Laser eye surgery

So I booked my free no obligation consultation at Optimax in Swiss Cottage.

A bit of background: I am myopic (short sighted) -4 in my left eye and -4.5 in my right with a slight astimatism in the right eye that isnt corrected by my contact lenses. I wear daily disposables but have decided to have surgery because Ive lost a contact lens at every single circuit Ive visited this year and two at Brands GP (anyone who was there will have seen how frustrated I was). Seems to be worse on the longer, faster circuits (perhaps obviously). With contact lenses, I have better than 20/20 vision and can read the bottom line at the Optician’s easily.

So I went along today.

I was asked to complete a PC based questionnaire on my health, which included the usual kinds of questions about family history and things like blood pressure (my maternal grandmother had glaucoma and high blood pressure, my dad had a very strong astigmatism in both eyes). One question they did ask was: do I suffer from dry eye syndrome. I asked about this because I have never been diagnosed with such a syndrome, but I do suffer with slightly dry eyes with the contact lenses occasionally. She said that this was what was meant. I also mentioned that I had had conjunctivitis when I used to wear gas permeable lenses about 15 years ago (horrid things!). She said this was fine, too.

She recommended that I start taking the hermal remedy flax seed oil to help with the dry eyes. It also has omega 3 in it, so I dont have a problem with that. See here for more information on how this helps:

So then I went in to see the surgeon. She asked if I minded her colleague there because he was from the Optimax PR department and was putting together a campaign and needed to do research from the patient’s perspective. I said this was fine if he got me some chocolate. He laughed. I never did get the chocolate.

It also happens that Optimax have their own forum in case you want to check them out (and it seems they only lock the negative threads that they are investigating):

Well the testing from the surgeon was really quite thorough… and then some. I was quite worn out by the end of it. She checked my eyes out in the same way that they do for your normal eye test with a couple of extras like examining the retina more thoroughly and looking at your pupil dilation and the thickness of your cornea.

A pic for those of you that like making things look all scientific:

One thing she didn’t do, which they normally do on the initial consultation, was to put drops in my eyes. These atropine eye drops are used to relax the eye and stop it from focussing so that further examination of the eye can take place. Because I had come to the consult on the bike (Mark’s really busy today and there is no way I was taking a train) I asked beforehand if they could do that part of the exam on the day we book for the surgery because I wanted to ride home. This was fine. Incidentally the side effects from these eye drops are irritation in contact lense wear and high pressure inside the eye (notice of which should immediately result in an excursion to an A&E, preferably with an eye specialist department). So not a good idea to have them before using the bike then…

They explained the different laser treatment processes and said that I am very well suited to a couple, but we decided on Wavefront because of the astigmatism and my desire to recover as soon as possible and reduce the risk of nighttime halos in my vision. They won’t be using the kind of bandage contact lens on me with this process because my cornea should heal sufficiently quickly. I asked about having a visor open when on the bike and they said I should wait about a week before I do that. So that means I will be at home aclimitising for a week! :smiley:

Aftercare will firstly be the day after surgery and then at intervals of 7 days, 2 weeks, a month, 2 months, 6 months and a year. I am advised that any corrective surgery in the low-likelihood instance of the procedure not producing at least driving legal sight will be conducted free of charge.

So then I was taken into a third room to chat confidentially about how I could pay and to have any further questions I had answered. I will be going for the 0% finance option. I was going to sell the KTM, but it will only cost me £35 more a month than my monthly Specsavers contact lens direct debit of £25 to get it done (2 year contract). They do a credit check (the kind that sees whether you have paid all of your bills rather than the kind you get for a mortgage which involves a scoring system). So the total process will cost me £3,070 with the £500 discount I get from having a friend refer me who has already had it. Incidentally they also get £50 for having done so…

I should also point out that the natural degradation of sight as I approach my 50s is still inevitable and that this process will only buy me good sight until then, but that is something I am comfortable with (particularly given that I am only 30 in November).

For more information on the different treatment processes possible, please see here (sorry, it’s in American, but a good summary):

For Wavefront, the process I will undergo, see here:

I will update you when I come back from the treatment in a couple of weeks (assuming I can actually see lol)…

Good luck m8. I’ve known people who have had this and are very happy with the outcome.
Thankfully I have perfect eyesight! :smiley:

im going to have the lasek (ek not ik)…it will cost £2,790 so bout the same gabs?..cos i dont get the discount u did…:slight_smile: I havent booked mine yet cos im trying to get the money together…it sounds like ur eyes are same as mine so i will be really interested in how it all goes for you…i have to wait a few mths and they said not to wear my hard contact lenses for that amount of time, if u wear soft lenses its not as long, as u have no doubt found out…

i definitely going to get this done…so u go girl…:slight_smile:

Very interesting, thanks Gabs. I’m at the point where I’m thinking about contacts, but something like this would be a LOT more convenient! I wonder if we can get an LB discount? :slight_smile:

Thanks for posting this, I look forward to reading your updates. I considered having laser eye surgery a few years back as my daily lenses were getting expensive. Eventually decided I didn’t like the idea of the surgery and cost so I went for the simple option: glasses.

