HealthBoards (
-   Lasik Eye Surgery (
-   -   Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part? (

Whill381 11-15-2005 03:48 PM

Lasik on 12-2...UPDATE
Hi everyone.

I'm new here. I just had my consult today, with a reputable doctor who has done Lasik on a few of my family members.

I was comfortable during the consult, everything feels "right." I've wanted this for a long time. I'm so looking forward to being free of contacts and glasses. 12-2 is my day, for Custom Lasik.

I quess I'm most worried about the actual procedure. Can some of you share a little bit about personal experience? From my family members, I hear it doesn't hurt. I hear the clamp/ring they use to keep your eye open is the most uncomfy part. I'm ready for that kind of thing.

And thanks to someone else's post on this board, when they told me today my vision would go black for awhile, I was already aware and that didn't freak me out.

So..I'm guess I'm asking all of you what the worst part of the whole thing was. Nerves before hand? The smell? The blackness? The eye clamp?

Personally, my mind is already wandering...I know I have to focus on a red light, so I worry what if my eye moves a tiny bit? If my eye is numb how will I know if I'm controlling it? And, when everything goes black, how will I know where to focus? I don't want to unknowingly let my eye wander only to have something horrible happen with the laser.

Maybe I'm being silly because it seems more people have issues AFTER the fact. Right now I'm worried about the actual Lasik Procedure. One worry at a time I suppose.

:) Wendy

cremebrulee 11-15-2005 05:33 PM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
the worst part for me was sitting in the room waiting for the procedure. i was just right outside the laser room and i heard the laser operating on other patients. it sounded like muffled machine guns. the anticipation is worst than the actual procedure. even the speculum wasn't that bad. i even had prk where the doctor gels up the cells and scrapes it away with a mini scapel. no big deal at all. just remember to breathe and take the pill that the doctor offers to you. it will help you calm down and sleep after the procedure.

Laner 11-15-2005 10:49 PM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
I was nervous and scared for weeks before my surgery(I had to wait 6 weeks). I was afraid something would go wrong and my vision would be worse. You know if it ain't broke after thought. But really nothing hurts and once you have this you are going to say "what was I worried about". Just relax and have faith in your Dr.. The first night after surgery it is real important to sleep(my Dr. said for atleast 4 hours), but you are so excited to SEE that it is hard to sleep. I mostly layed in bed with the lights off for the first hour or so.
I guess the worst part for me was actually 2 things.....1) wearing the goggles at night and trying to sleep. 2) putting all the drops in your eyes(they are important so don't forget them).
Keep your eyes very moist for the first few weeks, they will heal better.
Good Luck,

cremebrulee 11-16-2005 08:07 AM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
sleep is very important. take the halcion or the valium that the offer priior to the surgery. i didn't want to take the tylenol with codeine unless it was absolutely necessary so i bought a bottle of tylenol pm. try to not strain your eyes. i downloaded some audio books from the library and i listened to them over the weekend.

Whill381 11-16-2005 09:00 AM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
Thanks you guys. I know I worry too much but it HELPS to read the thoughts/experiences of others.

Cremebrulee...I really think waiting will be the worst part too. I don't know what time my surgery is yet, but I'm hoping it'll be at a time that doesn't mean I'll sit in rush hour traffic. I'll get car sick! ANd if you say even the scraping was no big deal, then standard Lasik should be a walk in the park.

I am hoping they offer me a pill. I should have asked that, but I can when I go back to have my eyes dialated. I do have Tylenol PM at home too, and when I need it I usually take 1. In this case, I may take 2 and REALLY sleep.

Laner, a 6 week wait would push me over the edge. When I went for my consult I knew I'd be DOING it or NOT doing it. So, once I decided it was a go, I took the first available date. It was NOW, or after the first of the year. I'm with you on the "if it ain't broke" thought too. I have one eye that's near 20/20 and one that's a -3.75. I have worn only ONE contact for 15 years. Then yesterday they are telling me that my vision really isn't that bad. Well, it's all relative. My dominant eye is my weak one. So...I truly can't see without that contact. Having vision that's "not that bad" still means I CAN'T see to drive or use a computer or read or ANTYING, without a contact. Not that bad, is bad enough for me!

