my lasik eye surgery experience, a year after


I’ve been so consumed in a life project that I almost forgot to celebrate a very important event. It’s been a year since my LASIK eye surgery and it’s just been wonderful (eyesight-wise). 😊 I'll keep this as short as I can. Hopefully it helps!

The Reason

I’ve worn corrective eyeglasses for my nearsightedness (myopia) since I was 12. My first pair was at -2.00 on the left, -2.50 on the right. It got worse over the years (as is normally the fate of four-eyed people) and my last pair read -5.25 on the left, -5.75 on the right at 31. I was also starting to have astigmatism on the right. I’ve worn contact lenses interchangeably with eyeglasses since I was 19, and due to my lifestyle of field, events, travel, and computer work, I wore my contacts almost everyday, exceeding the recommended 8-hour limit per day. During the pandemic, my eyes just couldn’t take contact lenses anymore, even if they were new. My eyes would get red and irritated, and it came to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore. I mean, we had the pandemic, and there I was, still four-eyed and couldn’t even read a letter at a palm’s length (that’s how it was).

And then one of my best friends had LASIK.

7 June 2022 – In-person Inquiry and Scheduling of Assessment Appointment

After doing my research, finding hospitals and clinics, their doctors and their machines, I decided to pay St. Luke’s Medical Center at BGC a visit. I inquired at their Eye Institute and scheduled an assessment appointment the next month. Their calendar was full for June and the nurse said it’s because people go for the surgeries while the world was still just waking up from covid and have a lot of time to recover at home—good point. Ultimately I chose St. Luke’s because it’s a hospital so I felt that should anything untoward happens, at least I was in a big, complete facility already. Also, the doctors and team have been doing a lot of procedures for many years, thus, for me, adding up to their skill and experience.

4 July 2022 – Assessment Day

I went back and had my assessment. It is recommended not to use contact lenses for at least a week before the appointment. At this point, I wasn’t really using contacts anymore. So I went there in the morning and had my eyes examined by different machines and of course an eye doctor (Dr. Jessica Aba
ño who’s the coolest). After some time, I was advised that my eyes look healthy and that I’m eligible for the normal LASIK surgery called Femtosecond Bladeless Lasik. Some people can’t undergo this procedure because they have thin corneas etc. so it’s really important to have the assessment and have a conversation with the doctor. The feeling of being safe and at ease with your doctor, I think, is very important, so make use of those 2 hours of assessment wisely. It cost me PHP 4,911.

There are other procedures available like the PRK (usually for higher eye grades) and the SMILE procedure (like LASIK, but instead of creating a bigger flap, it will be a smaller one, an incision). You can visit the hospital’s website for more info, and if you already want to have the procedure, go for an assessment with an eye doctor.

26 July 2022 – Operation Day

The morning of truth. I was scheduled to have the procedure at around 10am, so I went early with my family so we could have breakfast first. By 10:30am I remember I was in the hospital gown and they put on the anesthetic eyedrops already. I was in queue with another girl. She went before me and I was surprised at how fast it was. It should be about less than 30 seconds per eye.

I was at the operating table. It was a big machine, a bit circular if I remember correctly. Anyway, I lay there and there were 2 steps. The first part of the machine I was under made sure that my eyeballs were dry and secure, meaning there was a clamp in my eyeball and there was a bit of air blowing on it. They do one eyeball, then the next.

While still lying down, they move you in a circular motion towards the other end of the machine. Here’s the LASIK part. I was lying down there without any idea, no expectations whatsoever (I deliberately chose not to read/watch how the procedure feels like). I forgot the step by step, but I was asked to focus and look on the red dot that I see, and there you’d smell faint burning. Smell, not feel. At this point, I was not supposed to feel anything because I had the anesthetic eyedrops. I guess that was about 10-20 seconds, it was really fast. Then there was a flush of water/chemical, a wipe of the eyeball afterwards maybe (I saw, but not felt).

Then the right eyeball. I think the anesthesia on this eyeball was starting to wear off so I felt the wipe. No, nothing hurt. I just felt things (icky, yuck haha) which caused me to inwardly panic (me: you’re not supposed to panic because YOUR EYEBALL IS CLAMPED). Dr. Aba
ño was saying, “Relax, you’re doing great. It’s almost over.” I couldn’t find the red dot I was supposed to focus on. My eye desperately wanted to blink but it can’t because—CLAMPED. Let’s just say, I’m happy it was well in the end. 😄

That afternoon, my eyes were watery. I couldn’t open them because I was so sensitive to light. My eyeballs just gave up whenever I tried to. I wore my protective goggles and I was not supposed to allow water or anything touch my eyes for a month.

27-28 July 2022 – Operation Day + 1-2 days

The first 2 days were the hardest. All you can do is sleep and feel things. Nothing really hurt, it's more of feeling uncomfortable.

29 July 2022 – Operation Day + 3 days

I could do light exercise. Light, because I’m not supposed to put pressure on anything.

August-November 2022 – Operation Day + 1 week-4 months

St. Luke’s Eye Institute have free doctor’s consultation per month for 6 months. I visited Dr. Abaño a week after my LASIK surgery to make sure the ‘wound’ was healing and that there were no complications. My last visit was in November (because December and January were so busy). We experimented on which eye drops suit me, and that no, Eye-Mo is a no-no. 


October 2022 – Operation Day + 3 months
I swam in a hot spring pool. I did not dare open my eyes yet.

April 2023 – Operation Day + 9 months
I went diving. I got my PADI Open Water license and I got to open my eyes under salt water for the first time since LASIK. I got to swim in pressure too.

Consultation after a year

I have yet to schedule this. I’ll update this write up with results. 😊

Observations / Notes

  • I did not have moments where I had halos in my vision. Some people did.
  • I am more sensitive to light nowadays so I always bring sunnies with me.
  • My vision gets a bit blurred when my eyes need rest or moisture. The special eyedrops prescribed, though you can get it over the counter, is a must-have.
  • My right eye with the slight astigmatism before and had the slightly panicky time during the procedure is more prone to strain and dryness. Rest is the answer.

The Cost

St. Luke's Medical Center Eye Institute, BGC
PHP 75,000 all in – both eyes, with initial medications (eyedrops), and 6 months consultation


  • If you have high eye grade and can’t ever do anything without glasses or contact lenses, it’s good to consider LASIK. If your eye grade lets you do normal things without glasses, it’s best to think if you really need eye surgery. My doctor mentioned though, that -6.00 is the recommended limit for the Femtolasik that I had. Higher eye grade would fall under PRK or other procedures.
  • If you were assessed and you didn’t pass under the common LASIK procedure, don’t get discouraged. Consider the other options like the other procedures or visit and get assessed by another hospital, clinic, or doctor. Find a team that works best for and with you.

Having 20-20 vision was a lifelong dream. If you’re like me before, who was suffering nearsightedness or myopia, you’ll know the relief. Since I was 12 and was prescribed my first corrective eyeglasses, the heavy weight, sadness, and self-pity happened every time I went to see my eyes checked. I got used to it, had fun with different colors of contact lenses for a while, but there were really times that I envied jeepney drivers (yes, jeepney drivers) for their clear eyesight. Seeing the world with literally my own 2 eyes (not 4!!!) is the best gift I ever gave myself. LASIK is one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

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