Bill's Lasik Experience

Lasik: To do it or not to do it?

Selection of having the eyes done is certainly a personal matter. My eye sight isn’t too bad … my contact prescription is -1.25 for each eye. I am done, however, with poking my eyes in the morning and/or wearing a metal bracket on my head. I’m doing this procedure for convenience and vanity reasons only. I like the odds of success.

Lasik Countdown : T - 4 Days

It’s Monday of the week of the Lasik procedure. Eyeball cutting isn’t my eyedea of a good time. My nerves are starting to rare their heads. However, the prospect of not having to wear glasses or contacts for upwards of 10 years is alluring enough to continue forward. Tomorrow morning is the final check day. The eye staff will be doing another corneal thickness measurement and ensuring I don’t have any eye infections going on at this time. With the onset of “nervousness”, mentally I’m kicking into high gear about how well the procedure will go. I’m mentally steeling myself for the scary period wherein my vision will be screwed up as I heal. Doubt after the fact won’t help the healing. I must face this with my eyes wide open.

Lasik Countdown : T - 3 Days

Today I had the pre-surgery check: a measure of my lens thickness and a double check that I don't have any sort of eye infection going on. It appears that my corneal thickness has reduced. I went from eyes having 530 microns and 520 microns of thickness two months ago to 499 and 496 microns today. This puts me on the boarder line of having Lasik versus RPK. For healing time purposes, I really want Lasik. Fortunately, my prescription is weak enough that I should be okay to stick with Lasik.

500 microns is the cornea thickness minimum that is right for attempting the Lasik procedure. The best practice is that, once all the procedures are said and done, the patient be left with a 300 micron thick cornea. This establishes that there are only 200 microns of cornea that can be manipulated in the procedure (again, assuming a 500 micron thick cornea). The Laskik machine that is being used on me chews up 100 microns when creating the flap (as compared to the old school cutter wherein 150 microns were lost). Using 500 as the starting point, 100 is removed as a byproduct of creating the flap. Now we are at 400. The 300 micron limit is only 100 away. With my prescription, it is expected to only require 50 microns will be eaten away. So, I should be good to go, but they will remeasure my corneal thickness the morning of the surgery to ensure I do have enough.

Lasik Countdown : T - 1 Day

Tomorrow is the big day. Friends and colleagues whom are aware of my operation tomorrow have been sending me notes of support, many with their first hand experiences. Advice ranged from "don't freak out because it isn't instantaneous" to "don't focus on anything for 24 hours." My nerves this day haven't been too bad and in fact, my excitement is welling up. The thought of dispensing with the glasses and contacts is thrilling.

Lasik Countdown : T - 0 Days

Yeah! In a few hours I will arrive at the clinic to have my eyes worked on. Even though this type of eye manipulation has been going on for years, I can't shake the feeling that this is some how so futuristic. From a nervousness perspective, as I write this, I'm not feeling too nervous. My feelings would be best described as being very excited. I can't wait.

Lasik Countdown : T - 0 Days

Arriving at the clinic at 8am, I signed the final forms and handed over the money. A final look and my cornea's and they measure 510 and 503. I get to have Lasik!!! No RPK! I finally get to meet the surgeon who would be performing the procedure. He asked me a series of questions I presume were designed to discern my mental competence and my nervousness. After this verbal dance was over, I found myself in the queue with four others waiting to go. Talk about horrible quiet. It was like standing in an elevator. I decided to liven things up. The Valium was barely taking any effect at this point. The lady to my right was called in, and about 15 minutes later it was my turn. Upon laying down, I was handed Disney Pluto stuffed animal to use as a stress ball. I really didn’t know what to do with it so I placed it on my lap and simply put my hands together. Being placed on my back perfectly flat, my eyes were stretched open and some sort of vacuum device was placed over them. The room lights were turned down. My body was swung left, and my left eye was placed under the laser. Pop! Pop! Pop! Small smell of burned flesh. There were flashes of white specs and I could feel something rubbing my eye. A ring of deep blue lights appeared and then all went off. I was swung the other way and my right eye received the same treatment. The eye prying devices were removed and it was done. Just like that!!! Amazingly, I could see well enough to walk out of the room just fine. In fact, walked out of the clinic with no issues. After getting home, I fell asleep for 4 hours. Upon waking I was greeted with amazing eyesight! I could see sharper than I ever remember seeing. I tested various distances and the results were stunning. In the evening, I did notice some halos around porch lights.

