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A Day in the Life of a LASIK Procedure

Aug 17, 2007
It is 9:00am, I must get up, I have been waiting for this day my entire life. As far as I can remember I have needed glasses, not the kind that would flatter a person, the kind that would bring pity to the faces of strangers who looked at me. I mean, my glasses where thick! . This is the day I am going to have LASIK. LASIK is an acronym for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, which refers to creating a flap in the cornea with a microkeratome and using a laser to reshape the underlying cornea. I have done the research, I have met with the surgeon, there is no turning back, its almost show time.

On my way to the doctor's office, my mind is racing, am I making the right decision? Will I experience the debilitating side effects that others have warned me about? My journey originally began at my eye doctor's office, who does not perform LASIK. I asked him for a referral, and he suggested a local Ophthalmologist. An Ophthalmologist is a Medical Doctor who is licensed to perform LASIK procedures, after additional LASIK-specific training. After an extensive checking of his credentials, and experience, this was going to be my LASIK doctor.

I finally arrive, and a very friendly, and helpful staff greets me, and assures me that this procedure will be painless, and quick. Easy for them to say, they all probably have perfect vision. My name is called; I proceed to a cold, large room, which looks like a scene from the movie Independence Day. My hour of reckoning is here, I think about going blind, what I would miss most. I have to start thinking positive thoughts. I briefly meet with the Surgical Counselor who explains to me the different steps I am about to go through. He asks me if I require a sedative, I tell him a Bombay Sapphire Martini would do just fine. He reminds me it is 10:00 am in the morning. I opt out of taking any sedative; I want to be awake for the entire procedure. With this, in walks his royal highness, THE LASIK SURGEON.

I lay down on what is referred to as the treatment bed, a bit hard, but totally acceptable. The surgeon places drops in both of my eyes, within seconds my eyes feel very heavy, and numb. He assures me this is normal, and will not affect my brain. He starts on the right eye first, he places clamps under my eyelids to keep them wide open. My heart is racing; I want to cry out for my mommy. Next he places a contraption on my eye, that he calls a keratome, the instrument that will be used to create the cornea "flap". At this point, I only feel some pressure on my eye, absolutely no pain. His assistant is constantly pouring artificial tears in my eyes to keep them wet since I cannot blink. I am now directed to focus on a red fixation light, which I do obediently. The surgeon activates the keratome, I hear a noise my cornea is being sliced like a bologna, and I still feel no pain. Next the laser is activated, I smell something like burning hair, again no pain, just pressure. Within minutes the surgeon is finished with the right eye, on to the left. The entire procedure lasted about 20 minutes. That is it!

My procedure is over, and I am in recovery. I am almost in tears, I open my eyes, and for the first time in my life I have VISION, a bit cloudy, but vision nonetheless. I am overwhelmed at this point. The LASIK surgeon walks in, checks me briefly, and informs me everything went well. I wanted to hug and kiss him, however there is a time and place for everything. I am given some drops, and instructions, and within 24 hours of surgery I am back at work. Absolutely amazing, how quick the recovery period was. My vision at this point is cloudy, and I am told this is normal, since the cornea is still swollen.

Six weeks have passed, and I am doing great. The vision in my right eye is 20/20, my left is 20/25 all with no glasses, or correction. The cloudiness is completely eliminated, I still have a noticeable glare at night, but far from debilitating. There is no dryness in my eyes at all, and I rarely use lubricating drops. I am completely satisfied with my entire experience, and highly recommend it to any potential candidate.
About the Author
Jay B Stockman is a contributing editor for The Contact Lens Resource Visit http://1contactlenses.com/ for more information.
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