This is the end of a very long journey for me, one that has led me all the way from Australia to Mumbai, India. I wish I had more time to reflect but I have to be up early for surgery tomorrow and thought writing something is better than nothing. My background is that I have extreme hyperopia, some astigmatism and intermittent strabismus. My script is right eye +600 / -025 and left eye +750 / -175... I wore coke-bottle glasses up until the age of 16 which was truly a defining part of my childhood. I would be called all sorts of nerd-related names, it added to my terrible coordination, I remember walking in the rain and not being able to see because my glasses would get wet. I then discovered soft contacts and basically refused to wear glasses in public after that. I got a number of eye infections in the early years because of this (silly I know). Contacts have never been able to control my strabismus as well as glasses so I have always had to be mindful of my eye turning in, especially when I'm tired. It happens when I focus so I basically have tried to not focus on people's faces so that it would not turn. I guess its been like living in a haze... A couple of months before I turned 21 I went to visit a local lasik eye surgeon, and was crushed when he told me I wasn't a candidate. I went for a second opinion and was told I was also not a candidate for ICL because my anterior chamber was too shallow, but offered me the option of an IOL where I would lose my ability to accommodate. I definitely thought about it, but didn't go ahead with it. So over two years went by and the thought of lasik re-entered my mind. I’m not sure what triggered it now but I hoped there had been some advances in technology and on top of that I had begun to think outside the box (abroad that is). I contacted a number of surgeons in Australia and when I had no luck I began contacting surgeons in the United States, UK and Europe. I stalked the forums, read journals and researched all of the different lasers. For cases like mine it looked like a lot of bad news, and I read quite a few horror stories which put me off the idea, but there were glimmers of hope which I was desperately looking for. I received two positive responses from all of the surgeons I contacted, the first I decided against due to an unprofessional tone in email correspondence and the second was the London Vision Clinic in the UK. They implied a partial correction would be the most likely outcome. I began organising a university exchange in the UK partly around my plans to book a consultation there, but I continued searching the internet for information. I’ll be honest and say I was put off by the price, the currency exchange rate for the pound is beyond painful! So I stumbled onto a publication by a centre in Mumbai, India which outlined lasik outcomes for treatment of high hyperopia. It dealt with my degree of hyperopia, which is extremely hard to find, and documented excellent results. I contacted them immediately and this has brought me to the hotel room I am sitting in right now. The laser they use is Wavelight Concerto 500 Hz Laser and from what I have read, it is best suited to my condition - if in fact lasik is right for me. I dealt with a lovely woman via email correspondence who answered all my questions in the lead up to my consultation, and eventually concrete plans were made. I told my family I wanted to visit India before my exchange in the UK so as not to worry them. To be continued… (Wish me luck!)
This is the end of a very long journey for me, one...
I had the surgery yesterday and am so so relieved!...
Two days after the surgery and my eyes are still...
One year update
At around 6 months post op I was living in the UK and decided to go for a comprehensive check-up. I didn’t even know what my script was. The doctor was a lasik surgeon and not an optometrist, and he said my eyes were perfectly healthy aside from mild dryness, noting that the corneal thickness was good and the flap had healed well. He even took a copy of the scan to show the other doctors. I was over the moon! However, he told me that I have +0.75 remaining power in each eye. I’m fairly certain I will back to India next year to get retreated since it is free within a certain amount of time.
Looking back this was probably one of the riskiest decisions of my life considering I went against the advice of so many doctors. But it has been life changing! I am more confident looking people in the eye, I’m not worried about being stuck somewhere without my contacts, and I have my peripheral vision back. For a couple of weeks before the surgery I wasn’t allowed to wear contacts so I tripping over the uneven ground and flinching at the movement on someone near me because I was paranoid he was going to hit me (or something?!) due to my bad peripherals. So embarrassing. I’d be happy to help anyone with questions so please message me.
Lasik update and strabismus surgery tomorrow
Lasik update and strabismus surgery recovery
What I really wanted to update you on was my lasik, as it turns out I have experienced significant regression. I've had about 3 checkups since the op and it’s always been somewhere between zero and +0.75 for both eyes, but lately I have been feeling that something isn't right. That I am straining my eyes too much. The optometrist confirmed my new script of R +1.50 / -0.25 x 10 and L +1.75 / -0.50 x 180. I also looked back at the information given to me by the strabismus surgeon after the initial consultation and he mentions a cycloplegic refraction of R +2.50 and L +2.00 (this is the one with drops). Yep, I wasn’t sure how to feel. I knew this was a risk, but this will be my third eye operation in 2 years. I’m emotionally drained… However, my only regret is not beginning this process sooner.
I won’t be going back to the original surgeon. I have found one in Sydney who comes highly recommended and who does the surface procedure similar to pkr. From my understanding, this will operate on the existing flap and means there is less chance of damaging more nerves, which results in dry eye. As I’ve mentioned before, my dry eye is fairly manageable but I wouldn’t want it to get worse. My corneal thickness at its minimum is about 550, so they must have been super thick before I started. Very fortunate. The surgeon has said to wait for about 2 months in order for my eye to heal from the strabismus surgery, and then we will have a consultation. On the phone he asked me “Did you really have a +7?” Lol. I will keep you all updated on the progress of my lasik enhancement.
The doctor is extremely direct, well spoken and has the latest technology at his disposal. But I have to say the aftercare was poor. I went back for my check-up at three weeks and he spent all of 5 minutes with me and seemed annoyed by my questions. I think he prefers when overseas patients have the surgery and then fly back the next day! But at the same time I'm overjoyed with the outcome.