A Day in the Life of a LASIK Procedure
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
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.