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Re: [IP] questions about laser surgery on eyes

> Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 18:01:00 -0400
> From: "Julie Murphy" <email @ redacted>
> First, questions for those who have had it done...
> What's it like?  How long was recovery time (esp time away from work)?  Did
> you have a shot to numb the eye or drops?  Did they do the whole eye at
> once?  Was there pain during the procedure?  How about pain after?  Did your
> vision change at all afterwards?  Did you have one area of the eye done, or
> all around the periphery(sp?) (like mine is I think)?  Is it as awful as I'm
> thinking it will be??

It's not awful at all -- though I'm sure a few people here have horror
stories. The word "surgery" is scary, but the procedure consists basically
of shining a light into your eye. It's non-invasive and painless. The worst
part, in my (plentiful) experience is nervousness.

You will probably be given drops to numb your eye so the doctor can place a
focussing lens over it. Your head will rest in that same thing they use when
they examine your eyes. (Although sometimes the patient lies flat and the
doctor uses a laser headset like a miner's lamp. I personally don't like
this method, as it's harder to hold still and harder, lying flat in a
completely dark room, to "look" down and to the right, or wherever.) Then
the doctor will use the laser: you will see small flashes and hear a
clicking noise from the machine. You will be asked to look straight up, look
to the left, etc. Your eyes may tear a lot because of the bright light. My
procedures have lasted anywhere from 10 seconds to several minutes.
Afterwards you will probably wonder what all the fuss was about. You will
see bright blotches for a few minutes, just like after someone uses a flash
camera. I've always been able to return to work immediately. If a lot of
"zaps" are done, you may experience a headache. I tend to take a Tylenol or
two before the procedure just in case.
> The doc who did my dye study today said I should do it soon, especially
> since I plan to get pregnant in the next 6 months to a year.  My biggest
> question is, how come none of my other docs, opthamologists included, ever
> said this?   

It's possible that the last time your eyes were checked, they were healthy
-- or the vascular changes were small enough that they were unnoticeable.
Now they've progressed and action is required.

Good luck,
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