OPTIMAX: Eyes. Laser. Oh yeah. (Pt2/3)

Monday, October 01, 2012


So after years of contemplating corrective eye surgery over even more years of contact lenses, I finally decided to take the plunge and laser my eyes!
My only assurances from the fear that stopped me doing it earlier were that there is a new blade-less technology and I was going to get it from the very best KL has to offer!
(I’ve deduced this from recommendations from doctors and their 100% success rate.)
Still, PRE-LASIK requires a minimum 10 days of no contact lens usage to let your cornea get back to it's natural shape, explaining this and this



Seriously, I tried not to go out for 10 nights because I felt strange attending events with glasses on but so many places to be, so little time to be shy :((
Ended up wearing glasses, answering a dozen inquiries a night on why I'm wearing glasses and just pulled it up for most photos.

Note: Another reason to laser eyes.
Totally self conscious with glasses.

But I digress :)
 OPTIMAX called the day before to advise me is not to wear a stitch of make up, let alone moisturizer, for the day of the procedure itself.

You are warned, this is not a glamorous post.


My parched and naked skin shrivels in shame but I did as advised.
They recommend a designated driver too so I made sure I got one for the big blade-less lasik day!

Approaching OPTIMAX located at Bangunan AHP in TTDI, Taman Tun.


Wasn’t hard at all to find even for a Mont Kiara girl and boy.


But it still felt like a long walk indeed.
Was all nerves already and I hadn’t even gone in yet!

*hangs head*


Everything just seemed so surreal because I can’t even imagine what Life would be like any other way than how it’s been with my vision for the last 15 years.
Just writing that reminded me of how long I’ve put this off.

So I filled out the forms and anxiously awaited my turn for a very through eye examination to begin.


Pretty much felt like an eye marathon of machine after machine.
Lucky for me I got a really friendly eye specialist who kept reassuring me, albeit my wimpy demeanor, in regards to eye dripping,puffing and prodding.


The only machine I liked was this trippy one..


It is supposed to map out  my corneas (along with a bunch of other things) for the All-Laser-Lasik procedure I was hoping to get IF I was suitable.

I could only hope.
Dreaded them telling me I had retarded corneas from years of colour contacts and I’d have to use a regular blade procedure :(

But mostly, the per-processes I handled the best were the ones I’ve already done for years.
And after extensive alphabet reading and trick questions, my current eye power is revealed.


Right eye 5.25, Left eye 5.00.

I’m only 23 by the way so safe to say, good eye sight is not genetic.
Finally, got a sit down for a full consult conclusion on my eyes and what OPTIMAX could do for me.


Felt very assured as the specialist took the time to properly explain all the pros and cons of going forth with Intralase, the All-Laser-Lasik procedure I was qualified for!

If you are considering doing Intralase for your eyes, do your own research to find out more about 

1. Possible eye dryness for months after the procedure  
2. The ‘halo effect’ of light at night which may affect driving ability.

My major fear was to develop a problem with my cornea flaps.
However, I was assured Intralase pretty much makes that a thing of the past due to it's precision compared to regular lasik. It is also more expensive but I'd look at it as additional insurance.

So after taking one last moment to gather myself, they brought me into a separate area to prep for the procedure.

Got to suit up in blue (even my toes!) and had more numbing drips applied in my eyes.
Pupils were super dilated from a previous eye drip, which made me unable to focus on objects close to me.

Bringing a friend or partner really comforts and I strongly advise it.


While waiting my turn, a attending staff came to explain to me the after care and also to hand me a bag of eye drips and Ponstan if case there is discomfort.


Guess it it’s good enough for period cramps, Ponstan  is good enough for post lasik procedures ;)

Finally The Doctor Chung emerged from the operation room and tried to explain the procedure to me while I tried not to have a panic attack.

Seeing me holding my camera he said,’You better take the picture now if you want one.’ 
Who was I to question a pioneer in laser eye surgery of an entire country?


(He's generated more than 15,000 successful procedures in South East Asia to date!)

Btw, you will never see me dressed like this ever again.

Though I could look like Avatar but Smurf I did digress to.

Now for the surgery part and let me say up front, you have to have the stomach for it or Valium, a relaxant. Do ask for Valium pills 30 minutes before if you are worried about freaking out like I did.
And I did.

There was another girl supposed to get her eyes done after me but had to go first because I chickened out. The last process before going into the surgery is for the Doctor to use a special marker pen and lightly dot your eyes (5 times to be exact) and I didn’t read about this in any experience procedures, so I was really taken aback about the sudden eye poking.

Yes, judge all you like but I’m not usually this skittish.
I’ve pierced my tongue in youth without nerves and half fallen asleep during Brazilian waxes.
But it’s just, YOUR FRICKIN EYES you know. What if I twitched a little during the surgery rendering me visually impaired forever?!

*Really, it only begins to really dawn on you then!*

Too bad Valium would be useless at that point so I had a glass of warm water and psycho-d myself to get it done with.
Procedure went like this.

Machine 1 - Cornea Flap Creator using a Laser. 

First they use a thin metal prong thing to keep my right eye open before I felt something placed over my eye to sort of hold it in place. I felt strage and discomforted but the flap was created in just seconds and I didn't feel much at all while I stared into a white ring of light till my vision went blurry. Then they repeated the process on my left eye.


That took only a couple minutes before the nurse guided me to the next machine nearby.

Machine 2 - Vision Repairing Laser.

Once again metal prong things kept my eyes open and I was instructed to stare at the green spray paint like light for 30 seconds per eye after Dr.Chung manually flipped up my cornea flaps. Granted it was uncomfortable I could see only smudges of brightness, it was not painful. But I was indeed very scared the entire time.

(Probably what a 5 year olds Microsoft Paint version of an Alien Abduction would look like.)

Side Note: I clenched my jaw a lot though and squeezed the nurses hands.
Think it's just impossible to prepare for someone touching your eyes. However, it was fast enough a procedure, even though my left eye took extra time for the laser to focus on it and they had to switch it to a different light twice. Freaky because through my blurred vision I could see the doctor nodding his head though no one would tell me what was going on. *clench and try not to squirm*

The moment of pure relief came when they said, 'Ok, it is all done!'
I stumbled out with my freshly cut corneas and made out Dimps in a bright blur before putting on my sunglasses.
Apparently, he was really worried as it took 25 minutes, yet he still managed to take this photo for me.


I was still shaking.

So, that was that and I was to come back the very next morning to get the cornea flaps checked. I was also advised to wear sunglasses for an entire week and follow the eye drop schedule of every hour until my care kit ran out!

Life After Lasik coming out next, Pillowtalkers!
Till then, check out what OPTIMAX All Laser Lasik if you want more info.

OPTIMAX  Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (HQ)
Unit 2-2-1, Bangunan AHP,
Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 3,
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 603-7722 3177     
Fax : 603-7726 0207

Business Hours :
9.00am to 6.00pm - Tuesday to Saturday
Treatment by Appointment Only - Monday

Pillowtalk Bolster

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