If the goggles and the drops and the laser noise are the worst things? I'm good to go!

I have huge faith in my doctor. Family members have used him as well as a list a mile long of area newscasters, and local "famous" people.

Thank you both! I'm on day 2 with my glasses and already hating it.

Hating glasses 11-16-2005 11:19 AM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
The clamp is the worst of it. But, if you aren't really all that freaked out about having someone touch your eyelids, you will be even better than I was. Trust me, that was the thing that freaked me out the most but, once it is done, you will realize that there was nothing to worry about. Don't worry about focusing on the little red light either. Most, if not all, Lasik machines are built with tracking devices so, as my doc told me, even if your eye is all over the room, the laser will be able to track it and, I think they are all set to stop if your eyes get too out of hand. They made the machines like that specifically because, all people have a shake in their eyes. But, it is so fast and so small that we don't notice it. There are a few people in the world whose eyes you can actually see shaking. But, that is rare. And, your doc will tell you if you need to refocus. As far as the "black" vision, that is while the flap is being cut and the ring will be on your eye at that point. The ring goes around the outside perimeter of your eye inside your open eye lids and it sucks onto your eye basically holding it in place so that the cut is precise. Don't worry about that at all. The ring controls your eye and you don't need to focus. And, it is good that you know that your vision will go black because, I am sure that that could scare the heck out of someone who didn't know. As for the sound, I don't know if I had some weird reaction to my own fear but, I could barely hear my doctor or anything else. It kind of sounded like I was in a vacuum. It may have been the noise of the machine or, like I said, my own racing mind.

Make sure you take the Valium or whatever they give you, enough minutes before your surgery to make sure it sets in. They gave me mine about 1 minute before I went in so, I didn't have the benefit of the valium. I was a nervous wreck. They even gave me a stuffed dog to hug. If I would have hugged it any tighter, I might have decapitated it. Hehehe! But, seriously, your mind is your worst enemy. It is worth it and nothing to fear. So simple and quick!

As for the smell, I can't remember for sure if I smelled anything. I think I might have because I seem to think that the smell is something like when your teeth are getting drilled. Nothing overwhelmingly nauseating. Kind of smokey. Don't worry about it because you may not even notice it at all because of all the thoughts that are flying through your head.

If your doc's office has a "FishBowl", where you can watch the surgeries be performed before yours, take advantage of it. Before I decided to have my eyes done, the sight and thought of people who jokingly turn their eyelids inside out would put my spine into a tail spin and I would get goose bumps for eons. The thought of watching the surgery made me nauseous. But, then I just sucked it up and did it. I saw about 15 surgeries before mine. Each one got easier to watch and each one built my confidence and dropped my nerves. So, if you can watch them, do it! It is a great pychological confidence builder! I can't even imagine what kind of a state I would have been in if I wasn't able to see those surgeries before mine. I got to see how the clamp worked, how the flap was cut, and how the entire procedure was performed.

Ok...I think I have covered everything. Don't drive yourself. Have someone else take care of you. Put your tush to bed when you get home so that you sleep off any post numbness discomfort. I know is seems like that might be impossible but, you are so hyped up before the surgery that your adrenaline will be pumping and by the time you lie down, you will be tired because the adrenaline will be gone and leave you feeling sleepy. I would say about 6 hours post-op, any fuzziness was gone and I was seeing perfectly. So, that being said, don't expect to leave the bed and walk out into the waiting room being able to see perfectly. You will probably be blurry. The dilations drops, numbing drops and simple trauma of it will make you a little bleary eyed. Sleep it off, and when you wake up, you may still have some blurriness but, it does clear up.

Hmmm...I can't think of anything else but, if I do, I'll make another post!

