I'm getting laser eye surgery tomorrow...

…and I am so scared!

I go in tomorrow at 8:45 for the surgery. I am so excited to be without glasses for the first time since 4th grade! However, I am so nervous! I know the risk of complications is pretty low. And I have faith in my doctor, (he’s done 25 THOUSAND surgeries, for Christ’s sake!) but, it’s like, surgery. They actually cut into your freakin’ cornea! And they wedge open your eyes. I saw a video of it being done. I should never have done that. That was a mistake. Not enough brain bleach in the whole universe.

I had trouble sleeping last night, and tonight seems to be the same deal. Maybe I should take some warm milk. Or a sedative. :slight_smile:

Any advice?

Ask them for some kind of sedative/relaxant, and take it early enough before the procedure (20 min or so) to relax you enough.

Oh, and be prepared for the burning smell. Try not to freak out that it’s, you know, you.

Wear the protective goggles/guards/whatever for sleeping if they give you some.

If a “touch-up” is included in the package, take them up on it if you need. One friend was dissatisfied with his results until I urged him to go in and have them look him over. The touch-up that they did fixed his complaints.

Get some “artificial tears” (not the “gets the red out” drops) and use them; some people find some dryness for a while afterwards. Most of the annoying side effects should go away quickly, and most people find that the effect of being able to see clearly heavily outweighs anything negative.

I don’t have any advice. I’ve never had it done, because I was told you had to wear glasses instead of your contacts for two weeks before the surgery, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to wear those thick, dorky little things out in public! (I’m a -11!) But, just wanted to say relax, and good luck!

I have not had that surgery, but I did have my retina surgically repaired by laser (both eyes) and I am a total freak about people putting stiff in my eyes. It was really ok! Be sure to tell them if you get nauseated with any kind of sedatives or anesthetics because you do not want to vomit with freshly operated on eyes (too much pressure). They can give you anything from maalox to phenergan. They just need to know.

Good luck! I am so jealous! I hope to be a candidate for the surgery in the next few years. Goodbye glasses!

One of the best things I have ever done.

I just kept repeating in my head “it will only take a minute…It will only take a minute”
In my mind it’s easier to stay calm when facing discomfort if I know it will be over soon, and the procedure is really fast. I was 20/20 the next morning and loving life.

My sister had to go in a second time for a touch-up. She was really disappointed/worried at the time because she hadn’t heard of anyone else needing a touch up. Turns out a small percentage of people need a second surgery, it’s pretty common and no big deal. It took an extra few days but she is really happy with the results.

Thanks guys!

I’m still a little freaked out. And I was considering forgoing the sedative, but I think on second thought, I’ll go ahead and ask for it. I suppose it’ll also help me sleep afterwards, right?

When i went for it, I was similarly freaked out. I could have written your post. That was 6 years ago and I’ve never regretted it.
1.) Take the sedative. I think it was Valium in my case. Really helped me.
2.) Just keep focusing on the short duration. It’s a lifetime of change for 15 minutes under the knife.
3.) Follow the directions for post-care. Have lots of liquid tears (they’ll be able to tell you exactly what kind to get). You’ll be in love with them for 1-2 weeks. Don’t touch your eyes. Lots of gut instinct to overcome there, and personally i was terrified i’d screw it up, but it’s important.

Good luck!

No advice, but sending out good luck thoughts! I hope you get great vision from this.

Unless your surgeon provides or specifies something different, get Tears Naturale or your drugstore’s house brand equivalent. It’s a surprisingly large box because instead of one bottle, it’s 50 or however many individual one-shot vials. Surprisingly expensive too, but for the first couple of weeks, you definitely want fresh and sterile wetting drops each time. You just spent a lot of money for the surgery - don’t blow it and get a corneal infection just to save $20.

After I had LASIK, I had those little vials stashed everywhere - in the car, at the office, jacket pockets and so on. You’ll probably need them for the next couple of months, but the need should taper off pretty quickly.

By now, I’m guessing you’ve already had the procedure. Going home and sleeping is pretty much the best thing you can do. By now, you should see (heh!) some improvement, but it will be a few weeks for the corneal flaps to heal and your vision will be improving gradually day by day.

Whatever you do, don’t touch or rub your eyes. They’re going to be itchy for a while.

Tomorrow morning, I expect you’ll wake up, open your eyes and say “WOW!”

Laser eye surgery was a success!

It hurt like hell though, “some discomfort” my ass. I can see distance really well right now, but close up and reading is still a bit hazy. Glad I did it though!

Yeah, my near vision was really confused right after. Sorted itself out in a couple of days. Also I had halos right after that faded over the following weeks.

I’m surprised that it hurt. Maybe the numbing drugs just work better on some people. For me there was terror, but only a tingling sensation.

Supposedly I had “really small eyeballs” and so they had to put more pressure than usual on. So maybe that had something to do with it?

According to the opthamologist I had 20/20 vision as of noon today. Hooray!

Clockwork Jackal (and others), thanks for posting your experiences. Hope you are doing well.

Could someone give a ballpark cost for the surgery?

(wondering to self… will I get half off?)

The clinics here charge per eye so I guess you would :slight_smile:

This is one surgery where we get a lot of people coming to Canada for since it’s apparently cheaper here than in the US. Prices range from $500/eye to $5000 per eye depending on the level of correction the construction of your eye. None of the clinics I’ve had experience with (hubby, friends) have charged for the assessment visits.

Mine was $4000.00 CAD for both eyes, with Intralase (they used a laser to cut the flap) and Custom Wavefront Mapping (a computer maps the cornea and tells the computer exactly how to shape the cornea.) These terms are probably different in the US.

It’s now evening, and my ability to read has improved a lot! Although, I just noticed I see a TON of halos at night right now. I’m hoping that clears up. My eyes feel pretty dry right now. I’m hoping that clears up too in a week or so.

Dry eyes and halos are both pretty common apparently, and both do tend to disappear with time. Ask your doctor about what kind of ‘natural tear’ drops are OK for you to use - you may need them for a while.

Yeah, they gave me some. The price included all the drops I would need; an antibiotic, a steroid, and two types of lubricating drops. Never had to give myself so many drops before! :slight_smile:

An Update:

It’s been about two and a half weeks now, and my eyes are almost completely healed. There’s still just a tiny ring of red around each iris, the rest of the redness and swelling has disappeared. My eyes aren’t nearly as dry as they were 3 or 4 days after. I’d say the dryness has almost completely gone away. I haven’t bothered with any drops for the last couple days. My eyesight at my last checkup was 20/20 in one, and 20/15 in the other. We’ll see what it’s like at my one month checkup. I still see halos at night, but I expect that’ll improve over time.

I keep doing things like touching the bridge of my nose to push my glasses up, or touching the sides of my face to take them off at night, only to realize that there are no glasses to push up or take off! Very weird. But good!

I am soooo glad I did this! No regrets!

Best thing I ever did, and it was maybe seven or eight years ago. I still halo a bit at night, so I got glasses which I use in dark places (night driving, movie theaters, European churches) and that helps immensely. Plus, when I wear them I look smart.

Campion, can you tell me more about what kind of glasses you got? I pretty much can’t drive at night because all the car lights and traffic lights kind of melt together and I can’t make out a thing. I’d love to find some glasses or something to help with that, but I’m not sure what to even look for.