Finally took the plunge

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Finally took the plunge

Postby Greg Kamer » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:58 pm

I have been considering Lasik for the past several years. But I have always sat on the fence, not sure if I was ready to take the plunge or not. However, after reading up on the latest technology, talking with co-workers who have had the procedure and reading up on the web, I finally decided to pull the trigger. I looked at a couple of places in Spokane Wa, and decided on Restore Vision. I read the doctors history and background, and selected Dr. Walker to do my procedure.

I decided since this was something I could not undo, I opted to spend a lot more and get the gold standard procedure, combining iLasik, which uses a laser instead of a blade to create the flap, and Wave Front for the actual corneal reformation.

I went to Spokane on Wed night 10/14/09 with Marie. We stayed in a hotel over night, and the next morning I went in for my Lasik. It was a pretty weird experience.....

I met with my doctor. He did a final examination of my eyes, and explained step by step what was going to happen, what I was going to see and hear. Then he gave me a Valium to calm my nerves and some drops to dilate my pupils and I waited for about 15 minutes for the pill to kick in. Then they brought me into the O.R.

After getting me set on the table, they placed some numbing drops in my eyes and told me to close them. A few minutes later after they positioned some equipment around my head, Dr Walker told me to open my left eye. Immediately I was looking into two rings of very bright lights. The Dr told me to focus in the middle of the smaller ring of lights.

Then he put a pressure ring over my eye. He told me it was to create a slight vacuum to help keep my eye from moving. As they did this, everything went dark. I couldn't see anything. The doctor told me ahead of time this was going to happen, so I was not too worried. Then they placed this other ring on my eye to keep my lids open so I could not blink. Finally they started to cut the first flap.

I was getting a newer technology called iLasik, which uses a laser rather then a blade to make the cut. The laser creates millions of microscopic bubbles under the cornea which then peels apart to create a flap. The hinge it at the top of the eye and the flap is pulled up towards the top of my eye. While the flap was being made I could see a ring in the middle of the darkness that reminded me of a pupil, and what appeared to be some red dots in the center. I guessed that was the laser beam creating the bubble that created the flap. Of course it could have also been my imagination.

When the flap was done, I could feel the table being swung around and positioned under the Wave front laser. Again the doctor was telling me everything that was happening. He told me the laser was going to work for 15 seconds to mold my cornea to the proper prescription. I heard a popping noise, which was the laser working and after 15 seconds it stopped. The doctor told me that eye was done, and he was going to be replacing the flap. He removed the suction cup and within a second or so, my vision, though totally blurred, returned. I could see him squirting saline on my eye as he flipped the flap down in place, and gently brushed it to remove and wrinkles.

Then it was time for the other eye. The procedure was exactly the same, except this time the laser took 17 seconds to do it's work. Finally I was done. Aside from some slight pressure at times, there was no pain at all. I stood up and everything was really blurry, which the doctor told me was completely normal at this point. He sat me down in front of a machine to double check the flaps and make sure they were correctly smoothed down.

Then they took me to a dark room to rest for a few minutes. The doctor told me in about 30 minutes, when the numbing drops wore off, my eyes were going to be very angry with me. He told me they would be slight less angry if I kept them closed. He told me they were going to be very sore and feel dry and scratchy. He said this would last for 3-6 hrs. He suggested I take a nap as soon as I got back to the room.

They have me a bottle of an anti-inflammatory and a bottle of antibiotics eye drops, as well as a box of single use artificial tears. He told me to put one drop of each medication in each eye every 4 hrs and use the tears as often as needed but at least once an hour or so. As soon as we got back to the hotel, Marie had to drive because I could still not see anything really clear, I popped 3 Tylenol PM and was able to crash for about 3 hrs. I felt a little bit of discomfort on the way back, but nothing too bad. The doctor told me not to watch TV or do any computer work for the rest of the first day. He said when people watch TV or work on a computer, they do not blink as often as they should, and he wanted me to keep my eyes well hydrated.

When I woke up from my nap, I was surprised as all hell. My first reaction was to reach for my glasses on the bedside table, and of course they were not there. But Marie was watching TV and when I looked across the room at it, it was CRYSTAL CLEAR! It was as if I had my glasses on, only a little better.It was so freaken weird......

She was watching a baseball game. Not only could I see the game clear as a bell, but I could read the little box they place in the corner of the screen, telling you the score and current stats of the batter at the plate. Before Lasik. I would have been lucky to be able to see the box, never mind being able to read what was in it. We went to the hotel restaurant that night for dinner. There was a TV on the wall on the other side of the room, and I could clearly see everything that was happening. There was no pain, no discomfort, nothing. Since yesterday, I have been using the medicine drops every 4 hours and putting the artificial tears in every hour or so.

Today we went to the movies and I enjoyed being able to see the screen without having to move my glasses round to find the right "sweet" spot to see the movie best. Before Lasik, my uncorrected prescription was 20/70. That means I could see from 20 feet away what a person with normal vision could see from 70 feet. Today, I had to go back for my 1 day post operative checkup. The "prescription" is now 20/25 and the doctor expects that to improve to 20/20 in the near future. I actually read the 20/20 line, but missed one letter, calling it a V when it was actually a Y. But I had no trouble at all reading the 20/25 line. He explained my vision was still in flux and it would take about 6 weeks for it to stabilize.

There are 2 problem areas. One is with halos around lights. It is a halo like ring I see around lights, headlights, etc at night. The doctor said that was normal and would go away in the next 6 weeks as the flap heals. The other, is the loss of my near vision. Before, if I wanted to read a newspaper I could take my gasses off and hold the paper closer to my face and read it with no problems. I can no longer do that. The closer to my face I hold the paper, the more blurry it gets. I have to wear reading glasses to deal with any writing closer than the length of my arm. But I knew that going in and it’s an adjustment I will have to make.

But so far, I'm pleased with the results and outcome. I have a follow up post operative appointment next week and will have another one in a month than 6 months. I'll keep you posted as things progress.
Greg Kamer
 
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Re: Finally took the plunge

Postby LasikExpert » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:33 pm

Great post with plenty of details!

Greg Kamer wrote:There are 2 problem areas. One is with halos around lights. It is a halo like ring I see around lights, headlights, etc at night. The doctor said that was normal and would go away in the next 6 weeks as the flap heals.


Quite right. Many here have mentioned nighttime halos have resolved with healing.

Greg Kamer wrote:The other, is the loss of my near vision. Before, if I wanted to read a newspaper I could take my gasses off and hold the paper closer to my face and read it with no problems. I can no longer do that. The closer to my face I hold the paper, the more blurry it gets. I have to wear reading glasses to deal with any writing closer than the length of my arm. But I knew that going in and it’s an adjustment I will have to make.


So long as you knew, made an informed decision, and received the results you expected all sounds well. For those who are over age 40 and considering Lasik, read about Lasik and presbyopia.

Greg Kamer wrote:But so far, I'm pleased with the results and outcome. I have a follow up post operative appointment next week and will have another one in a month than 6 months. I'll keep you posted as things progress.
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