Lasik Surgery - My Experience (Long, detailed read..)

nevadayz

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
1,610
Howzit guys,

So ive just been for lasik surgery for both my eyes last thursday, and have fully recovered and back at work :)

I thought it might be informative to others who are thinking about going for the procedure and have concerns and questions.

Lets Begin...

History:

So i have been wearing glasses/contacts for around 15 years now and my eyes had stabilised around the last two years to a prescription of about -3.0 for both eyes. I was short-sighted in both eyes and also slightly astigmatic in my right eye. I wore glasses initially and started using contacts about 9 years ago.

Part 1 - Preliminary testing:

One day i heard from a work colleague about him going for lasik surgery at a nearby clinic and how great the results were and how it changed his life. I decided to do some research on my own and see what he was on about. After speaking to my optometrist and finding out from various people about the Opthamologist and his practice, i was quite surprised. The opthamologist is apparently one of the best in the country and is using one of the newest and most effective procedures currently available worldwide (Wavefront-guided LASIK).

After this i decided to make an appointment at the doctors office and have a preliminary test done, to see if i was a viable candidate for the procedure. The day came when i was scheduled for assessment and iw as told to bring someone with for the test, who could drive me. It started off with a simple eye test, to see the health of my eyes, followed by a eye pressure test - both were fine. Next was a eye topography, which mapped out the surface of my cornea, to measure how thick it was(needed to be thicker than 500microns for this procedure), also note there was no pain or discomfort, just had to stare at a blinking light for a few seconds. next was a complete eye test, where both eyes were tested and corrected with the required lenses etc, similar to a visit to a regular optometrist.

The next part was when things got interesting, i was given eye drops over a period of 45min to dilate my eyes. This was probably one of the weirdest experiences of my life, i went from being perfectly fine to slowly losing focus with my vision to not being able to look at anything at close range. This was to enable more the tests to be more accurate and detailed.
*on a side note, i did get a little high during the dilation process and was smiling like an idiot the whole time :D

Once my eyes were dilated, i went through all the same tests again and at the end met the doctor for a final discussion.

The doctor told me that my eyes were in good health and that i was a good candidate(a good candidate being someone in the mid 20s, stable eye vision, and good eye health) and that the procedure should give me almost 100% vision in both eyes, and i wouldnt need glasses or contacts anymore. I then asked the doctor about some questions i had regarding the risks involved and the healing time etc, and he answered them all and explained everything to me clearly. At the end my mind was at ease and had comnplete confidence in the doctors knowledge and experience, so i set a date for the surgery for 4 weeks from that day.

Part 2 - The Op:

So the day finally arrived, and i was told not to eat from 8AM that morning, as i will be given some anasthetic and other medication. I had done additional research the night before and was aware of what the procedure entailed and what was going to be done(google + youtube). I got to the doctors office at around 11:30 and was seated with a few other guys who were also getting procedures done (this doctor seemed to be very busy and popular). I went for a simple eye exam, i guess to check the health of my eye and then followed by another complete eye exam, to confirm whether my eyes were still at the same condition as my initial visit.
I was then admitted into the hospital wing, as an out-patient, and given some trendy and fashionable attire to wear :D I then was tested, for blood sugar, pressure, temperature, weight, height and even a urine test. The sister seemde to be happy and then i was made to sit in a comfortable lazy boy recliner and wait for my scheduled surgery time.
ABout an hour before my surgery i was given a Valium, just as a relaxant before the procedure. Since there were a few of us at the time it was quite funny listening as the valium kicked in and some people start flying high and some dozing off and start snoring :D
Finally my turn came, was led into a pre-theatre waiting room, where i was given a few anasthetic eye drops, just to numb my eyes a bit. I was then led into a very fancy looking theatre where my doctor and support staff where. I was made to lie down on this bed in something similart to a CT Scanner, without the entire tube enclosure housing. The doctor then started explaining what was going to be done, and i wasn't surprised or scared at anytime.

