After 10 years performing Laser Eye Surgery to thousands of my own patients it was time for Ali Mearza to get his eyes lasered.
I’ve been mildly short sighted for a number of years and could get by without glasses or contact lenses for most things. On occasion, for extra clarity, I’d sometimes wear contact lenses or glasses but given my profession, it wasn’t a great advertisement to be seen with them!
As I’ve aged (now 44), reading books, using my phone and the PC it became more apparent that I was struggling and I started getting headaches quite regularly.
I trialed monovision, also known as blended vision – this involves wearing a contact lens in only one eye, in my case the Left eye, my dominant eye, so that I could see in the distance and leaving my right eye (which was slightly short sighted) without a lens to do the ‘near’ work.
I found that this enabled me to do all the essentials i.e. operate, drive, read etc and given all the great stories I heard from my patients each week, I thought it was about time that I practiced what I preached.
I had all the necessary scans to check my suitability for LASIK laser eye surgery and sure enough I was a good candidate for the procedure.
I just needed my left eye treated for distance and I would be all sorted!
The next big question was who to Trust with my eyes? David Allamby is the Medical Director of Focus clinics (the clinic I use to treat my patients) and is someone I’ve respected and known for over 10 years. He’s an accomplished surgeon and indeed we’ve published our combined laser results which have been phenomenal. I’ve treated several of his family members and as such he felt like the natural choice to do my eyes.
It was strange to be on the other side and experience exactly what my patients experience and was at time a little surreal!
I booked a date for the surgery and really didn’t have time to think about it until the night before when naturally all sorts of thoughts were going through my head. In fact, I had trouble sleeping so I can now truly empathise with the most nervous patients I treat.
Finally the big day arrived and the op couldn’t have gone smoother. The same kit that I use for my patients (Ziemer and Allegretto leasers) were used on my eye and the whole thing was over in just 5 minutes. David talked though the procedure with me as he (and I) would to any of our patients and I felt very well looked after. After a quick lie down in the recovery room I was discharged home with my bag of eye drops and goodies to rest my eyes.
The results were immediate and my vision was already 20/20 within a few minutes of the op. By the evening, my vision had become even sharper and after a much better nights’ sleep (even with a clear eye shield taped over my eye), I drove myself back to the clinic for my follow up check. My vison had improved further and was now at 20/12.5 (two lines better than 20/20)- in fact, I don’t remember ever seeing so well!
Now, just like my patients I am starting to enjoy all the benefits! No reliance on glasses or contact lenses, no worries about packing enough contact lens supplies when going on holiday, no issues driving or swimming- Total Freedom!
I found that I only needed the pain relief eye drop after the first 2 hours and that was it. I followed the drop regime as instructed and realized how tricky it is to remember exactly which ones (of the 4) to take when!
You can’t under estimate the psychology involved in going ahead with laser eye surgery as it’s still a surgical procedure at the end of the day on arguably your most precious sense, the sense of sight.
There are many different motivations for having it done and ultimately the key considerations are being able to Trust in the skills and expertise of your surgeon as well the kit he or she uses.
In my case, David Allamby (my surgeon) and I have used the kit in the clinic on thousands of patients- we’ve analysed our data and published the results which happen to be amongst the best in the World.
If it was good enough for my patients, it was good enough for me! And I have to say that I am absolutely loving it! Needless to say, I can’t recommend it enough!