It’s been more than 5 months since I did my LASIK surgery at Shinagawa Eye Centre. I haven’t had a moment where I second-guessed my decision to go ahead with the procedure.
I have been enjoying every minute of my “new” eyes and parenthood has been a whole lot easier without the need for visual aids — ie. my kid can no longer smack my glasses off my face! Yes!
Read on to find out more about the LASIK surgery that I did (Intralase LASIK) and my thoughts about it.
I have had tons of people asking me “How is it?”, “Is it scary?”, “Is it painful?”. To the three questions above, it was fast, not scary at all and absolutely pain-free!
Recovery time was amazingly quick! By the end of the day, I was able to read words off a computer screen (about a metre away) and my husband was amazed by the surgery’s quick results.
Now here is a couple of things that you have to know about LASIK surgeries. There are many methods to perform this surgery and after the initial assessments, your surgeon will typically recommend the type of LASIK procedure that is best suited for your eyes.
In my case, I was recommended to undergo the IntraLase LASIK by Dr Lee Sao Bing.
My eye surgeon, Dr Lee Sao Bing of Shinagawa Eye Centre
Here is a bit of background information on this LASIK method.
IntraLase Lasik is also known as the “All-Laser Lasik”. An expensive laser machine makes use of an advanced femtosecond laser technology to achieve a more accurate, and safer flap-making procedure.
Because this IntraLase lasik method is empowered by a computer's precise control, it allows the surgeon to customise the depth, width, shape and location to create a very thin cornea flap – thus customising to the needs of an individual patient.
The IntraLase laser creates air bubbles in the stroma of the cornea and the air bubbles create space. The flap is not lifted until the LASIK surgeon uses a special surgical instrument to lift the cornea flap, which also means that the cornea is still intact after the IntraLase laser and the patient can blink and walk around normally without any fear
(Pic credit: Shinagawa Eye Centre)
As mentioned previously, the first step to any lasik procedure is the pre-lasik assessment as not everyone is suitable for laser surgery. Every individual is required to undergo this assessment in order to determine their suitability for lasik and which lasik procedure is best suited for them. At Shinagawa Eye Centre, a pre-lasik assessment costs $22 (including GST) for individuals aged 49 and below.
You are advised against wearing any contact lenses a week before the pre-LASIK assessment. This is to ensure the accuracy of the test results. So yes, your glasses will be your BFF for that entire week!
The whole assessment takes about an hour to complete and results from the pre-LASIK tests are generated immediately. Thus on the same day, your doctor will be able to inform you of your suitability and provide you with a (LASIK) recommendation.
Do note that one of the tests requires the clinic assistant to dilate your pupils and you might experience blurry vision for up to 4 hours. This blurry vision is kinda like 老花眼, so I was tilting my spectacles down, holding my phone up high and at a distance like an old woman with long-sightedness. LOL
In the event that you are suitable, you can make an appointment for your LASIK surgical date before leaving the clinic. It is recommended to have the LASIK surgery within a month from your pre-LASIK assessment in order to ensure the reliability of the test results.
Usually, there are available slots almost every day except for weekends; I had my LASIK surgery arranged at 3 weeks after the LASIK assessment. My husband took a half day-off so that he could accompany me home after the surgery was done.
To be honest, I had pre-surgery jitters the night before. I had been living a bespectacled life for over a decade and had gotten so used to hiding behind my glasses for all these years. But all it took in that second was my baby boy knocking my spectacles off my face (and out of my thoughts) to remind me of how much I would enjoy a life without visual aids.
My day at the clinic took about 3 hours. The other two hours were spent on tests and checks, reminders, and bits of advice, keeping my bag in the lockers, changing into the surgical gown, and waiting – for the anaesthetic eye drops to kick in, resting at the recovery lounge after the surgery. There was also someone else doing the lasik procedure before me. The laser procedure itself was rather fast, like in split seconds, I’m done!
Before I knew it, I was ushered to my husband and ready to head home. The entire procedure went by without any hiccups.
Dr Lee was incredibly reassuring and I like how he kept me up to date on each step of the procedure. This is very important because the surgery happens while you are wide awake and you are required to keep your eyes open throughout the whole thing. Because of each heads-up that he gave me, I wasn't caught by surprise from any of the actions taken.
For instance, when he was about to lift my cornea flap, he warned me that my vision was going to get blur and it is okay. When the laser machine was gonna do "its thing" and correct my vision, he warned me that I might smell something burning and that I should not be alarmed.
Dr Lee was also very generous with the anaesthetic drops. Because I am a coward at pain management, I requested for more eye drops to be placed into each eye prior to each treatment. I have a normal cornea thickness hence I am only required to undergo two machines procedures. One machine to create the cornea flap, another machine to reshape the cornea. The nurses also wrapped me up in a thermal blanket to keep me nice and warm.
I know all of these sound like very minor details that don't play much into the big action (ie. the actual lasering) but they really do make a huge difference in keeping me calm throughout my LASIK procedure.
I was discharged with 3 types of eye drops – an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and an eye lubricant. I had to drip them according to the schedule provided by Dr Lee and then return in 3 days for a post-surgical check up.
Fast-forwarding my recovery process to the current date. Everything went by smoothly. I regained control of my vision so quickly that it was amazing. A week after my LASIK surgery, I actually went to Halloween Horror Nights! I had a ton of fun wearing the different shades that I had bought during my travels but never wore – I even borrowed my mother-in-law's Kate Spade sunnies to wear! LOL
Because I wanted my eyes to heal as quickly as possible and to prevent post-LASIK dry eyes, I was very generous with the amount of eye lubricating drops that I was dripping into each eye. The recommendation was to place only a drop or two into each eye, but I often found myself using up an entire tube for both eyes (oops). I also bought extra tubes of vidisic eye gel (a soothing eye lubricating gel) to place around the house and in my bags.
All of these paid off because I am currently not experiencing any of the side-effects that come with LASIK and am incredibly thankful about it!
So here is the part that everyone wants to know. How exactly are my eyes right now?
Prior to my LASIK surgery, my eyesight was -6.00 in my right eye and -7.50 in my left eye. 5 months after my LASIK procedure, I have perfect 6/6 vision in both eyes with no post-LASIK side effects.
Shinagawa Eye Centre is conveniently located on the fifth floor of Wheelock Place.
For more information on the services and fees at Shinagawa Eye Centre, click here. To make an appointment, you can either call +65 6738 8222 or submit a webform here.
Shinagawa Eye Centre
501 Orchard Road
Wheelock Place #05-15
Contact: 6738 8222
Monday to Friday, 9am - 5:30pm
Saturday, 9am - 5pm
By Soph Leow