I got LASIK eye surgery done on Friday, March 10th, 2017, and 6 years later, it’s still one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Today, I’m sharing my experience and how my eyes are doing 6 years post-op.
I’ve been wearing glasses/contacts since I was in the 6th grade and gradually wore them full-time around 11th grade. My vision was -2.25 and -2.50 which in retrospect, isn’t even that bad. I can survive days without glasses because my routine never changes and it got to the point where I can recognize people’s blurry figures and all.
I debated on getting LASIK for some time after my friend, Sergio, told me about his experience. While contacts and glasses didn’t get on my nerves THAT much, it was the convenience of waking up and seeing the world clearly again. It was being able to travel without worrying about my contacts or forgetting to pack my glasses. It was about being able to play sports again without irritating my contacts. Ultimately, I just wanted to wake up and not worry about my vision anymore and travel without having my contacts irritate me. In my previous experiences, every time I was in a dusty or extremely humid place, my contacts eventually would act up and my mood would change drastically and I wouldn’t enjoy that day or moment in time.
I posted a quick Snapchat/Instagram post about potentially getting LASIK and much to my surprise, a lot of my old colleagues and classmates got LASIK done a few years ago and told me to not even think about hesitating and just book the appointment. So, I booked the consultation at LASIK MD Vancouver, one of the most reputable clinics in town.
Days before my surgery, I had a consultation meeting. During this meeting, they essentially tested to see if I was an ideal candidate for LASIK, and once they deemed I was a suitable candidate, the representative quoted me the final price of approximately ~$2,000 inclusive of taxes (with no additional surprises on surgery day) and gave me some bios of surgeons that I could choose. I chose not to choose one.
Come the day of my surgery, I was extremely nervous. I scheduled my surgery for 8:30 a.m. so I was one of the earlier surgeries happening. By the time it was over, I was out about 11:00 a.m.
During my appointment, they made me feel as comfortable and relaxed as I could be. They assessed my eyes one last time and gave me numbing drops. Much to my surprise, they were going to upgrade me to the All Laser procedure – which means, laser beams are used to create the flap rather than a razor blade – without any additional charges. I was completely surprised but took the offer anyway because the Laser procedure had more benefits than the razor.
Remember my friend Sergio from earlier? He had the razor method done to create his flaps and he told me he felt a bit of pressure from the razor, heard the contraption and saw it up close was enough to make me accept the upgrade in a heartbeat.
After assessing my eyes and paying for everything, they led me to a quiet, dark room and had me lie down for some time until I was called. They were also still giving me numbing drops for my eyes periodically. I think I waited for about 20-30 minutes in the dark until I was called. At this point, I was shaking so badly.
I met with Dr. Nagy, the surgeon for my eyes, and his assistant. He explained the procedure beforehand and asked if I had any questions or requests. All I asked was for someone to just talk to me throughout the procedure and even explain to me what was going on – it’s a tactic I use for anything that gives me nerves, such as my first getting a Brazilian wax, or getting any immunization shots. When I get extremely nervous, I find myself being able to relax if someone describes to me what’s going on and how far along I am with the procedure.
So, his assistants gave me a hair net, asked me to lay down on the bed and gave me an anti-stress ball to squeeze throughout the surgery.
So here’s where it surprises me and probably will surprise you as well.
My surgery was done in about 10 minutes.
After settling in, Dr. Nagy inserted a metal device on the top and bottom of my eye to keep my eyes open throughout the surgery. I believe these metal things went underneath my eyelids.
Secondly, he forced this plastic contraction down my eyeballs (which ended up bruising my eyes as you can see later), which I assume sort of “pops” the eyeball out. Well, not entirely, but it felt like they were trying to make a clear separation between my eyeball and the surrounding skin. If I’m being completely honest, this part only lasted a few minutes but it was probably the most uncomfortable part. There was so much pressure being pushed into my eye, it didn’t hurt but it wasn’t pleasant. I honestly thought my eyeballs were going to pop. Rest assured, it’s only the pressure that was uncomfortable – once they got those plastic things in place, you don’t even feel it anymore.
After that was done, they got the laser ready. I was told to keep my focus on the green light. I could hear the machines and the laser beeping.
I focused on the light, and focused and focused. I remember Dr. Nagy saying, “Okay, your flaps are made”, which I was just dumbfounded about. I was so focused on staring into the light, turns out, the laser already happened and my flaps were made for the actual laser to fix my eyesight.
It didn’t hurt a bit!
During this time, Dr. Nagy warned me that my vision would get really blurry, and potentially even blacked out. Being blind did not happen to me but it was so blurry, I couldn’t even see his hands clearly. I saw his tools “picking up” my flap to hold in place while the laser beam hit my cornea.
It was such an odd experience to see these tools touching my eyes but not feeling anything. He performed my left eye first, and similar to making the flap, I was told to focus on the light and within a few minutes, it was done. This laser beam that hit my cornea took a bit longer than creating the flaps but it was faster than expected and no pain whatsoever.
I asked Dr. Nagy if I could have more numbing drops in my right eye and he just doused my eye with numbing drops telling me, “Whatever you want. Do you want more eye drops? Okay.” His voice and tone were just so soothing, calm and professional! To be clear, I was not experiencing any pain or discomfort in my eye but having more numb drops helped ease my nerves.
The next thing I knew, Dr. Nagy was telling me, I’m done. His team congratulated me on completing my LASIK. He then led me to a seat where he brushed up any flaws (it was weird to see a brush up against my eyes and not feel it). His attention to detail was spot-on and made me feel comfortable.
After the surgery, I was brought back to the dark room where I lay for an hour. At this point, I couldn’t open my eyes without it stinging. It didn’t hurt, but it was just uncomfortable.
After an hour, one of the assistants called me to check up on my eyes. She numbed my eyes once more so I could fully open them for a bit for her to check before I left the clinic.
I went home, took a nap, woke up and went over to Dan’s. All while seeing perfectly… I was so surprised that after a 4 hours nap, I went from being nearsighted to seeing (almost) perfectly.
One week later, my eyes are slowly healing from the bruising but I have 20/20 vision again. This time around, the only time I ever want to go back to glasses is due to old age. I’m taking care of my eyes properly by limiting my electronics usage and reading under better conditions (reading in poorly lit conditions was how my eyes started to get worse in the first place).
If anyone is considering getting LASIK done, do it. I don’t regret investing in this surgery at all, and if you can afford it, opt for the All Laser! It made my experience soooo much more better and comfortable for me. Looking back, I was extremely nervous about the procedure but I couldn’t have imagined what it would be like for me if I never got that free upgrade.
6 years post-op: my eyes never felt better! They’re still at 20/20 and I was very vigilant in my post-surgery care that I did not experience any side effects such as constant dry eyes or weird halo lights at night.
I won’t lie – sometimes, I do miss my glasses. I had a little collection of glasses that I swapped around depending on my outfit or mood but the convenience of not having to worry about glasses and contact lenses in the past 6 years reminded me why I chose to get LASIK done. For having spent only $2,000 6 years ago, I haven’t paid any more money into glasses, contact lenses, and solutions. If you’re a good candidate for surgery, go for it and make sure you follow the post-care instructions to the tee!