Daragh Reddin gets laser eye surgery (part 2)

20 Jun 2011

Article published in Metro Herald, June 15th, 2011.

Laser Eye Surgery with Daragh Reddin (Part 2)

Laser Eye Surgery, Part II: Following a series of consultations detailed in last week’s Body Matters, Daragh Reddin finally makes the decision to cast off the glasses and goes under the, er, laser at Optilase

The weekend finally arrived and I was ready to entrust my (hopefully improved) vision to Optilase: Friday: The good news is that after my initial consultation and a rigorous examination at Optilase my eyes have been deemed healthy enough to undergo laser treatment; it’s consoling to know, however, that on the day prior to surgery I’ve been booked in for yet another appointment to thoroughly recheck the eyes and ensure, with absolute certainty, nothing is amiss. This also affords me an opportunity to meet my consultant ophthalmic surgeon Mr Wayne Crewe Brown (MB ChB MMed) who, in a career spanning more than 18 years, has performed some 22,000 procedures.

I’ve elected to have Lasik treatment, the most common form of laser eye surgery, which involves reshaping the cornea at the front of the eye by creating a tiny flap before then resculpting the cornea with a laser. With standard laser surgery this flap is formed with a surgical device known as a microkeratome, but I’ve opted for IntraLase, which, as Mr Crewe Brown – who was one of the first to adopt the procedure – explains, involves deploying a highly specialised laser rather than a blade; this proves less invasive and allows for more precise, individualised results.

Something I’m really excited about is the WaveFront technology which I’ll also be availing of. Generally, laser surgery involves correcting a patient’s prescription by consulting the results of a standard eye test; WaveFront, however, involves taking account of results from scans which generate an accurate map of how light passes through each eye – the results are 25 times more accurate than those obtained during a routine eye test and provide measurements of both the patient’s prescription and the natural imperfections unique to each eye. My fears are allayed knowing that surgery will involve a careful analysis of what is essentially the optical equivalent of a finger print.

Saturday: At 9am on Saturday morning, Optilase is already abuzz and there’s a convivial atmosphere in the waiting room as patients flick through the morning papers and sip coffee as they await surgery – it feels more like an upmarket salon than an eye clinic and if anyone is feeling fearful they’re certainly not showing it.

I’m accompanied downstairs to a small anteroom outside the operating theatre where a very friendly nurse – of which Optilase boasts no shortage – removes my glasses in order to disinfect my lids and the area around the eyes. I’m then given a not-altogether-flattering plastic cap for my head and two for my feet to ensure I don’t bring any unwelcome germs into the theatre with me. Now comes the fun part: I’m handed a 5mg tab of Valium – I stifle the urge to ask for a double dose – and I wait ten minutes for it to take effect before the big event. With my glasses removed I sit quietly, pretending to be able to see the large flatscreen TV that’s suspended only a few feet ahead of me; it’s great to know that this is the last time I’ll ever feel so vulnerable as a result of being parted from my specs.

When the time comes I’m led into the theatre where I’m welcomed by a team of chipper theatre staff – with my vision so poor I hazard a ‘hello’ in the direction I think the voices are coming from.

A nurse helps me on to a long leather bench which is then lowered, dentist chair style, before the surgery begins. The procedure lasts 20 minutes and it’s not in any way painful; merely odd and a tad disconcerting. It involves little input from me other than an ability to lie still and fix my stare straight ahead as the laser is directed first through my right eye, then my left (one eye remains covered while the other is being operated on).

Wayne keeps me abreast of progress at all times, which really puts me at ease, and though I’m thoroughly relieved when it’s over, it’s been no more traumatic than an intense dental check-up.

I’m escorted to a room outside where Wayne examines the eyes to ensure the operation has been a success (it has) and, already, I can feel the effects. Even though my sight is a long way from perfect, there is an improvement – as though I’m wearing contact lenses covered with a thin oily residue. A nurse then talks me through important after-care procedures, chief among them being plenty of rest (no TV or reading for 24 hours) and the regular administration of antibiotic and anti-redness drops. After making an appointment for the following morning, I don a pair of attention-seeking Jackie O-style visors and a friend directs me inside a taxi bound for home…

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Poliana Oliveira
August 9, 2023

I have been wearing glasses for over 20 years. I always hated wearing contact lenses and I got to a time in my life that I needed a change. A friend recommended optilase, I went for the free consultation and the person that did all the exams was really nice and I felt safe and confident enough to go ahead, I was recommended the PRK. I Put on a piece of paper how much I spent and would still spend on glasses for the next 10 years, and the surgery was for sure cheaper than that. My prescription was very high, both eyes, myopia and astigmatism Optilase provided all the information I needed, in clear manner. And they always made clear that there was nothing wrong with my eyes, it was my own choice to go for the surgery. The day of the surgery I was a bit nervous, who wouldn't? But then, from the reception to the surgeon, they were all so nice and welcoming. Hernandez performed the procedure, lovely surgeon, again all information was provided the way it should. I was instructed in what I should and should not do. The actual procedure took less than 15min, I felt nothing, no discomfort or anything. The whole process is very well done by the team, if I remember well around 3 people supporting the surgery plus one other girl providing pos surgery instructions. Right after the procedure I could already see much better than before without glasses! I couldn't believe it, I cried, thanked everyone and left the clinic knowing that I made the best choice. The recovery for PRK is a bit longer, I stayed for 2 full days no phones, or any screens. In the dark. If you have a little one, I would recommend to have someone minding them, as you are very limited in what you can do for the day of and day after surgery. It is hard to open the eyes, the second day after surgery was the toughest, I thought all went wrong as the vision got worst, but again I was advised it could happen. Note that this was my experience and could be different for other people. The 3rd day I felt nothing and could see much better already. Light sensitivity was very high, and still, 6 days after surgery, but nothing that a sun glasses would not help. My vision still blurred, but I need no glasses to see, my eyes feel dry sometimes, but the eye drops provided helps with it and and am very happy with the results already, even knowing it takes a bit longer to fully recover the vision. I'm back to work (screen at 200% to make sure I dont force my eyes too much) and I have had no headaches or anything, which I would have all the time looking at screens for most of my day. I cannot recommend Optilase enough, they are amazing! If you want to do something for your self and want a place you can trust, go for it, choose Optilase. Thanks to the whole team for one of the best things I did for my self!

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August 9, 2023

Great experience all tound from start to finish. Every step explained in great detail. Eyesight was better than 20/20 the next day. Would highly recommend using optilase for laser eye surgery

Eve Murphy
August 9, 2023

Surgeon was great! Talked me through everything as the surgery was happening. Bit of discomfort during surgery and very painful for 2-3 hrs after but put more drops in and took a nap and then completely fine after. Colette for my consultation and post op was so friendly and helpful. Overall, great experience.

Josman Ibarra
August 3, 2023

I highly recommend Optilase for laser eye surgery. The process from the initial consultation to the post surgery check ups was quite smooth and professional. The staff working at the clinic was very knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. The surgery was over in minutes and I didn't feel any pain. The doctor kept an open communication with me during the surgery what made a big difference.

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