Photo model: bibi my pet bear (no animals were harmed in the making)
Few months ago, I finally decided to zap away my 500-degree vision with the latest iDesign iLASIK technology that’s pain-free and bladeless. I did it with Dr. Natasha Lim Eye Center at Mount Elizabeth Novena as she’s 1 of only 2 clinics offering iDesign iLASIK in Singapore, and her results are published worldwide on the iDesign iLasik Registry to provide guidance to iLASIK surgeons.
The main reason why I did it was because spectacles tend to give me a headache and having a digital-centric life, I need my contacts for an unhealthy span of 12-15 hours a day. I also hate to spend money on eyesight checks and changing lens degrees.
There were a lot of misconceptions about LASIK which held me back, particularly the cost and whether I would be able to wear colored contacts again (because I’m vain like that). But after finding out more through friends who underwent various LASIK surgeries, as well as Dr Natasha, I hope this post will benefit those who might be considering LASIK.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LASIK/VISION CORRECTION SURGERIES.
Maybe it’s just me but I always thought LASIK was just LASIK. There are various forms of LASIK that clinics may sell differently (read below) but the bladeless, pain-free iLASIK is the one that’s used by NASA astronauts and US naval pilots. Like our iPhones and iPads, iLASIK is made in California USA, and is FDA approved. In the US, approximately 75% of LASIK clinics use iLASIK for their patients.
IT’S ACTUALLY MORE AFFORDABLE THAN YOU THINK.
No it does NOT cost $10k or anything close to it. I know many people have shared the same misconception as me, even my colleagues. It used to be more expensive but the most advanced iLASIK costs $1.8k++ per eye with 0 interest installment plans, and $1.6k++ per eye for standard LASIK.
YOU CAN WEAR COLORED CONTACT LENS.
For all my vain friends out there, I’ve debunked the myth. You can wear non-degree lenses post surgery, provided you wear them less and care for them better. No, I did not Google this fact with blurry vision; I clarified it many times with Dr Natasha. However, not all lens types may suit your new curvature so try different brands to find a pair that has maximum comfort. Don’t forget to remove it too as now perfect eyesight will be the norm!
STANDARD EPI LASIK or ILASIK?
According to my friend who did Epi-LASIK that involves a blunt blade to cut open the flap and slight pain, her eyes were slightly swollen, red and painful for a few days.
On the other hand, iLASIK uses a wavefront-guided machine that does a clean job in 10 minutes with minimal downtime, no pain and no blades. It basically uses a femtosecond laser machine to make a bladeless LASIK flap in just 12 seconds, then an excimer laser machine to zap away your short-sighted and astigmatism degrees in just another 30 seconds.
The whole surgery is done map-guided for extra precision via 1257 intelligent LED light rays. The LED rays help to create a personalized wavefront-guided map for my eye, which Dr Lim super-imposed 360 degrees onto my eye during the actual surgery to guide the treatment. I was told this way, my post-op night vision would be far superior to other methods such as wavefront-optimized Lasik.
She explained that wavefront-guided iLASIK is a truly personalized treatment whereas wavefront-optimized LASIK is a more basic form using a standard algorithm for every eye. iLASIK’s night vision is also better with less glare and starburst, which helps night driving.
WHAT KIND OF LASIK YOU SHOULD DO DEPENDS ON CORNEA THICKNESS AND DEGREE.
Epi-LASIK is not so suitable for those with 500 degree and above as it might cause scarring with high degrees treatment, however it’s best for patients with thin corneas. Click HERE to find out more about Epi-LASIK or a similar version called LASEK.
HOW LONG IS THE RECOVERY TIME?
According to my friends’ experience with Epi-LASIK, it was about 3 days of discomfort and redness and about 1-2 weeks recovery time. For iLASIK, I didn’t have any redness or pain (thankfully). The clinic can produce a 1-week MC but for urgent matters, I think 2 days of recovery time is enough for your vision to clear up.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LASIK AND IMPLANTABLE CONTACT LENS (ICL)?
Dr Lim also performs ICL but she reserves it for people with thin corneas and whose degrees are too high to treat with LASIK for their thin corneas.
She says LASIK is very safe so long as your cornea thickness is okay. A little bit of cornea thinning by LASIK will not cause any harm to normal eyes with healthy thickness and in fact, it is considered more safe than ICL by most eye specialists. This is because LASIK is only lasering externally on the outer aspect of the eye, whereas ICL is fully invasive and when things go pear shaped, the complications are more serious, such as glaucoma or cataracts in a young eye.
DO I NEED TO WEAR SUNGLASSES FOR A MONTH?
Before my procedure, my boyfriend told me that other pilots he knew in the force had to wear sunglasses for a month after doing LASIK. Hence, he insisted I needed a “proper pair of shades” so he got me Raybans for my birthday. Much to my boyfriend’s slight disappointment, you don’t need to walk around like in The Matrix with sunglasses for a month if you do iLASIK.
CAN I DO LASIK MULTIPLE TIMES?
According to Dr Natasha I’ve a much thicker cornea than oriental standards, so I’ll probably be able to do it 3 times within this life. Hence, it’s a myth that it can only be done once after it goes away in 10 years. Of course, it depends on the individual’s suitability. The chance you may need further enhancement is only 1-2 % for people undergoing LASIK.
AM I GUARANTEED 100% PERFECT VISION?
Sad to say it isn’t like a “100% satisfaction guaranteed or money back” Courts deal for everyone, but you will have a significant correction that is enough for you to go spectacles-free. That alone is a remarkable feeling that you won’t fully comprehend until you live with the convenience of good eyesight. Just make sure you rest your eyes more, don’t use mobile devices too long in the dark, and swap warm lights for white lights.
YOU MIGHT GET DRY EYES, WHICH MAY AFFECT VISION.
Eye drops will be your best friend. Dr Lim advised post-LASIK dry eyes is only temporary for 3 to 4 months. Mine took about 4 months. If I don’t lubricate it, especially in a cold country, my vision will be impacted. However, it’s always perfect vision when I open my eyes in the morning after a good rest.
After speaking to friends who did the standard LASIK, the consensus was “it’s the best decision I ever made”. And I have to agree, even more so with iLASIK.
In the next few posts, I’ll be blogging about the consultation, procedure day, and my parents’ surgery that involved cataract removal and vision correction.
Hope this helps!
For more information, visit:
Address: #04-31/32, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Phone: 6570 2220
Hope this helps!