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    Old 10-01-2007, 07:13 AM   #1
    Skylar_
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    My Intralase Experience

    OK, this board has helped me with a lot of my questions so I thought I'd post my Intralase experience, for better or worse. I'm scheduled to have the surgery in 2 days. Here's my background:

    -31 yo female
    -slight astigmatism; -4.75 & -4.25
    -told I was a good candidate by 2 surgeons (1 was 2nd opinion)
    -considered "normal" on all pre-op tests (corneal thickness, scans, etc.)
    -have slightly dry eyes pre-op when I wear contacts. I have a lot of problems wearing contacts so I rely on glasses, have no dry eye with glasses
    -general health status is good
    -surgery by a highly recommended surgeon at the medical college, supposedly the best around
    -desire to be free of glasses due to active lifestyle
    -pre-op: taking 1000 mg Vitamin C/day & using eye drops per surgeon's orders

    OK, I'm getting nervous about my outcome & the procedure!! Will post to this thread after the surgery. Hope it helps someone in their decision making. Thanks, Skylar

     
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    Old 10-02-2007, 03:48 AM   #2
    mymorocks
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Good luck Skylar! I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes.

     
    Old 10-02-2007, 10:31 PM   #3
    mcr285
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    wow, i was just thinking about you the other day! i know you're nervous, but don't worry! you'll be so happy you had it done! good luck!

     
    Old 10-03-2007, 04:36 AM   #4
    Skylar_
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Thank you both! I can't believe I'm having it done in just a few hours-really getting nervous now!! I'm sure I'm making a bigger deal of the procedure than it is, but it's intimidating. SEE you after the procedure ;-)

     
    Old 10-03-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    hey, skylar! how are you feeling???

    okay, don't answer that now. you need to turn the computer off, and go lay down!!!! stay off the computer for the next couple of days so your eyes can rest a bit..... hope it's all going well for you!

     
    Old 10-05-2007, 09:07 AM   #6
    Skylar_
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Well, I'm now 2 days after my surgery and so far so good! For those of you on the other side of the surgery, here's what it was like:

    The Surgery:
    I arrived at the clinic scared silly-I was SO nervous. After the payment was taken care of I had my consultation with one of the techs-told how to do all the post-op drops, not to exercise for 72 hours, not to shower until the next day and most importantly to SLEEP after the surgery. They also rechecked my presciption. And gave me an Ativan to relax me (it had no effect on me for some reason). Then the surgeon came in, answered any last minute question and took me to the surgery suite.

    In the suite I got on the table-the head part had pillows on each side to keep you from moving (the laser also checks itself 4000 times/second for any involuntary movement and will stop treatment). They gave me a teddy bear to clutch (yes I took it!!) and the nurse held my hand. Then they put on the metal clamp to hold my eyelids open. I am petite (5'3) with small features so I expected it to hurt, but it did not. Then they put a suction ring on my eye which also did not hurt-just slight pressure, not half as bad as I imagined. Then my vision went a little dim. Then the first laser, the one that cuts the flap. It was a strange feeling, but not painful. It was over really quick too. Then the same thing on the other eye. Then I got a new eyelid opener for the second laser that actually corrects the vision and the surgeon pulled the flap out of the way. I was told to focus on an orange light and for my vision (-4.75) this part took ~30 seconds. It takes longer the worse your vision is. It did not hurt at all. Again, it was a bizarre sight-you can see blue electric current generated by the laser and hear some clicking noises. The smell was barely noticable. I knew as soon as the laser finished that it went well because that nebulous orange light I'd focused on was now a small well defined orange dot. Then the surgeon smoothed the flap down, which did not hurt and looked kind of like someone washing a window you are looking out. Then I sat up and everything was much clearer but very foggy. Then had me sit in a recliner for about 20 minutes and put various drops in my eyes.

    Last edited by Skylar_; 10-12-2007 at 07:14 PM.

     
    Old 10-05-2007, 09:17 AM   #7
    Skylar_
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    After the surgery:

    I sat in the recliner and the numbing drops wore off. It did not exactly hurt but my eyes were stinging like I had salt water from the beach in them. I was also sensitive to light and my eyes were watering like crazy. Even my nose was running. After he checked my flap I was sent home to sleep.

    TAKE A DRIVER. I could barely open my eyes on the way to the hotel (my surgery was out of town) and they were watering so much. I was beginning to wonder if I'd made a mistake with this surgery!!

    I took a 3-4 hour nap in what looked like a ski mask. When I woke up the watering, red eyes, stinging were gone. The fogginess was gone. I was still a little light sensitive but I could see! I use the drops as directed and have been recovering well. At my 1 day check-up I could see 20/40 (they claimed a blurry 20/20 but I disagree). I could have driven the day after with no problems. The hardest part has been not to scratch my eyes. All the drops have made my eyelashes sticky and itchy, but you can't scratch. The light sensitivity is pretty much gone but I do see halos around lights at night-but it's similar to wha tI used to see with glasses when I was tired.