The first step was holding your eyelid open(right eye was done first) with an instrument to prevent you from blinking and to get better access to your eye itself. next the doctor flushed my eye with water to clean it and i was given a few more anasthetic drops. Next a doughnut shaped suction device was placed on my eye, surrounding my cornea, i felt no pain or disomfort, i could just feel something being done on my eye. After the suction cup was on, another device was placed on it and adjusted, i knew what it was fro watching clips on youtube. This was the microkeratome blade that cut the outer cornea, not completely, in a C-shape, in order to be able to create a 'flap' and flip it open to get access to the inner cornea. Again, i felt no pain, and contrary to what i heard before, you do not go blind when this happens, things just get a bit blurry. next the doctor flushed my eye with water again and wiped/cleaned it with a brushlike tool.
Probably the most anticipated part came next, i was made to look at the laser (green light, but i could just make out a green blurry dot), and the doctor told me to relax and look at the light. I could hear the laser being turned on, yet i felt nothing, BUT i could smell something similar to when you burn your hair LOL, no pain whatsoever, just a peculiar smell :whistling:. This lasted for a whole 5-7 seconds, and done! that was it! the doctor then rinsed and cleaned my eye again, flipped back the outer cornea flap, made sure everything was looking good, and then covered my eye with a see-through plastic guard, to prevent me touching my eye or dirt getting into it.
He then started with the left eye and the procedure was identical.

The entire procedure, for both eyes, was around 7-8 minutes long, totally pain free and totally easy going.

Part 3 - Post-op:

I was led from theatre to the waiting room, with the eye covers strapped to my face, and the weirdest thing started happening, i could see!! well not perfectly at first, but much better than i normally could without my glasses. I was given some sandwiches and something to drink when i was back on my recliner and was made to relax for the next hour. My pressure was then checked again, due to Valium lowering your pressure a bit and when the nurses where happy, i was discharged, and told to be back the next morning for my checkup.
I still had the eye covers on till the next morning, but could see through them well enough. The weirdest thing was, almost immediatley my eyes started adjusting and as time went on i could see better and better. On the drive back home, my dad was with me, i could already see such a difference. Things were still blurry, but i could def see so much better than normally without my glasses.
I was told for the first night that i wouldnt use any drops or medication, just some stilpain for some minor discomfort and to help reduce the inflammtion. While at home that evening, i was watching TV trhough my eyeguards and could see quite well, i was shocked..

The next morning, i went for my checkup with the doctor, where the eye guards were removed for the first time and a basic eye test was done. Next i was given a more detailed test to see how good my vision was, even more than me being astounded, so were the doctor and the support staff.
My right eye has 105% vision and my left eye has 110% vision, yes, that means its better than normal!!:p

I then was given 3 types of eyedrops to use and told to not rub or touch my eyes over the next few days, and ive been following it quite well. My vision was slightly blurry on the first day, but since starting the eyedrops, my vision has just been getting better and better. The blurryness comes from your eyes being slighly dry and inflammation from the surgery, that passes after a few days.

Part 4 - My new lease on sight:

So the entire weekend i couldnt get over how amazing it was to see and be able to read everything i couldnt, even with my glasses and contacts. Its like the last 15years i was blind, and i now i can finally see for the first time. The best way to describe it is, i can see in HD now :whistling: i know thats a bit cheesy, but i can see sooo much clearer now, everything is sharp and clear and detailed, even at a distance.

Still continuing my drops, should be done in a day or two, and trying to avoid contact with my eyes and dirt getting in them and etc. Did an eye test yesterday, and was told my eyesight is 20/15, keeping with the 110% vision the doctor told me :D

So ya, thats my story, hope it makes things a bit 'clearer' and hopefully this helps you in making a decision in the future.

Still the best decision i have ever made for myself, and i dont regret going for it one bit.


Some other important things to remember;

1. Surgery costs around 20K, and not all medical aids help you fund or pay for it.
2. There are always risks involved, so just be sure you have a good doctor and trust him.



All the best guys,

Cheers!
 
Last edited:

ShaunSA

Derailment Squad
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
31,020
Awesome!

