Lifestyle

Bladeless iLASIK: Surgery Day At Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre Singapore

Few days after my iLASIK consultation, it was finally surgery day at Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre. The procedure itself took less than a minute, and it was painless.

Thank God my corneas were thick enough for iLASIK; a bladeless alternative to regular LASIK, as mentioned in my previous post: LASIK truths & misconceptions in Singapore.

The latest iLASIK process uses iDesign; a NASA technology exclusive to iLASIK, which improves your night vision and gets rid of your glasses. iDesign maps your entire eye, records the data, and transfer the data to another machine used during the procedure itself.

The map is superimposed onto your cornea for added precision and improves post-operative night vision to prevent glares and haloes at night.

Getting Ready

When I arrived, the nurses handed me a blue patient gown and hair cap. Then, they took me into the Operating Theatre (OT) inside the clinic to clean and prep my eye for surgery.

They made sure I had no makeup, perfume, or hair substance on, as they could affect the results of LASIK surgery.

Entering The Surgery Room

The LASIK OT room was kept at a temperature of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius 24-hrs round the clock.

When I entered, there were two big machines of three-metres long each, side by side. I was told to lie down on a bed which swivelled in between the machines.

The first machine used a cold femtosecond laser beam to make a bladeless LASIK flap in just 12 seconds. The second machine used a hot excimer laser to erase short-sightedness and astigmatic degrees away in approx. 25 seconds.

Even if there’s an electricity power cut, the machines have a backup generator so you won’t ever need to hear the doctor say “oh shit”.

Undergoing Machine #1: Creating a corner flap

Once I got comfortable under the Femtosecond laser machine, my eyes were kept open with a suction ring for added safety.

With tiny cold laser beams, the femtosecond machine entered the circumference of my corneas to produce a bladeless flap for Dr Natasha to lift up. It’s amazeballs how I couldn’t feel a thing, except for an uncomfortable glare when staring into a ring of light.

This process was 100% bladeless and took 12 seconds to complete. Dr Natasha only controlled the computer software while the machine completed the process.

Undergoing Machine #2: Zapping away the degree

After Dr Natasha gently lifted up my cornea flap, I kinda freaked out for 10 seconds because everything turned into a blurry sphere of lights like as if I was going blind. But, it helped that Dr Natasha sounded confident and assuring.

She told me to stare at various dots for 20 seconds, and keep still as Machine #2 zapped away my short-sightedness. Once the beeping ended, she put my cornea flap back and it was done.

Though I didn’t feel pain, I was a little teary-eyed from staring at the light without blinking.

And that was it. My iLasik surgery was over.

I got off the bed and walked out of the operating theatre without glasses… something I couldn’t have done on my own without banging into glass doors.

Post-Procedure

As Dr Natasha explained, my vision was in “soft focus” for about half an hour post-procedure before it gradually cleared up. I was given lubricant and teardrops which had to be used every few hours.

When I left the clinic, I accompanied my parents to a hawker centre straight after surgery without any bandage. I could still see where I was going and found an immediate improvement in my eyesight.

Note: However, I did find the sun quite glaring, so I recommend bringing shades if you ever undergo LASIK. Also, you don’t have to worry about having blood-shot eyes; redness is more common for those who undergo normal LASIK procedures which require blades.

The next day, I visited the clinic the next day for a follow-up session. And within two days, I could safely return to work.

But, if you have a desk-bound job that requires lots of typing, I recommend taking 1-week MC to ensure your eyes aren’t strained.

 

Cover illustration by Grace Easton

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