Two weekends ago, I had a procedure that I had been dreaming of getting for years: LASIK. The reason it took me so long to actually get it done was because I had no idea what I was going into. I was inspired to write this post explaining my experience with LASIK eye surgery for those like me who are hesitant to get it done! It truly is a life changing procedure and I am so thankful that I built up the courage to do it.
*This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.*
I did A LOT of research going into this. I decided on the LASIK Vision Institute after my free consultation went better than I could have imagined. During the consultation, they dilated my pupils and performed a full eye exam. Having healthy eyes, I was a great candidate for LASIK, which they were able to let me know immediately after the exam. The staff at the LASIK Vision Institute were friendly and helpful with my many questions (don’t be scared to ask too many questions – they are there to help you!!). At the end of the consultation, I was able to get the exact price of the procedure, and they even added on some pretty big student discounts that I wasn’t expecting!
When I decided to go ahead with the surgery, I was able to book an appointment for about two weeks later. They actually had times available the same day as my consultation, but I took the time to look over the information they had given me and really think on it.
On the day of my surgery…
There wasn’t much that I had to do to prepare for the procedure. I used some over-the-counter eye drops a couple days prior, just to keep my eyes hydrated, and made sure to eat a good breakfast that day.
When I arrived at the LASIK Vision Institute for my surgery, I waited in my car until they called me in, and I wasn’t allowed to take anyone inside with me (thanks, COVID). My anxiety was at an all time high! The doctors checked my eyes again and I signed the consent forms before they gave me Valium to calm my nerves. And yes, I absolutely needed that Valium and wouldn’t have gone through with the surgery without it! I felt all of my anxiety disappear about 15 minutes later and when I was ready, I was taken into the operating room.
For those who don’t know, during LASIK the surgeon creates a “flap” in your eye, which is lifted open like a book so the lasers can fix the inner eye. Once the lasers are done, the flap is closed again by the surgeon and you can see!
There were two machines that the bed moved between. I can’t tell you what either of them did, but the experience was crazy. Even after the Valium, I was slightly nervous, and the nurses gave me stress balls to squeeze! My surgeon made conversation with me the whole time to keep my mind occupied. I was told to look directly at a green light, as I saw other lights coming down toward my eye. I was only on each machine for about a minute at a time. The second machine was similar, with a lot of light, but put quite a bit of pressure on my eyes. The pressure only lasted about 10 seconds per eye, and this was the only thing I felt throughout the surgery. Thanks to the numbing drops, there was no pain at all. Then I went back to the first machine, and the lights I saw this time looked more like lasers. There was a slight burning smell, but this also only lasted about 10 seconds per eye. After the surgeon placed my “flap” back into position, I already noticed my vision was so much better.
I had to wear eye shields for the first day and night, so those made it difficult for me to see how good my eyesight was. I took them off a couple times (just for a minute!) to see, and was shocked that my vision was already so good. I took about a 3 hour nap after surgery and went to bed early that night, too. The next morning when I woke up and was able to take the shields off, I could see perfectly!
The day after, I had to go back to the LASIK Vision Institute for a follow up. I already had 20/15 vision, which is better than perfect! For a week after the surgery, I had to use 3 kinds of eyedrops. Two of them were medicated, which I used four times a day. The other one was the same artificial tears that I had used a couple days prior to surgery. I had to use these 10-12 times a day, and continue to use them for 3 months after the surgery! I was told that I could use Tylenol for any pain, but I personally didn’t have any. All I felt following my surgery was slight discomfort, that was no different than the feeling of wearing contacts. I did feel more tired for about a week after, just because my eyes were healing.
Now, about 2 weeks after my surgery, my eyes are feeling good and I am still trying to convince myself that I can actually see now without wearing contacts or glasses! I had another follow up a few days ago and my vision is still better than perfect at 20/15. I haven’t driven at nighttime yet because my eyes haven’t fully adjusted to bright lights in the dark, and this could take up to three months to adjust. That has been the only problem for me, but is completely normal after LASIK eye surgery and is only a minor inconvenience!
Overall my experience with LASIK eye surgery was better than I could have imagined! I highly suggest it to anyone who hates having to wear contacts or glasses like I did. However, the initial consultation is extremely important to know if you’re a good candidate. If you have any questions about my experience, drop them in the comments!