I have always thought about it and always chicken out at the thought of doing it. That and my MA doesn't cover the costs.
 

Budza

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7,862
Nice one!

I've had an eye op- corneal cross-linking. I'll likely need something else to follow that up in the not too distant future :eek:

Where is the Dr.'s practice?
 
Last edited:

Haldex

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,987
Nice write up.
Which medical aid you on and whos your doctor?
Ive also heard good things about the surgery.
 

syntax

Executive Member
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
7,774
Which opthamologist did you go to?

I couldnt be more jealous of you being able to get this done
 

Griz

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
1,199
You guys should double check your benefits on medical-aid.

I was also 100% 'sure' when I got my eyes done that I wasn't covered, they sent the bill to the Medical Aid and they ended up covering half - was a pleasant surprise.
 

ShaunSA

Derailment Squad
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
31,020
Which opthamologist did you go to?

I couldnt be more jealous of you being able to get this done
Must admit I always get a bit envious when reading about people who have been :D
 

nevadayz

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
1,610
hehehe thanks guys,

Im based in the Vaal triangle, the doctors practice is here too, in Vanderbijlpark.

Doctor's name is Dr. J.A. de Lange (016 982 4281).

My medical aid is Sasolmed, part of Medscheme.
 

syntax

Executive Member
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
7,774
Nice one!

I've had an eye op- corneal cross-linking. I'll likely need something else to follow that up in the not too distant future :eek:

Where is the Dr. practise?
Me too! did you get epi on or epi off?
Be very careful who you go to for lasik now. The lasik can actually negate the cross-linking depending on your procedure.
Rather look at something like the staar torric icl's
 

syntax

Executive Member
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
7,774
Must admit I always get a bit envious when reading about people who have been :D
very much so, i cannot get the procedure done unfortunately. I would kill to be able to not wear glasses and contacts
 

nevadayz

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
1,610
apologies for the atroscious spelling and grammar guys, was so lazy at the end to edit it, mayb will tackled that later.. :whistling:
 

AlmightyBender

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
4,502
Thanks very much OP. What a great and detailed writeup!

My SO is going for this very procedure next Thursday so this will defs help settle the nerves. Shot
 

Budza

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7,862
Me too! did you get epi on or epi off?
Be very careful who you go to for lasik now. The lasik can actually negate the cross-linking depending on your procedure.
Rather look at something like the staar torric icl's
Epi on- I'll be super careful before doing anything else, don't worry!
 

ScrnScrm

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
1,230
Howzit guys,

2. There are always risks involved, so just be sure you have a good doctor and trust him.
Never underestimate this - I had custom (wavefront) lasik when it first came out a few years ago. Was completely successful in the right eye (I have phenomenal vision - apparently in the top 0.5% of the population), but the left eye was a flop and ended up requiring a stronger script than before. I now have to wear a single contact lens - and constantly have a weird sensation that my right eye is drier (which it is). Think very carefully before doing this op, and understand, long term, VERY FEW people have sustainable results past 5 years.
Ciao
 

Haldex

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,987
You guys should double check your benefits on medical-aid.

I was also 100% 'sure' when I got my eyes done that I wasn't covered, they sent the bill to the Medical Aid and they ended up covering half - was a pleasant surprise.
Which medical aid are you on?
I rather not submit to my medical aid and then find out they dont cover it.
 

Looney

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
4,631
I am due to go to get my eyes tested for Lasik surgery by Dr Chris Van Niekerk in Northcliff on Monday. I really wanted to do the Lasik but after watching this video, I don't know if I can do it anymore. I am scared kakless!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL01H65Gf54
 

biometrics

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
71,877
@nevadayz

How old are you?

When I went to the optometrist last year he indicated I was to old (40's).
 

syntax

Executive Member
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
7,774
@nevadayz

How old are you?

When I went to the optometrist last year he indicated I was to old (40's).
your optometrist doesnt know what he is talking about.
See an opthomologist and get a proper opinion.

There are certain factors to consider when over 40 but saying "you are too old" is rubbish.
 
Top