Sunday's Chit- Chat: My experience with Lasik eye surgery (#1)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hello ladies,
long time no chat, hopefully you still remember me? :)
What can I say, I was just really busy the past few weeks and didn't have the time nor the energy to invest on here. But today I'll finally be talking about the long-promised topic; my experience with Lasik eye surgery. I actually can't believe it's already been a month and a half since I had it.
Since I really want to include as much informations about my experience as I possibly can, I already know this post is going to be a long and chatty one. So grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy the read if this is something you're interested in. 
Awhile back I did a Q&A post with a Typeform survey and I only got to questions; how much it cost, and where did I get it done. I'll of course answer both of these, but if you still feel like there's something you want to know & I haven't answered it in this post, feel free to ask me in the comments below. 

So le't start from the beginning.
I don't really remember the exact year I got glasses, but I know it was back in primary school and I only had prescription lenses for my right eye, since the vision on my left one was still great. Since I hated wearing those glasses and since I could see without them, I of course didn't wear them as often as I should (I was told to only wear them in school, in front of TV & computer). So my eye sight got worse on both eyes and I started wearing contact lenses when I was 15 or 16. I never looked back since then and I'll admit that I wore them for way longer than you should. In this period of time, I had a couple of different glasses, but I really liked and actually wore out in public only one pair, the latest one. I had some eye infection last year which meant I wasn't allowed to wear contacts so I really got used to wearing glasses, and in the past 8 or so months, I quite rarely wore contacts any more.
My eye vision wasn't terrible, but I had astigmatism, meaning my cylinders were quite high (especially on the right eye). In fact, as far as my ophthalmologist told me, they don't make contact lenses with such cylinders so even when I was wearing them, my vision was never 100%. On my last exam, my dioptre on my right eye was - 2, 00 with cylinder of -3,25 and my left eye dioptre was -2,25 with cylinder of -1,00.

The reason for my surgery was my check-up for contact lenses I had back in November. My ophthalmologist told me that my eyes seem to be quite damaged from wearing contacts for years and years, and also due to the fact that I've been wearing the ''wrong'' ones (meaning they weren't the best ones for my eyes) since there really wasn't any other option due to my astigmatism. He said that I'll probably need to wear only glasses in the matter of a few years time cause my eyes just won't get along with contacts any more. He also gave me a prescription for different ones, that were supposedly better for my eyes, but would make my vision a little less great. I panicked a bit when he told me this and asked him about Lasik, he said that in his opinion this was the best possible solution for me and that if I want to go through with it, I should do it soon(ish). 
Getting a Lasik surgery was always somewhere in the back of my mind, so me and my family got on board with this decision almost immediately and I had my first consultation in two weeks time.

The process before the first eye surgery consultation was quick and quite stress-less. We did a bit of research about the potential options, talked to a few people that had it (including Maja, since her husband had it) and at the end booked the appointment with The Clinic Svjetlost in Zagreb, that was our first choice from the beginning, since the majority of people, including my ophthalmologist recommended them. When we booked it, I was also given a few instructions; I wasn't allowed to wear contacts 3 days prior the exam (since I was wearing soft lenses, otherwise it's 8 days), I had to bring my latest prescriptions with me and someone had to come with me, since you're not able to drive after it. They also told me the prices of different surgery options, the price for the consultation and the fact that I could get the operation done that Friday, if everything was okay (they're only performing surgeries on Fridays). 

My first consultation was on 10th of December in the morning, so me and my mum headed to Zagreb not knowing what to expect. The first thing that I noticed was how friendly & welcoming everyone was and the fact that nothing looked liked you walked into a clinic, since I absolutely hate hospitals and things like that, this was already a positive start. 
The consultation itself was around 2 hours long and they performed a bunch of ''tests'' to see if you're suitable for the surgery and for which type of it. Also, everything was pain-free.
Luckily everything went smoothly and the doctor told me that I was suitable for LASIK and could have the operation that Friday, which I turned down (I already knew I won't have it done before New Year, as I was going away for the holidays). She also explained how the operation & the recovery looks like, a few potential risks and answered all of my questions. Since my eyes are quite sensitive and I was wearing contacts for so long, she also told me to stop wearing contacts two weeks before the operation (otherwise it's around a week before it) and to start using some sort of tear drops 4-6 times per day. I was given a set of instructions for pre-surgery, we paid - the consultation was 500kn/around 70€ (otherwise the consultation price is 750kn/ around 100€, but they were having some sort of a discount) and drove back to Slovenia.
At first I thought I will be able to drive back home, since I my vision was fine (they give you some drops that dilate your pupils), but when we came outside, I saw how wrong I was, since I felt/saw like I was drunk. I don't have to point out that my mum was the driver after that.

