Thursday, November 25, 2010

LASIK Exeperience

So, It’s been exactly one month since I got LASIK eye surgery, actually I just had another follow up appointment Tuesday. I must admit, before getting the surgery I had thought about it for about a good year and was very nervous about having a laser in my eye and the risks, but after the consultation I decided to go for it. I am SUPER HAPPY with the results!!! 
So, at the initial free consultation they did more than I expected. I thought maybe they would spend the whole time trying to convince me to get to the surgery, but they were very honest and did a whole round of measurements and test to see if I was a good candidate. I was nearsighted, seeing at -2.00, with no astigmatism or any other issues and my corneal thickness made for a good candidate.  They explained how the procedure worked and the different options. There was the newest all laser technology, and there was the old school blade lasik. I, of course opted for the all laser technology (side note: from looking at different lasik websites, I noticed that everyone seems to call their all laser technology by a different name so they can claim that they have the technology exclusively, but most still essentially all refer to an all laser lasik procedure, so don’t be fooled by the marketing) Anyway, they gave me time to ask any questions I wanted as well… and believe me, I had a list! They went over the pricing options. Having the all laser rather than the blade procedure cost more but I did not think twice after finding out that it is safer, more precise, makes for quicker healing/less dry eye etc. Besides that the pricing was just dependent on how long of a ‘warranty’ I wanted (none, 1 year, 3 year, or lifetime of free additional procedures if needed) and I think I could have opted for a lifetime plug (which helps with dry eyes) for a bit extra as well. I went with the all laser, 1 year warranty, with the 6 month plugs = $2,500. I’m sure not the cheapest, but my goal when searching was to choose within one of the top at least 5 doctors in Nevada. From there I scheduled by appointment with Lasik of Nevada, with Dr. Rothman for 2 weeks later and was told to not wear contacts during the 2 weeks, and to wear no makeup or anything with fragrance the day of the surgery.  
The day of the procedure.
I was a bit freaked out the week prior because I feel like I have higher anxiety, even on a daily basis that the average person and I had called the office and they said they didn’t give me any oral medication to take right before they procedure, while other people who have had it said I should get something?!? lol... That, and I made the mistake of watching a lasik video and not the laser, but the fact that the tool used to hold the eye open is metal freaked me out. Therefore before getting to the doctor’s office on the day of the procedure I had taken a tylenol pm… but then once there, they did end up giving me a valium and 2 tylenols (I only took 1 tylenol since I had already taken one at home, I’m not sure why they didn’t tell me that they would provide meds when I called prior?)  anyway, the valium made me very relaxed. There was a small group of 4 people including myself getting the procedure done back to back, so the doctor did a final little consultant with us as a group of just what to expect, what to do/not to do in the surgery room… It was nice to have a group, we compared stories etc a bit. I had to wear a hair cover and sterile booties, along with my handy name tag ;) (I remembered from my pharmacy days that OU stood for both eyes, as denoted on my name badge, lol)
The Procedure
The actual procedure lasted all of 10 minutes (or less), 1st they  lasered my eye while I focused on a green dot which cut my flap, when they peel it back and laser by cornea to re-shape it… not to gross anyone out but during this part I could actually smell a little burning. Then they clean any residue and place your flap back over the cornea (sorry, I am in no way using true medically terminology, just what I recall in simple terms). Then wha-la! You can see… I was immediately sat up and asked if I can see the clock in front of me… YES!
With dark shades, (my expensive) Zymaxid and predinisolone eye drop in tow I was sent home to rest/heal. The initial discomfort (I wouldn’t even call it pain) lasted for about the 1st 4 hours…. Kind of like a stinging/soap in your eye feeling that just made you want to keep your eyes closed. I slept through most of it and was fine when I woke up. I could not watch TV or use the computer for the entire rest of that day and had to sleep with protective goggles for 2 weeks after so I did not accidently rub my eyes while sleeping. Also, the worst part – no eye makeup for 1 week!?! At my 1st follow-up check up (the day after the procedure) I was already seeing 20/15 (better than 20/20). I did notice a bit of a glare at night around the lights, but was told that should gradually decrease, and it has. I used my 2 prescription eye drops for 5 days and then just OTC non-preservative moisturizing eye drops for dryness thereafter. Even though I felt completely normal  and returned to normal activity the day after, I guess the complete healing process is over a 3 month period, so they continue to monitor within this time with periodic check-ups.
But here I am 1 month later!... and I so so happy I did it!!... I love that I don’t have to deal with scratchy dry contacts anymore!! :)
Feel free to leave comments and ask any additional questions that I may have missed! (Thanks for reading!)

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