Good luck and happy new vision!

Whill381 11-16-2005 02:14 PM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
Hating Glasses (boy, can I relate, espcially right now)...

Thanks for the awesome post. I think it must have been YOUR post I read originally too, talking about how everything in my vision will go black...

The clamp. Eh...I can't say I enjoy the thought. Even at my regular eye doctor, I don't like when HE insists to put in and take out my contacts himself. I'd rather do it. But, I'll make it thru this too.

Yesterday I was told my eyes are a bit small...I had no idea. But because of that, the clamp may be extra uncomfy. Oh well. It'll be a 5 minute thing and I am only having one eye done, so whatever is happening at least I won't be laying there thinking "Oh no, one more eye to go after this."

Your talk of the laser having a built in tracking device is very comforting to me. At my consult yesterday, they had to do one of the eye tests a couple of times because my was moving. I swear, I had my chin on the chin rest, my teeth were clamped, my forehead was pressed against the head guard part...and my eye was still moving?? I was trying so hard! LOL! So, I think that's what instilled this fear in me...what if I'm trying and trying, and I'm drugged up....and I can't keep my eye as STILL as need be?

I will ask about the valium...or whatever they offer. I'm the kind of person that likes the laughing gas at the dentist for anything MORE than a filling. So..GIMME THE PILL, I'll take it!

My doctor's office doesn't have a fish bowl that I know of. They have a video online and I was shown another video yesterday. So, I may not see it live. But, I have an idea of what to expect.

Some of the things I read, I'm mildly amused by. I love your story of the stuffed dog. Poor thing! But, it's sweet that these doctors, who do this every day, know we are freaked out about's not common place for us.

Also, the paperwork I have says to dress in layers on the day of surgery, it's chilly in the laser suite. states NOT to wear a SWEATER. Ok then. Long sleeved tee and sweatshirt...just no sweater.

I appreciate your story about how 6 hours later you were seeing much better. That's my main concern right now, getting thru the lasik with a good result. I'm reading about other people on this board who were over or under corrected. Or, who are having an AWFUL TIME with dry eyes. I may be struggling with an issue after the fact too. But I know recovery will take time. I will use all of my eye drops religiously, and hope for the best. Right now I want to focus on the procedure rather than worry about after.

I hope when this is all done, I can come back here and help other people who have worries about an upcoming surgery.

In the meantime, thank you for everything. I can't wait to crawl into my bed at home on 12-2 for a nice nap, knowing it's DONE!

:) Wendy

Hating glasses 11-16-2005 02:46 PM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
I have another thing I can tell you about that can either ease your mind or work you up. But, I figure that honesty is the best policy where your eyes are concerned, and the more you know, the better prepared you will be. You said that you have small eyes. I do too. So, I was told that I might have some discomfort as well and I did. But, only in my left eye. I know the ring thing kind of hurt up in the outside corner of my upper eyelid. It wasn't anything I couldn't handle. I think that a Bee sting, a shot or even someone pinching me hurts way worse than the minor pain I had from the ring thing that cuts the flap. I can't remember but, I don't think the clamp thingy hurt at all. It was just an uncomfortable feeling because you can't blink. But, it is so quick. And, I don't think that it will take you 5 minutes for the surgery. Basically, that estimate is kind of skewed. It may take about 2 minutes per eye but, it may even be less than that. I didn't time mine. I can tell you that as it is happening it goes so quick that you really aren't thinking about time. It is really so quick!
That is weird about them telling you to dress warmly. But, that was nice of them to tell you to do that. I get Laser Hair Removal and, they have to keep those laser machines at the perfect temperature or they will malfunction so, it can be cold in the room with the machine. But, again, so many things were running through my mind so, I don't even remember if it was cold. Hehehe! If I remember correctly, I wore a white sweater and a cute little scarf. But, that is good that they take such care to make sure nothing goes wrong for you that they even restrict what you wear! How great! Your doc sounds really thorough!

