A Patient Experience

“There were so many reasons why I was keen to be free of wearing glasses and contact lenses.

I couldn’t bear the weight and restriction of glasses, and my contact lenses were becoming more uncomfortable as the years went by. I like to take my 2 young children to the beach and swimming, plus I enjoy the gym and other sports activities. (I won’t go on – but if you’re on this website you already know how inconvenient glasses and contacts can be!)

After another irritating day of uncomfortable lens wear, I contacted NewVision Clinics. It wasn’t a spur of the moment thing – I had been thinking about having laser eye surgery and researching clinics in Melbourne for a couple of years. However, I was nervous about the procedure – after all, you only have one pair of eyes. I needed to know I would get the best care and results available.

Then, when a good friend told me that he had his laser eye surgery done at NewVision Clinics and was really happy with the results, my mind was made up.

The process leading up to the procedure was excellent. On the phone the receptionist asked me a few simple questions before booking me in for a consultation to see if I was a suitable candidate. I was asked to leave out my contact lenses for three days prior to the appointment, which was rather annoying at the time. But looking back now, it was the start of a life-changing journey!

When I arrived at NewVision Clinics a smiling receptionist greeted me. I filled in a questionnaire and then watched an interesting DVD about laser correction.

A friendly optometrist showed me to a consulting room and carried out a number of tests. Some of them were familiar from previous examinations at my local optometrist. Others used hi-tech equipment I had not seen before. Throughout the exam, the optometrist explained what he was measuring and how the results would determine if I was a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery.

The optometrist was sympathetic, listening to my frustrations with glasses and lens wear and explained in detail all the laser eye surgery treatments available including all the risks and benefits of laser eye correction. I was relieved to be told that I was a suitable candidate for both LASIK and Advanced PRK. (I would opt for LASIK as I am a working mother and it has a quicker recovery time meaning I could have my eyes treated on a Friday afternoon and return to work on Monday).

I was given a consent form to read and had some drops put in my eyes. Once these drops had dilated my eyes, the optometrist double checked my prescription and answered a few more of my questions.

Next, I met the surgeon Professor Noel Alpins who read through all my notes and reviewed the results of my examinations. He checked the general health of the back and front of my eyes and confirmed my suitability for LASIK. Once again, I was given the opportunity to ask questions, and then we signed the consent form together.

Professor Alpins walked me over to a laser coordinator who was to book me in for surgery. I was so excited that I booked my surgery for the following week – I saw no reason to wait any longer!

I spent the next week with various emotions – part of me was apprehensive and mostly I wanted the surgery as soon as possible so I could get it out of the way! There were a couple of questions nagging at me so I called NewVision Clinics and spoke to the optometrist who cleared them all up. He made me feel more relaxed again and I felt that he was my own private consultant! I really liked the continuity of dealing with the same person throughout my patient experience.

Friday – the day of surgery – finally came. I arrived an hour before the treatment was due. One of the worst parts was not being able to wear any make up (silly thing I know). It would be a lie to say that I was not feeling a little nervous, but when I saw the familiar faces from the original consultation I immediately felt more relaxed.

One of the laser coordinators took me into a consulting room and again explained what to expect during the surgery. She also explained the do’s and don’ts after surgery. Then I was taken to the laser suite. My husband came with me and sat with me throughout the whole procedure.

The whole laser experience was very quick and I felt well looked after. Professor Alpins was very gentle and explained everything that he was about to do and what I would experience.

I remember feeling something placed on my eye, which didn’t hurt but was a bit strange – like pressure on my eye, but there was no pain. I felt particularly comforted by one of Professor Alpins’ supporting colleagues reassuringly holding my hand throughout the surgery.

Straight after the surgery, though my eyes did sting a little, I could see my watch and my husband better than I had done in years!

In the recovery room I was given coffee and cake, and then I had the same optometrist from day 1 checking all had gone well. He taped shields to my eyes to protect them from any bumps and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I left feeling somewhat like a movie star!

When I got home my eyes were stingy for a few hours but, as suggested, I went to bed and slept fine that night.

The next day when I woke up my eyes felt completely comfortable. I could read my bedside clock through the holes in the shields and I didn’t need to fish around for my glasses for the first time in 20 years!! I was so excited to leave for the Windsor Clinic to have the shields removed and test the full extent of my ‘new’ eyes.

I was NOT disappointed! “WOW” is all I could say.

I could already see better than I had with my glasses or contact lenses for years. Everything I looked at seemed sharper and clearer. I was amazed.

My eyes were examined and I was told I already had better than 20:20 vision and that the cornea looked healthy. I was instructed on drops to be used over the following week and routine follow-ups were booked.

I left the clinic with a smile from ear to ear!

I am loving my newfound freedom and would describe it as the best thing I have ever done. It’s made such a big difference to my life – more than I had even expected. It’s so much easier exercising, swimming and generally enjoying life without having the worry of loosing, breaking or being bothered by glasses or contact lenses. Putting on make-up is easier, showering is easier, going to water parks, the pool and the beach with my kids is a completely different experience.

It really is an incredible feeling of freedom and clarity.

Apparently this is the most common thing people say after laser eye surgery but it really is what I felt – “Why did I not do this sooner?!”

Click here to read more patients experience.

We hope this gives you an insight into what you can expect from laser eye surgery. If you’re excited by the possibility of visual freedom call us now, or book online for your assessment. You could be free from glasses or contact lenses within weeks.