A few months passed after that and we called to book a surgery on the 11th of March and I could have the operation done on the 20th, but since I had to wear glasses for two weeks straight, I booked the operation for the 27th. They said they will call 2 days before that to give me an exact hour. 
The process before the surgery was for me, extremely stressful and nerve wrecking. My biggest advice to avoid this is; Don't go googling the worst side effects or experiences with it. I also don't recommend watching Youtube videos on the surgery itself (which is something I actually didn't do, and I'm really glad that I didn't). Especially if you're as paranoid as me. I don't know why I do this every time, cause honestly I haven't heard a single negative thing about it in real life, but I just had to do it as always. After that I got really scared and I even wanted to back out. Luckily my parents and my friends talked some sense into me.
Other than that everything was fine until the Thursday before the 27th. As I was told, I was only wearing glasses for two weeks and was using Bepanthol eye drops 6 times a day. On Thursday I was a complete mess, I was panicking, stressing out not only me, but everyone around me, I was bitchy and 99,9% sure I wasn't going through with it. Luckily my mum bought me some Persen (herbal pills that have a calming effect) so I took one in the afternoon which helped me feel more relaxed. Another thing that really helped me in the weeks before the surgery, was reading Deja's experience with it (herehere and here).
In the set of instructions I got from the Clinic it also said you should get as much sleep as possible, so I took another Persen before going to bed. I went to bed really early and I didn't use the computer or watched TV since the afternoon, to give my eyes as much rest as possible. 
Oh, we also booked a room at one of near-by hotels, since you have the first exam early next morning and there was no point of us driving back to Slovenia. 

On the day of the surgery we woke up quite early since I had the operation 10:30 in the morning, I had a nice breakfast (they advice you to eat at least one meal before the surgery), I took another Persen and we hit the road. You of course aren't allowed to wear anything around your eyes, you have to have sunglasses with you and I was told to have my hair in a ponytail. You also need someone to go with you.
I was really calm the whole way to Zagreb, but when we came to the Clinic and I had to sign some papers, I started feeling nervous agin, and a bit peckish. I drank some water and ate a granola bar that I had with me, and my mum even told me that we can still go home if I didn't want to go through with it. 
After that they called my name, I had one last exam, had a lovely chat with the doctor (which also helped to calm me down), she explained how everything will look one more time and told me to just listen to everything that the surgeon will tell me. She also told me that the vision on my right eye will never be as clear as the one on the left one, since everyone apparently has a dominant eye, mine is the left one, and because of that the vision on the other eye never develops to its full potential. 
I went back to the waiting room, got 2 pills (Apaurin to calm me down and another one for the pain) and two different eye drops (anesthetic and iodine). After some time (can't remember how long, maybe 20 minutes) I was called to the surgery room.

