Sunday, October 02, 2011

Laser eye surgery: The operation

We arrived around 8.15am at Clinique Sourdille. A secretary greeted us and gave us briefing about the operation and the payment.

At 8.30am, I waved goodbye to my glasses and followed a medical assistant into the operation block. I was led to a waiting room where I met Dr Megroz. He gave me instructions while washing his hands. I found it a bit odd that he addressed to me with the informal you instead of the formal one (tu instead of vous), but he looked friendly and nice. He repeated twice that I should not talk during the operation.

After the briefing the assistant guided me into the operation room. Without the glasses, I vaguely saw a nurse who later helped me lay down on the bed. The assistant was holding my hands throughout the operation. Dr M was standing behind me and the nurse was handling the machines.

The operation started. The nurse put a drop of anesthesia on my right eye. Dr M placed a kind of retainer under my right eyelids to keep them open, this was when I wanted to scream: hello, it's painful!!!I remembered that I was not supposed to talk but due to the pain / discomfort my body moved. Dr M asked me to stop moving but I couldn't control myself. He repeated several times so I finally told him that: "J'ai mal!" (it's painful). He then announced the cruel reality: "oui mais tu as les petits yeux." (yes but you have small eyes). Oh my god, I thought this was supposed to be a painless operation.

I finally managed to control my body and pain eased a little. A machine was placed right above my face and he said he was going to start the laser. Since he was using the FemtoSecond laser technology, I presumed that the machine was meant to create a flap on my right eye. It was fast and I didn't sense a thing, he then used a tool to flip the flap so my vision became blurry. He announced that we were moving to another machine to have the laser worked directly on my eye.

The Lasik procedure

While the Excimer laser was reshaping my cornea, I was supposed to look at the red dot to ensure the best correction result. I had problem focusing on it due to the retainer place to open my eye. He kept saying "look at the red dot", I tried my best, really. This lasted like for two minutes. He turned off the laser and flipped back the flap, which was to serve as a natural bandage for the healing process.

We then moved to work on the left eye. He placed the retainer and, pressed it down so that my eye could be exposed to the machine. It was very painful and this time I moved my legs. The assistant who was holding my hands had to hold my feet, keeping them from moving. When we turned to the second machine, once again I was not able to focus on the red spot and was moving due to discomfort. Dr M asked me to stop moving and then he yelled: "tu veux arrêter?" (Do you want to stop?). I said no immediately, I just wanted the whole thing to finish. I was so relief when he finally took off the retainer. The assistant then placed eye shields on me and led me out of the operation block. The whole process lasted around 25 minutes.

Outside, the secretary handed me a pair of sun glasses. Hubby paid the fees and guided me to the waiting room. I was to see Dr M in one hour and during that one hour, tears kept dripping down even though my eyes were closed. I tried open my eyes but more tears dropping out. I sat there while hubby went to a pharmacy nearby to buy the prescript medicines. Later on two patients joined me in the waiting room and accordingly to hubby, they seemed to be in better shape than me. One was checking his cellphone and one was looking around without tears.

At 10am, Dr M received me. He used a machine to check my eyes and told me twice to open them. I could only blinked. He then announced that everything went well, and his secretary will check on me the next morning. I managed to mumbled thank you to him and off we go home, with a pair of big and ugly sun glasses.

Once arrived home, I headed directly to the room and fell asleep almost instantly. When I woke up at 6pm, I could open my eyes but tears were still dropping. However, the discomfort was gone when I closed my eyes.

Sidenote 1:
Seeing how other patients reacted better to the operation, I wonder if my smaller eyes are the culprit for the whole discomfort during the operation and irritations post operation. The retainer might be too big for my eyes.

Just look at the photo, hubby's single eye is bigger than my both eyes combined.

Sidenote 2:
Once when I was laughing, my BIL asked if I could see anything. Well, I couldn't tell him what I see and what I can't see, I have never thought of this question. Then he asked me why I seldom wear contact lens. He is someone who could put the contact on his eye within second without needing a mirror. I was someone who needed a mirror and needed 5 minutes just to put one contact lens.

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