Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Laser Eye Surgery

Just 3 1/2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to get laser eye surgery done... I would post pictures of how my eye looked after the surgery, but I didn't think it'd be very nice for the viewers to be accosted by the image of my bruised eyeball... so I refrained :)

You're welcome.

Maybe you're wondering, "did it hurt? what did they do to you? how long did it take for you to recover? what were you thinking/feeling? what's your vision like now? did it really work as well as everyone says it does? would you recommend it?"

No it didn't hurt at all! (and I would say that I have a high pain sensitivity). There's several different procedures available, the most common are PRK and LASIK.

1. PRK
An older method in which the surgeon takes a knife and cuts the cornea back- actually, I think they just scrape off a very thin layer of the cornea, and then do the surgery; the cornea does not get replaced after the surgery (my stomach turns at the thought). Then they do their laser thing and it's all over... it's supposed to be the most painful method. "The surgeon removes the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) with a surgical blade or blunt instrument. The laser beam, guided by a computer, is then used to vaporize tiny amounts of tissue under the surface of the cornea. The procedure removes just enough tissue to reshape the cornea in a way that corrects vision. The initial healing process is complete in about a week." (read more about it here)


A newer method, much better than PRK... "This surgery is more complicated. The surgeon first cuts a flap in the cornea with a very sharp blade or laser, and then lifts it and uses a computer-guided laser to remove calculated amounts of tissue from the inside layers of the cornea. Afterwards, the flap is put back and the eye heals more quickly than with PRK." (read more about it here)

You can get the LASIK surgery with a blade or with a laser.... I opted for the laser, because then I could get a lifetime guarantee (if you're a candidate, that is). Also, a laser's bound to be more accurate than someone's shaky hand! :) the Bladeless LASIK method is the most accurate type of surgery available right now; it's pretty much guaranteed to have perfect results.

A bruised eye ball is not so beautiful to look at.... but it's a lot better when compared to watching the surgery itself take place!!!! ugh, it's awful! if you think you can stand it, take a look at the video... I watched the first little bit but then had to cover the screen with my hand and close the window with my other hand !!! I went into the surgery somewhat ignorant of what they would do to me... every time I tried to research the surgery or listen to my doctor explain, I just got grossed out... now that I've been through it, I thought I'd look into what they did, and in a sense, it's interesting... but I probably would NEVER have had the surgery if I knew exactly what it would entail! If you think you want to see it, the following youtube clip will show you the entire surgery. The surgery is only 8-10 minutes per eye. Here it is...

Before the surgery, I was a nervous wreck! they tried everything - the calming music, the water trickling down the fountain, the relaxant pill, the reclining chair.... yeah whatever! these people were about to laser off my eyeballs!!!!!!!

Then they led me to the operating room and sat me down... First they put this brace thing on your eye so that your lid doesn't close. Then everything's black except for the flashing laser, and then you feel this weird sensation that something wet is coming off of your eye ball!!!!!! I think that's when they laser'd off the cornea... but I'm still not too sure if that's actually what happened! some time goes by, and then someone's always calling out the remaining time: "just a minute left, Louise, you're doing great, just 30 seconds left, awesome Louise, " etc etc... and then it was over!! They were really sweet, so caring! But they better be - I had to pay them the hefty sum of $5000!!!! but it's an investment... it'll pay itself off. Glasses are anywhere from $400-600, and contacts are about $300 per year! so I'm thinking it was worth it, looking at it from a 20-year span.... in about 20 years or so I might need to get reading glasses, but that's okay I guess...

For the first few minutes after the surgery it was a bit hazy, but even just a few hours later, everything was crystal clear! and it has been ever since! I'm going for a checkup on Thursday - by then it will have been exactly one month since my surgery. My eye doctor had told me that I was a perfect candidate for the surgery b/c of my eye shape and corneal thickness, and my prescription (it was 4.00 and 3.75)... I'm extremely happy with the results, and highly recommend it if you can! it's so wonderful to not have to depend on my glasses / contacts anymore!! I think it's so amazing to see what doctors can do nowadays.... I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to get the surgery done, and that it went so well too!!!!

Thank God I didn't go blind and that it all went well after all! :)

I just love it!