Sunday, March 05, 2006

The positive side of laser surgery

So after all the frightening surgery stories, there's also this incredible second-by-second description of the process.

As soon as I sat down, we got started. The doctor placed a small metal device with a loop at the end around the surface of my (now frozen) eyeball. This held my eye in the correct position I immediately couldn’t see anyting out of this eye - presumably because it was exerting force on all sides of the eye and the light was being distorted. He then moved the chair under the machine to the left, which is the Intralase machine. It would be cutting the flap.

I was pretty disoriented at this point, but I think the machine lowered to clamp on to the metal suction object on my eye to do its work. An assistant then called out “30 seconds,” and that portion was done. THey bandaged up my eye for the time being, and did the same thing to my right eye.

Now, the actual laser procedure was ready to begin. He removed the bandage on one of my eyes, then used some kind of tool to keep my eyes open all the way. I could see a blinking, very HAL-like light above me, and was instructed to focus on it. Easier said than done… during this time my Surgeon was peeling back the flap of my eye, and so the light from this red dot hit my eye, the flap being moved around caused the dot to jump all over the place. It was tricky to keep an eye on it.

Once the flap was removed, the Surgeon used a small metal surgical device to move it up and out of the way (typically, this is when if you’re watching a LASIK procedure, the surface of the eye will appear as an exposed grape). This is when things went weird. My vision was just basicaily gone. I could see colors and lights, but couldn’t make anything out. They were now trying to line up the laser with my pupil. If you’re looking on the obersvation screen, you can see a crosshair trying to focus on the patient’s eye. This part is all about will power, as I tried to stay as still as possible. I thought I was fidgeting, but the surgeon assured me that the computer would lock on as needed.

Seconds later, I heard a “whish”-sound followed by the familiar sound of a cooling fan. The laser must now be powering up. An assistant announced “20 seconds of laser for this eye,” and that’s when it started going off. There was an arking-type sound, the kind you hear when high power electronics are being used. With each arc of the laser, I saw a ring of yellow light that gradually improved. This went on for the alloted 20 seconds, and then it was done. The surgeon carefully placed the flap of my eye back into position, and with a few drops, suction took care of the rest of it.


It sounds unbelievable to me but the comments on the site are mostly people's positive experiences and Adam himself was pretty pleased with the way it went.

3 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, Blogger JB said...

Ok..after reading your blog...I just wanted to know if you have seen a doctor..I spose you have..my eyesight has got worse over the last 4 years...but mine is probably down to old age (44)but having said that I suffer with high blood pressure which may contribute...4 years ago i was a glasscutter cutting glass to the milimetre...now my 19" screen in front of me is a total blur...such is life

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Lucy Ann said...

That's incredibly depressing, JB. I'm really sorry. Four years is terribly fast for your eyesight to deteriorate so much. I think you should see a doctor, if only to find out quite how bad it is at the moment. Me, yes, I've spent my life seeing opticians. It's just that now I've decided to stop that if I can. I've read books by people who say they've corrected or at least improved their vision, and I want to do that if at all possible.

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Aidan said...

That certainly makes for - excuse the inevitable pun - eye-opening reading. I've been wearing glasses since I was about 13, for contact lenses most of the time for the last ten years, until advised by an optician last Christmas to start wearing glasses most of the time, since red blood cells were approaching too close to the surface of my eyes (or something...) So apart from nights out, it's mostly glasses for me, though I hate wearing them...
Laser eye surgery sounds tempting... once that Lottery win's been pocketed, of course.
Was intrigued recently to read about new contact lenses you apparently wear while sleeping, and which work to slowly correct your vision somehow, rather than simply, temporarily make up for poor eyesight... Sounds too good to be true, but we shall (hopefully) see...
Will be intrigued to read more of how your attempts work out, a fascinating idea.
And to keep reminded of Be-right-on, where I lived for a couple of years until about 18 months ago.
Best of...

 

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