Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ICL Surgery Questions

Tomorrow I have my iridotomies, followed next Thursday by my ICL surgery. In the meantime, I thought I'd share the questions I asked my doctor (and his responses):

Q: Confirm which Dr. is doing the surgery?
A; Dr. Robert Lyons is a board certified ophthalmologist who has been performing cataract and laser refractive surgery for many years. He previously served as an ophthalmologist in the United States Air Force and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has performed thousands of surgical procedures and has been a surgical mentor to many ophthalmology physicians-in-training. He has been trusted to perform laser vision corrective surgery on fighter pilots in the United States Air Force.

Q: How soon can I fly following surgery?
A: Give it about 2 weeks to be safe. 

Q: How soon can I engage in strenuous activities?
A: Give it about a week

Q: Will any of the prescribed eyedrops bleach my lashes? (I read that somewhere). 
A: No

Q: Will I experience 'halos' at night?
A: Based on the measurements we have seen, this should not occur in your case. 

Q: Can I drive that weekend? (I have tickets to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch!)
A: Yes. You should be able to drive the next day. The anesthesia wearing off, and not the vision, is the limiting factor. 

Q: Do you have a charity I can donate my old glasses to?
A: Yes. Bring them to your surgery and we will have the Lions Club collect them

Q: What if I sneeze during my ICL surgery?
A: As you will be under anesthesia, this is highly unlikely to happen. However, the doctors can read the body's preparation to sneeze and it gives them ample time to remove any objects from the eyes. 

Q: What if my vision is not great after the ICL surgery?
A: Unlikely, but we can make adjustments with Lasik (at no additional cost)

Q: What if something feels 'weird' after the surgery?
A: In the kit provided you have the cell phone number for Dr. Lyon and others. Call them right away. 

Q: What if it's too odd?
A: We'll go in and take them out!

I was pleased with how thorough they were answering all of my questions- he didn't shrug anything off as too silly. I'm getting more excited! 9 days to go now!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

ICL Measurement Day

Today was the first step of my amazing journey! I spent about 2 hours putting my eyes through what felt like the Olympics of eye exams...I had a wonderful tech named Elaine who, once I explained that I planned to fully document the process, did a fantastic job of explaining each machine and allowing me time to take pictures. So, here we go!
I arrived and was called back quite promptly. I was taken to a room which had about 6 stations with eye equipment at each one. I'll do my best to recall each one:

This was the first station I started out. The one on the right measures anterior chamber depth, I think the one on the left measured for astigmatism among other things. Astigmatism higher than 1 is considered bad (and potentially would require additional laser after the ICL to completely correct vision). Mine was 0.27 and 0.33 so the doctor was quite happy with those numbers.  Both machines were connected to each other and the final picture that it put out in the end gave a rendering of my eyes:

Once I was done at this machine, I was taken to this one which measures prescription strength. Looking into the machine I could see what looked like a hot air balloon at the end of a street. Elaine made several clicks so that it went into, then out of, focus:

Next I was moved to a station to measure my peripheral vision. This was the only one where I was allowed to wear my glasses. I was given a buzzer and had to press it every time I noticed a 'wrinkle' appear. It was kind of tricky and I'm not sure if I passed or failed this one:

The last station I used in this room was this one:

The Optos took what felt like a Xerox of my eye once I leaned in. The image it took looked like this:

The doctor was able to tell that my eyes looked healthy and was particularly pleased to see the pinpoint in the center of each eye.

With that room finished, I was taken to the room that had the equipment specific to ICL surgery. All the tests I had done so far were also used for Lasik patients.
The next room had these 2 machines first which again involved sitting and leaning into them. I have completely forgotten what these were measuring, but I did get pictures!

The last machine in that room was to measure the corneal cells. Preferably, a denser amount of cells, close together is found. Here is the machine and the readout:

Once done in that room we went to the exam room. We did the usual machine (is it better like this, or like this?), then my eye pressure was checked using this machine:

Elaine dilated my pupils and after I sat for about 15 minutes she took me back to the first room for the hot air balloon test again.

So, after ALL these tests, I am still a candidate for ICL and when the doctor came in to talk to me he seemed very pleased with everything he saw. Exactly 2 weeks from today I should have, for the first time in my memory, absolutely perfect vision....I am beyond excited! Next week I have an appointment to have my iridotomies (tiny holes for drainage in my eyes). I'll be filling you in on that one next.