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ILASIK = Intralase Laser Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis

Most people know LASIK as getting one's myopic eyes zapped by a laser and waking up the next morning with 20/20 vision. That is mostly accurate. A newer version, iLASIK, sounds like a bad, Taiwanese, advertisement: "I LASIK. How about you?"
I've wanted to get LASIK for over ten years, but worried about long term effects and The Flap. A laser or microkeratome cuts a circular flap in a subject's cornea in order to modify the tissue underneath. Articles online warn readers about "dislodging the flap." If one loses one's contacts on the taekwondo mat, fine, pick them up, toss them, whatever. If one loses one's cornea flaps...

The good news is all-laser LASIK, as opposed to LASIK that uses a blade, is far less likely to be associated with flap complications. (If trauma occurs, keep the tissue moist and get thee to an eye surgeon, stat). Guess it's a good thing my violin student talked me out of the older LASIK way back when in Taiwan.

In 1995, PRK, which involved scraping and sculpting the cornea directly, was approved in the U.S.. Zap-and-flap LASIK was approved in 1999, and some doctors replaced blades with femtosecond lasers in iLASIK beginning in 2002.

My iLASIK procedure: I received valium and numbing eye drops. A metal device more high-tech and less scary than that in A Clockwork Orange held open my eyelids while I stared at blurry lights. The machines beeped and a surgical assistant counted down numbers. The surgeon, bent over me, lifted and replaced my flaps (presumably). After spending less than a minute working on each eye, he handed me cool sunglasses instead of the sexy, plastic, goggles I had been expecting.

My improvement in vision was so instant that I was, no joke, cleared to drive in the eye exam right after surgery and drove myself to the one-day post-op exam. Vision stabilizes in 3-6 months, but meanwhile, Please Do Not Bump My Flaps.


  1. Your recovery astounds me!
    I got mine done in the summer of 2010. Best decision ever. It took me a week to see properly though and another few for my vision to stabilise.
    Enjoy your new and improved sight!

    1. Yay, LASIK buddy :) I wish I'd gotten mine done sooner! Apparently this was the year I finally got the guts to do all the things.

    2. Good you finally got it. My doctor told me not to wait too long as vision deteriorates with age and I wouldn't get to 'enjoy' the fruits of the procedure for as long if I waited any longer.
      But make sure you keep your eyes moist, especially for the first year post-op. And give your eyes sufficient rest.


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