Nicole Austin – Scandalous











{June 14, 2007}   Post-Lasik Update

Okay, here are all the down and dirty details. I was put into a surgical cap, gown and booties then given a Valium. Trust me, if you have this procedure, take the Valium when it’s offered! In the surgical suite, I laid flat on the padded bench and numbing drops were placed into my eyes. Next, the used gauze soaked in numbing drops and held it beneath my eyelids then the left eye was covered since they were working on the right first. 

The bench was swiveled so I was under the laser, looking up at a flashing red light. Then a thick circular device was placed over my eye which held my eyelids back as it pressed down. This was one of the worst parts, the intense pressure bordering on pain.  

I was repositioned under a different machine which created the flap in my cornea. This took 15 seconds during which time I was asked not to talk or move. I had an almost panic moment. I say almost because I didn’t freak, but my heart rate and breathing both kicked up and if someone hadn’t been holding my hands, I probably would have reached up to run a hand through my hair—a nervous reaction of mine. I can’t imagine how I would have been without the Valium. 

When I was placed back under the red flashing light the device was removed from my eye. It almost felt like it has suctioned itself to my eye so it was a bit disconcerting to feel it pulled away. The cover was moved from my left eye to the right and the process repeated. 

When they switched eyes again they used a plastic drape with adhesive to hold my eyelids out of the way. I was again asked to look at the red light while a solution was dripped into my eye and an instrument I really couldn’t see worked at the periphery of my vision. At times the red light disappeared or became blurry. This is also when I started to smell something like burnt hair or flesh. Then I was told to hold still for 32 seconds while the laser reshaped my eye. During this part the machine made clicking noises. 

After that what looked like a small white spatula was smoothed over my eye, I presume to put the flap back in place, followed by more drops. The right eye was covered and the same done to the left. I lost track of the flashing light and became distracted as the constant flow of solution went down into my ear and hair while they worked on my left eye and I was asked to focus. This brought on another near panic moment wondering if I’d messed up the procedure for that eye. The whole thing took less than 15 minutes. 

When we were all done they placed plastic shields over my eyes and had me sit with them closed for fifteen minutes. My eyes were then examined to ensure the flap was in position and everything was looking good. I was sent home with a mild sleeping pill and told to keep my eyes closed except to navigate my way around the house for the next five hours. The pill helped me sleep through 2 ½ of those hours. 

Today I went for my post-op recheck. I have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops for daytime, along with ointment for nights and some moisture drops for whenever I need them. Since my right eye is a bit more inflamed than they would like, I will be going for a recheck again on Tuesday, otherwise it would be a routine 2 week check-up. Moisture is a big issue after the procedure. 

My eyes are extremely bloodshot and strained, but I can see well, although a bit blurry at times. The blurriness is due to the inflammation and is supposed to dissipate over the next week. So far I am pleased with the results. I am sitting here typing this without contacts or glasses. This is huge for someone who has relied on both for the past 24 years for extreme nearsightedness. Right now I can see as good as, if not better than I did with my contact lenses. When they checked my eyes I was 20/20 and almost 15/15 as I could read the 3 middle letters on the smallest line. 

So to all those of you considering Lasik or sitting on the fence, I say go for it if you have the money. Do your research, check out the different doctors in your area and choose the one you are most comfortable with then get it done. The procedure is a bit daunting, but it’s over quickly. If I made it through, so can you!

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Your post is an excellent “patient’s eye view” of Lasik surgery. I’m glad your outcome seems to be so good.

I work for a nonprofit Lasik patient advocacy. We don’t provide Lasik, but we provide Lasik information and certify Lasik doctors based upon patient outcomes.

The device that created the Lasik flap is called a microkeratome, and it WAS affixed to your eye with suction. This keeps it in place and flattens the cornea (clear front of the eye) so the surgical blade is able to make the flap. It is normal for your vision to go blurry or black while the microkeratome is attached.

Minor inflammation is rather common and does most often resolve with healing. A bit of inflammation can cause vision to fluctuate and be less than excellent. Lubrication will be very important to promote healing. Be sure that you are using preservative-free artificial tears. The preservatives used in some artificial tears can actually cause dry eyes.

We have an informative website at http://www.USAEyes.org that includes a patient question and answer bulletin board. If you have any questions about your recovery please feel free to drop by.

Glenn Hagele
USAEyes

I am not a doctor



Wow…thanks so much for sharing the details. Things are always less scary when you kinda know what to expect. I hope to have the procedure done someday. So it’s good to know how it all works. I was a wreck when I had my gallbladder surgery several years back (and they put me completely under for that. I can’t imagine being awake for something like that.



You’re welcome, Michelle! It is a bit scary, but you really can’t see the things coming toward your eye and with the numbing drops you can’t feel anything. The best part is how quickly its over with.



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