Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lasic Surgery Success!

I have new eyes! Well rather new and improved vision! This past Wednesday (11/15) I finally had Lasik surgery and all I can say is wow! This is truly amazing, my vision is already 20/20 and I feel so much better not having to use contacts or glasses. I've had a lot of people ask me about the procedure so I will give a somewhat detailed report and how it went.

Kirsten and I first arrived at Restore Vision Center at 9:30am for my 10:20am appointment. Once checked in we read some People magazines while I nervously fidgeted. We did this for about an hour and 1/2 as I didn't get called in until 11am. We were both allowed in for the first part of the appointment, the Post Operation Instructions. The nurse informed us of all the different types of drops I needed to put into my eyes and specially what to do the first day home. The main theme was rest the first day, as I could not read, watch tv or play on the computer.

After the post op care was given Kirsten had to return to the waiting room while I was escorted to the surgery waiting room. The room was filled with chairs for people pre and post surgery. When I first arrived there were two other patients waiting to have the surgery. We chatting about our nervousness for a few minutes until one of them was called in to have the surgery. Once the patient was done I was called to get my eyes examined by the surgeon before the surgery. It was a quick eye test to make sure my vision was the same as my pre-exam a few weeks back. At the end of the exam he gave me one Valium. I asked for two but he said one is fine. I then returned to the waiting room to be called for the surgery. After waiting about 20 minutes I was called in, hoping my Valium kicked in (and yes it did).

Once in the surgical room you lay on a table and the nurses give you a stuffed animal to squeeze if you are nervous, I squeeze relentlessly. After about a minute the surgeon comes in and puts some numbing drops in both eyes and then tapes my left eye closed and puts a patch over it. He continues with my right eye walking me through the procedure as he is doing it. The surgeon puts more drops in my eye to numb it and then tapes my eye lower and upper eye lashes out of the way. Following the tape he puts this speculum type device into my eye to spread the eye open, this amazingly doesn't hurt one bit. Once the eye is wide open he puts some more drops in and starts to put the Microkeratome on my eye to cut the cornea flab. Now I have to say this is the hardest part (but not that hard). Once the Microkeratome is on the eye it sucks all the air out of in front of the eye so that it can cut the cornea flap without any blood. This suction is slightly uncomfortable. During the suction you lose your vision for a few seconds while it is cutting the cornea flap. The Microkeratome is then removed and the surgeon take a thin metal tool and pulls back the cornia flab for the laser to have direct access to the rear cornea. He then does some more irrigation and aligns the laser to your eye.

After everything is aligned he starts the laser. You cannot feel or see the laser at all. You can hear a clicking sound of the laser as while as slight burning smell. Luckily for me it was only 30 seconds on my right eye and 38 on the left. After the laser is complete he puts the cornea flap back on and smoothes it out with a brush. He finishes the eye by having me close it and keep it closed for a few seconds then it's all complete for that eye. The left eye was exactly the same except it was a little more uncomfortable when cutting the cornea flap but nothing I couldn't handle.

Overall I was pretty worked up for nothing as the surgery wasn't painful at all and actually quite surreal as your eyes are numb during the procedure. When returning the waiting room I could already see an improvement in my vision. Ten minutes later (around 1pm) Kirsten drove me home where I kept my eyes closed for most of the day, calling as many people possible to talk since that was one of the few things I could do with my eyes closed. The next day I returned to Restore Vision Center for my first post op appointment where I was cleared to drive again. My vision in my left eye was 20/20 and my right eye almost 20/20. I expect my vision to be 20/15 once all said and done which will be great since that is where my vision was with my contacts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lasik Surgery

Well I have finally threw away my fears and decided to have Lasik surgery. Several times the past three years I've wanted to have the surgery to then back away from it after learning about the procedure. The problem has always been the cutting of the cornea flap, that just freaks me out.

The first time I was interested in the surgery I didn't know they cut your eye open and once I found out I completely stalled and decided to not have the surgery. And then every year I get interested in the surgery again and think can I handle this and the answer is usually no. Until this year.

This past summer Kirsten and I went to The Bite of Seattle to watch a buddy play a concert. After the show we walked around the various booths and ran into a Restore Vision Centers booth. This is the place I've always looked at to do the procedure, but this time the guy said something that made me think twice about doing the surgery. He said, "Don't worry they give you Valium." After him telling me that the Valium helps with the anxiety and seriously thought about having the surgery. It also helped that I would get a $400 discount if I signed up with him to at least get the pre-exam. A few weeks after The Bite I got a call from Restore Vision Center to schedule my pre-exam. Then for the next few months I waited and postponed the pre-exam a couple of times due to baseball and our Hawaiian vacation. Then in October I finally had my pre-exam and decided to have the surgery. So on Wednesday (11/15) I will be getting some new eyes.