Now, as for the dryness, I am one of those people that have had dry eye issues since my surgery. I am nearly 11 months post-op and I still fight the dry eyes but, over the past 2 weeks, it has all gotten tons better. Some people have the dry eye problem and others don't. You may be lucky. I can suggest that you keep on with the eye drops for a while after the time your doc has told you to stop using them. Unless you feel you can go without them.

Something else I forgot to tell you is that your eyes will heal at different speeds so, your left may be great one day and your right really annoying, dry, blurry, etc...and then the next day it is vice versa day. You may have a really great day one day and not so great the next. Our bodies are not perfect. Even right now, your eyes are moody. You just probably don't notice it. And, your vision right now is fluctuating. Again, you probably just don't notice it. But, when it happens after surgery, you may get scared or nervous and start to worry. Don't! Just know that it is all a normal part of the healing process. But, if you find yourself worried, go see your doc. They are there to get you through the surgery and the aftercare. And, if you don't already have a good regular eye doc, get one. Go see him or her after your surgery. Maybe not right away after. But, some time after, just go and make sure that they give you a thorough exam to make sure that everything is great. And, that have your new vision on file. My Lasik doc told me to get on record with a reg eye doc between my 6 and 9 month mark. Plus, given that a reg eye doc is an unbiased party, they are more likely to pay slightly closer attention and give you a little more time to talk out your concerns if you have any.

Wait until you see the sky with your new sight for the first time! It is so beautiful that it almost hurts. Colors will be so much more vibrant! You won't believe your eyes!

Ok...I think that is all for now!
I know you aren't concerned with the after yet but, I just wanted to toss some after knowledge at you so you are well prepared for everything that you have to look forward to.

PRODGIRL 11-16-2005 11:46 PM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
I think the worst part is the dry eyes. I am post op one year and still have dry eyes. Sometimes it is so bad that I honestly regret the surgery. Depending on where you live I would really think this thru. If you are in a desert climate witout a lot of moisture. Think twice...

Whill381 11-17-2005 08:32 AM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
All of this stuff is fascinating.

Prodgirl, dry eyes. Mine can be MILDLY dry at the end of a day wearing contacts. I think all the little annoyances with contacts will help me deal with some of the annoyances after lasik. Some blurred vision, some halos in night driving, some dry eye. I have all of that now with contacts! I'm in Chicago, winters can be dry...but we have plenty of humidity all spring and summer.

Hating Glasses...the small eye thing. I don't know. I never thought of my eyes as small. Small is relative. The nurse who told me my eyes were small had some bug eyes of her own (LOL) so sure, my eyes ARE small compared to hers. We'll see. Time will tell. But everyone I've talked to, even family members, have said that ring is the worst part. It's uncomfy. And, not being able to blink no matter what is UNNATURAL and a very odd sensation. But...again, I'm only having one eye done. I can deal with anything for 2 minutes or 5 minutes or however long it takes.

On the other hand, it's interesting they can numb your eye but not the area AROUND your eye. You figure if the general area was numb, nothing would hurt. Kind of like novicane at the dentist...for one filling, I lose feeling in half of my face! Whatever pill they give me ahead of time to relax will take the edge off the discomfort from the ring. Like you said though, make sure I take it well beforehand...not just minutes before.

Yeah...I was told no sweaters. Don't use any lotion or hairspray the day of the procedure. OBVIOUSLY no make up. They must have these "Restrictions" for a reason and I am happy to oblige for the day (and the week post with no make up). My doctor is a good one, again...that's a relative term. But he's done area newscasters, a couple hockey players, SUPPOSEDLY Tiger Woods. My main reason for searching him out was because of family. But now that I look into his credentials, I'm pretty impressed. When we're talking eye sight, I am not going to a $399 per eye place.

