LASIK on 2 April

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LASIK on 2 April

Postby Mark20 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:00 am

Had custom LASIK with Interlase on Thursday 4/2. The stomach was doing somersaults in the days leading up to and all through pre-op. A last check of the eyes, repeat of the wavefront scans and final prep words from the surgeon and it was time for the tranquilizer and about 10 minutes later, the surgical suite.

As promised the doctor talked me through the procedure but I wasn't too talkative. (I think he may have been concerned I passed out, but I was just wanted to be sure I did what little I had to do.) The pressure from the Interlase LASER was weird and the doctor commented that using a microkeratome would have three times the pressure.

They did give me stress balls which I only squeezed once or twice but found convenient to keep my hands occupied by holding them.

Everything appeared to go smoothly except for getting the tracking lock on the left eye. I saw the level of the illumination light increase and then I heard "Locked." I did smell the ablated cornea but actually found it less offensive than the electronic components I've toasted over the years as an electrical engineer.

They didn't have me read the wall clock but the first thing I saw was the base for the bed's pedestal as I was figuring out when I could safely step when getting off of it. With the low room light I would never have been able to see it without my contacts or glasses.

Out to the recovery area for an initial flap check and another warning that everything would be hazy/watery and it was. But I could read the Danger, LASER Radiation sign on the door to one of the suites which also would have been impossible 15 minutes earlier.

While sitting in the easy chair for 15-20 minutes I found myself shaking from the tension release.

Some tearing and aching as the anesthetic wore off but I took Advil, did my first round of drops, had a bit to eat (mostly with my eyes closed) and headed off for a nap. Following that I kept my eyes closed pretty much for the rest of the day as directed and got a great night's sleep. I have the tape on eye shield and while a pain to put on, haven't been uncomfortable to sleep in. I've been using a pair of safety glasses when just kicking back in the recliner, They are a lot easier to put on and off but would probably break my nose if I try to sleep with them.

The haze is still present 3 days later (which is also affecting my night vision) but has been improving as predicted. The only dry eye I've felt was when treating my follow up appointment driver to coffee at a donut shop. Otherwise I've had to set my cell phone alarm to remind me to use the moisturizing drops.

The only problem I've had was taking my prescription drops right before bed last night. My eyelids were stuck together in the morning. I could move my eyeballs fine but didn't want to try riping my lids open. My wife got an ampule of artificial tears and dripped it on them. After a couple of minutes of soaking I was able to open them easily. So far no other complications or problems.

I expected a bigger paradigm shift after almost 45 years of glasses and contacts. But so far the biggest thing I notice is being able to just close my eyes for an extended period and not having to take contacts out. For a split second I think I have to take them out or not do it only realize that its OK now.

I know some people have many more problems following refractive surgery. The only thing I can say I've done special is follow my doctor's post-op care to the letter. The actual procedure was pain free. The staff were reassuring, efficient and knowledgeable.

I can't say yet its been the best thing ever due to the haze, but I caught myself a number of times today realizing I don't have contacts or glasses and I'm seeing pretty well.
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Postby eclipse » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:13 pm

hey mark, im glad to hear about your operation, I am getting ilasik later this month so its good to see a good report, hope your haze clears up fully soon.
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1 week follow-up

Postby Mark20 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:54 am

Had my one week follow-up appointment today. Healing well, got a new baseline pressure. I've been at the upper end of normal but also had thick corneas which - as I understand it - could contribute to the higher readings. The news I was most interested in is that I've gone from 20/400 to 20/25. The doctor expects this to improve some more over the healing period. Haze is still present but has gotten better. Not fighter pilot vision, but nothing to complain about either. Night vision has also improved but I've been letting my wife drive the past few eveings we have gone out.

Tuesday morning on the way to work I suddenly saw my vision haze over more than it was. I called the doctor when the office opened and after a few questions that ruled out an infection and the fact that it was starting to clear we decided that if I needed to come in in the afternoon, they would make time for me. As it was a chilly morning I had the heat on full in the car. Though not blasting in my face, I suspect this may have dried things out enough to affect me.

I've been using artificial tears around every 1.5 - 2 hours. This morning I went 3.5 hours before I remembered and didn't feel I needed them at the momment. As this is Holy Week, incense use at church goes through the roof. I had several things to do at church today and definitely needed the artificial tears and fresh air. They didn't feel dry but "bothered."

The doctor gladly filled out my state's motor vehicle department's Report of Eye Examination. A quick stop at a nearby state license center and my driver's license no longer carries a corrective lenses restriction.

