My Lasik Experience

After years of consideration and months of procrastination (probably due to the big hole it would leave in my pocket..), I decided to finally get my eyes fixed once and for all.? I went for a pre-assessment at Eagle Eye Clinic at Mt Alveria Hospital in end May and had my op last Thursday.? The doc who did my Lasik is Dr Julian Theng. He’s a senior consultant and was previously with the Singapore National Eye Centre. He’s this pretty good looking chap who’s very patient (very important for kan-cheong people like me) and very professional. Overall the procedure was painless, though there’s slight discomfort when they clamped my eyelids to keep my eyes open and used scotch tape to tape my eyelashes. For those of you who are considering doing Lasik, here’s a walk through of the whole procedure. I will also list what are the things to look out for before and after the op.

1) Dr Julian Theng only operates on Thursdays, so do watch your schedule there.

2) When I arrived at Eagle eye centre last Thursday morning, I was brought to a room where the nurses dripped lots of eye drops for me and dressed me in those surgical paper frocks (complete with shower cap). For ladies with long hair, don’t bother to tie cos you’ll need to lie down and your head must be totally flat on the headrest. Oh, my dad was allowed to watch the whole procedure. After that I was lead to lie down on this bed and the nurses and doc started to clamp my eyes and tape the lashes. Dr Theng started with my right eye.

3) He dropped anesthetic eye drops in both eyes and my left eye was covered after that. AFter clamping, he adjusted this machine over my right eye and told me to keep looking at this green blinking light (or was it red..). That was the hardest part where they cut a flap in my cornea. It was over in about 30 seconds. There was a few seconds where my vision totally blanked out by doc already talked me through it so I wasn’t alarmed.? I didn’t feel pain just a slight pressure..like something pressing down on your eyeball. Then came the part when they applied the laser to change the shape of the eyeball. That part was pretty easy but doc says its the most important part. You just keep staring at the blinking light all the way.? Oh yes you are allowed to blink as many times as you want, but cos my eyelids were clamped I didnt even realized that I was blinking…Doc says its impt to blink if not your eyes will dry up and it will get uncomfortable. The laser also took about 30 seconds.

4) After the laser, he kinda used some brush to like paint your eyeball? Anyway theres so much water/ eye drops in my eye that it was just a blur to me. haha. He then placed a contact lens in my eye (supposedly to protect the flap).? And that was it for one eye. :)

5) When he repeated the whole procedure for my left eye, I actually felt more pressure and a teeny twinge of pain..like your eyeball being scratched…eww..I asked Doc after that and he said actually many people experience that (more sensation in left eye rather than right). He says they think its the brain rationalizing the reaction of the body after going through the right eye. So when the body is anticipating something, its more sensitive, hence the ‘more feeling’ in the left eye.

?6) Right after the procedure, when I sat up, I could see! Amazing! Still relatively blur at the edges but definitely a 6/9 vision already. I could tell the time on the clock immediately.

7) My correction: Myopia (short-sightedness) of 625 degrees on?right?and 600 degrees on left. Astigmatism of 125 degrees per eye.

THINGS TO?NOTE BEFORE LASIK

1) My pre-assessment took about 2 hours, during which I had to go for many tests..the usual ‘read off the chart’ degree check, the more accurate one where they used the machine, pressure check of your eyes (where they spurt this small gust of air into your eyes and watch the dilation), the dripping of eye drops to dilate your eyes to examine the back of your eye and the one where they analyse the shape of your eyeball and thickness of your cornea. I also had to be off my contact lenses for 5 days before the pre-assessment (to allow your eyeball to go back to its original shape).?

2) When I went for my pre-assessment, doc said I had a very thick cornea, which is good cos they have to cut a flap in your cornea, so the thicker the better (technically cos they have more ‘room’ to cut). People with thin corneas are mostly recommended to do Epilasik.?? For those who’s corneas are thick enough, its usually just the normal lasik. Doc said they also have this latest technology called “bladeless lasik”, in which the cutting of the flap is done by the laser/machine, as opposed to normal lasik where the doc wields the machine to cut the flap. He said there’s actually not much difference between the both. Both are very safe and have almost the same results. The bladeless, being done and calculated by computer, is just a tad more precise and the cutting of the flap is more even. I decided to do the bladeless and that cost me an additional $400 (total for 2 eyes).

3) Cost: EEC was having a promotion when i did my lasik, so normal lasik costs $2800 while bladeless was $3200. Usually pre-assessment costs $200 but if you do the surgery at the same place, they will waive the pre-assessment. All prices have not included GST yet.? You can also look up the current charges at their website.?I also had to pay a fair bit for follow-up consultations.? So in total if you are going for the bladeless lasik, do budget for about $3600-$3800 including GST and all the follow up consultations.? Oh yes, you can also opt for interest free 6 or 12 month instalments for UOB and DBS credit card holders.