Then I worry about vision after the fact. I hope Lasik helps me to see as well as I do WITH my contact in. Otherwise, why am I doing this? 20/30 or 20/40 really means nothing to me. All I know is that my bad eye is a -3.75 right now. I want see as well as I do with contacts/glasses...but WITHOUT the contact/glasses! If in the future some reading glasses are needed, that's FINE. But, I want to go about my daily life "just" being able to see.

I sure loved what you wrote...

[QUOTE]Wait until you see the sky with your new sight for the first time! It is so beautiful that it almost hurts. Colors will be so much more vibrant! You won't believe your eyes![/QUOTE]

I'm sorry you're still suffering from dry eyes. I guess the silver lining is that some days are better than others...or you'll have one dry eye and the other one is ok. Again, I only have one to worry about. That cold be good...that could be bad! I WILL stay on top of the drops for as long as need be. At some point I hope to be down to using one or two kinds though, not the FOUR they give me to start with. Vigamox, Econpred Plus, Systane, & Restasis. is day #3 in my glasses and I stumbled across another reason I hate them. It's SUNNY here today, we had a bit of snow. The glare on my ride to work was awful. I don't have perscription I had no shield from the glare!! more thing. I do have a great current eye doc, one I've been going to for years and years. I have some interesting eye history that he totally understands, it's part of why I'm only having one eye done. (Long story short, my 2 eyes don't work together. I can SEE with both eyes, I have good peripheral vision, but my dominant eye is my bad/weak one. The eye I don't rely on is the eye that's near 20/20. When they DO work together, I know it cause I see double for a split second. I had surgery as a toddler for lazy eye...and that was corrected. But the connection with my brain on how to use 2 eyes together never happened) I will continue to use him after all of this is done and I feel confindent he'll be there to walk me thru some things if need be.

I know I'm rambling here...but maybe someone else who's about to have Lasik will read this one day, and also gain some knowledge they can use!

:) Wendy

Whill381 12-05-2005 07:52 AM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...Update
Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to post an update. I had my Custom Lasik done on 12-2 and I could not be happier. So far, so good. GREAT actually. The procedure was easy, I don't know what I was so worked up about. But the worry and anticipation was the worst part. The Lasik part was easy! The clamp to keep my lids open didn't hurt, the suction ring didn't bother me. I was under the laser for 31 seconds...and the whole process took about 4 minutes, maybe less. (I only needed one eye done.)

I went home and slept. Mye eye was sore before my nap, watery, red. My vision was like looking thru a piece of saran wrap.....a bit blurry. By the time I got up for dinner, I was seeing wonderfully.

I had my post op appt Saturday morning at 9:30 and my vision is 20/15. I'm exstatic, the doctor is happy, I realize I may regress or have days of fuzzy vision, but so far so good. Drops are my friends. I'm a little dry, but nothing even as bad as a "dirty/dry contact day"

I will say that I researched this office and my doctor A LOT. I went by word of mouth and family members. When we're talking sight, I wasn't lookin for a deal. My procedure was VERY PRICEY...for Customvue Wavefront Lasik on one eye...$2600. But...if things continue like this? It's WORTH EVERY PENNY.

Thanks to everyone who posted here before my procedure. I'll be checking back, checking on everyone, adding updates if things change. (I HOPE NOT!)

I know it's early, but I feel confident I'll be in the group of people who say Lasik is the best thing I ever did for myself.

There's NOTHING like sharp, clear glasses, no contacts. I CAN SEE!! No halos at night. No ghosting. Again, I went to the best in my area. I paid for the best. And...It's sooo worth it.

:) Wendy

PRODGIRL 12-06-2005 08:37 PM

Re: Lasik on 12-2...what's the WORST part?
Another few things for quick healing are supposed to be:
Humidifier at night, especially if you feel dryness
Vit E and C
Flax Oil
Folic Acid

I had my original surgery in 10/04 and just had an enhancement on 11/28/05 and started the suppliment regimne above about one month prior and humidifier the day of and my recovery has been 100% better?!

Not sure if it is all in my mind or not, but I have heard these work - and I am sold...

Happy Healing!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:59 PM.