A couple of times I've gone to bed and thought, "I need to take my contacts out." Followed by "D'OH!" One morning I got up and reached for glasses on my night table. I guess its true that old habits die hard. I am not regretting my decision but I am looking forward to getting through the healing process. I can fully accept the 3 - 6 month timeframe.
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Two week status

Postby Mark20 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:04 am

Its been two weeks since my LASIK surgery. I've had some minor annoyances due to vision fluctuations but no problems or significant dryness. The night of my one week exam I noticed the haze coming and going while watching TV. Over the following weekend the vision was great. Very little haze. But on the next Tuesday we had a cold front with a lot of rain come through the region and the vision basically slipped back to where it was a week earlier. The heat was on at work and I suspect this is what got me. It did make my contacts funky at times. I've been using artificial tears about every two hours as directed but at one point couldbarely go an hour before breaking out another vial. The eyes weren't severly dry but I knew they would feel better if I used it. The vision quickly improved once I got out of work. On Wednesday with the weather still cold I went out for some lunch and ate in the car. That made a big difference in the rest of the day. It was getting dark by the time I headed home so I did get halos around car headlights but they are not as intense as they were last week.

My eyes are a bit dry when I get up in the morning. I've been keeping some artificial tears in the night table drawer to put in first thing. My wife has been taking flaxseed oil capsules to help with winter dryness in her soft contacts (recent convert from rigid contacts so that was a new experience for her). I'm going to try taking them also to see if they help.

Before the cold front came through I was feeling the LASIK journey is absolutely worth it. That enthusiasm has waned a bit thanks to the weather. But it is still nice to wake up and just see the clock instead of having to scoot over to the edge of the bed and squint at the 2-inch high numbers. In some ways I'm starting to forget I ever wore glasses. I do have to remember that my eye doctor said the custom LASIK would take a little longer to stabilize as compared to traditional which she had a number of years ago.
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2.5 week status

Postby Mark20 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:09 am

Things have been going well the past week and a half. Most of the haze is gone and my night vision is improving. I don't think the flaxseed capsules are making a big difference. Still the only dryness I feel is when getting up in the morning. Its a little worse every other day and the left eye feels a bit dryer. Having the tears nearby in the morning has been very handy.

I'm supposed to be using the tears 6 - 8 times a day now but I've been using them a bit more than that at work since I have a tremendous amount of reading to do right now. Basically I've been using 1 drop in each eye every 1.5 - 3 hours. I really haven't been timing myself.

A camping trip this past weekend was great. Took the kids on a geocaching hike (using a GPS to go to given coordinates and find a hidden container - OK I'm a geek) and joked that thanks to the LASIK I spotted the first from the bottom of a hill. Actually, it was just in the first likely hiding place that I looked at. The second was much harder. It took a while to find a small black container hanging in the depths of a pine tree where the light was less than ideal. And fortunately campfire smoke didn't bother me but I tried to avoid it.

Occaisionally my eyes are tired and achey at the end of the day. For that I usually pop a Tylenol before bed.

P.S. This was originally noted as 3.5 week status, its really 2.5 weeks. Getting a little ahead of myself. That's what happens when you are reading technical stuff all day.
Last edited by Mark20 on Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby vj » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:51 am

hi mark,
good to know you are healing up..ur vision in low light like you told about finding container in the pine tree and stuff will eventually become to pre op level, I took mine a lot of time. Healing will be may be slow if not fast but gradual. Just take good care of ur eyes.
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Postby Mark20 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:39 pm


Thank you.


Being an engineer I understand things don't happen instantaneously.

I had a big correction (the contacts were -7 & -8 with -0.75 astigmatism) so the full healing may take the 3 - 6 months the LASER center quoted. Currently the healing may be progressing only 1% per day which I may not notice until several days worth go by.

36 hours after surgery I checked my e-mail and sent a note to friends that all was well but I found the computer monitor very very difficult to read. 48 hours later I spent 1.5 hours in front of it and the only reason I stopped was that I had to get to bed.

Still getting the 'have to take my contacts out' momments. After switching from rigid to soft contacts I wore them all day hardly noticing them. Fundamentally, my eyes don't feel any worse than they did with the soft lenses.

