For the past two weeks, my sister and I have been going back and forth to Shinagawa Lasik in Enterprise Tower here in Makati. A few weeks back, we saw a promo about the Lasik procedure being offered by Shinagawa for more than half of its advertised price. My mom had been bugging us to inquire and ask about the procedure and even telling us that she was willing to pay for all three of us just to make sure we get to see clearly again without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, hehe.
Let’s get this out of the way first. Their customer service isn’t one of the best. My siblings and I agree that other restaurants have better service than them. We were there the first time at around 1 in the afternoon. You would think that an initial screening to check if you qualify for the procedure or not will take a maximum of two hours – because that’s what most blogs would say. We went home at around 7pm. The initial screening started at around 2pm already. Don’t get me wrong, there really were a lot of tests. I mean you will have to go from one machine to another to check how your eyes are doing and how qualified you are for the procedure. Then, you are given a dilating solution 3x in the next 15 minutes (5 min. interval). The solution will take effect after an hour before another test is done on your eyes. Just a reminder, the dilating solution hurts. It’s a tolerable kind of pain but there will be a stinging sensation once they put it in your eyes. That’s going to happen three times by the way. And then you have to wait another hour afterwards. So my sister and I had lunch first before heading back, hoping it will be more quick afterwards. For whatever reason, we had to wait for a veeery long time after the solution was given and before the doctor checked the results and told us about our eyes being qualified. The entire day even happened twice because in my case, I had to go back for the dilating solution because I wear contact lenses. If you wear them and you have plans of having your eyes checked, you need to stop wearing them for at least 3 days. They say this is to make sure the tests are more accurate because there are residues in your eyes when wearing lenses.
We had our procedure scheduled at 2pm. Or that’s what we thought. My sister and I had brunch before leaving our place and even though we had been waiting the entire day during our first two check-ups, we both thought that as an expectation, there should be no delay when it comes to the actual lasik procedure itself. We were both so wrong. They called up our names at around 4pm to go to the waiting room. I thought that this will then be over by 5pm because the operation itself will take about 25 minutes. But no. At the waiting room, we literally waited for another 2 and a half more hours before we were actually led into the procedure room. It was already bad that you were there hungry and scared starting 2pm, then at the waiting room itself you had to wait for two more hours. According to the other patients in the room, some were there since 12noon. Really, I know that we paid for it at about half of the advertised price, but man, what we paid for still isn’t cheap. The least they can do is to provide updates every once in a while on what is actually happening instead of just making us wait, hungry and confused as to what’s taking it so long to start.
Just to set the expectations here, the actual procedure is scary, for me. Maybe because the procedure room’s temperature is also really cold or I am just really scared with how it will all go down, hehe. They tape your eyelids and put something in it to make sure you don’t blink no matter how involuntarily it happens. Then your eyes are like washed (felt like a cold wave of water), I guess to sterilize it. Then they ask you to look into that green blinking dot and that’s when the operation starts. The blinking dot will disappear and you will not see anything anymore. The machine then gets taken out and you see the doctor scooping out or re-arranging something in your eye. The machine goes back to your eye and you will start smelling like something is burning – which might be the actual laser itself. Then it’s over. Repeat the same thing for the other eye. Please not that this is how I literally experienced it and I don’t really have any idea how or what the medical terms are or how long really each step takes. These are just based off on how I perceive them to be.
Yes, the actual procedure does not hurt. But they never said that it will hurt afterwards. They give you a kit with drops to put in for the next 7 days together with glasses you are supposed to wear as long as you are awake for the next 7 days also. But let me just repeat, they never say anything about it actually hurting a good 30 minutes after the procedure is done.
My sister could barely open her eyes 30 minutes after her procedure (she went in first). I was still okay here. We had takeout for dinner and here is evidence on how stupid we looked like while eating.
My brother is scheduled two weeks from now (contingency plan since we can’t be temporarily blind all together) and we asked him to turn off the lights because our eyes were hurting already. My sister could no longer open her eyes and they were hurting so bad she wanted to drink the pain reliever even without eating first. The tears were so involuntary – which according to one of the doctors said it was normal because once our eyes know that something is wrong (in this case it figured out the eyes were opened and lasered), it automatically produces tears to disinfect the eyes and provide nutrients and make sure it does not dry itself out.
Before sleeping, you have to put these patches in your eyes to make sure you don’t touch them while asleep. This again, you have to do for 7 days after the procedure. So imagine trying to fall asleep after the procedure with these in your hurting eyes with tears running down your face which you cannot wipe of, because you are wearing these. Bummer. Seriously, it was hurting like having sore eyes but 10x more painful. The good thing about it is it does not last long. The next day, my right eye still hurt a little but just a piercing every now and then. The great thing about it is that you can already feel the difference. I used to have to literally not see myself in the mirror when I wake up but everything was so clear without glasses!!! It was a different feeling waking up without glasses but still being able to see everything so clearly!!!
The day after the procedure, you need to have your eyes checked. I guess that is the most crucial to ensure everything will heal the proper way. The check-ups will be as follow: 1 day after, 7 days after, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a year after. By the way, I guess Shinagawa is very consistent with making people wait because we were there before 11am just to be sure we were the early birds. We were actually the first two patients for check-up that day. Then my brother started with his own screening. We had lunch while waiting for his dilating solution to take effect. We were told the doctor will be in by 230pm but our names were called at around 4pm. So I guess you cant have everything? You get it for a cheaper rate but you need to have the patience for it? We actually inquired at American Eye Institute but their rate is much more higher than Shinagawa. So I guess the decision will really be up to you on which you prefer, to shell out money or to exercise patience? Haha. All in all, this was an experience and currently the number 1 on my list of the scariest thing to happen in my life, haha. At the end of it all, I’m happy. I’m so happy about really being able to see clearly!! ;D