The surgery itself turned out to not be even a bit scary. There were 3 or 4 people in the room, they laid me down and took the ponytail off (which was quite weird since I was told to have it). Then they tapped down my left eye, but very loosely, since I had to keep it open and blink normally. Then they tapped down the lashes on my right eye and opened it with this contraption and started with the surgery. The surgeon was telling me everything she was doing and kept on saying nice things (like how good I was, to stay this calm, to keep on having my left eye open, that soon everything will be over, to not be afraid, to keep on looking at the green spot, etc.). I have to say this was really nice, especially since she also had an extremely calming voice, but toward the end it also kinda got a bit funny, since I was listening to her praising me for the entire time. 
When the laser comes down to your eye, you can't see anything, which is quite scary but since she explained everything before and kept saying nice things, it really helped to keep me calm.  The nurse also counted down from 25 seconds, which was how long it took for them to get rid of my dioptre on my right eye (it took 15 seconds on my left eye).
This was the most uncomfortable, not due to the actual process itself, but due to the buzzing sound of the laser that is exactly the same as the drilling sound at the dentist, which I'm absolutely terrified of. I also felt a bit of pressure at this point, but nothing major really.
The same thing happened on my left eye, only it was much quicker and when they told me we're done, I couldn't believe it and even asked if they were joking. I honestly though everything took around 5 minutes, but my mum told me after that I was in the room for 15 minutes.
The thing that surprised me the most, was the fact that the surgery was completely pain free. And believe me, if I say it was pain free, it really was, as my pain tolerance is ridiculously low/ almost non-existent. 
After that they helped me get up and accompanied me to the exam room to check if everything went smoothly, I got some eye drops, had a lovely chat with the nurse about how the fear itself is actually worse than anything else and went to another room where another nurse and my mum were waiting for me. My vision was very blurry at that point, it was like looking under water in a pool and tears were streaming down my face. 
The nurse explained all the do's and don't's into more details, gave me directions on how to use the eye drops (antibiotics and tear drops) and gave me the same pills as I got before the surgery, just in case if I had any pain in the afternoon and couldn't sleep at night.  
We paid for the surgery, I put on my sunglasses and went to the lobby where they called us a taxi (we decided to leave our car at the Clinic since they have 24hr surveillance and the hotel didn't really have parking spaces). The whole process from walking in and out took around an hour. 
The LASIK surgery cost 12.000kn/ around 1600€ (keep in mind that the prices are different for different types of surgeries, and the LASIK one is the cheapest), and the price also includes the next 4 exams and the drops you get.

Since I realised this is already way too long and I still have a lot to say, I decided to split it in two parts. The part 2 will be up tomorrow (click here to read it), so stay tunned. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Sanja ♥

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10 komentarji

  1. Wow, this was such a interesting post to read! I never expected you were awake during the surgury! :o I'd be so scared!
    Very nice post, girl. Can't wait to read the rest!

    1. Thank you so much Astrid! I was terrified, but it was all for nothing really, it honestly couldn't have gone more smoothly :)

  2. This is so reassuring, anyone getting Lasik should definitely read this first!


    1. Thanks Rachel, I really wanted to this to be a somewhat of a calming read for anyone who's thinking of getting it. Nice to know my goal was reached :)

  3. Super, da si šla, me veseli, da si zadovoljna :) Sama tudi študiram o tem, ampak bo treba še šparat al pa kakšno delo prej dobit ;)

    1. No upam, da ti bo čimprej uspelo našparat če se boš odločila. In seveda, da boš potem tudi ti zadovoljna :)

  4. Ful zanimivo! Mi je pa hecno, da sem imela malo težav s prebiranjem objave (kontrast, velikost črk??), pa sicer kul vidim. :P

    :D Dobro se bere ta LASIK, jaz bi tudi. Morda kdaj v bodočnosti..

    1. Hmm, kontrast res morem malo spremenit, ker je tudi mene začelo pred kratkim motit, velikost črk se mi pa zdi ok...Se bom tudi s tem malo poigrala, hvala, da si mi povedala :)
      Drugače je pa LASIK res zakon :)

  5. This has to be the first account I've read about an eye surgery procedure and I'm so relieved to hear it was pain free for you. I'm contemplating this surgery as I've been advised I'd benefit. It's a worry to hear that contact lenses damaged your eyes. I wear contacts and go for regular check-ups, so touch wood all's ok.

    Lucius Calhoun @ Bolton Vision Centre

  6. I have a friend who has had this type of surgery done, and he told me that it is more of the thought of having it done than the actual surgery itself that is the problem. If you have been advised by a qualified professional that this is right for you, then getting it done is nothing to worry about, and the results are very beneficial.

    Jamaal @ Eye Clinic London


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