[Long Story Alert. Coffee might be needed]
About two years ago, I went to Singapore to have a pre-lasik assessment on SNEC. But since I just had a minor cornea irritation 2 months before, my pre-lasik result was not good and I was unable to do Lasik. Btw, before having this cornea injury I was a full-time contact lens user. I used to wear them for whole day since I woke up until before I went to bed (Bad habit I know!). Since then, I only wore contact lenses on weekends or if there were parties to attend (It’s hard picturing myself wearing dresses with glasses.. I always felt like Ugly Betty *sigh*)
Just before Christmas, I got to hang out with my cousin and friend. She was mentioning something about how my glasses look quite thick and asking about my eye degree (They are both -6.00 with -1.00 and -1.25 cylinder). And yes, from that I started thinking about having Lasik procedure again. I thought since now I only used glasses (most of the time), maybe my eyes had been healthier and hopefully suitable for Lasik. So, I did my homework, browsing here and there about Lasik clinics in Singapore. Then I found this article on sassymamasg.com: Top 10 Surgeons for LASIK in Singapore. I read about each and every clinic mentioned there and picked 4 that I thought most trustworthy and fit my needs.
I sent emails to those clinics, asking about basic stuffs like the Lasik procedure itself, how long should I stay at Singapore, the fees, post Lasik treatment and so on. And I found that I received the best feedback from one clinic. I made appointment for eye assessment on January 18, 2018. I arrived at Singapore in the morning, went to the hotel for checking in, had some lunch then went straight to the clinic. I went through a thorough pre-lasik assessment (a lot of machines with me being asked to focus my sight on one dot – corneal topography I guessed, sorry could not recall one by one ;p). I got my pupil being dilated too using some eyedrops. This would make your vision go blurry for few hours (TBH, not as bad as I thought it would be. I could still go walking around comfortably)
After all the assessment done (it took probably around 2 hours), I got to meet Dr L. Basically, from the test result everything looked okay (meant that I was a good candidate for Lasik). But not yay yet, because there was a big concern mentioned by doctor about my eye width being too small >< This would apparently make it harder for the suction ring (the tools that help your eye remain open during the procedure) to fit into my eye. (Still couldn’t believe it though that among 20,000 patients that this particular doctor claimed to have handled, my eyes were the smallest!!) I realised that my eyes were small (typical Asian eyes), but I did not think they were that small… *sigh*
Anyway, the said he was confident about this, that if he could not do it, no other doctor in this world could, let’s try first… and so on and so on. So yeah, I was being convinced again (half-convinced to be honest, but since I thought everything so far so good I would just go for it). I was scheduled to do the Lasik the next day. I was so nervous for the rest of the day (and also night!). I barely slept at all (I only slept for 2 hours maybe). Just so you know, in every Lasik booklet there is a Disclaimer mentioning risk of losing sight (Yes, blind). So yeah…
I arrived around 10am at the clinic. I must take some eye test again to make sure that the degree taken yesterday was correct (Since it was going to be permanent of course, not just for glasses or contact lenses). All the nurses there was very nice actually. After that I was being led to another room to put on the operation gown above my original clothes and head cap. Then the nurse started to clean and disinfect just around my eye area, put a lot of eye drops (about 12 drops for each eye) for numbing and anti-inflammation. I was so dead nervous and praying A LOT.
Finally, I went to the operation room. *Thriller sound on background* Still managed to take the Before picture with the doctor (Yup, he’s apparently so confident), before I started to lie down under the machine. Dr L said that after this he would try to put in the suction ring and then I would smell some burning when the laser started. I remember I was super nervous that my whole body started to trembling (The room itself was very cold, but the nurse had given thick blanket plus I also wore socks). Then here goes… Dr L started with my right eye. He asked me to open my eye as wide as I could and tried to push the suction ring into my eye. Pushing, pushing, pushing, rolling my eye down, rolling my eye up, then more pushing, pushing, pushing… Then I gave up. Because it started to get painful (even though I had been given the numbing drops, but it still hurt). I asked doctor to stop. He still wanted to try with my left eye though *deep sigh*. I saw no point of doing this though, so I said no.
I got up and went to Dr L office. He said sorry that he could not perform the Lasik. He was offering us with other method called LASEK, which could be performed right away. (You can read about the difference between LASEK vs LASIK at allaboutvision.com) Basically with Lasek, the healing process was a bit longer than Lasik. Patient needed to use temporary contact lens for about 5 days until the cornea healed completely. And also there was a risk of scarring. We were given 5 minutes to make decision. And I did not think that I could make proper decision within that very short period with one eye feeling hurt. We decided not to do the LASEK for that day (or ever). I was given anti-inflammation eye drop for my right eye (there was like bright red circle around the white part of my eye – just outside the cornea thankfully, due to the suction ring trial before).
Supposedly I should feel devastated, but I just felt very grateful instead. I was actually very scared that something worse was going to happen. But now at least my eyes are OK, even though I need to go back to glasses and contact lenses. Plus, on the brighter side, my both eye power decreased by -.50. I am quite happy about this (also it means a little less thick glasses). Please gather as much information as possible if you are thinking about having Lasik surgery. Good luck!
Note: Pre-lasik assessment fee is around SGD 200. Lasik procedure + all medication is around SGD 5,000