Close up of Bills eye 4 and half hours after surgery.
Bill's eye just after waking up from the Valium induced nap.

Lasik Countup : T + 1 Day

Unbelievable!!! WOW! The clarity of the world is remarkable. I can see!! No glasses, no contacts. My distance vision is better than it ever was with the use of those aids. During my check up today, the doctor informed me that I have a dry spot on my right eye. I thought I had been aggressive on keeping my eye lubricated, but obviously not enough. I’m soooooo glad I’ve done the procedure. I want to show them off like a new car!

Lasik Countup : T + 2 Days

The left eye is just as clear and sharp as yesterday. Alas, the right eye is a bit fuzzy. I assume it is related to not keeping the eye lubricated enough. Yesterday the doctor mentioned that the dryness will eventually heal over, and that my sight will indeed fluctuate over the coming weeks.

Lasik Countup : T + 7 Days

WOW! I should have had the Lasik surgery years ago. I can wake up during the night and see the clock. When I get ready for the day, there is no fumbling for contacts. There is no hunt for glasses. In the evening, I have found myself wanting to take the contacts out! That is how conditioned I was to contacts and a positive statement on the clarity with which I can see. There is a noticeable dispersion when looking at points of light at night however. Nothing that seems to have any consequences from a perception standpoint, but it is there. When looking at stars, for example, they do have a fuzziness to them. The trade off (the amazing unaided vision versus a slight fuzziness) is more than equitable. The clarity with which I can now enjoy the world is better than any pair of glasses or contacts I’ve ever had.

Lasik Countup : T + 4 Months

Incredible. I've forgotten that I ever wore corrective eye ware. At my last appointment, I was informed that I see 20/15! That is, I can see at 20 feet what most people can only see at 15 feet. Now that I've had the surgery, I really wish I had done this years ago. I'm now a Lasik pimp! I encourage others whom are eligible to strongly consider getting this done.

Lasik Countup : T + 1 Year and 4 Months

Periodically, I receive emails from folks about this page. The following email came in today:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Query about your Laizk operation
From: *********@****.com
Date: Thu, May 06, 2010 3:19 am

Dear Bill,

I was very excited about your Laizk operation journey , specially you wrote it in steps, T -0 , T + 4 ... ETC very exciting , actually I found your page about the operation while I was searching about the Laizk operation, and honestly it was very informative for me, Thank you....

I have had the Laizk operation done for my eyes couple of days ago (Monday 3rd-May-2010) , I can see now without glasses , but the image is still a little bit hazy , I think because I still see halos around lights , left eye can see more halos than the right one!

You said in: "Lasik Countup : T + 7 Days" :

"There is a noticeable dispersion when looking at points of light at night however"

I wonder has this completely gone now, because this is the same I have at the moment.

And if yes: how long it's gonna take for the image to be clear?

Many thanks Bill

Here is my reply for those interested:

Subject: RE: Query about your Laizk operation
Date: Thu, May 06, 2010 4:04 am
To: *********@****.com

Good morning Frank.

Thank you for reaching out, and you're most welcome.

The slight dispersion when looking at points of light far away (such as stars, or even brake lights) reduced some over the year and a few months, but it hasn't completely gone away. Interestingly, I've grown use to it and I hadn't even noticed or thought about the effect until your email came in. Because I've grown use to it, I can't pinpoint when it receded from conscious thought, but I'd guess it was around 1 months time. The dispersion of light hasn't in any away impacted my quality of life. I simply don't notice it anymore.

Thanks for reaching out. I want your healing to go well, and your dispersion to fade to nothing.

Take care Frank.

Eyeball cutting, to be done with your eyes wide open!