THINGS TO NOTE AFTER THE OP

1) PLS DO NOT RUB EYES. Or you may dislodge the flap (which takes about 2 weeks plus to heal). That also means no eye make up/ cream for 2 weeks for the ladies. No water should get into the eye (so cleaning of face has to be done carefully – preferably dabbing and avoid eye area). Also be careful when you bathe, not to let any water get in. Doc will give you goggles to wear during sleeping, to avoid rubbing your eyes. This unfortunately didnt work for me…I’m a very restless sleeper and have this huge tendency to rub my eyes sub-consciously….as a result, the goggles not only came off in the night, I also rubbed my eyes..:(? I had MICROFOLDS on my flap…will elaborate later…Thing is: DO NOT RUB. I had to tie my hands to my legs literally…to prevent my hands form reaching my eyes…kinda drastic but it works..

2) EYE DROPS. You would be given 3 types of eye drops. Two of which must be dropped every 3 hours for the first 2 weeks. And they cannot be dripped one after another immediately. There must a break of at least 5 minutes between the two types of drops. The other one is just the lubricant. That one can be dropped liberally, as and when the eyes feel dry. For me, I only have dry eyes in the morning when I wake. Doc explained that lasik destroys the eyes natural tears system, hence the excessive dryness after sleeping, but that will go away in time. Also, I couldnt wake up every 3 hours after the first night to drip the drops…oops..haha. But i think its still ok, just stick to the regime in the day. Oh yes, I do taste the drops once in a while cos its all linked…nose eyes throat. Bitter..yucks!

3) REST REST REST. Try not to strain your eyes too much. For me, I took MC from EEC for Thurs and Fri. I was indoors for 4 days and was back to work on Monday. Even indoors, I got bored cos i tried to stay away from books, TV, computer..that was enough to kill me..haha I slept most of the day (like till 4pm) but still couldnt resist watching TV and reading papers after that. Just try not to do it for too long.

4) RECOVERY & VISION QUALITY. I suppose this is what most people want to know: the Quality of vision after lasik. Almost straight away after the op, I could see pretty well ( I suppose this depends on your degree as well). My best friend who had 1000+ myopia per eye found her vision blur/foggy even after a few days. Mine was about 6/9 by the next day. I had to go back for check-up the very next day. When tested for eyesight, I still couldnt read the small letters on the screen (they appeared blurry or a bit of double vision) but doc says it will get clearer. After 1 week, i went back for another check. That was when i got the bombshell: That i had Microfolds on my flap. That was y when they tested my eyesight using the machine to see if there was any over/under correction, I was techinically a 6/6. My degree was zero, which meant perfect correction. But when asked to read the small?letters off the screen, they appeared blur. Doc checked my eyes and told me i had microfolds, which are basically small folds on my flap. Usually caused by movement like rubbing.? That was what was affecting my vision. Also, doc said it can take up to 3 months for one’s vision to fully?stabilize.? Anyway I asked him if it was a serious problem and what could be done. He said its a common problem and pple who have it usually experience such a sight discrepancy in their vision that it doensn’t bother them, but if I’m bothered, he can do a procedure for me to iron out the folds in the flap. He says this procedure will be done at no charge.? He also did say that this procedure is very rare. Only like 1 in 1000 patients go for it…I suppose the majority who have microfolds don’t. The good thing is that he said to wait for another week. After this week, he would be able to determine whether or not the folds have settled down by themselves or if they are going to be permanent. I’m of course hoping that they will settle down and I don’t have to go for the ‘ironing out’ procedure. My vision has been improving for the past few days so keeping my fingers crossed. :)



3 Responses to “My Lasik Experience”

  1. Ralph Says:


    Visit Ralph

    What happened with your ‘microfolds’? I think I have that after Lasik. It is like there are smudges/streaks on my eye. Like looking through a unclean window/spectacles. Did your problem go away?

  2. lizzie Says:


    Visit lizzie

    Hi Ralph,

    Actually the microfolds are permanent..thats what my doc told me. He gave me an option then: Either be satisfied with a 6/7.5 vision or undergo this surgery whereby they literally cut out the flap again and iron out all the creases…but that would be eye surgery which seemed to me even more risky than lasik. I settled for the less than perfect vision cos it doesn’t impair my daily acitivities, just that its a tad irritating when I have to squint to see the last row on the optician’s alphabet table. :)

    As for the smudges/streaks on your eyes, they lasted about a week for me. Thereafter it cleared up so you shouldn’t worry about that. I got the microfolds cos I rubbed my eyes in my sleep which was the big NO-NO that my doc reminded me of.

  3. faxue Says:


    Visit faxue

    Hi there,

    Is your vision still good after all these years?

    I am thinking of going for it.


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