I have waited years for me to finally sit down and write this post - to say in this safe place that I finally did it.
And I really did.
It was such a long journey to get to this destination - and there were two main reasons for it.
First was the fact that it is very expensive - like five-figures expensive and it would take me so long to save that kind of money because I have zero discipline whatsoever. The second was that I became pregnant very quickly after getting married (intended to of course) and then got pregnant again (very quickly too) with the second baby before Alex even turned one. Then, with breastfeeding and all, it was on hold for longer than I had wanted to.
My piggy bank has not grown a lot also actually but it was enough for me to proceed with it because Optimax Penang has zero interest installments heh.
I was mentally ready to get my vision corrected and to not rely on contact lenses and glasses anymore because, for too many years, I have been really dependent on them.
Enough is enough. Hah.
I have gathered enough information from the internet and friends to know the can-dos and cannot-dos and what to do before scheduling an appointment.
Ten days before I plan to call Optimax Penang to schedule an appointment, I had already gotten rid of (kept in the drawer) my monthly reusable contact lens and was wearing glasses only - 24/7. It was uncomfortable and my vision was not super clear.
But of course, I had to endure it heh - worth it la, please.
On the day of the appointment, Vanessa went with me because I was told that I would not be able to drive after the detailed eye checking and testing. The tests were all painless. For the final eye examination, they had to dilate my eyes (sounds like giving birth right? - check dilation and all heh) so that my pupils will be bigger and they will be able to check thoroughly the condition of my optic nerve and retina.
This is also painless. They put some drops onto both my eyes and waited for like 15-minutes and I was ready to go through one last check. One thing I hate most about this pupil dilation is that my vision turned super blur and I had to see everything very near - like I could not see my phone screen unless it is right in front of my eyes and I have to remove my glasses - not convenient at all.
That is why they asked for someone to get you home because there is absolutely no way you can drive home after having your eyes dilated. No way at all. Please don't gau-gau try all. Cannot means cannot liau.
After all the eye examinations are done, I went into the office with the Optometrist (mine was Yeong) and he explained everything he found from the tests and he also went through with me the three Lasik Eye Surgery there is in Optimax Penang - then he would recommend which one he thinks its best for my eyes.
FYI - not everyone can get their vision corrected via Lasik eye surgery okay. If your cornea is too thin, then you are not able to ever get your vision corrected via Lasik. Maybe got other kinds of 'treatment' but I was not told because my cornea is quite thick.
And I know you surely want to know what can cause your cornea to get thinner - the answer is nothing. It's genetic. You are either born with a thin cornea or a thick one. Simple simple.
The normal range for cornea thickness should range from 470 microns to 630 microns. Mine was at 580 (left eye) and 583 microns (right eye). Phew. Yeong also mentioned that the cornea cannot be too thin after the procedure and mine would be left at about 463 microns (for both eyes) after the Lasik surgery so it is all still good.
I was genuinely afraid that my corneas would be too thin for the procedure - because then I would be for real stuck with glasses and contact lenses my whole life, but thankful that it was not the case.
Also, if your cornea is funny-shaped like not full healthy kind, they will also not proceed with any Lasik treatment for you. Hence, it is very important for you to do an eye examination before getting your hopes too high.
Once Yeong shared with me the good news - he proceeds to explain the 3 Lasik procedures of which I will summarize (sort of) below.
A) CUSTOMIZED FEMTO-LASIK
- Also known as Customized All Lased LASIK.
- A Femtosecond laser is used to create a flap on the cornea.
- The flap will then be lifted up to expose the inner layers of the cornea.
- Another laser called Excimer laser will be used to re-shape the inner layers on the cornea (changing the eye's power).
- Then, the flap will be placed back down again and close the cornea.
- Recovery time is 1-3 days for the vision to be fully restored.
- Cost - RM 4,588 per eye.
B) ADVANCED SURFACE ABLATION (ASA)
- No corneal flap creation is needed.
- The top layer of the cornea (called Epithelium) will be removed.
- The Excimer laser is used to re-shape the inner layers of the cornea.
- After the procedure, you are required to wear a bandage contact lens for a month.
- This procedure is recommended for people with thin corneas.
- Recovery time is 1 month.
- Cost - RM4,588 per eye.
C) ReLex SMILE
- A less invasive way to treat short-sightedness and astigmatism.
- No corneal flap is required.
- The Femtosecond laser is used to create a lenticule in the inner layers of the cornea and penetrate through without any cutting involved.
- A small micro-incision (4mm) is created on the side.
- The lenticule earlier will then be removed through the micro-incision and vision will then be corrected.
- Recovery time is 1-3 days.
- Cost - RM6,588 per eye or RM6,888 per eye (depending on which doctor you choose)
So, with the 3 procedures shared, I obviously was going to choose the less invasive and fastest recovery time.
I mean hello, I've got 2 young babies and they are not going to allow me to rest my eyes whatsoever. They are a pair of balekos you know. Hah. I love it though.
So yeah, I chose the ReLex SMILE LASIK procedure because it is one the latest technology and since these are my eyes we talking about, surely I was going to choose the more experienced doctor to handle the entire procedure - but he was not available that week.
I made the appointment to go through the LASIK surgery with Yeong on that day itself and he confirmed the appointment with me a few hours later via WhatsApp.
