On the day of my surgery to say I was frightened would not be enough, I was petrified! I had a little cry before I left home and my husband was really supportive and made sure I wanted to go through with it whilst encouraging me that this was a life changing opportunity. I knew I did want to go through with it as I had always wanted to have this done and the freedom from glasses would be life changing. My husband and I arrived at the Optimax clinic around 10am and I filled out a few more forms signing to say I understood any side effects that may occur. I also arranged my payment plan providing my ID, bank and address details. You meet the surgeon and he carries out another quick check on your eyes to make sure he is happy to go ahead with the surgery. He also let me know what to expect immediately after the surgery and personally reassured me about what I was about to do.
There were around twelve people at the clinic all waiting to go in, we were all bare faced and wearing glasses and squirming in our seats! To be honest this made feel a little more confident – I was not the only mad person going to have lasers pointed at my eyes, there were other people just as crazy and brave as me. The wait was long and I think I was third from the end. In fact we waited so long I almost forgot my nervousness. I saw eight people go into the operating room before me and all came out 20mins later with red bleary eyes before being ushered into a darkened room and leaving for home shortly after.
After about 2hrs it was finally my turn! My name was called and I went into a small waiting room where I put on a hair net and removed my glasses. I waited for about 5mins then was shown into the operating room. I laid down on a flat bed and the nurse was very kind asking me how I felt and not to worry. The surgeon was also great and again very reassuring, all the staff tell you exactly what is happening and how long it will last at all times. Firstly they cover one eye and anaesthetise the uncovered eye. Using a small clamp they open your eye. This is uncomfortable but once in place it was OK and the discomfort was manageable. They apply a ring to your eye and vacuum your eye to make sure the eye has a smooth surface. You can only see white while this happening and the surgeon counts down to let you know how long is left but it only lasted a minute or so. They then uncover the 2nd eye and cover the eye just treated and do exactly the same again.
Once both eyes have been prepared you are then moved over to the laser machine. Your 2nd eye is re-covered and your 1st eye is clamped open again. You stare up at the machine and all you can see are a circle of red dots - I think this was where they cut the flap into the cornea and move it across. The laser is then changed from red dots to one green flashing laser. You are asked to stare at the green light and when the machine is ready it stops flashing and stays constant. My first eye only took 15 seconds it smelt like burning hair slightly and the surgeon counted down the seconds until the laser had finished. As your eye is clamped open you cannot shut your eye and all you need to do is stare straight ahead trying not to look away. (If you did look away the machine has a cut off so nothing would go wrong with the surgery as far as I'm aware). Once the first eye was done they re-cover the treated eye and carry out the same procedure again on your 2nd eye. For me this was the eye with the worse prescription and it took slightly longer at 19 seconds.
Once both eyes were treated they ask if you are ok and they help you get up from the bed. I removed the hair net and was led out of the operating room and into the darkened recovery room. My eyes felt sore and the darkness was a relief. My husband came in and sat with me and I talked him through what happened in the operating room. After about 10/15 minutes we were taking into see the optometrist and she had a quick look at my eyes.
They give you several bottles of prescription drops and instructions on how to use them and you are free to go home.
See Pre-Surgery & Post-Surgery for more...