Successful intralase surgery

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Successful intralase surgery

Postby chap0150 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:23 pm

I finally had my Lasik surgery yesterday morning. I've been thinking about getting the surgery for a couple years but I was too nervous about complications. I was sick of wearing contacts and occasionally having to fight infections. One rare occasion, I had to treat an ulcer (which thankfully only caused minimal scarring). After performing preliminary research, I asked my ophthalmologist if I was a candidate for Lasik. I felt comfortable seeing him as he's been recognized as one of DC's best ophthalmologist and I like the idea of being able to see him if I ever have any eye issues. He said I was a candidate and sent me to a laser surgery center to get the tests performed. I went back to see him a week later and he said that I was a candidate. He said my pupils were slightly larger (7.5mm) and I'd probably see halos after the surgery, similar to the halos that I saw with my contacts/glasses.

I committed to surgery in early December by setting aside money in my flexible spending account. Once I had committed to that amount, I knew there was no going back. I psyched myself out by googling every single possible Lasik complication and seeing some Lasik surgeries on youtube. I feel like some of the sites out there are really struggling to find any possible Lasik complication (Tiger Woods crashing because of Lasik...really?) and turn it into a reason why not to get the surgery. I found this forum and it was just what I was looking for--a neutral community where people can share their experiences and ask for advice.

I started using Restasis drops 2 weeks before my surgery to assist my dry eyes. My final visit to my dr was on Tuesday. After looking at my eyes, he said that he wanted me to have the pupil test performed again because my pupils didn't seem to be that big. That night, I started using Vigamox eye drops. The next morning, I woke up super early and worked out. I wanted to be as groggy as I could for my surgery.

Put my eye drops in and went to the laser studio. I was surprised to see a lot of people in the waiting room. After waiting for an hour, they finally performed a few more tests. My dr led me to the area where the surgery would be performed and explained everything that would happen. Then I went and took 5mg Valium. About 10-15 minutes later, I went inside and laid down in the chair. My dr told me that my pupils were only 6.5mm.

First they put a lot of numbing drops in my eyes. A couple minutes later, they put this device to open up my eyes wide.... then placed this round device over my eye. I was told that my vision would turn grey and/or black. I felt a LOT of pressure at this point. My vision went completely black in that eye (the other eye was taped shut). I guess at this time the flap was being cut. I think I let out a soft grunt because of the pressure. But it's tolerable. They switched sides and did my left eye. They kept switching the tape to close my eyes and the tape didn't hurt at all. The tape felt loose, like they were just using scotch tape. Once they were done making the flap, they asked me to stand up. My vision was slightly blurry but I was able to make out shapes. I walked over to another machine and laid down. The dr sat down and gently lifted my flap. Then the second laser did its magic. Unlike the first machine, this one made noise and I smelled burned hair. I concentrated on the green light and my dr held my head to make sure I didn't move (although I was assured that the laser would follow my eye). The laser took less than 30 seconds. The dr washed my eye with a cocktail of drops, then smoothed the lid back into place, and my eye was taped shut for 2 minutes. Did it on the other eye, waited 2 minutes, and I was done! More drops were put in my eyes and I was led to this recliner chair. I was told to sit back and keep my eyes closed for 10 minutes.

I felt kind of groggy as we left. I could see clearly but there was a definite haze. It was way too sunny outside and my eyes felt like I had been chopping onions for hours. Everytime I'd struggle to open my eyes, they'd immediately water. So on the drive home, I kept my eyes closed. Once I got home, my eyes were still sensitive to everything. I laid down to take my nap and couldn't! After an hour, my sight was almost normal (clear) but I knew that I had to nap to allow more time for healing. So I took 2 Tylenol PMs (which I had OK'd with my dr beforehand) and I conked right out. When I woke up, there was just a very slight haze. As the hours went by, my sight cleared up. By dinnertime, I was seeing perfectly with only a small light sensitivity. I was told to put Vigamox and Omnipred eye drops in my eyes every 2 hours. After my nap, as my eyes began to heal, the eye drops were stinging my eyes. I was so happy when it was bedtime and I could stop putting drops in my eyes.

This morning I put the drops in my eyes and there was no pain. I went to see my dr and I have 20/20 vision! I only have a slight light sensitivity. I see no haze, no ghosting, no double vision, feel no scratchiness, nothing. My eyes don't even feel like they have been touched. I feel really lucky to have had such a great experience. For the vain: the sclera (white part of eye) has some red dots, but it's not too bad. My eyeleashes are also intact. Not too much gunk in my eyes.

My Stats:
Prescription: -3.5 (L), -2.5 (R)
Corneas: 671, 660
Pupils: 6.5mm (light), 4mm (dark)
chap0150
 
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby chap0150 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:27 am

Two Days Post-Op:
I went back to work today. I leave for work before sunrise, so this was the first time I drove and was surrounded by car headlights. The halos were slightly larger than what I was used to pre-surgery with contacts/glasses. I could still drive so I wasn't worried, especially since my doctor mentioned this side effect would diminish over the next few weeks. By the time I got to work, 15 minutes later, I had a slight dull headache. I work in IT so I'm pretty much attached to my computer. I took some IB profrin to ease my headache. There might have been a little too much sensory overload for my poor brain adjusting to my new sight. By mid-morning, my headache had subsided. Before lunch I attended a training session. I was probably 10-15 feet away from the overhead projector and staring at it made my head hurt a lot. So I ended up staring down at the table a lot and immediately felt relief.