I had wanted to do it on that weekend itself but I had a work duty that I could not get out of, so had to apply for annual leave, no choice.
We made some arrangements for the kids to have sleepovers at their grandparents' and cousins' house for 2-nights because we figured that I could use a full-8-hours-rest for a night without them first - to make sure that I heal properly.
Adrian was very paranoid about the whole healing process because he was just so afraid for me. Heh. It was cute (at first) then we got too intense because he would scold me every time I use the phone for one second. Hah.
Anyways, so that was the pre-LASIK eye examination that everyone had to go through and it took about 2-hours or so.
After the examination, I still had to continue wearing my glasses till the day of surgery but one more week only so that's fine la.
We drove down to KL on Monday night (after work), and went to Optimax TTDI on Tuesday morning - apparently it is the only Optimax in KL that can do this ReLex SMILE procedure. I was accompanied by my husband of course, who was working there in the waiting area.
After doing another round of some eye tests there to confirm the earlier tests, I was asked to make the payment first - which made sense because later people do already, refuse to pay how.
I wrote down (earlier) my cousin's name in the "How do you know about us" because I had initially thought she did the LASIK procedure with Optimax but later found out that she went to Sunway Hospital and Optimax gave a discount of RM100 per eye - which I didn't even know got such promo! I guess this means Optimax KL did not check haha.
I was then ushered into another waiting area with a man and another woman who was waiting in line to go through ReLex SMILE surgery. I was the second one in line.
In the fancier-waiting-lounge, we were asked to change our clothes into a surgery gown and we were also briefed about the entire procedure by our doctor (Doctor Chuah Kay Leong).
Before entering this lounge, I was getting more scared but after talking to Doctor Chuah, I was a lot more relaxed because he was telling us every single step that was going to take place. He was very detailed so there were no surprises at all.
After that, they put some numbing drops into our eyes and we continued waiting for our turns to go into the Procedure Room.
When it was my turn, I had to remove my glasses and someone held my hand as we walked into the room. From my 700-power of vision, I saw a massive white machine and then, I was asked to lie down (looked like an MRI machine that we see in movies) - then before Doctor Chuah does anything, he would say them.
After what seems like 20-seconds, the machine then moves me in another direction and the top machine would move down on me (I think) and closes up to my right eye. The machine will then say, "Suction on!" and I just had to look at the green dot in that machine.
Within 26-seconds, the machine said, "Suction off!" and it was done deal.
Doctor Chuah then did something on my left eye and the same thing goes. 26-seconds later, my left eye also done deal. It was so fast I could not believe it.
The most shocking thing about this entire experience is I felt no pain at all. ZERO PAIN. ZERO DISCOMFORT. It was that easy and that comfortable. Don't know I scared for what also earlier.
It is nothing like what you watched in Final Destination movie la okay. I know what you were thinking! Hah. Cos my husband was terrified for me - he kept referencing the movie.
My vision was somewhat very blurred still but I could make up of things around me. I went into the changing room to change back into my clothes and went out.
I thought I was going to have a problem recognizing Adrian at the common waiting area but surprisingly I could see but it was a blur.
We left the place, bought lunch and I slept in the entire afternoon.
We went back to Optimax TTDI for a post-LASIK surgery check-up and that was it.
The other post-surgery check-ups were all done in Optimax Penang at no extra costs.
Ohh - Optimax also offered a lifelong warranty if your power comes back. I guess if the thickness of your cornea is still able to go through a LASIK procedure, then it would be okay but if not, then I don't know what's next. Haha.
So far, I went for 3 check-ups already and did not pay for any of them. So far so good.
It has been a month and my vision now is restored from 700 to 25 in each eye. My vision so clear I love it, and not having to rely on glasses/contact lenses anymore - so best, please.
So, how much does it really costs to get your vision corrected with the ReLex SMILE LASIK procedure?
I (Adrian) paid a total of RM12,976. The original price was RM13,176 (RM6,588 per eye) but got an RM200 discount because of the "referral".
Adrian offered to pay the whole thing as my in-advance-birthday gift so that was a surprise - a very very nice surprise. Heh. Thank you, baby boy.
A lot of you reached out to me after knowing about my LASIK experience and I realized that MANY of you had wanted to do it also but never got enough courage to do it, and/or unsure if it is worth spending that money.
I am here to tell you that if you have been dependent on visual aid (like glasses or contact lenses) for a very long time and it' pain in the behind, it will be worth every penny you spend on. We are talking about many many years of not depending on visual aids. Longer years if you take care of your eyes and provide your eyes with the vitamins it needs.
Ever since my eye examination with Optimax, I am suddenly awaken to the fact that if we do not take care of our eyes now, it will be too late when we realized we had to and there will nothing we can do anymore when it is too late.
I don't know about you, but vision is one of the most important thing to me.
So, I started taking Astaxanthin and trying Isotonix Vizion Powder. If you spend most of your working time looking at a screen, you should start taking supplements that takes care of your eyes - seriously.
Adrian looks at the screen (laptop and phone) most of his waking time so I'm making him take these vitamins too. For him, this is more important that taking Calcium. Heh.
So yes, if you are hesitant about going for LASIK or not, I 100% feel that you should - but that's just me - but again, it is life-changing.
Oh, and before you go - here's the video of my entire LASIK experience. I filmed as much as I can. Enjoy!
Till next time, bye now.