All the best with this and I hope it all goes well.

Good luck, I know at least 3 people just in our office that have had this done, and are all over the moon with the results.

My Mum had very similar op to remove her cataracts, and her vision now is amazing compared to what is was, even at the age of 74.

dont want to put a damper(ner?) on things but i wouldnt do it. :ermm:

I too have myopia (-3.75, -4.25) and astigmatism and i wear monthly contacts the ones that you dont take out and sleep with them in.been wearing them for the past 3years with no problems

I also have a friend that builds lasers for a living :w00t: and he advises against laser surgery as he believes that the technology isnt there yet.

Sure there is risks wearing contacts but i think they are smaller than having a part of your eye cut off.

I am sure that you have thought about this long and hard

i hope all goes well for you

Gabs, your gonna be my guinei pig, I wanna see how you get on :slight_smile: I really hate wearing my glasses and I am getting fed up of my lenses, they seem to be irritating me more and more these days so I am def considering this treatment, keep us posted :slight_smile:

How can he say the technology isn’t there, they have being doing this kind of treatment for over 10 years now!

Good luck with the surgery Gabs. Hope it all goes well for you.

For me, I’m stuck with glasses, tried contacts a couple of years ago and couldn’t find any that were comfortable and that corrected the vision more that 70%. I have astigmatisms in both eyes and although i’m 0.5 and 0.75 the axis, rotation and power are all up the spout. Right eye sees the horizon several degrees from normal.

Personal I wouldn’t consider Laser surgery as I believe that it isn’t mature enough.

But good luck, Gabs let us know how it goes.

I had my lasik surgery done at Ultralase (with wavefront) in January this year. I was around -7(l) and -7® with astimatisms in both eyes that made contacts a pain.

I now have better than 20/20 vision during the day, and my night vision has improved dramatically too - fewer flares and fewer halos.

I’ve done about 4000 miles on the bike since doing this, 8 hours underwater and about 4 skydives and the eyes have been great all the way through.

I have always suffered with dry eyes, and always had to use drops, especially when trying contacts. I still have the issue, but that’s no different to before.

This technology has been around for many years. I believe the Russians were doing this kind of thing 30-40 years ago.

Friend of mine at work is getting the done at Moorfields in a coulple of weeks time, her perscription in -11 and -10…something like that anyway.

Not sure on the costs but she recons it going to be around £4-5K… :crying: If I were to do this I would defo go to Moorfields…

Good luck, hope it all goes well.


I had this treatment 3 years ago, I was one of the unlucky 0.09% that it did not work on and as you have to sign a disclaimer before hand to say that you except the risk of it not working you do not have a leg to stand on when things go wrong. The only option I was given was to pay for a second op! no thanks! at least I can still see.

It’s a gamble, a very expensive gamble, good luck!

in terms that the lasers are not precise enough (or something along those terms) to make the use of them on such a complex and sensitive organ (the eye) safe.

Had both my eyes done in 1996 at Optimax (hope I spelt it right) and can honsetly say it was the best thing I have ever done. The change it made to my life was huge after wearing glasses since I was nine. The procedures have come a long way since then (it was three straingt days in bed in a darkned room on pain killers after each eye back then) but like everything in life its a personal choice and you need to weigh the pros & cons on a individual basis.

yes my friend had it done a few weeks ago, he too says it was the best thing he had ever done to his health…he should try and stop drinkling so much next but thats another story…at least now he can see where he falls…:smiley:

Good luck with that - a few friends have had the procedure recently and once the initial discomfort is gone they are very very pleased.

Well I wish you all the best with your treatment… I had both eyes done in 2003 and am still very pleased with how it worked out. I was -3.75 and -4.40, with the usual astigmatism. I was actually advised some years beforehand to not have it done, which impressed me as they were basically saying they couldn’t guarantee the results and therefore didn’t want my money! I personally belive the technology is there; but like any operation there are risks that you need to be aware of. I used to work on building sites and had that many eye infections that I was sick of wearing lenses. It cost me 2 grand which I paid off over a year. Definitely the best money I ever spent. Good luck!

+1 had it done 3 or 4 years ago, very pleased with the results.

I had this done about 4 months ago, I think mine was LASEK with wavefront technology. I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I was really short-sighted with astigmatism, and after a consultation at Optical Express in Bluewater I decided to have it done.

It wasn’t cheap, about £2,800 but in my opinion you have to have the best there is available, so paid extra for the wavefront technology bit, within 2 days I went back for a check up and had 20/20 vision which they expected to increase to 20/40 one the eyes started to heal. My surgeon apparently performed 18,000 similar operations last year with all of them being successful.

I only wish I’d had it done years ago, it would have saved all the aggro of glasses steaming up in the wet, and my two young kids breaking them!