My 2017 TransPRK/Lasek Experience — Part Two: The Surgery
In this three part series I talk through my recent TransPRK Laser treatment for the benefit of others. In Part One I covered my reasons for opting out of Lasik, whilst Part Two and Three look at my recovery and tips for anyone thinking about treatment.
Day of the Surgery
If you haven’t read Part One, I decided to get my laser treatment privately at Moorfields through Mr Romesh Anugunwala. I was sh*tting it all the way up to the surgery. My head swirled with doubts about whether I was doing the right thing — should I try harder to use contacts? Does my prescription justify this? If I could offer one tip, keep your treatment to only your trusted friends and family. The sheer amount of nonsense and passively nasty things said to me was outrageous. Why people think it’s funny to instill doubt in someone who is having their freaking eyes lasered is beyond me! I also made the mistake of going alone, leaving me the only person sat in the waiting room without someone for support. Just me and my crazy thoughts. I was soon called in by an assistant who took me through all the drops I would need to take on a tight schedule. I had already seen the regiment, though it did my confidence no favours given I couldn’t get any drops in on a normal day.
The surgeon then met with me for a brief check and a quick eye test. He then talked me through the procedure and calmed my nerves considerably, rewarding my faith in his patient care over the other Moorfields professionals. He noted not to panic if I smelled burning, as it is just my eye molecules turning to carbon! It was then time for business, and I was taken through to the laser room, heart pounding…
I lay comfortably on the medical bed with the ominous laser poised over me. I began to squeeze my stress-ball (recommended) rhythmically to take my mind off any anxiety. A series of numbing drops were applied repeatedly which I found uncomfortable as I hate anything in my eyes. The surgeon then taped back my eye-lashes and applied a small clip to hold my eye-lids in place. This was unexpectedly painless and really eased my nerves — blinking was one of my biggest concerns and I really thought he would struggle to get my lashes back. The laser was lowered over my right eye like a binocular whilst the left was taped. At first the laser reviews the structure of your eye so there is a small period of anticipation. I was then asked to focus intently on the green dot and was informed the treatment was beginning. It began with a loud buzzing noise and soon I could smell the burning very prominently. The surgeon counted down for 20 seconds whilst encouraging me that everything was going well, which I very much appreciated! For the final 5 seconds the green light became blurrier and blurrier before suddenly turning crystal clear, and then less blurry at the finish. The laser head was removed and I breathed relief at still being able to see functionally. The eye was then washed with water (very strange sensation not being able to blink) before medicine was applied with a cloth for 30 seconds. After a final wipe with a mini brush, a bandage contact lenses was carefully applied. My eyelashes were freed from the tape and clip, allowing me to sit up and have a sip of water. I lay straight back down as the process repeated for the other eye, this time more confident having been through the experience already.
When the procedure concluded, my sight was not much different and I felt good. I was taken through to a post-operation examination. To my surprise, I could actually see two lines clearer on the eye-chart making me one above 20:20. For 3 minutes out of surgery this is a good outcome. The only discomfort stemmed from the contact lenses as I have never worn them before. My first set of drops were applied by the assistants and I was sent home to begin the recovery. I caught an Uber from outside Moorfields and was able to send some WhatsApps on the journey through my sunglasses. I returned home less than an hour later and still felt good though light sensitive. Now it was time for the legendary recovery that Lasek treatments are known for…
Overall I could not have been more impressed with patient care offered to me throughout the procedure. All my questions were answered and at no point was I rushed or pressured. If you are queasy about the eyes or the process in general, I highly recommend Mr Anugunwala as someone who will ease your concerns (checkout the link below)
In Part Three I discuss the first week of recovery and beyond. This will provide a useful read for anyone thinking further about a surface treatment over Lasik.
Please feel free to comment below or reach out with any questions.