Lasik surgery for extreme hyperopia

This is the end of a very long journey for me, one...

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!)

I had the surgery yesterday and am so so relieved!...

I had the surgery yesterday and am so so relieved! My eyes are a little grainy and sore but I can see well enough to read the ingredients list on my eye drop packaging. It was definitely a scary experience, especially being in a foreign country on my own. The nurse put anaesthetic drops in my eyes and I was led into the operating room which had about 5 people inside (not sure if some were observers or doctors in training). The procedure didn't take very long and the doctor talked me through the whole process, and said things like 'enjoy the lovely lights.. 25% done... 50% done' and so on. I think I held my breath the whole time. Immediately after my eyes were hurting and I would tear up when I tried to open my eyes for the eye drops. I chose to stay at the eye centre for 5 hours and let the nurse administer the drops every hour while the other patients went home straight away. Things improved very quickly after that. This morning I had my check up with the doctor and he said things were looking good and gave me advice about caring for my eyes and travelling around India generally. I will have one last check up with him before I leave in 3 weeks time. I don't want to get ahead of myself but I'm glad I took this risk, and I hope my eyes continue to heal and improve.

Two days after the surgery and my eyes are still...

Two days after the surgery and my eyes are still improving. To give you an idea I have uploaded a photo - yesterday I could read the ingredients on the blue box and today I can just read the ingredients on the green bottle. Currently taking three different eye drops four times a day. Can't wait until my eyes are less sensitive and I can wear eye makeup again!

One year update

I've gotten a few messages lately so I thought I should update you on how things are going. Sorry it’s taken so long! To start where I left off... In the weeks following my surgery the grittiness which felt like something scratchy in my eyes and dryness bothered me. There was one point when I was on a rickshaw (open air taxi) and the wind was blowing in my face and I had a bit of an anxiety attack wondering if I had made a mistake. But I’m happy to report the grittiness disappeared within the first month and the dryness has improved over time to be manageable. I now use over the counter eye drops which I typically use every second day. I can go without if necessary.
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

My eyes have been stable since my last update and dryness has improved even more. So, not much to report other than I'm still ecstatic about the outcome. I wanted to do an update because I went to a consultation with a doctor specialising in adult strabismus because my eye turn was still bothering me. He diagnosed me with partially accomodative esotropia, and explained that when I had strabismus surgery as a child (I was maybe 5 or 6 years old), they had corrected me so that my eyes were straight with glasses. Therefore my lasik corrected my strabismus mostly, and now there is a bit left over. I have decided to do the medical tourism thing again, and am now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for my surgery. I'm going to upload a video that I have put on youtube which talks more about it. Wish me luck - again!

Lasik update and strabismus surgery recovery

It's been about 2.5 weeks since the op and I have uploaded a video I made 1 day after the surgery. My original measurement was 30 prism diopters of turn and is now about 12 prism diopters of turn according to the post op appointment. Basically, I was hoping for perfection and I got an improvement, and now that I've had time to heal I'm feeling better about the outcome. My eye was extremely red for the first 5-6 days and then began to heal rapidly. It was really itchy for a while. I also noticed my eyelid was lazy on the operated eye, and I worried it was permanent but thankfully it seems to be back to normal now. It's funny because I began to look back at old photos and realised that I have always have slight ptosis (which is where one eyelid doesn't open as much as the other). It took having an operation for me to really notice it. I may consider doing something about this in the future.

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.


Hey all, wow it's been a long time since my last post. I just wanted to update those of you that have been following my journey on a few things that have happened in the last 9 months. I had a consultation for lasek enhancement and the doctor advised against it, saying that it could lead to problems with vision quality. I'm starting to think that maybe I should just leave it. I have been very lucky to have had such a good result. I don't need reading lenses for any of my day to day activities which has been amazing, and I am happy to report I haven't needed to use eyedrops in a long time. So I use some nice looking reading glasses these days.

As for my strabismus surgery, there has been some correction but my eyes aren't fully aligned. I get less headaches now and I am less self conscious, but there is still a definite turn. One thing that really bothers me are the remaining scars. I have 2 vertical scars on the white of my eye, they are a grey-ish colour. They aren't that noticeable when I look straight on but they are visible when I look around. It's sad to think they might never go away because my eyes have always been one of my best features. :( I've also notice that the operated on eye seems more susceptible to redness. I will be having a consultation with an Australian doctor soon.

Just a thought

I recently had rhinoplasty and otoplasty surgery. And I was just sitting here thinking how amazing it is that I can see without my glasses, since I wouldn't be able to wear them during the healing stage. Life is easier :)

Enhancement consultation

I went for a consultation at the London Vision Clinic last week to see if I'm a candidate for an enhancement. They are basically my last chance of doing anything about the remaining script. I will be waiting about 4 weeks for the results.

I mentioned scars from my strabismus surgery in my last post and I believe the grey / blue mark is actually not a scar. It is where the muscle was removed which leaves the area thinner. There may be techniques to cover this. I'll ask an eye doc in the future.
Dr Anand Shroff (Shroff Eye Hospital)

Dr Shroff gave me a great result for a high script which most doctors refused to touch. The laser he uses is one of the latest. Aftercare and explanation is poor but I guess that's what you sign up for if you go to India for surgery. I am looking into an enhancement with a clinic in London which specialises in high scripts. The consult was great and extremely thorough, I'd recommend them if you can afford it. For extra peace of mind. I'd also recommend Dr Shroff if you live in India or want to have your surgery there.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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