A Little History
I was twelve when I realized that I could not see clearly the things written in the blackboard. I immediately told my dad and he brought me to an eye doctor that afternoon after school. Turns out, I was already nearsighted and had a 50 grade on one eye, and 75 on the other. I got my first eyeglasses that day and I thought that it looked cool on me. It made me a legit nerd. lol
It was okay at first because I did not have to wear my glasses all the time. I just wore them when I needed to. But my grade just went up and up every year that it was not fun anymore. My eyeglasses limited my actions. I could not wear sunglasses whenever I wanted. I have a lot of photos where my eyeglasses were on my hands because I just took them off for the photo, like this photo below. lol
I wanted to take my glasses off in this photo too but it was too cold to take my hands off my pockets. lol
With college (#accountingpamore) and the CPA board exams, my grade just rocketed to 300+. I finally opened myself to the idea of getting Lasik surgery done because my sucky eyesight was getting too annoying.
Before I decided to finally go through with Lasik, I had my fears. I was afraid that it wouldn’t work on me and all the money that I would pay for it will just go to waste. I was scared that the machine will malfunction and it would leave me blind. I finally gathered my courage and went on a check-up to see if I was a candidate for Lasik.
It’s perfectly normal to have fears, because it’s an unnecessary procedure. I mean I could go on with my life wearing glasses or contacts and I’d be okay. But the comfort of wearing sunglasses whenever I wanted to (without wearing contacts), and swimming without contacts and actually see stuff, and being able to play ultimate without wearing contacts made me decide that I want to go through with the surgery.
I had my eye checked on November 15, 2016 at Dr. Yong Larrazabal’s Clinic at Cebu Doctor’s Hospital. His associate, Dr. Hazel gave me a few tests and we both went to Dr. Yong’s clinic after with the results. He examined my eyes and told me that my cornea was thick enough and so I was a candidate for Lasik. He told me to ask him anything about what I wanted to know about Lasik. Here were some of my questions and his answers:
1. What would I do if Lasik did not work on me?
He told me that it’s very rare for that to happen and he would do Lasik to me again after a few months if it didn’t work.
2. I rub my eyes a lot. Will I be able to do that again after Lasik? (LOL)
He told me that rubbing our eyes is a very bad habit. But yes, I can still do it after Lasik.
3. Should I expect 20/20 vision after?
He told me that he will be giving me 20/18 vision, better than 20/20 since I told him that I’m in the computer most of the time because of work.
4. Can I undergo Lasik surgery again in the future?
I think he said yes. But he told me that to ensure that I can still be a candidate for Lasik next time, we can do corneal cross-linking. It’s an additional procedure that will strengthen the cornea after Lasik.
I was a little shy to ask him a lot of questions because I was reading them from the notes of my phone. I just asked Dr. Hazel my other questions in my follow up check-up. The receptionist told me to follow these instructions before my Lasik surgery:
I needed to have my surgery done within a month after my check-up because the results were only valid for a month. I had the surgery the day after my birthday, on December 14, 2016 since Dr. Larrazabal’s schedule for Lasik surgery is only every Wednesday. I followed all the instructions but I forgot to wash my eyelashes with Johnson’s baby shampoo. lol
I arrived on time, and I took the Valium that the nurse gave me. She also gave me a consent form where all the possible risks and side effects of Lasik were written. I couldn’t back down at that point so I signed it and the nurse brought me inside their surgery room after. I put on a blue medical gown and a shower cap and wore their big slippers in my thick socks. Dr. Hazel checked my eyes again and gave me anesthesia drops at the waiting area. I managed to take a quick selfie at the waiting area. lol
I was first our of three patients to get the surgery done. One of the patients who I think was in his 20’s had a grade of 1100 but he told me it was genetic. He was close to being blind!
I was finally called to the surgery room. It all went by so fast, around 20 minutes max. I just felt a little discomfort at times but I didn’t feel any pain at all. They first taped my eyes open and I didn’t even feel the flap being made. They opened the flap to do the Lasik and I can just remember smelling something burning but it wasn’t painful. They just told me to look into the green light the whole time. My boyfriend took this photo from outside the surgery room.
I got the cornea cross-linking done as well. The procedure involved pouring a yellow solution into my eyes and then exposing it to UV rays after. Again it was to strengthen my cornea after Lasik. The most uncomfortable part for me was when they were washing residue away from my eyes. They did this by pouring I think water to my eyes to get rid of any residue. I was even brought back to the surgery room after the other two patients were done to have my eyes washed again. It was freakin uncomfortable.
