The day arrived!
Based on the instructions from the Lasik doctor, the day of surgery I was to rest my eyes all day. The idea, I am guessing, is so that your eyes are not strained when you go in. So, that meant no: TV, video games, computer work or reading.
I spent the morning resting, doing some laundry, and listening to music and audio books. Also, I drank a lot of water to help hydrate my eyes. I filled a 16 oz. container several times, starting the night prior, and multiple times before my procedure.
I waited to shower until almost time to go, since you cannot wear any type perfume, cologne, aftershave, deodorant, hairspray, or other scent to the procedure. It can confuse the laser machine. I also wore clothing that was easy to take off. After the procedure, you may want to just crawl into bed, so I wore something I did not need to pull over my head and was comfy. For me that was yoga pants, simple shirt, and zippered sweatshirt.
My appointment was for 1:45pm. My husband drove me over, as you need to have someone to drive you to the appointment and back home. I took all the medications that were prescribed to me for the procedure. Do take ALL of them, including the preservative-free eye drops.
They will ask you if you brought them.
I also took the pre-Lasik procedure instructions with me.
When I arrived at the Lasik office, they greeted me with a smile and then had me sign a four-page form that covers most all the things that could go wrong with the surgery.
Let me say, any procedure has risks, and this one is no different.
I suggest reading up on the FDA’s page on Lasik, or search “Lasik + risks” on the web, and that will pretty much cover what you will see in this document.
They also gave me the post-care instructions and the dates for my follow-up exams.
Once I had signed the form, they went over the after-care with me. They also asked me to continue to rest my eyes. In other words, please refrain from reading the magazines they have in the waiting room or looking at your smartphone. Then they did another round of quick eye exams. They do the same ones as during the initial consultation, but this is so they make sure to have accurate readings. They have machines that read your eye / cornea thickness, etc. None of them touch your eyes or send puffs of air, like at the optometrist. It takes about 15 minutes.
After they had those results, which look like a bunch of color charts of your eyes, they take you to a room, much like your eye doctor’s, where Dr. Teplick comes and makes sure you understand all the risks and answers any questions you have. My husband (my driver) went with me to that room. Prior to that, both you and your driver will be sitting in the waiting room. I wanted to know about the goggles (shown below) and swim goggles in the shower to keep water and soap out of your eyes. The googles are given to you right after the procedure and are worn for the first 24 hours after Lasik and at night thereafter for seven days. This will keep you from rubbing your eyes while you sleep. You will not want to rub, or really touch your eyes, for a full month after. However, that is all in the after-care sheet.
Once I had spoken with Dr. Teplick, the assistant gave me the Valium to calm my nerves. Now, I have high anxiety, so she started with two. If you know you are prone to panic attacks, or other forms of high anxiety, let them know. They want to make sure you are completely calm for the Lasik. They ended up giving me one more tablet, after about 15 minutes, and that did the trick for me. My husband said after that one I was “snoring” on his shoulder.
After giving you the calming medication, they take you to a relaxation room. Think of it is a small living room. It is comfortably warm and has a couch, TV, and magazines. Here you are given the time for the valium to kick in. My husband watched TV, and I just put my head on his shoulder. The couch is long enough for you to lie down on, if you want. I think there was also a comfy chair if you prefer that.
Once the valium had kicked in, one of the assistants came and took me to the procedure room. There is a padded table in the middle of the room. Two machines are over the table. These are the laser machines, from what I understand. They have you lie down as close to the head of the table as possible. They will give you two stuffed animals to hug. Don’t be shy, or macho, these little stuffies are amazingly soft and give you something to hold and squeeze. They also are surprisingly comforting. They will also place a shower type cap on your head to keep your hair away from your eyes.
After you are settled, Dr. Teplick comes in and makes sure you are ready to go. They will place numbing drops on your eyes. It stings just a tad but very little. Once your eyes are numb, they use a little tool to keep your eyelids open. I believe the first machine lasers the flap that is then opened with a bit of suction. The second, I think, shapes your eye. You will feel a little pressure but it is like someone pressing their finger into your arm. It doesn’t hurt at all. Both eyes took maybe 10 minutes…not sure, since I was under the valium. It really seemed less than that to me. The nurse, I think, had her hands on my shoulders during the procedure to keep me relaxed as well.
After the procedure was over, they put on the goggles and told me to leave them on until my appointment the next day. You can lift them to put in the eye drops, but then put them back over your eyes. The assistant walked me back to the relaxation room. She also helped my husband walk me to the car. They gave us a small bag with a snack bar, some sample preservative-free eye drops, and a coupon for those drops.
My husband drove me home and put me right to bed. He gave me the first and second round of drops. I lifted the goggles and pulled down (very carefully) the lower lid of my eye. He then put in the drops. I took a few bites of food he gave me so I could take the pain medication. The numbing drops they give you for the procedure wear off within an hour after they are put in. The pain you will feel is similar to how sunburn on the skin would feel. It isn’t horrible, but it is uncomfortable. We were told that with the Refresh Single-Use Vials, you can put the cap back on and use the vial one or two more times, as long as it is within a few hours. You will get about 6 drops out of each vial.
I slept the rest of the day and night. That is what they want you to do. I also kept my eyes closed except for getting drops.
To sum the procedure up, Dr. Teplick and his staff are amazing, thoughtful, and are very good at what they do.