The rest of work was uneventful. No headache while staring at my computer screen for 3 hours, with occasional breaks.

Sight remains crystal clear. No haze and no pain.
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby LasikExpert » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:20 am

Heavy computer users are notorious for not blinking enough. Your eyes get dry (especially in the early stages of Lasik healing) and that can lead to poor vision, headaches, even nausea and dizziness. Use preservative-free artificial tears and set up a routine of every hour, or half-hour, or whatever you need to keep your eyes moist as they heal.
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Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby swerveut » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:33 am

Did you really have intralase (using laser to create the flap)? Because in your description, the device the doctor put on ur eyes which caused a lot of pressure, then vision being covered by something for a few moments, then some bruising of the whites afterwards... this is consistant with the use of a microkeratome for creating a flap.
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby chap0150 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:17 pm

swerveut wrote:Did you really have intralase (using laser to create the flap)? Because in your description, the device the doctor put on ur eyes which caused a lot of pressure, then vision being covered by something for a few moments, then some bruising of the whites afterwards... this is consistant with the use of a microkeratome for creating a flap.


Yes, the device that caused a lot of pressure was the suction ring and that's when my vision went black. I think the machine was an Allegretto Wave. I felt a lot of pressure and then the laser made the flap. It definitely wasn't a microkeratome.

The bruising was from the suction ring and is actually almost gone. yay!

Edit: oops, not the Allegretto Wave machine. In looking at my packet of information, they used the IntraLase FS Laser.
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby chap0150 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:35 am

Days 4 & 5: Yesterday I kept getting headaches when trying to read on my computer. As soon as I went to my couch to lay down and close my eyes, the headache immediately subsided. My poor brain is probably still trying to get used to my new vision. I'm still using Restasis twice a day, on top of my other cocktail of eye drops. The red splotches in my sclera have turned pinkish, so now it only looks like I suffer from allergies.

One thing I struggle with is my depth perception when putting my eye drops in my eyes. It's weird that when I position the bottle over my eye, I have to place the bottle higher than where I think I should. I hate that I've wasted as many drops that I have. I have 3 more days to use the antibiotic and I am hoping I don't need to refill that prescription. I was given a large bottle of Omnipred by the laser center and I'm only supposed to use those drops for 7 more days. Then I have to use Restasis drops for 6 months.

Thankfully my only side effects are headaches when reading on my computer (though I don't get them when I read a book) and slight halos at night (only when I am driving). Absolutely no regrets! I'm hoping that I can delay reading glasses longer than 10 years (I'm 30)!
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby ToolBoy » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:37 pm

chap0150 wrote:Absolutely no regrets! I'm hoping that I can delay reading glasses longer than 10 years (I'm 30)!


About 42-44, you get that presbyopia blurriness. You start holding things far away from your head to read them. That is when you know you are on the downslide!
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby chap0150 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:35 am

ToolBoy wrote:
chap0150 wrote:Absolutely no regrets! I'm hoping that I can delay reading glasses longer than 10 years (I'm 30)!


About 42-44, you get that presbyopia blurriness. You start holding things far away from your head to read them. That is when you know you are on the downslide!

I'm hoping by this time technology will have advanced so I can go in for a tweak and not need glasses! Or maybe my eyes will take longer to degenerate.

At least my surgery will have paid itself off by then.
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby chap0150 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:24 am

Almost 2 weeks post surgery and the healing continues. The headaches are very minimal now. My one week follow up was successful. My dr mentioned that my eyes were dry and that I must not forget to blink during the day when I stare at my computer. The only time my eyes feel dry are when I first wake up. But I immediately put my Restasis drops in and they feel better.

One of the side effects I've had is when I drive--it seems like every car has their high beams on. But, as I was driving home tonight, I could distinguish which car headlights were brighter than others. I was really excited to see the car behind me had "dull looking" lights. The closer a car appears, the less bright the headlights appear. I feel really lucky that I've healed as quickly as I have.
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby kett » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:52 pm

I did the same thing you did (googled Lasik and found all of these horror stories - it can be scary!) but I finally went through with Lasik about a month ago. I don't have dry eyes except when staring at my computer all day and I get starbursts at night that vanish when the car gets closer, so it seems that we are healing at a pretty comparable pace. Thanks for sharing your experience, I hope the headaches resolve soon.
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Re: Successful intralase surgery

Postby chap0150 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:35 am

kett wrote:I did the same thing you did (googled Lasik and found all of these horror stories - it can be scary!) but I finally went through with Lasik about a month ago. I don't have dry eyes except when staring at my computer all day and I get starbursts at night that vanish when the car gets closer, so it seems that we are healing at a pretty comparable pace. Thanks for sharing your experience, I hope the headaches resolve soon.


Thanks! The headaches are long gone. About a week ago, I noticed that my left eye had a little ghosting but I only noticed when I closed my right eye. Over the next week, my left eye became slightly blurry. I first chalked it up to fluctuations with my vision but by Monday, I knew I had to call my dr. I went to see him and he said that my left eye was really dry. This east coast winter is a killer this year. So I'm now using Alrex eye drops. The blurriness doesn't bother me too much only because my right eye is seriously compensating and my vision is crystal clear with both eyes open.
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