Last April, I was able to receive one of the best (if not the best) gifts in my life — I was able to get my 20/20 vision back. I am not the bravest person when it comes to surgery — heck, just thinking about donating blood already scares the hell out of me — but I’m proud to say that I made it through the process in one piece. To be fair, the people from The Medical City’s Lasik Center is amazing in handling their patients, and I’ve never felt more comfortable with a doctor than when I was with them.
Surgeries are scary, but knowing that you are with the right people is the best way to assure yourself and relax through the process. Most people are asking me for the details of what I went through and if it was painful (for the record IT IS NOT), so here’s an account of everything that I went through during that fateful day. It was truly life changing and I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for this experience.
The Day Before the Surgery
Much like any other surgeries, going through the LASIK procedure would require you a bit of preparation. There are a handful of reminders that was given to me before going at the center, but I wouldn’t consider any of it as a “major” preparation. They were also nice enough to send me a text message the day before just to remind me of the things that I have to bring and the other guidelines that I have to follow before undergoing the surgery.
One of the most important reminders, though, is to sleep at least 8 to 9 hours. Having enough sleep is very crucial for the procedure as it would heavily affect the accuracy of your eye grades. As excited and nervous as I was, I really forced myself to sleep earlier than I usually do. Although they don’t really require you to do so, I also tried my best to veer away from gadgets and screens to relax my eyes.
The Day of the Surgery
During the day itself, I was asked to come to the center at least an hour before the surgery. My mom and I were able to arrive at The Medical City at around 8:30 AM (I was scheduled at 10:00 AM), giving us more time to prepare and do the necessary procedures. I highly suggest that you come in early so you wouldn’t have to feel rushed and tensed before the procedure.
Although the surgery would only take you a good 15-20 minutes, the prep and recovery would still take some time, and you would be required to stay at the center for at least an hour or so. Make sure that you eat a hearty meal before going in, just so you wouldn’t end up being hangry while waiting (hangry: hungry and angry, a pretty deadly combination, I must say).
Since this would be an outpatient surgery, make sure to bring a companion that could drive you home or at least assist you as you travel back home. You wouldn’t be able to drive, much more commute, right after the surgery, so it’s very important that you come with someone. Taking the uber by yourself isn’t a good idea. Also, companions give you an additional moral support (you can also ask them for favors such as buying you food, among many others). During my surgery, I was accompanied by Mark and my mom all throughout. Your companion isn’t required to stay with you during the surgery, so if you prefer, you can also ask them to fetch you instead. However, if they are willing to go through it with you just like my mom and Mark, they can stay in the recovery room and watch as you go through the procedure.
On the day of the surgery, make sure that you bring a jacket, as the surgery room is quite cold. As funny as it would look like, a jacket underneath a hospital gown is definitely one of the most comfortable get up for a surgery. Make sure that you don’t wear makeup (you don’t need to look all glammed up to get the surgery done) and bring a hair tie. Make sure that you don’t use heavy perfume as the machines are quite sensitive. Also, make sure to bring sunglasses as you would be highly sensitive to light after the procedure. Sunglasses saved my life as we traveled from the hospital all the way to Malabon, so make sure to have that in your bag. You can also bring in snacks, although you could only eat them after the surgery (but of course). You are also free to give some to your nurses and doctors. :p
An Hour Before the Surgery
Before the Lasik procedure, I went through a couple of preparations done by the nurses. I went through a series of eye drops and another refraction test to double check my eye grades. My vital signs were also taken before the operation.
Before going inside the operating room, Dr. Cecilia Agdeppa gave me a quick briefing to set my expectations of the surgery. Knowing what will happen definitely helped me a lot to relax, and by the time that I had to get inside, I was much more comfortable and ready for everything that’s about to happen.
As they promised, my surgery was quick and painless. The prep time was actually longer than the actual surgery, which only lasted for about 15 minutes.
Wearing my sterilized hospital gears, I went inside the cold operating room, where I was asked to lie down on a swiveling bed positioned beside two machines.