I went out of the surgery room after that and it immediately became impossible for me to open my eyes. I tried to open my eyes but it was like my eyelids were glued close. The nurse just poured another drop of anesthesia into my eyes and told me that it was because of my eyes’ exposure to UV rays so it was normal.
I finally was able to open my eyes after a few minutes! I was given a kit with a bottle of Vigadexa (antibiotics) and Dextran (for my dry eyes) and another set of do’s and dont’s after Lasik. I still had a hazy vision that time and so I just dropped Vigadexa into my eyes and slept the whole afternoon with my safety goggles on. When I woke up from my nap, my vision was already clear but still a little hazy. I could now read stuff from far away that I could not read before!
I went for a follow up check-up the day after with Dr. Yong. I remember him checking my eyes and asking me if my vision was okay. I don’t remember asking him a lot of questions but I did ask if I could take a photo with him. lol
I was given these instructions for my eye drops.
I went for another follow-up check-up a week later with Dr. Hazel. She run some more tests on my eyes. I remember my eyes being very dry that day. I used the computer a lot in the morning that day in an airconditioned room. She told me that using the computer for long periods of time actually makes our eyes dry. Lasik itself will make our eyes dry because the nerves in the cornea were cut when making a flap. The eye will not sense the need for lubrication that much anymore therefore causing dry eyes.
The Aftermath 😉
I had to wear the safety goggles for a month after the surgery. There were some limitations after the surgery like no swimming and exercising to prevent my eyes from getting an infection. But I went on a long haul flight to Los Angeles after two weeks of getting Lasik wearing my goggles and it turned out fine. Immigration just asked me why I was wearing safety goggles. They were worried I had sore eyes or something. So here’s me after I arrived in LA with my safety goggles! 😉
It’s now six months after the surgery and my life has just been so much better. I have gone to beach trips and swam with turtles and played a lot of ultimate without contacts on. Traveling is so much easier now without my glasses and contacts! I can move freely and I can now wear sunglasses everyday whenever I want to without having to wear contacts!
I stopped dropping Hiabak (which was for my dry eyes) around 3 months after getting Lasik. I still get dry eyes sometimes, especially after that time that I went on a beach trip so I still put eye drops every now and then. I can still see starburst and a little glare whenever I see lights at night but even with the slight side effects, getting Lasik was still worth it. It’s worth the time, effort and money.
Some of my friends told me that my eyesight will go back after a few years but I asked Dr. Hazel how to maintain my 20/18 vision and she told me to just follow the 20/20/20 rule. She told me that for every 20 minutes that I’m in my computer, I should read something 20 feet away for 20 seconds before I go back working on my computer screen.
I guess that’s it for my Lasik exprience! You may ask me your questions in the comments section. I’d love to answer them! 🙂 If you want to contact my doctor, here are the deets:
Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III M.D. (husband of Donna Cruz. lol)
Contact Number for Lasik – (032) 256-2020
Cebu Doctor’s Hospital, Cebu City
18 thoughts on “My Lasik Experience”
Interesting experience and thank you for your insights especially about them washing your eyes (after surgery) to do away with any residue. My wife is also planning to get one probably early next year. However, you left out the part were you would have given how much you have paid for the surgery plus additional/extra expenses pre and post-surgery. Would be thankful if you could also share it. Thank you and more power.
Thanks for reading! Sorry for missing out on that part. I wasn’t sure if it would be proper if I post it here for all my friends to see but I’ll just post it so that you guys will have an idea.
Here’s how much it cost (Dec 2016 rates at Cebu Doctor’s Hospital):
With Blade – Php 50,000
Bladeless – Php 95,000
Corneal crosslinking – Php 15,000 per eye
I actually did the bladeless procedure plus the corneal crosslinking on both eyes.
With blade – a blade will be used to create the flap
Bladeless – a laser will be used to create the flap
Both will have the same results but I think the recovery time for bladeless is faster than the ‘with blade’ procedure.
I think the only other cost that I incurred apart from the payment for the surgery is the eye drop lubricant that I used to treat the dryness of my eyes. My dry eyes lasted for I think a year and I used Hyabak which cost me Php 500 per bottle. I actually still currently keep a bottle because my eyes still get dry sometimes.
The check-up before the surgery and any other check-up after was included in the surgery payment. The bottle of antibiotic drops, one bottle of eye lubricant and goggles were also included and I didn’t have to pay for anything else.
