Wednesday, February 1, 2017

LPI Procedure- AKA "It's Just Awkward!"

Let me start by saying pardon any typos or grammatical errors- I'm typing this mere hours after having the LPI procedure and let me tell you....that HURT. Today's tech was Brynn, and she sweetly warned me that the procedure could be "awkward"...that is probably the understatement of the century. But, let me start at the beginning.

Rocking my coke bottles in the waiting room

Today's appointment was my LPI- Laser Peripheral Iridotomies. I also had a chance to meet Dr. Lyon who is the surgeon who will be doing my ICL surgery. I was a bit apprehensive when I arrived- there is precious little online about the LPI procedure and all I knew for sure was that the doctor was going to put holes in my eyeballs. Yikes!

The appointment began in the exam room. Dr. Lyon came in and re-explained everything about the ICL procedure including a blow-by-blow of what next Thursday would look like. I cannot describe how much of a relief it is to have every single person in the practice narrate what to expect in exactly the same way- very reassuring! Dr. Lyon was open to questions and responded graciously even when I asked him how many ICL's he had done (over a hundred) and for how long (7 years). While that doesn't seem like a ton, it's important to remember that this is still a newer procedure and the cost is quite high- people aren't exactly rolling in off the street by the dozens to get this done. But, between the cataract surgeries and the Lasik procedures- clearly this is a doctor who knows eyes! One of the nurses put some constricting drops in my eyes and then they had me sit in the waiting room for a few moments to take effect. I took that opportunity to take some Ibuprofen- I was warned by the nurse at my last visit that the LPI would likely give me a headache. As the drops took effect, my nose started running and my pupils started to constrict:


I was called to the procedure room by the most delightful nurse (tech?) named Brynn. Let me just say that Brynn needs to be sought out by Visian ICL to do their promotional videos....this woman knows her stuff and made everything sound perfectly doable. Case in point....she cautioned me by telling me that things might be "awkward". Seriously. "You might pass out, but I'll definitely catch you!" She offered me some crackers and juice as I had missed lunch, and answered even more questions that I had. (another Q & A post to come shortly).

She applied some numbing drops in both eyes and then I got to belly up to this laser machine:

Dr. Lyon came in and sat facing me on the other side of this machine. A 'lens' was put into my eye and then the fun began. Looking straight ahead, Dr. Lyon fired the laser into my eye repeatedly until he was able to break through the cornea to create the hole to prevent pressure buildup. It did feel like a rubber band snapping my eyeball while a bright red light was being shone into it. The second hole in my first eye took a really long time to pierce through and it felt like he had to zap me a ton for it to happen. Through all of this Brynn was there, reminding me to breathe, ratcheting the laser strength up or down based on his request. Once the first eye was done, the doctor removed the lens and as I backed away from the machine to have my eye flushed, I suddenly realized that I was seeing only in black and white out of that eye. That was freaky! It only lasted a few minutes before I could see color again, but it was a very odd sensation.

After both eyes had been completed, my vision was atrocious. I wasn't sure how on earth I was going to drive myself home. There was goop that had been put into my eyes around the lens that was really messing with my ability to see. Luckily, Brynn was on hand to do another eye flush then applied my first dose of my steroid eyedrops that I will need to use 4 times a day until next Tuesday. A few more minutes later and I was able to do a very shaky drive home. Let me share something- if I could do today over, I would definitely take my co-worker up on her offer to drive me today. It was way too bright, the sunglasses they give you didn't sit properly over my glasses and I was just not as comfortable as I would have liked to be. Fortunately, I only live about 15 minutes away so the drive was not too bad.

I took a few more Ibuprofen when I got home and waited for my eyes to clear. Once the night time rolled around, I had a very unpleasant surprise...halos around lights! What? I haven't even had the ICL yet and I already have this??? I'm going to hold off from panicking and hope that this is to do with the stress my eyes went through today. I'll do another Q & A in a few day's time and then......BIG DAY!

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