After I did a lot of research on LASIK, chosen EyeStar for my treatment and speak a lot with their patient coordinators, it was time to choose a way to get there. On the center page, they offer also a free service of helping you book your transportation and reservation at one of the hotels with whom they have partnership.
1. The trip
I choose to go back to Romania (now I’m in Germany) to see my relatives and from there have a trip by bus from there. I found a very nice offer of 5 days (from which 2 days are transport to and back from Istanbul) and spend there 3 days. For the overall price of 150€ I got 4 nights in a 3* hotel in old city (Golden Horn), 2* bus transport and included was a night tour of Istanbul.
What I liked the most at this trip was that it all 3 days in Istanbul were working days, so no matter what kind of complication could have occurred (because first days are critical), I still was in town, near my doctor and his clinic. I was a little obsessed by this, but hey! we are speaking about my eyes.
The trip there was quite nice, in the first day we’ve visited Edirne, with a very beautiful Selimiye Mosque. We spend almost two hours during which we saw also their Bazaar, a little bit of Turkish daily life on the streets in a beautiful afternoon.
After getting to the hotel I went directly to sleep, because I wanted that my eyes to be as rested as possible for next day treatment. During the day I had few calls from the Eyestar centre, for preparing the last minute details of my operation: confirming my reservation, the hotel and its address. They need to know the hotel because another very nice feature offered to the clients of this clinic is that they offer free transport to and from clinic, so the patient will be more relaxed. No more worries about getting to clinic in time, choosing transportation, finding routes!
2. The operation – Tests
Next day, on 15th of April, at 10 am me and my fiancé were transported with a very nice and comfortable Volkswagen Touareg to the clinic. The clinic is situated in the very hart of new city, in Taksim square.
Upon the arrival, I was invited to wear some plastic outfits over my shoes, in order to avoid dust incoming into the rooms, and waited a little. I received also a paper for reading about the operation. I was under the attention of Mrs Florentina, the Romanian patient coordinator all he time. She explained me detailed anything that it will happen and accompanied me to all checks and operation in that day. Soon, I was invited to start my ocular tests. I had a 3D scan of my retina, intraocular pressure, optometry to find out my diopters. After that, I went to a dark room to have my pupil size taken and check again my diopters with a funny device with lenses inside, mimicking a pair of glasses.
After this set of tests, I had some drops in my eyes to dilate them and again the entire set of tests. This time also the eye fundus checked by the doctor. He confirmed that I am a perfect candidate for LASIK.Another set of drops were administered, this time to counter the dilate effect of the first ones. And afterwards, lunch break.
3. Lunch break
Me and my fiancé wanted to see this famous street in Istanbul,Ä°stiklâl Caddesi (Independence Avenue). When I exited the clinic, I realized that a pair of sunglasses would have been a good investment. I was tearing a lot, at some point I couldn’t look around, but only down. My luck was that I wasn’t alone there, in the fast circulation of Istanbul. Cars are usually traveling with 60 Km/h and red light is not so well respected. So it is not so easy to cross the streets of Istanbul. Finally, we got there and had a very nice walk, had a traditional Döner Durum and get back to clinic in one hour.
When I was back, I got the papers to sign and also paid for treatment. Also. included are 3 sets of drops: one bottle of anti inflammatory ones, one of antibiotic and a pack of artificial tears along with written instructions about the proper way to take them. Was around 15:30 when we were announced that we will have to wait for another half of an hour for sterilization of the laser room to be finished. Finally, we went upstairs(also the persons who wanted and not only the patients) around 16 and invited in the waiting room. It was very comfortable, with a big plasma screen to which we saw a relaxing documentary about animals. I was the third patient in row and Florentina invited me and my fiancé to preparation room, I had been dressed in a surgery outfit like you can see in medical TV shows, the one that you get first with your hands in and it is closed in the back. Then the outside skin of my eyes were sterilized and I got into the laser room.
Then, everything was moving very fast. As I was laying back comfortable under the laser, the operation started. They’ve put on my face a adhesive sterilized plastic and extracted a portion right over my right eye. Then, a clamp who kept my eyelids open was inserted. It wasn’t the very nice, as it was kind of hard on my soft tissue under the lids. But it was very useful as it keeps you from blinking. The next step was attachment of the suction ring who guided the microkeratome. Very fast, the flap was created. I sensed a small tingling while the microkeratome cut, but it was bearable. Then the surgeon asked me to look into the red light and not to try search for it if I didn’t see it any more.
Then the laser started. I saw like a right angle pair of parenthesis created from outside of the eye to inside and when all was done, remained was a small transparent dot. The parenthesis were grayish and quite thick. I also sensed a smell of burning skin, but I knew that this was normal. The laser wasn’t so loud as I understood from the papers that I read. Also, because my right eye involuntary moves, tends not to stay in one position and moves itself when not assisted by the left one, the laser stopped like 2 times during its normal operation.
Then the area was cleaned with some drops and with a small brush(I believe) the doctor put a flow of air on my eye, dried it a little bit and then put back my flap in place. What I didn't like was that I saw a lot of things moving very close to my eye and I was a little frightened. But I tried to stay as still as I could. The right eye procedure finished when the adhesive plastic was removed from my face
The next eye was the same, but the laser didn’t stopped at all. For each eye it took like 5 minutes to complete. My fiancé from outside was able to look through the door’s window to me and also to the main panel of the device. We also could had make photos (it is allowed), but we forgot our camera on the floor below. What was interesting in her story is the fact that she didn’t realized that I was operated on my first eye until they passed to second one. Pretty fast, isn’t it?
After completing the procedure to my both eyes, I raise from that bench and I went to the post-op room, where it was a nice couch and relaxed for 10 minutes. I could see correctly at more than one meter away, but close my eyes couldn't focus well. Afterwards, I went to the waiting room, where I could see very good to the television. It was a 40 inch plasma TV and I could see very well from about 4-5 meters away. I also noticed that my view was a little whitish, like when you turn up the luminosity of your television.
5. First post-op
After going downstairs, I went to a first post-op verification, where my surgeon checked the alignment of the flap. Everything was ok, and we were transported back home by the same nice driver. I was so happy that I could have seen without my glasses!
When arriving in hotel room, around 18:00 I put on my first set of drops and went to catch a short nap before my Turkish evening. But when I tried to open my eyes at 20:00 I couldn’t. I felt pain in my eyes, was very fatigued and decided that I’ll skip that evening. It turned out that I didn’t miss anything because it was just a pale flavor of what it was supposed to be, from what I heard next day.
6. Next day after operation check
Next day, after using drops, I was driven to the EyeStar Center and received a test from my surgeon. Everything was ok, so I was taken back to the hotel.
My vision at starting the process was:
- left eye –4.50
- right eye –5.25
After the operation :
- left eye: 0
- right eye –0.25
- vision: 20/20
My close-range reading was still problematic, but the doctor assured me that it will be better, the brain needs to readjust from seeing through glasses to normal vision.
That was all with my LASIK operation!
Next and the final part in this series you can find out how am I feeling after 1 month.
Or you might want to go back to the Trip and LASIK Operation?