Seb’s guide on how to see

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

  • Pay.

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”.

Here goes……

  • 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?)
  • (ow)
  • (ow)
  • “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.”

Pause. Panic.

  • “Hmm. How strange. You work in computers don’t you? You know how computers can get themselves in a bit of muddle…”


  • “Oh, it’s ok. It’s started again. “
  • “Right. Let’s have another go shall we?”
  • *bzzzzzzzzzz*


  • Feels like they’re jabbing your eyeball with needles.
  • Turns out the anaesthetic isn’t that strong…
  • “Good. Next eye”
  • *bzzzzzzzzzz*
  • 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
  • Happens for about 35 seconds – each click is the laser lasering a bit
  • *sniff*


  • *sniff*
  • *sniiiiiifff*
  • “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.”

The end.






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