Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My LASIK Experience

In my glasses before LASIK

Having worn glasses or contacts all of every day since the third grade, I always thought the idea of LASIK surgery was kind of miraculous. My first week of working at Carolina Ophthalmology, I heard countless examples of ways LASIK had improved patients lives: People could see to get up in the middle of the night, could swim in the ocean without dealing with salty contacts, and could travel without messing with all the accoutrements required for vision correction.

So, I had a consultation and it turned out I was a great candidate for LASIK surgery. I waited about ten months to decide to go for it (I was nervous and it just never seemed like the right time.) Now that I’m on the other side looking back, I can’t believe it took me

that long to go for it. I’m thrilled with the results and wish I had been enjoying the freedom all along.


The morning of my LASIK surgery, I was split between nervousness and excitement. The first step was the WaveScan measurements. I sat in front of a machine that mapped my eye and produced the numbers that would be plugged into the laser.
At the WaveScan with Jeanette

Once I got into the OR, Dr. Bryan explained everything that was about to happen. After he got me prepped, the IntraLase laser cut the flaps in my corneas that would be lifted up, corrected under, and placed back down. Dr. Bryan put a suction ring on my eye and I felt some pressure. It was the same feeling as pressing the heel of your palm against your eyelid -- dark and sort of speckled vision, but no pain. Each flap was cut in 20 seconds and all I had to do was lie still.

Next, Dr. Bryan lifted my flaps up one at a time. During this part there were bright lights and I could tell that he was moving something on my eye, but I felt nothing and it wasn’t painful or unpleasant, just strange.

The laser that actually does the correction came next. Everything was dark except for a flashing orange light for me to look at. When it was time to start the surgery, they told me exactly how many seconds it would be, 24 for my right and 25 for my left, so I would know how long to expect it to last. I couldn’t see or feel the laser, but I could hear it ticking the whole time. It was over before I knew it.

All the things I was worried about went fine: My lids were held open so I couldn’t possibly blink, my eyes were numb so I didn’t feel like I needed to blink anyway, I felt no pain, and I knew that the cameras tracking me would shut the laser off if I moved at all.

Twenty-five minutes later, I was walking out of the O.R. My vision wasn’t perfect, but it was much better than it had been before surgery. It was sort of like I was looking through Saran Wrap. I was ready go home and take a nap.
Dr. Bryan and me after surgery

When I got home the main thing that I noticed what that I was very light sensitive and my eyes were watering a lot. They didn’t hurt or feel scratchy at all.

After I slept for about an hour, my eyes were feeling better. I put drops in every two hours and spent the rest of the afternoon resting.

By that night I was back to normal except for some dryness and some redness. I slept in the plastic goggles so I wouldn’t accidently rub my eyes in the night, but I had no problem falling asleep.

The day after my surgery I was 20/20 in both eyes and I had no trouble coming to work. By six days out from my surgery, I was 20/15.

If you’re thinking about having LASIK, please call to ask questions and to schedule a free consultation appointment. What do you have to lose? Start living your post-LASIK life now, I know I’m enjoying mine.

—Laura, Refractive Surgery Coordinator 919.945.3937


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