LASIK Experience at Shinagawa Ortigas Branch and Everything You Need to Know


Yup! I just underwent LASIK procedure last September 15 at Shinagawa and I still couldn't believe what my eyes see! I still sometimes feel like I am just wearing contact lens (because you know, dry eyes) and sometimes my subconscious tells me to fix to my glasses only to find out that I am actually not wearing one! How's that!

But first, What is LASIK you ask? LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis. This procedure is done to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and other vision problems. People who are dependent on prescription glasses, like me, usually takes this procedure to have a better vision. 

The basic step in doing LASIK is by opening a thin flap on your cornea, then the laser corrects your vision, then the flap is put back. Traditional LASIK uses blades to cut flaps but with the technology becoming more advanced, some LASIK center offers bladeless LASIK procedures. 

To be honest, I didn't plan on having LASIK anytime soon as it is expensive and not within my budget. I was thinking back then that maybe, I can afford LASIK when I'm on my late 20s which is still far from my age right now so this is really an unexpected blessing. 

So how did it happen, you ask? Here it goes...

I was subscribed to Shinagawa's Facebook page so I know almost all their promos regarding LASIK. I know their tied up promo with GetGo as well as vouchers from Metrodeal. Knowing all these, it makes LASIK within reach because of how big the discounts are. But still, even though the rates are discounted, I was still hesitant because paying in one go seems a little regretful on my end. 

But one day, when I and my father is out having coffee, we stumble upon the topic and he said I should go for it since it is for my eyes anyway and it is better to enjoy clear eyesight while I am still young. He has a point, right? So after 2 weeks, I booked an appointment and go on with the procedure.

Of course, research goes a long way so I contacted their FB page to ask questions before I go for the procedure. They forwarded my questions to their consultant and after some talks, we scheduled my screening, wherein if the doctor suggests I am qualified for the procedure, we will do the procedure in the afternoon same day!

September 15 is a Friday and my whole week was busy so I am not sure if I should still go for it that day since I was also tired and sleepy on the day of the screening. My father accompanied me to the clinic. In fairness to the staff, they are all accommodating and very friendly.


What Happens in the Screening?


Basically, this is where they will have a meticulous look at your eyes and will have tests to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. They have a lot of unsuccessful applicants due to various reasons but if you are qualified, then what else can go wrong, right?

We were patiently waiting in the lobby and when my name was called, the doctor did many tests on my eyes. First is they will get the grade of your eye through the usual machine optometrists use when you're about to buy new specs. There are machines where it will blow air in your eyes to get pressure. There is also the usual eye chart where they will ask you to read stuff. 

What's unusual is they also have a dark room where they examine your eyes. Naturally, I don't know what these machines calculate or what data they are collecting but the first half of the screening won't take long. What will take longer is the waiting time. There are some droplets that are being dropped into my eyes with 5-minute intervals for the first few drops then in the last drop, you will have to wait for an hour.

They advised us to eat first so we went to Jollibee on the ground floor of the building to eat first. I noticed that my eyes became very sensitive to light that it's super uncomfortable. 

After an hour, we went back to the clinic. The doctor dropped some anesthesia to my eyes and did some poking using a pen-like instrument. Well, since there's an anesthesia, you won't feel anything at all. 

So, that's all for the screening. We then have to wait again to know the results. So when the surgeon called my name, ta-daaaa! I am qualified for Z LASIK! yayyyy!

I told myself, "this is it! no turning back! I might actually get 20-20 vision before this day ends!". 


The Preparation


Well, a lot of waiting! Really. The procedure is done in the afternoon and it seems like there is only one surgeon in their Ortigas branch and only 1 operating room so when there are a lot of patients, you really have to wait for your turn. Waiting aside, I think the procedure and the preparation for it would only take 30 minutes all in all. 

They had us wash our face before the procedure because, after LASIK, you can't wash your face anymore. They also asked us to wear a hospital gown. And before the procedure, they explained to us on what will happen during the actual procedure.

They also did gave us our post-op kit and explained what's inside. They would also ask for some allergies and your medical history so it's best to be honest about it. As for me, I am allergic to one type of antibiotic so they to change my anti-inflammatory eyedrop to make it safer for me. The other patient is allergic to mefenamic so they need to change the patient's painkiller to paracetamol.


Here comes the Procedure!


It is actually one of the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of my life!! Yes, it's painless but I was tensed the whole time. There's this specimen that will hold the lid of your eyes and the surgeon will put different kinds of drops and liquids on your eye. You also have to be attentive and listen very carefully to the instructions. Most of the time the surgeon will just tell which light to look at and if you need to blink or what. 

There are parts where I think my eyes are being washed with water and believe me when I say it is superrrr uncomfortable. Then there's also this suction where you will need to look into a certain light then after awhile your vision will blackout and you need to just look straight. Since LASIK is done by creating a flap on your eye, most of the few minutes are dedicated to this procedure alone.

The laser part itself it less than a minute and you will know that your eyes are being lasered because you will notice the smell of a burning hair. I remember holding my breath because I was too tensed and when the surgeon said he'll go to the left eye, I asked for a 10-second interval. Lol. 

So on to the left eye. The procedure was fast but it feels like I was already in it for more than 15 minutes because of how tense I was! 

You can say that I had a successful one without problematic issues because others go back due to redness or infections. This kind stuff depends on how you care for your eyes post op. Others need to wear contact lenses because their eyes are probably more fragile or what.

The doctor and nurses advise the patients to go home right after the procedure as when the anesthesia wears off, you will feel pain in your eyes. There are times where you can't even open it but it'll just last for just a couple of hours. And next day, depending on how your eyes heal, you can already see the difference in your vision!

