Home Forum Topics Physical Health (Honest) Lasik Surgery Experience

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    KS

    So want to preface that I (so far) have had a great experience post-Lasik surgery, and for anyone who is considering it (I had glasses since 1st grade and contacts since like, 2nd grade, could not see anything more than a few inches in front of my face without my glasses on, and I am 28!), I can’t recommend it enough! But part of the reason why I was so interested in it was because I had only heard how “easy” and “stressless” the surgery was. So wanted to post here to set the record straight that the surgery is quick, but definitely one of the more stressful AND scary procedures I have ever had.

    To begin with, my doctor gave me an anti-anxiety pill to take (can’t remember the name), which relaxed me pre-opp. Definitely felt relaxed, and had my partner drop me off at the surgery center while he went to find parking. A nurse took my measurements, and then got me prepped for surgery (hairnet and booties to cover my shoes). All normal and typical. Once the doctor was ready, I went into the surgery room with the nurse, where the lights were off and was instructed to lay in the exam chair. From there, the doctor came in and between him and the nurse, everything started to move really quickly. They were clear about what they were doing, but it was very fast and they were putting lots of drops in my eyes and taping my eyelashes back and getting things ready, which I guess would be normal, but most surgeries you are asleep for, so it was a little freaky being awake, and I didn’t feel too relaxed anymore.

    Once my eyes were numb, they had to suction my eye, then put a clamp on the lids to hold them open which actually hurt a lot, because it pressed on my eye socket. THEN, they marked my eye (if it wasn’t clear before, being awake and lucid looking at people touching and prodding your eyes even if you can’t feel it is FREAKY) and started up the laser machine. From there, they told me to stare at a light. As they continued to set things up, and cover my other eye, I was having trouble following the light, which wasn’t that bright. I managed to focus as much as I could on where I thought the light was, and they did my first eye, but I was SO nervous that I hadn’t stared at the right place, and had messed up my eye, that I thought I was actually having a heart attack my heart was beating so hard.

    When they moved onto my next eye, I was fully panicking, but didn’t say anything until they told me to focus on the light again. As they set up the laser, I fully could not see the light, which I told them, and they both responded “yes you can”, and I was like “no, I really can’t see it!” I think the nurse could tell I was losing it because she rubbed my arm and held my hand, but the doctor just told me to stare where I thought it was. I could hear the machine starting and stopping each time I moved my eye, which is stressful enough as its a giant LASER machine that is about to cut into your eye, but I was so panicked I couldn’t hold still. Finally, the machine started up and I managed to hold on long enough for it to be done. But again, I was SURE I had moved my eye and had messed up my vision.

    Immediately after, the doctor brought me in to check my eyes in another room (I was told by a lot of people INCLUDING the doctor that I would be able to see the second it was over, which I couldn’t, everything was foggy, which only fueled my anxiety that my eyes were ruined). He checked everything over and all I could do was apologize for freaking out, because I had had such a meltdown only a minute or so ago. He said “don’t worry, the laser just needs you to hold still for a second to lock onto your pupil, and then the laser follows your eye, so its fine if your eye moves.” Then he proceeded to tell me my eyes looked perfect. I was in shock. Why hadn’t he told me that it was OK if my eyes moved a little? Why was I led to believe the surgery was a breeze? It may have been painless, but I am someone who doesn’t typically suffer from any anxiety, and was on an anti-anxiety medication to start with and STILL had a full-blown meltdown.

    Post-opp, I definitely could not open my eyes. I had also been told I should “try and keep them shut” as I would begin to experience burning and watering of the eyes, but should be able to see. Well, I had a full on FLOOD of tears pouring from each eye if I even tried to move the eyelid, so I kept them locked shut as I traveled from the office back to my apartment. I then slept off the immediate pain and watering for a few hours, which did a world of difference, and upon waking 3ish hours later, I could see! Definitely foggy vision, and felt like I had something in each eye, but no bad pain or watering. Since then, my eyesight has only progressed, though I have pretty bad halos around lights at night, but am hoping those will get better as my eyes continue to heal.

    So overall, as I said before, definitely worth it, but the trauma that was the actual surgery is something I wasn’t at ALL prepared for, and wanted to share in the hopes that others will feel more prepared with what to expect (and won’t panic if their eyes move while IN surgery) than I did! 10/10 would recommend, but also 10/10 would ask a LOT of questions beforehand, and make sure your doctor clearly describes what will happen and what its expected of you during the surgery!

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    • #973 Reply
      Madeline OleszkiewiczMadeline O

      Thank you SO much for sharing this story!! I also am very blind – glasses since 1st grade and contacts very young!! Would not be able to survive without them. I am 26 and want to get Lasik soon – just need to wait for the right time financially.

      I have heard such positive things about Lasik but I can only imagine what you went through with being awake and experiencing the anxiety!! Made me anxious just reading about it!

      Thank you for the advice!

    • #967 Reply
      MaryKate SelgrathMaryKate

      Hi!! Thank you for sharing this experience – I went through Lasik this summer and had the same thing happen and I think I am guilty of doing the same explanation to people. Now that it’s over and I can see I am always saying “oh it was a breeze!” when actually all of that other stuff also happened and it was a little anxiety inducing. I will say however that the entire time I was looking at the bright light, my doctor was talking me through it and was very positive, so that helped me a lot. I definitely wish I had known all of the details going in and I think the offices need to do a better job of explaining it. I’ll be more conscious now of how I describe it to others as well!

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