EDIT (2011-07-18): This is a brief summary of my experience of laser eye surgery. It’s now almost a year since I had it done, and I’ve still got perfect vision. Absolutely worth every second of discomfort!
The short version
To do laser magic, they slice a flap in your eye, peel back the flap, laser it a bit, then put it back together.
And you have to be awake and watch the whole thing for some reason…
- Intralase: expensive. Safer. Better results. For my eyes, expensive==better. They make the slice with another laser instead of a knife.
- Wavefront: expensive. Dunno really what it does. Didn’t care. As above.
I opted for Intralase + Wavefront
The long version
- Consider it. Decide on it.
- Save up for it.
- Give up saving, take inheritance money.
- Get quote: £1895/eye
- Say “no. £3,000 all up ok?”
- “Yes ok.”
Wait a bit
Wait a bit more
- Wake up
- Put on glasses
- 10:30am, go to optical express in the shopping centre.
- Go upstairs, still in the shopping centre.
- Sit in waiting room
- 10:35am they take you in and put some drops in (dilate and anaesthetic)
- Pupils go the size of watermelons. Actually bigger than your head.
- Eyes feel like they’re not in your head anymore
- Get put on “laser chair”.
- First, to hold your eye in position, they put this see-through suction cap on the eyeball.
- Then press. REALLY, REALLY HARD.
- (I think my eye might pop?)
- “Oh dear. It fell off. Oh well, let’s try again”
Well that hurt.
- Surgeon moves the Intralase (the flap making laser) into position, gear it up
- It then gears down immediately.
- “Oh.” says eye surgeon
- “That’s odd. It seems to have stopped.”
- “Hmm. How strange. You work in computers don’t you? You know how computers can get themselves in a bit of muddle…”
WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!?
- “Oh, it’s ok. It’s started again. “
- “Right. Let’s have another go shall we?”
- Feels like they’re jabbing your eyeball with needles.
- Turns out the anaesthetic isn’t that strong…
- “Good. Next eye”
- Hmm. Didn’t hurt that time.
- *POP* remove the suction caps
Now it gets a bit messed up. Actually, really fucked up.
- Surgeon says “Right, just going to move the flap out the way”.
- He fiddles around with a pair of tweesers on your eyeball trying to grab the flaps – really, really digusting.
- Moves the flap out the way, everything goes crazy frosted glass looking
- They swivel you into place for the actual laser bit
- *CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK*
- Happens for about 35 seconds – each click is the laser lasering a bit
- WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SMELL?
- “Um, why can I smell burning hair?”
- “Oh, that’s your eyeball.”
- Job done, more fannying around with tweesers to put the flap back
- Flap in place, bit sore, can’t really see anything – everything’s really, really bright
- Into darkened room for 10 minutes.
- Send you home – can’t really open your eyes at all because it’s all too bright.
- Get home, put on stupid sleeping goggles, sleep for a bit
- Wake up, listen to radio, keep eyes closed.
Full night’s sleep later…
- Saturday morning, wake up.
- Open eyes.
- I can see.
Well that’s clever.
- Head back to Optical Express for 10:30am
- “Ah Mr. Maynard. Please try and read the bottom line of the sight chart”
- “Yep, perfect. Thanks. You can drive yourself home now.”