I decided to start off by addressing the elephant in the room about LASIK Singapore: Doctors themselves don’t undergo LASIK surgery.
Ergo, LASIK must be unsafe. The truth is that I know of countless other colleagues who had underwent LASIK Singapore surgery, ranging from doctors to surgeons, to eye surgeons and their family members.
People often tell you it's the best decision they made for good reason – No more smudged glasses, no more dry eyes with contacts, no more poking your eyes out in the morning and again at night for good measure.
I went for my LASIK procedure as an unsponsored, paying customer. (Read this other post to find out how much LASIK costs in Singapore). Below is an objective run through of what my experience was like:
- Pre-LASIK surgery preparation
- Eagle Eye Centre: The operation
- Post-LASIK surgery and side effects
- LASIK surgery: Things that stood out
1. Pre-LASIK surgery preparation
This is pretty much standard everywhere you go. Stay off contacts for 1-2 weeks, followed by a pre-op assessment to see if you are eligible for the procedure. This involves a series of eye sight checks with a optometrist, followed by a quick consult with the doctor.
What I liked about Eagle Eye Centre is that it is the only clinic that offers a same day assessment and operation, which suits my packed schedule just fine.
The downtime for recovery post-op is 3 days. Dr Julian Theng only operates on Thursdays, so you get a MC to cover you for 2 days, before returning to work on Monday.
2. Eagle Eye Centre: LASIK operation
I didn't catch the laser on flesh burning smell that everyone talks about, or maybe I've just become too desensitized from all the time I've spent in a operating room dishing it out. The laser can't be felt at all.
I remember one of the first things Dr Julian said while I was lying down:
Now you are the patient - how does that feel?
Truth be told, I was pretty relaxed throughout the procedure, which took all of 5 minutes. I was never in pain, although the suction to hold your eyeball in place does get a bit uncomfortable. It's definitely bearable overall though.
3. Post-LASIK surgery and my side effects
Turnaround time is fast at Eagle Eye Centre - don't expect a lot of handholding. Patients are packed in one after another, almost like going past revolving doors. On any given Thursday, Dr Julian does LASIK surgery on 10-15 patients.
Immediately after the operation, you are handed a pair of shades and pack of eye drops/eye shield with instructions, before being directed to the counter to make your payment and follow-up appointment.
Aftercare for both of us involved a regimen of wearing protective eye shields and eye drops. There's a follow-up appointment the day after - the bandage contact lens comes off, your eyes are checked, and you are on your way.
This is followed by a one week and one month review - I was able to meet Dr Inez and Dr E-Shawn at Eagle Eye Centre, both of whom were lovely. If you prefer, you can request to see Dr Julian again, but his timings tend to be more inflexible.
Vision wise, I had perfect vision at the one week check.
Side effects wise, I had nothing apart from a little bit of glare and halo - that is perfectly normal during the recovery process, and it resolved in the next week or two. Your eyes will be super sensitive to light for a good week or so, so be prepared to rock the indoor shades look.
4. My LASIK experience in Singapore: final random notes
- Bandage lenses suck - couldn't wait to get them out the next day, which immediately improved my vision and comfort.
- Not swimming for a month sucks.
- Vision is serviceable the instant your bandage lens are out - I could use a laptop and read.
- Paranoia about side effects is real - i.e. "is that a glare or do you see that halo too?"
- The left eye versus right eye sharpness check is real.
- I was a serial habitual eye rubber before LASIK surgery - if I could stop it, so can you.
- Wearing sunglasses indoors - fake it till you make it.
If you have any other LASIK surgery-related questions, head over these previous questions and answers about LASIK in Singapore here.