My LASIK Surgery Experience – Intralase and Wavefront

I have been toying with the idea of performing LASIK on my eyes for a few years (yes, a few years). At that time, I heard mix review about it and some side effects that follow. Therefore, I decided to put it aside. Finally, after my good friend, Jason, who went for it recently and after finding out more details about it, I decided to go ahead. Here is myself wearing my spectacle for the last time (I hope).

Before I start, I think I got to make it clear that this is not an endorsement for the clinic nor it is an advertorial (mine you, I did went for the LASIK). I thought of sharing it since some of my friends are interested and many of the people are unsure what is the aftercare that you need to do, plus what it meant with all those LASIK terms.

Over the years, LASIK has been simplified to just less than 15 minutes of surgery. Previously, I know that people has to do one eye at a time and suffer from complications. Because of technology, LASIK is now safer (but still it is not 100% Risk Free!) and surgeons in Singapore are more experienced with it.

Preparation

What I did was to ask around, visit websites and talking to friends who did it. However, it is never enough to understand them or know which package suits you. So, I decided to call this clinic up and book an appointment. During the booking, I also decided to perform the LASIK. That is if I am the right candidate (More about this later).

Here is a video that I thought could let you know more about LASIK.

Evaluation Day

First step, of course, is registration. During the registration, they will ask if you have medical history or medication for High Blood Pressure. My suggestion is that if you have medical history, call them up first. Don’t waste your trip.

From my personal experience, the evaluation took 4 hours but I guess most of them are waiting time. There are a series of tests to determine if you are suitable for LASIK. I am surprised that there are so many people going for LASIK.

These are the tests (not in order) (It may differ from clinic to clinic).

TEST

  • Eye Pressure Test
  • Eye Power Test
  • Corneal Thickness Test
  • Manual Eye Power Test
  • Dilation Eye  Drops Instilled
  • Video about LASIK  treatment
  • Repeated Eye Power Test
  • Repeated Manual Eye Power Test
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PREP

  • Counseling Session
    • We were given a talk on what are the effects and what type of care we must perform after surgery. Also, during the session, they talked about the various options available for each person. Normally, the doctor or surgeon will base on your results to determine the best method.
    • I was confused with the various terms used. For example, what is Intralase, what is Custom and what is Wavefront and etc and they explained it.
    • Here are some video that might help anyone to understand.

Intralase

Don’t quote me. Intralase, in short, is a bladeless way to slice your cornea to create a flap for the LASIK. Tradition method is using a physical blade to cut this flap. I heard from the clinic that it might cause infection (although low chance but since it is a blade, anything could happen).

Watch this video to understand.

Wavefront

We have 2 options, one is Custom and the other is Wavefront LASIK. The difference is that custom uses standard degree to perform the LASIK. As for Wavefront, it uses complex software to determine the shape of your cornea and perform the LASIK.

Watch this video to understand more.

  • Doctor Consultation
    • During the doctor’s consultation, I asked about the option that I have. It seems that there is just one for me as I have high astigmatism (200 degree for each eyes). The best way, according to him, is Intralase and Wavefront.
    • I choose this option, of course.

SURGERY OPTION PLUS PAYMENT

At the payment counter, I was briefed again on the options and my option is the most expensive. With everything inside, it cost more than S$4k for both eyes. BTW, there are 0% interest, installment options for credit cards for my clinic. Do ask them.

SURGERY

Actually, after the test, payment and etc, I booked my LASIK procedure. My schedule was at 2:30 pm. Again, many waiting time but quite relaxing though.

For my case, I have to remove shoes, put on covers for both feet, wear slippers, put on some gown and wear the hat. See the pic below.

I was then briefed again by the nurse on the aftercare and etc. A long list actually. They have to actually do this to every patient and they speak like a machine but very detailed. Here is the list.

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The surgery is like “production line”. Each one will be called to the surgery room and then perform the LASIK. When I was called, I was lead to the surgery room. I laid on the bed (I don’t know what you call that). The head is sandwich by very heavy pillow (like a sandbag that mold to the shape of the side of your head). Numbing solution was dropped into my eyes.

First step is actually to use the Intralase method to cut a flap on my cornea. A suction is inserted onto your eye. A bit strange, actually, because it literally cup your eye and then suddenly, the vision became blur as the cut was made on my cornea. Very fast and no pain. It finishes both eyes within 5 minutes.

Next, the actual Lasik using Wavefront. The nurse had a “dry run” (by closing my eyes) with me to hear the laser sound. Then they stick tape around my eye and another tool to hold my eye and I am supposed to look at the red light above me.

The next step is a little uncomfortable to hear but as I mentioned earlier, I felt nothing. The cornea flap is flipped over using a special tool and immediately, everything becomes blur.

This is like a wake up call that vision is so important. Without vision or sudden blurring of vision will cause anyone to panic. However, the process was super fast.

Once the flap was flipped, the laser began to perform and you could (barely) feel some sting on the eyes. It is like dryness in your eye. Automatically, you would want to blink but of course, you cannot as your eye is held by a device.

Once completed, the flap is flipped back to original position and your vision (although blur) is already better (means sharper) and the surgeon will use a tool to push out any bubbles underneath the flap. Sounds horrible but you feel nothing except you have to witness this step with your eye. You can see a tool touching your eyes and pushing all around. Very fast.

This procedure is repeated for the next eye and that is it. You are done.

The surgeon proceed to check your eye using a scope to see if it is a success. And since mine is a success, I was ushered back to my chair. At that moment, I actually could already see things  but with haziness.

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The next step is to remove all those gears and headdress and the nurse will use eye shield to protect the eyes. See pic below

I was told to go back with it, take a sleeping pill and sleep as the next 4 to 5 hours, I will feel a little bit stingy effect and tearing. BTW, the numbing lotion applied during the surgery will wear off in 30 to 45 minutes (If I am not wrong).

On my way back, I could feel the effect coming and started to tear. Everything seems very bright and I could barely open my eyes. Once I am home, I slept for a few hours and the moment I wake up, it is like reborn.

I could not open my eyes immediately, I could feel something (like dust caught in my eyes) in my eyes and start tearing and then I could open them properly. Over the next few hours, it got better and better (that is why I could still blog yesterday 🙂 ).

The rest is procedure, procedure and procedure (apply anti-biotic drip every hour, apply eye drop every hour). You can see the list above for those things that I need to do for the next few months.

1st REVIEW

It was super fast. An eye check by a machine, follow by a check by the doctor using a scope. all goes well. Here is the picture of my eyes after first day. I think it differs from patient to patient. I have 2 red patches on both eyes. Felt nothing at all.

BTW, I drove there. It is advisable to prepare a shade if you want to go out in the sun. Everything is bright.

2ND REVIEW

Will be done in 3 weeks time.

Hope that you enjoyed my little journey on LASIK surgery and hope that I did not put people off LASIK.
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