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Lasik Surgery today


The Daisy
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I've been pondering that decision for years now. My biggest deterrent is that they say if you already have dry eyes(which I do) that chances are that condition will worsen. Also, being a pessimist, I always feel like I'll be the guy whose doctor sneezes while using the laser therefore making me blind.

 

Good luck today and let us know how it turns out.

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Glen, those Halos will go away over the next few days. Unfortunately, your vision might getr just a little worse too as your eyes repair and settle in to the changes (plus, those eye drop steriods they give you will run out.)

 

After I had PRK it was 2 days of total misery. Then I had about a week of 20/10 vision (that was nice!), now I have 20/20 permenantly. That 20/10 period was great, never seen so clearly in all my life.

 

PRK was a bitch too. It's like lasik, but instead if lifting up a flap of cornea and doing the surgery, they laser the entire surface of the cornea and pull it off to get to the stuff underneath. So afterward you have to grow a new crnea (takes 2 days.) What a painful 2 days that was...

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I've turned a few people off Lasik with this story, but they were wimps.

 

One of the bonuses of pre-surgery is they give you a Valium. I'm happily zoning out in the waiting room when the nurse comes to get me. We go to a dark room and she makes me lie back on a reclining chair (I know where you think this is going, but sadly it's not). She puts a drop of numbing solution in my right eye (it's that same yellow stuff they put in your eye when you have a glaucoma pressure test--can you believe that thing actually touches and *presses* against your eyeball?). Then she prepares to put a drop in my left eye. For some reason, she takes much longer to do this. I've got my eye wide open, waiting, waiting. Then, just when she squeezes out the drop, I blink. I feel the drop splash against my lashes. Some got in my eye, I think. It had to. I mean, they probably use a lot stronger numbing solution than they even need to, right? Why wouldn't they? It's eye surgery after all. These are my thoughts in my Valium haze. Meanwhile, the nurse is at the office door telling me it's time for surgery. I get up and follow, mentioning nothing about the errant drop. I love drugs.

 

Surgery ensues. They hold your eyes open with clamps right out of A Clockwork Orange and a special saw slices open your cornea (bzzt-bzzt-bzzt), which they flip back and use a laser on the interior to change its shape and how it focuses (pop-pop-pop). Right eye, fine. When they start on my left eye, I CAN FEEL THE SAW CUTTING MY EYE OPEN!! Perhaps the doctor noticed my hands clenching the armrests, so he asks me if everything is all right. Well, the saw was really fast, and my eye has already been cut, so I tell him it's fine. Proceed to laser. I CAN FEEL THE LASER BURNING INTO MY EYE! Again, it happens so quickly there's no real agonizing pain, it's just shocking that I can feel it at all. The cooling wash of the saline solution they pour over your eye during the procedure is very welcome. Flip the cornea back and surgery is done. There are no stiches involved, the internal pressure of your eye keeps the flap closed. You musn't rub your eye, even though it feels like there are grains of sand in your eyes for a day or so. I saw some very slight sparkling of bright lights at night, but no real visual aftereffects and I still measure at 20/10 vision. All in all, one of the best things I ever did.

 

Okay, anybody cancelled their appointment yet? :)

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adam - I feel your pain. They were good about the numbing solution where I went but the operation itself was a little nerve-wracking. The difference for PRK is that it takes a little longer, no cutting of the cornea, and more lasering. I remember it going something like this:

 

They gave me a valium that didn't seem to do much. Should have asked for two, but better than nothing. They lead me in, strap my head down (lightly) and pull the Clockwork Orange bit on my glassys. They pull the machine over and position it over the eyeball and tell me to stare right into it (oh joy!) Then it lasers the entire cornea for about 15 seconds. I figured out why you want the valium beforehand, the machine makes this huge bang!bang!bang!bang!bang! sound while it is lasering. Imagine someone hitting an alunimum baseball bat on a steel pipe right next to your ear about as fast as a motor. It was a really messed up sound (since of course you wonder does it always sound like that?) So as this is happening my vision is clouding steadily (it is burning off the front of my eye after all) and worse yet I can smell the burnt cornea. Machine wheels away and doctor comes over with a couple of tools and some drops. He basically fishes the burnt cornea skin out of the way (yuck!!!) and then it's back under the machine for the actual correction. More fishing, he pops a contact lens in there, and it's time for the other eye. Rinse and repeat. It was only say 10-15 mins in the operating room total, but that was a damn long 15 mins!

 

And the icing on the cake was as I left they gave me a videotape of the surgery as the computer video unit saw it. What this means is it's a huge blowup of my eye held open while the laser pummels it and then the fishing skin/drops/etc. By the end of it the eye is all red and teary, then the other one. Yeah, let's just give the patients that to remember us by :D

 

Man, the dentist's got nothing on those VSP doctors.

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