Perfect Vision with Laser Technology
I used to be legally blind without contact lenses and glasses. I can remember holding my books just 3 inches from my nose to read when I was very young. Glasses were always the first thing I reached for when I woke up in the morning.
Today all that has changed for me. I open my eyes and the world is perfectly clear with no contact lenses or glasses. I can read the smallest print on the labels in the supermarket and see street signs without squinting. I owe my perfect vision to LASIK surgery and the world class surgeon who practices near my home.
LASIK stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis. It’s a huge name for a procedure that simply reshapes the cornea to bring everything into focus. For those who are nearsighted, this technology can improve the quality of life in ways they rarely think about. It is expensive, there’s no doubt about it, but if you add up the cost of visits to the optometrist, glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, and other expenses that revolve around your vision, LASIK surgery will be cheaper in the long run.
My surgeon is Dr. David Shapiro in Ventura, CA. There were other doctors who do LASIK surgery for much less, but none have the track record and experience that Dr. Shapiro does. He is not only one of the leading refractive surgeons in the country, he has also helped teach this technique to over 1,000 eye surgeons across the US and around the world. Refractive surgery is all he does, from the first consultation to the very last follow-up visit. He has personally performed over 10,000 surgeries of this kind. When it comes to vision, I felt I couldn’t take any chances with something going wrong. I was already legally blind. I didn’t want to be in the dark, too.
After I had been approved as a candidate for LASIK surgery, my excitement level rose and I was impatient for the computerized eye examinations and measurements to be completed so I could have the perfect vision I had recently been dreaming of. Dr. Shapiro is a perfectionist and won’t perform the surgery until every last detail is what it should be. I used eye drops to improve my dry eye condition, scrubbed my eyelids with medicated pads to clean out the oil glands I never knew existed there, and took antibiotics to clear up a mild case of rosacea. I learned that rosacea can cause dry eyes, which can be a factor in the success of refractive surgery, besides the obvious facial redness. Getting rid of my skin problem was a fantastic side effect, and the only side effect, from this surgery.
Leaving my contacts out for two weeks prior to surgery was the only part of this procedure that was difficult for me. My glasses were thick, heavy, uncomfortable and unsightly. I was embarrassed to wear them in public, but knew it was only for two weeks so the contact lenses wouldn’t affect the shape of my cornea prior to the laser treatment. If wearing glasses was the worst part of this whole experience, that says a lot for how far eye surgery has come.
Dr. Shapiro explained the procedure from start to finish, including telling me what sort of clicking noises the machinery would make when the lasers were on. I was completely comfortable with what he would do to my eyes. I trusted him beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The big day finally arrived and I was taken into the laser suite with protective booties and hair covering. The chair was comfortable and similar to ones you’d sit in at the dentist. The laser machine was pulled into position above my eyes, which were being held open with special clips. Numbing drops had been used so there was no pain and no fear. I realized, choosing the right service provider is very crucial. In today’s setting where medical professionals such as plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons face fierce competition, it is important to be present online.
Before the chair had been put into the reclining position, the surgical nurse told me to look at the clock so that when the surgery was finished in a few minutes, I would have something to compare my before and after vision with. I could barely see the black outline of the wall clock just a few yards away.
Dr. Shapiro performed the surgery on one eye at a time, reassuring me that everything was going perfectly and that I was doing great. My only part in this was to continue looking straight ahead into the center of a circle of light, so it wasn’t all that complicated. It was over quickly and when the chair was brought up from the reclining position, the first thing I saw was the clock. I actually saw the tiny red second hand sweeping past the black numbers. Tears rolled down my cheeks. Luckily, it was okay for me to cry, because there was no holding back the emotions of that moment. Nearly two years later, the memory still brings tears of joy.
My teenage son, who had watched the surgery on a monitor in the next room, came into the exam room after I was finished and was completely in awe. He hugged me and smiled, speechless. The procedure had been captured on videotape and given to me for a souvenir along with a bag of post-operative goodies, like eye shields and eye drops that I would need to use for the next 7 days. I was ready to go home and sleep til the next morning so my eyes could heal overnight.
My experience with LASIK surgery was unforgettable and has changed the way I see life, literally and figuratively. It was worth every penny. I could even say it was priceless.