Thursday, April 27, 2006

LASEK surgery, part one

Today I was scheduled for LASIK surgery around 2pm. My dad and I arrived around 1:30 per request to get some tests performed. I went through some more tests before meeting with the MD. The MD informed me that my left eye had a slight deformity that would make LASIK a risky procedure and that LASEK was a safer option. I opted for the LASEK procedure.

It was around 3pm or so before we actually moved to the waiting room. I was given a medical kit with sunglasses, a steroid and some individually packaged, lubricating, artificial tears. I was offered a Valium (yes, please).

I was the first patient out of our group to go in for surgery. I remember wondering about the Valium and if enough time had elapsed for it to take effect (I've never had a Valium before so I had no idea how I should be feeling - should I be relaxed, loopy, or dizzy?).

The LASEK procedure

I was moved into the operating room then placed on my back. An eye patch cover was placed over my left eye to protect it while the right eye was operated on. The laser unit was moved over my head. The MD then placed what I assume were three plastic pieces under my eyelids to keep my eye open then rotated a suction cup down on the eye itself (to hold it in place). The MD focused the laser and scraped over my eye with some utensils. The next part was probably the most tense part: when they actually use the laser to burn your eye (if you ever decide to have this surgery this will be the worst part). The actual “laser” part started with the sound of a vacuum device that I assume was to suck the smell (smoke?) of burning eyeball out of the air. The laser made a snapping noise that sounded like the starter on a stove or barbecue grill. Even with the vacuum I smelled the results of the laser burning your eye. The laser was on for about seven to fifteen seconds (if you can get past that, the rest of the surgery is cake). After the laser disengaged, drops were placed in my eyes along with a protective contact lens (to aid recovery and regeneration of layers of the eye). The device on my eye and the devices propping my eye open were removed. The procedure was repeated for the left eye.

The entire procedure lasted about seven to ten minutes by my best estimates. My dad was watching the entire procedure from another room and admitted he could have used a Valium more than I did. The closed circuit monitor was a close-up of my eye and was probably the same thing the MD was seeing while operating on my eye.

Shields were taped to my eyes and we were sent on our way.

Afterwards.

Immediately after the surgery there were times where my vision was sharp and other times where it was almost as blurry as my eyes before the procedure. My eyes were sore and very sensitive to light. Figures it would be a bright, sun-shiny day that day.

The post-operative procedure heavily emphasized as much rest as possible. As soon as I got to my parent's house I walked upstairs to my old bedroom and was down for the count.

I would like to thank my parents for driving me from the facilities and putting me up in my old bedroom while I recovered.

Drugs?

I was placed on one drop of Vigamox four times per day and two drops of Econopred Plus (synthetic corticosteroid Prednisolone) four times per day. The recovery guide suggested Tylenol for pain so I stayed on the maximum dose per day for about four days.

Links

LASEK Eye Surgery: How It Works

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