Hope this helps! 🙂
Thank you very much for sharing the incurred cost plus other details. This really helps.
As this (price) was almost 2 years ago, then i’d probably ask Dr. Yong’s office for the udated prices.
Maybe prices have decreased by now (hehe + rolleyes).
On another note, would also want to ask how you came up with the option of choosing Dr. Yong?
There are other eye clinics/specialists, i.e. Eye Institute in Chong Hua Hospital… (among others).
Did you initially make inquiries? comments from others patients? checked on reviews?
I hope you can also share this part as sort of a prequel to this story.
Thanks again and more power.
Yup I think it would be better if you call them to check if it’s still the same. Hopefully they did not increase yet! 🙂
Actually, I’m not originally from Cebu. I just moved there a few years ago so I was not very familiar with the different eye clinics. I just chose Dr. Yong because of the testimonials I read on his website plus I had a friend who had her lasik done there. I actually didn’t research about the other eye centers in Cebu beforehand. It’s really good that you’re researching for your wife! I would’ve researched if I had the time but Dr. Yong and Dr. Hazel were super approachable and answered all my questions. I was actually quite satisfied with the whole procedure from my first until my last check-up with them. 🙂
I just want to ask if the price you have mentioned is for both eyes or every single eye? Sample left eye 50k then right eye 50k? Sorry if it sounds like joke hehe.
No, it’s definitely not a stupid question 🙂
It’s 50k for both eyes. My mom had lasik last January and it was still 50k and 95k for the blade and bladeless lasik surgeries.
It’s really life changing especially if you’re tired of wearing glasses.
Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂
I really find this very helpful. I am planning to have my lasik surgery soon. 🙂
Thank you so much! Good luck on your surgery ❤️ it’s goinf to change your life ☺️
Hello Christine how’s your eye up to now? did you have an increase of grade? as an IT professional I can also relate with you using computer a lot. Early years of my using glasses looks cool and nerdy but I reached to the point I don’t enjoy swimming anymore due to poor vision.
My eyes are actually still good. I just make sure to rest my eyes & look away from time to time while using the computer. I have a friend who had to wear glasses after 8 yrs of lasik.
I had my eyes checked January of last year (2019) and I still had 20/20 vision. I really recommend everyone who’s sick of wearing glasses to get a lasik surgery. It really changed my life. 🙂
Hi Christine, glad to have this testimony. I came across this blog because I was searching about Dr. Yong’s lasik. How’s your vision now? Because I read some testimonies it is only good for 10yrs the most and lasik can only be done once in your life.
I had my eyes checked Jan 2020 and I still had perfect vision. I’m not sure now because I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix because of the pandemic but I can read pa naman stuff from afar.
I had a friend na after 8 years of lasik, hindi na siya 20/20 but her grade was only like 25 or 50. So yes, I think your near sightedness may come back after a couple of years and I think this will depend on your lifestyle din (too much computer/tv, etc).
And I also asked Dr Yong before if I can still do lasik after a few years. He said na I can do it again if my cornea are still thick enough. This was why when I got lasik, I also did crosslinking on my eyes so that my cornea won’t get too thin. 🙂 You may research more about it – Corneal collagen crosslinking
Hope this helps,
Your blog is very helpful since i am also interested in having lasik. At least for now i have the idea of how much the needed budget and will definitely contact Dr. Yongs clinic when i am emotionally and psychologically ready. Thank you!
Thanks for reading and I’m glad to be of help!
Good luck on your Lasik surgery. It’s really life changing 🙂
Love reading this in-depth blog, do you think they accept credit cards for payments?
I was thinking of getting Lasik surgery maybe in late 2021 or early 2020. I have a grade of almost 1000, and definitely so sick of wearing eyeglasses since I couldn’t see at all.
Also, hope this doesn’t sound too much but last time you visited do they still have the same fees?
My mom had her lasik surgery last January 2020 and the price was still the same except for the corneal crosslinking which I think increased to PHP 22,000 per eye.
I also remember we were able to pay partially in credit card because they need the other part to be in cash or else there would be an extra charge if we paid our total in credit card. I just forgot how much exactly we paid in cash and how much we paid through credit card.
Hope this helps! 🙂
Were you able to go back to work after a week from Surgery? And were you able to manage yourself walking alone a day after surgery given that you stil had blurry vision on that time? Thanks.
I think I was able to work after a week. Also, I remember having a hazy vision just on the day that I got lasik and I already had a clear vision the next day when we went back to the clinic. Hope this helps 🙂