    Here is my only concern, maybe someone can help me:
    *My distance vision is really good but my close-up vision seems worse than before surgery. Reading a book/looking at the computer (I'm not doing either much to allow my eyes to heal) is very hard. Is it possible that the surgery compromised my reading vision OR is this a normal part of healing? I have a call in to my doctor to ask. I'm 31 and have never needed reading glasses. Thanks, Skylar

     
    Old 10-06-2007, 10:05 AM   #8
    mymorocks
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Hey Skylar,
    I'm glad to hear things are going well. Your experience sounds very similar to mine. I wouldn't worry too much about the 20/40 vision, the halos, or the blurriness close-up right now. I was the same way after surgery. I'm now a little over 5 weeks post-op. The halos I was seeing around the lights are now gone. For the first few weeks after surgery, I was experiecing some ghosting whenever I would read or look at the letters on my keyboard. My vision, both near and far, is very crisp now (not sure what it has improved to as I have not yet had my 1 month post-op appt). The severe dryness issue I was having is almost completely gone. I'm only having to use the lubricating drops a few times each day. You're not at the age to be needing reading glasses so I think you'll be fine. Just give it some time

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 05:07 PM   #9
    Skylar_
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    OK, I'm 5 days after the surgery now and my vision is fairly stable. The distance is fine, I'm driving and all without any problems. Halos are getting better, but still present. The near vision is still fuzzy, although better. I tried on various reading glasses at the drug store yesterday to see if it would help and it had no effect, so I think this is just part of the healing.

    So far my eyes are fairly comfortable, except I keep having the thought, "I really need to take my contacts out"-that is the feeling, that your eyes are a little dry/tired from a long day of contact wear. I'll post again after my 10 day follow-up. Skylar

     
    Old 10-16-2007, 07:20 PM   #10
    Skylar_
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Just had my 10 day post-op follow up. My right eye was 20/20 and my left eye 20/25. Generally I am feeling pretty good about the surgery outcome. The doctor said everything looked good with the flap and my healing. I continue to use lubricating drops every time I think about it. Halos have gotten a lot better but when I'm tired they return, especially driving at night, but it's still at a functional level.

    My reading/computer screen vision has improved but is still not where it was before surgery. Somehow the contrast of black ink/type on white paper/screen is hard to see. The doctor told me this is due to swelling and a natural part of healing. So, I'll keep waiting for that to improve. Even if it stayed as is I wouldn't be sorry I had the surgery-it's a dream to see so well at a distance.

    However, there is one little thing that no one told me before surgery. Because my distance vision was so bad my close up vision was really good. I could focus on things ~4 inches from my eyes, like say removing a splitter from your finger or my fingernails. Now I can't do that anymore and have to back things up to ~8 inches or so. This doesn't affect reading-that is fine, it's closer stuff. For example, if I look at my shoulder it's all blurry. The doctor told me this is the trade-off for having 20/20 distance vision and that people born with 20/20 vision can't see at such a close distance anyway. It's not really an important skill-I mean what do you really need such close-up vision for. I just have to re-train my habits.

    Well, I am really excited about my outcome and glad I chose the surgeon I did. More to come as I progress! Thanks everyone for all the encouragement along the way! Skylar

     
    Old 10-17-2007, 06:06 PM   #11
    airline
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Thanks Skylar for your updates...I'm still thinking about making 'that' appointment so it's good to hear another positive outcome. At the end of the day,it seems you'll either be lucky or unlucky...like any surgery there are risks. Keep us informed

     
    Old 10-17-2007, 06:56 PM   #12
    Skylar_
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Hi Airline,

    I think a lot of it also depends on the quality of your surgeon because ultimately, that is the person responsible for screening out those that are not good candidates. Good luck!

     
    Old 10-23-2007, 11:11 PM   #13
    mcr285
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    hey skylar! sounds like you've had a good experience so far! good for you! i had to laugh at the teddy bear, because i had a my little pony my daughter gave me that i squeezed the crud out of during the surgery!!!

    as far as your reading vision goes, it takes time for that to get back to normal. i couldn't see jack up close for a couple of months post-op! your eyes are still in the recovery phase and will be for another several months so go easy on them. if they're tired, rest them, and keep doing those tears like a crazy person because that was the key to my healing!

    also, don't spend too much time on the computer, and if you have to be on it, make sure you're sitting a good two feet back from the monitor. it will help and you won't strain your eyes as much.

    it's great to hear such a positive story! keep us posted!

     
    Old 11-03-2007, 08:20 AM   #14
    Skylar_
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    It's been one month since my surgery and I love the results!! I feel completely normal again and have to really try to remember to use the eye drops. (My doc said to use the lubricating drops even if you don't feel like you need them, they help with healing).

    My very close-up vision is blurry, for example I had a mole on my shoulder and couldn't focus on it until I looked in a mirror. But, that is no big deal, It doesn 't affect any daily activities. No halos, no dry eyes, no fluctuating vision. I can see better than with glasses. Every now and then when I'm tired my eyes are a little blurry but still not too bad. Reading/computer screen is no longer difficult.

    My husband is insanely jealous of my eyesight and wants his done now. Outside our bedroom window there is a field with all these birds that I never even knew were there. Now I can watch them first thing in the morning from bed. Of course you also notice all the dust in your house/mildew in shower tiles that you couldn't see before!!

    Good luck to those thinking of having the surgery-choose a top notch surgeon, even if it costs more. You'll be glad you did! Skylar

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 04:50 AM   #15
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    Re: My Intralase Experience

    Congratulations - enjoy!

     
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