LASIK Surgery

I had Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery on both of my eyes yesterday! I’ve been wandering around with the occasional ecstatic bout of euphoria whilst realizing that yes, I can see to the other end of the hallway without any glasses on! For anyone who doesn’t have poor vision, it is difficult to describe how uplifting this is. Trust me, it’s fantastic. If you don’t believe me, well, pictures don’t lie.
Pre-LASIK operation photo of BillPost Operation photo of Bill looking happy!

Two Thumbs Up! Notice no glasses in the right hand photo.

The procedure was simple compared to other surgeries I’ve had. Although, let no one tell you that the operation doesn’t hurt. It might not be painful, but it is decidedly uncomfortable, and the little sponges that the doctor uses to wipe fluid from around your eyeball are ticklish to the point that it is difficult to stay motionless.

For an excellent description of the procedure, see the FDA website.

Grosser stuff below the fold

My vision was greatly improved immediately following the surgery, although I honestly had no desire to keep my eyes open. They were dry and itchy and irritated. Everybody gave me the advice to just go home and take a nap. When I woke up, three hours after the procedure, everything was crystal clear! I could see just like I could when I was thirteen! It already paid for itself. There’s fun goggles to wear while sleeping too! This is so you don’t sleepily rub your eyes for the first week.
Bill asleep after surgery wearing sexy goggles. These goggles are a pain in the butt, though. They don’t allow you to sleep with your head to the side, or on your stomach. It’s back-sleeping for me until next week and that does not lend itself to comfortable long-lived sleeping. I probably will not have any problems getting up with my alarm.

Of course, this is a blog entry, and what good would a blog entry be without visual aids. But first, some background…

Before the surgery, I had seen a Discovery Channel piece on the LASIK procedure, and it permitted me to dread the eyeball speculum! The good ‘ol metal clamp thingamajob that holds your eyelids apart so they don’t get in the way. There was something a bit disconcerting about feeling my eyelids being cranked open. Here is an image of my left eye after the laser had finished vaporizing things. Jenn was taking pictures through the observation window. It’s nice of the clinic to have the monitor there for all to see what’s going on in close-up detail.
Bill's Left eyeball undergoing LASIK surgery

It’s disappointing that I had to search as hard as I did for good images of the actual surgery. This site shows the procedure, in an unfortunately pixelated manner. This was on page 4 of the google image search. All of the other images were happy-cheery pictures of people looking mellow and delighted, or it was a graphic of the procedure, or it was an advertising graphic. Blah blah blah. I want images of eyeballs!

Don’t click on these if you get grossed out by medical photos. You are warned.

Ah, at last. An image of the flap being pulled back prior to lasing the surface.

Here’s another good one with the full orbit and speculum and flap.

Last but not least, here is an excellent LASIK entry that puts mine to shame.

All images on this blog are credited to Jenn Bowie

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6 Responses to LASIK Surgery

  1. James Cronen says:

    Congratulations on the surgery… Robin and I are glad that it went well, and that you’re no longer blind. I love looking at the photos… but I don’t find things like that squicky.

    Hope your recovery goes as smoothly as the procedure appeared to…

  2. Kristin says:

    Congrats! Glad to hear that it went well!

  3. Kim says:

    I can handle any kind of gross medical picture EXCEPT those involving eyes. So I will refrain, thankyouverymuch.

    But anyway, fantastic news!!

  4. Steph says:

    Ahh, glad it was a success! I had my eyes worked on many years ago to straighten the muscles of a lazy eye. After the ol’ eye speculum, they never quite felt right in the sockets again (I think the skin is permanenty stretched). Now when I sneeze, I’m afraid my eyeballs will subluxate (pop out). Totally unfounded phobia, but there nonetheless.

  5. Schiec says:

    So what lasting precautions must be taken if any? Are you free to return to every normal activity (running, swimming, car surfing) immediately? Despite my complete freakishness regarding my eyes I am continuing to consider corrective surgery more and more. (I keep thinking about waking up at 2AM to service the pending infant and not being able to see.)

  6. Bill says:

    I’ve got two kinds of medicated drops, four times a day, for a week. I’ve got the goggles to wear for a week. I’m using artificial tears about every 30 minutes (or more) because of some severe dry eye that is supposed to subside in a few weeks. And I can’t swim for 3 weeks (no contact with “common use” water) to avoid infection.

    I was doing normal stuff within hours of the surgery and felt fine to drive, read, work on the computer, etc., that evening. I ran 4 miles two days afterwards and that was no problem.

    It’s pretty life-transparent compared to other surgical procedures.

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