Post Operation


Post operation is as crucial as the operation itself. They will give you your kit and you have to follow the surgeon's instructions well. Included in the kit are:

  • antiinflammatory drops
  • artificial tears drops
  • mefenamic acid for pain after the procedure
  • protective glasses
  • sterilized goggles to be used while sleeping
  • tape for the goggles

We should always wear our protective goggles as our eyes are prone to infection because the flap is still healing. Avoiding dusty and dirty place is also a must. And if there's one thing we shouldn't really do is it's not to scratch our eyes no matter what, even if it is itchy. If we accidentally scratched our eye, we should report back to the clinic asap as the flap might be displaced. That's how fragile it is.

During the first 24 hours, we have to use the anti-inflammatory and artificial tears droplets for every 3 hours. And it includes during nighttime too so we have to wake up every 3 hours. After the 1st 24 hrs, we have to use the droplets 4 times a day for a week. But for artificial tears, we can use it anytime we want most especially if we feel our eyes drying out. Dry eyes are very common after LASIK. And no worries, there's no such thing as overdosing in artificial tears.

Protective goggles and glasses should also be worn for a week. As for me, I still use the protective glasses even after 1 week especially if I'm out as to avoid dust going into my eyes.

And since my eyes are somehow sensitive to light after the procedure, I sometimes wear sunglasses while I'm out. You can say that I'm not experiencing any bad effects right now. 

People who underwent LASIK also have to schedule follow-up check-ups as the surgeon needs to monitor your healing process. Follow up checks are a day after the procedure, after 1 week, after a month, after 3 months, after 6 months, and after a year. Make the most out of this checkups as this is already included in the fee and of course, this is for your overall health and healing process so it is better to make the most out of it than to skip it.


Am I seeing Clearly?


Waking up the next day, I won't lie, my vision is definitely better and clearer than pre-ops. When I went back for the follow-up check up the next day, my grade was 20-12! Yes, that's better than 20-20. But to tell you the truth, it is still not that clear. To give you comparisons, when I try to read prices while ordering at Mcdonald's, I still cannot see it clearly. 

Everyone is different so is the healing time. And to be honest, I was quite frustrated because I still can't see clearly despite the fact that my grade's already 20-12. After a week, I went back to the clinic and everything went fine. But since I can't brush off the thought and I sometimes am having headaches, I decided to go back the next week even though the surgeon told me to be back after a month.

They examined my eyes and it seems that it is getting clearer but I might not just see the difference yet. The surgeon assured me though that they will monitor my progress and I should not worry too much. I am on my journey to my third week and I hope my vision gets better and my healing gets faster too.

Don't take it wrong though!! My eyes are already in its functioning state. I can read signs and such. Maybe it's just my expectation? But according to my research, it really does takes time before you get your fully functional vision. Others might be lucky that they got it the next day while others, like me, still need to go through the healing phase. I am still using the artificial tears eyedrop because my eyes are still prone to dryness.

I am not as worried now as before because I can see small improvements over time. Also, I am trusting the surgeon, as well as the process. They also clarified to me that since the flap is still healing, I might experience unstable clearness in vision and it is totally normal.

So after all, is it a good investment?? YES of course! If you're tied in using eyeglasses or contact lenses like me, don't you want to free yourself from this specimens?? Don't you want to see the world with your own eyes and without any help from those stuff? I mean if you have an active lifestyle, it helps not wearing those, right?

And if you ~love~ traveling like, then it would be beneficial not to wear glasses anymore! No more finding of glasses every morning. No more thinking of where you left it. And no more feeling like your whole life depends on it because, without it, you're as good as blind. 


Some Other Things to Note if You're Taking LASIK


Be sure you schedule it on your most convenient time where you have no beach trips or whatever because you won't be allowed to swim for a couple of months. Your eyes can't even get wet by water so taking a bath and washing your face is challenging. No contact sports like boxing. 

Also, after the procedure.. be sure you arrange for a transportation from the clinic to your house as it is uncomfortable commuting and you won't be able to drive. 

so far, that's how my experience went. I will this post from time to time to document my healing process. I hope this post informed and helped you decide whether you'll take LASIK or not. But if it's just me, go do it! :)



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7 comments:

  1. It's astonishing how much the medicine has evolved. I am glad you had a positive experience, even if you are still waiting for the results to show. I am sure they will, as you said, every person is different. I am lucky to have good vision. The eyes are my most sensitive part of my body and even just reading your post, I got goose bumps.

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  2. That's great! My mom actually went on with the same procedure but it was done in the province. I am truly amazed with technology nowadays. In just 10 minutes, you can be operated and afterwards, you won't be wearing or fixing your glasses. I do hope Shinagawa could have more promos since more and more are wanting to have Lasik but cannot afford it. Wouldn't it be a big help to them, right?

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  3. Well,this is nice yet scary. I know a friend for whom this kind of treatment didn't fetch much good. She eventually went back to her spectacles. But again, I would rather try out the various funky frames on me :p
    I'm glad though it made such a huge impact for you :)

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  4. It's a good idea that you invested in LASIK surgery. Being able to see clearly is so priceless! You'll get to appreciate the world around you more once you fully recover and reap the benefits of the procedure. Glad it went well and that there were no complications!

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  5. Didn't know lasik surgery takes only less than 30 minutes. My friend had it and now her vision is clearer than 20-20. Hope yours will get better soon xoxo

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  6. How old do you need to be in order to do this?

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    Replies
    1. You need to be 18 years old and above

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