorrow. In terms of pre-Lasik vision it’s about the same as wearing old contact lenses that are a bit dirty, so sometimes everything is fine and occasionally a bit blurry.
Last night was my last night of wearing eye shields in bed – thank heavens for that, they weren’t actually that uncomfortable to sleep in but the micropore tape that holds them on has played havoc with my skin. Once peeled off the tape left a gummy residue that was virtually impossible to remove, especially when you’re having to be careful about washing your face. First piece of advice to potential Lasik patients, fake an allergy to micropore and find something a little gentler on the skin! (Mind you that reminds me of the time I faked an allergy to plaster when I was donating blood as they always used really heavy duty ones that ripped off half your skin when removed – I was expecting a little cotton wool and light tape instead but they bandaged my arm up instead !! I never tried that again!).

The Procedure

Ok I promised the full gory details, so here they are.
I arrived at the surgery at 11:30 and after signing the consent forms and paying the fee(!) I was taken through to the preop/recovery area where I was kitted out in a paper gown (on top of the clothes I was wearing), paper shoe covers and matching paper hat (luckily BIP hadn’t thought to bring a camera along unlike one other poor pre-op patient whose partner was gleefully snapping away!). The first part of the procedure was to take an oral sedative – this tasted particularly unpleasant and had to be held under the tongue for one minute –yeuch. A mint was kindly supplied after to take away the taste. Then the first lot of eye drops went in, first antibiotic and then anaesthetic, a bit stingy but not too bad. Next was a wipe around the eyes with liquid iodine –oooh lovely yellow panda eyes (you can imagine how happy the amateur photographer was with this) and then iodine drops in the eye – they really did sting, so were swiftly followed with more anaesthetic drops. Then a wait of about 10 minutes for everything to start to take effect. I was warned that the laser would emit a gas which smelt like burning flesh but not to be alarmed as it was just the laser operating and nothing to do with the eyes, apparently it’s a cold laser so there is no actual burning of the eye. This was interesting as lots of the stuff I’ve read says that the smell is the smell of burning eye and pretty offputting so I wasn’t sure if they’d just made up the story about the gas to stress people out less or if it was really true!! The sedative is a mild one and is aimed to relax you rather than put you to sleep. Finally one more set of anaesthetic eye drops and it was into the operating theatre.
This was a bit freaky. Basically there is a thing to lie on – it looks a bit like the slab you lie on for an MRI scan, there is a dip where your head goes and what looks like two small stalk mounted cameras each side of your head. They put something under my knees and then everything was underway. Dr Cox explains what he is doing at each step which is a good thing but does make you think about it a bit too much. He started with the left eye. First he measured my corneal thickness again, looks like something white and plastic is being pushed into the eye for this, but of course you can't feel it, then taped back my eyelashes and put a plastic speculum around my eye to hold back my eyelids, as this is screwed open it’s a little uncomfortable but ok. The other eye was covered with a patch to protect it while the first eye is worked on. Next is the thing that holds open your eye and has the suction, this is is the worst part of the whole procedure. Once it is on your eye and the suction applied you have the discomfort and gradually your vision goes and everything is black, then you hear a whining noise as a flap is cut from the front of your eye. It takes about 15 seconds, then the suction is turned off and vision comes back, albeit a bit blurry. Then Dr Cox peeled the flap back which makes vision even more blurry. You have to focus on a red light above you (the laser equipment looks a bit like standard optomotrist equipment and slides over your head during the procedure). It’s quite hard to focus on the red light as it’s all very blurry by now but at this point the eye tracker is used to lock the laser on your eye (so that if you don’t stare rigidily at one point it doesn’t matter). Then comes the actual lasering, in my case this was 57 seconds (they tell you exactly how long it will be) and would be delivered in 7 short bursts. The gassy smell is unpleasant (regardless of whether it’s burning eye smell or not!) and I could certainly feel my heart pounding away – again the sedative must help keep people still and not too stressed. Then it was all over for that eye. The flap was put back down over my eye and sponged into place, then the various bits and pieces removed and a patch put over it. Then straight onto eye two where the procedure was repeated. After the second eye was completed and taped over the cover was taken off my left eye and Dr Cox examined it and then I was taken back to post-op recovery and told to keep my eyes shut for the next 10 mins. I was actually feeling pretty sleepy by now so it wasn’t too hard to just relax and keep my eyes closed. After about 10 minutes Dr Cox came by and examined each eye to make sure the flap was adhering correctly (both eyes were fine). Then there was another set of eye drops and then the clear plastic eye patches were applied and taped over. And that was it, time to go home with some panadol and sleeping tablets and instructions to go home and take both and sleep for the afternoon, which is exactly what I did.
I slept for about 4 hours and woke up feeling gritty eyed, and with the plastic patches covered in condensation from where my eyes had been watering. I spent the evening relaxing on the sofa watching tv, my vision was ok although it was hard to tell really due to the foggy eye patches!!
I took the other two sleeping tablets before going to bed and had a reasonable nights sleep. The next morning it was back to the clinic for a check up. It was like a convention of the fly-people, a swag of people with big plastic eye patches all gathering together! First the eye patches were removed – yay! Then off to the waiting area where we all sat with silly grins on our faces sharing our excitement. The visit consisted of a look at the eyes to check the flaps again (still both ok) and then a look at the eye chart. He started with an easy screen which I could read all three lines of without any problem, then went to the next smaller screen to see if I could read anything on that, again I could read everything although the bottom line was not that clear. This was actually a good result as they usually aim for being able to read the first screen post-op and anything else is a bonus.
So that pretty much was it apart from getting the various eye drops that have to be used for the next week. These are two lots of antibiotics, one steroid and artificial tears, all to be applied 4 times a day.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Day After The Operation

Ok this will be a short post as I'm supposed to be resting my eyes a little and not doing too much screenwork.
Oh My God! I cannot believe it, here I am no glasses, no contact lenses - and I can see! My vision currently is easily as good as (or better) than with my glasses.
The procedure yesterday was quick and relatively painless. A little uncomfortable at times but mostly I just slept yesterday afternoon and by the time I woke up everything felt much better.
Anyway everything is fantastic right now -- I will write up the full details of the operation in a day or so when I can sit in front of the computer for a longer time.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Day Before

Well doesn't time fly when you're waiting for Lasik eye surgery? Here I am the day before the op. trying to convince myself that I'm not terrified. Actually I haven't thought about it too much over the past couple of weeks as I've just been too darn busy (what with trying to socialise the new kittens with the dogs as well as trying to find new boarding kennels for all the animals ... etc etc!). But, here we are, can't avoid it any longer as tomorrow is the big day.
Rationally I'm sure everything will go fine and I can't wait, but there is a part of me that is also very apprehensive, not least about the procedure itself. What if I can't keep still or keep my eyes open (I know they have a device to make sure that's not a problem but still!!). Well, too late to start worrying about that now!! I will update this blog next as soon as I am able - probably not tomorrow but who knows?? Watch this space, evadne's new eyes are on their way......

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

One Week to Go

Have just got off the phone from confirming my op. appointment for next Thursday, gulp. Guess this is it then unless I get a major attack of the nerves next week I'm all set and ready to go. Will probably update this next Weds - the day before and then who knows - hopefully I will be ok to read my computer screen by next Thurs arvo, or Friday morning at the latest, but time will tell...