Few days after my iLASIK consultation, it was finally surgery day at Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre. The procedure itself took less than a minute! And it was totally PAINLESS.
I was excited albeit nervous, but thank God my corneas were thick enough for iLASIK; a bladeless alternative to regular LASIK, as mentioned in my previous post: LASIK truths & misconceptions in Singapore.
When I arrived, her nurses handed me a blue patient gown and hair cap. Then, they took me into the Operating Theatre (OT) inside the clinic to thoroughly clean and prep my eye ready for surgery.
They made sure I had no makeup, perfume nor hair substance on, as these can affect the results of LASIK surgery.
Entering The Surgery Room
I entered the actual LASIK OT room that’s kept at a temperature of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius 24-hrs round the clock. I was told this tight temperature range ensures that the machines zap out my degree accurately.
There were 2 big machines (pic above) of 3 metres long each, side by side. I was to lie down on a bed which swivels in between the 2 big machines.
The first machine uses a cold femtosecond laser beam to make a bladeless LASIK flap in just 12 seconds! The second machine uses a hot excimer laser to erase short-sightedness and astigmatic degrees away in approx. 25 seconds.
Even if there’s an electricity power cut, the machines have a backup generator so you won’t ever need to hear the doctor say “oh shit”.
Undergoing Machine #1: Creating a corner flap
I was told to lie down and look up at the Femtosecond laser machine. Once I got comfortable, my eyes were kept open with a suction ring for added safety, in case they “run around” during the operation.
As mentioned in my consultation post, the latest iLASIK process uses iDesign; a NASA technology exclusive to iLasik only, to improve your night vision and get rid of your glasses. iDesign maps your eye 360-degrees and records the data that transfers to another machine used during the Lasik procedure itself.
The map is superimposed onto your cornea for added precision and improves post-operative night vision, to prevent glares and haloes at night.
With tiny cold laser beams, the femtosecond machine entered the circumference of my corneas to produce bladeless LASIK flap for Dr Natasha to lift up. It’s amazing how I couldn’t feel a thing, except a little glare when staring into a ring of light.
This whole process was 100% bladeless! Dr Natasha only controlled the computer software and the machine did it all. Talk about robotics…amazeballs.
Even though the machine looked huge, my bladeless Lasik flap was completed in just 12 secs.
Undergoing Machine #2: Zapping away the degree
After Dr Natasha gently lifted up my cornea flap, I swallowed fear for 10 seconds because everything turned into a blurry sphere of lights.
Funny how my thoughts were, “omg so this is how going blind feels like. I feel like I’m inside my body. I feel like I’m having this Eat Pray Love moment in a pitch-black cave where I have to calm my heart.”
But it helped that Dr Natasha’s voice sounded confident and assuring haha. She always lets patients know which point of the procedure she’s at.
She told me to look at the different dots for 20 seconds, and then keep very still as Machine #2 zapped away my short-sightedness. Once the beeping ended, she put my cornea flap back and TA-DA.
The procedure itself took seconds. Though I didn’t feel pain, I was a little teary-eyed from staring at the light without blinking.
That was it! My Lasik surgery was over. I got off the bed and walked out of the operating theatre by myself without my glasses…something I couldn’t have done on my own without banging into glass doors.
As Dr Natasha said, my vision was in “soft focus” for about half an hour post-procedure before it gradually cleared up. I was given lubricant and teardrops which had to be used every few hours.
When I left the clinic, I accompanied my parents to a hawker centre straight after surgery. I didn’t have to wear any pirate-looking eye masks whatsoever. I could still see where I was going and found an immediate improvement in my eyesight. But the sun was a bit glaring so I recommend bringing shades if you ever undergo LASIK.
Thankfully, I didn’t have blood-shot eyes that’s commonly caused by normal LASIK procedures. I visited the clinic the next day for a follow-up session and by two days, I can safely say people can return to work and go about their day.
However, if you’ve a desk-bound job that requires lots of typing, taking 1-week MC is best to ensure your eyes aren’t strained.