BTW, do donate your old glasses to an organization that will recycle them for those who can't afford eyeglasses. Its the least you can do.
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Postby vj » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:52 pm

Hi Mark,
I was operated 7 months ago.
I was -7.5 both eyes with slight astigmatism.
To be true my close up vision took almost a month to clear up. working on monitor reading newspaper was a major pain in the a**.
Yes, be prepared for lots of fluctuations. Higher the correction, higher the complications. My brother got lasik done a couple of years back. His correction was quite low (-1.75). His results were instant. He said he had high def vision the very next day with little or no complications.
My eyes healed at -0.5 with .75 astigmatism on the left and -1.5 for right.
I will be going for a retreatment in june.
Yes, after lasik dependency on glasses have drastically reduced.
So, I would not be very sure to donate glasses as I am still using them :)
yes offcourse not like before.
apart from that I have slight complications regarding ghostings (double vision). Glasses help me remove these complications to upto lets say 60% and vision becomes crystal clear. Thats one reason i am highly inclined towards retreatment. They say, retreatment makes sense only if glasses help.
I will let you and others here know how my 2nd surgery goes.
And yes, healing does take long for sure, especially if you got a big chunk of tissues removed like you and me.
hope for the best and be patient.
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Postby It's Just Me » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:14 pm

Mark, I'm jealous.

I didn't have such a good experience at first!

Hope you continue to heal and feel good about your surgery :)
It's Just Me
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Postby eclipse » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:00 pm

thanks for your comments mark, how are you coming along now?
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Postby Mark20 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:25 am

A little bit better every day. In bright sun there are no complaints and no undue sensitivity. Night vision is improving.

The eyes did feel a little dry today but no worse than soft contacts. Our temps have shot up to summer levels but the humidity hasn't. I looked it up this afternoon and it was only 28%. Just used the tears a few extra times today. My eyes with soft contacts would have felt the same today.

Its starting to hit me; after spending my whole life extremely nearsighted, I don't need glasses except for some reading.
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Postby eclipse » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:52 pm

glad to hear, I can only imagine the difference between seeing uncorrected with myopia -7 to -8 then all of a sudden go to 20/25 - 20/20 with your eyes, I did it from myopia of -5.75 and it still trips me out.
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1.5 month status

Postby Mark20 » Wed May 13, 2009 3:20 am

No problems at my one month checkup. Vision is almost 20/20 in left eye and a little further behind in the right. Haze is almost completely gone. There are only a couple of lighting situations where I notice any. Night vision has significantly improved but not yet at former levels.

The doctor recommended fish oil to help with the morning dryness and its helped a bit but I still grab some drops when I get up and at work where the air is less than ideal.

Another camping trip this past weekend (plus geocaching) and it was great not having to worry about glasses. The evenings were much more enjoyable with the improved night vision. Previously the various spots of lights from other campsites made looking around very difficult between the starbursts, halos and haze. My wife did run the camper's air conditioner (yeah, we're roughing it ;-) ) the second night and it dried out the air such that I did need drops when I got.up. As the summer heats up and she wants the fan over our bed on high, I foresee some difficulty.

My enthusiasm for having had LASIK has returned. I don't know if I can say its life changing but at this point - for me - its definitely worth it.
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Postby LasikExpert » Thu May 14, 2009 12:05 am

I'm glad to hear of your progess thus far. This is about what you should experince at one month. You may want to read our article about Lasik Dry Eye Treatment.
Glenn Hagele
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Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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2.5 month status

Postby Mark20 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:44 am

Its been two and a half months since my LASIK and things are going well. Not 100% healed but the eyes are heading in the right direction.

Still a touch of haze that I notice around traffic lights at night and the lighted sign on our hot/cold water dispenser in the break room when I don't turn the lights on. Also still have some starbursting on lights at night. However, about a week ago I noticed the amount drop. If the streaks were 10 mm long they're now 5 mm. It has not been affecting my night driving.

I've been taking fish oil as my doctor recommended but the eyes still feel just a bit dry when getting up. This is something that may just be normal -- esspecially since I'm at the age for eyes just naturally getting dryer -- that I didn't really notice until the LASIK and paying attention for any problems. So I've been using drops right before bed and when I get up. Also while at work which I think is a combination of the air there and being in front of a computer. (Maybe all those years of working on cable television set-top boxes wasn't a bad thing, you get to change your focus from the monitor in front of you to a TV further away.) I'm using about two vials a day.

The right eye appears to be catching up to the left eye (which as far as I'm concerned is perfect). However, the right does feel a bit dry and I wonder if this is the reason its lagging.

I have my 3 month check-up at the start of July. I'll post how it goes.
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