The first machine creates the flap and would only last for about 10 seconds per eye. I remember seeing a ring of light inside and then feeling a bit of pressure. My vision went black for a couple of seconds, but since my expectations were already set during the briefing, I never really felt scared. I could also hear instructions from Dra. Agdeppa and she make it a point to assure me that things are doing okay. Hearing someone give you positive affirmations are very helpful, especially if you are a scaredy-cat like me.
The second machine was more of water pouring down my eyes. It felt like my eyes are being cleansed. They did that for about 10 to 15 seconds per eyes, and the next thing I know, we’re already done with the surgery. I never felt anything at all, except for the pressure from the first machine. My lids were quite heavy, though, and I felt like I could use some sleep.
After the procedure, I was ushered to the recovery room, and then I had a quick check up with Dra. Agdeppa before I was cleared to go home.
Right After the Surgery
Right after the surgery, my vision wasn’t 100% clear, but I could definitely see a significant change. Although there was no pain during the procedure, I felt a bit of stinging after the anesthesia wore off. I slept it off and I felt much better after a couple of hours. I was definitely sensitive to light, and wearing sunglasses helped me a lot to tolerate the harsh rays of the sun.
While I can use my phone and watch TV hours after my operation, I opt to minimize my use as the light can still be uncomfortable. I also make sure to rest well, and to put the necessary drops on time.
For my medication, I was only given three different eye drops that I need to apply frequently. The first one was called Vigamox, which is an antibiotic. I was required to apply it every two hours, together with Econopred, a milky drop that prevents my eyes from swelling. I also make sure to apply my lubricant, Systane, every hour, or whenever I feel like my eyes are starting to feel sandy. The frequency of application adjusts every check up. By my first month check-up, I was already off Vigamox and Econopred, but was still required to put Systane. There was no oral medicine prescribed for this type of procedure.
Eye Care After the Surgery
Aside from the medications, there were also a couple of things that I was required to follow after I had my LASIK surgery. I make sure to do them religiously as I really don’t like to risk losing my precious 20/20 vision again. Here are some of my do’s and don’ts that I strictly followed:
- I wore my protective goggles frequently for 2 weeks.
Although it is not required to be worn when you’re just inside the house, I make sure to religiously have it with me because I’m afraid of any dust or particles that could get inside my eyes. I also make sure to wear it during my sleep, as this is the time that we’re most likely to rub our eyes. If I’m going out, I make sure to wear my sunglasses, though, to protect my eyes from the sun.
- I washed my hair salon style for 2 weeks.
I am not allowed to have my eyes wet nor allow any liquid to get in contact with it (aside from the medication, of course), so washing my hair was a bit of a struggle. Washing my face was yet another issue, but I eventually got around it for two weeks.
- I didn’t use make-up and any facial creams for 2 weeks.
I wasn’t allowed to have anything strong near my eyes, so I was asked to discontinue the use of anything on my face for two weeks. It was okay, but make sure to have oil control films on your purse to avoid oiliness.
- I didn’t exercise for 2 weeks.
No strenuous activities were allowed for two weeks after my surgery. I stopped jogging or going to the gym altogether and had to stop myself from lifting anything heavy for two weeks.
- I didn’t swim for 1 month.
Since I had my operation during the summer, this was one of the biggest struggles. I was able to schedule my out of towns after a month of my operation anyway, and I also made sure to ask my doctor a ‘clearance’ of sorts before I went ahead and embraced the sea.
So, there you have it! That’s exactly what went down during my surgery. I still have frequent checkups with Dra. Agdeppa to continuously check the status of my eyes. According to the center, my vision would still adjust in a couple of months, but so far I am doing amazing. If you want to have your eyes checked or if you are considering undergoing the Lasik surgery, I highly recommend The Medical City’s Lasik Center. Feel free to contact them below!
The Medical City – Lasik Center
2nd floor, Podium Building, The Medical City
Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City
Tel. Nos.: (632) 988 10 00 | (632) 988 70 00 ext. 7783 / 7784
More about my Lasik Surgery