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I tried to do Laser Eye Surgery by myself! It was unexpected!

I remember the day when I came for the interview at My-iClinic, they told me that as a Marketing Assistant I would have to concentrate mostly all of my energy on marketing. As a person with 20/20 vision, Gosh I probably did not know what 20/20 meant at that time, I just took it for granted. Just the idea of working in healthcare was exciting at that time, however, I did not fully understand or trust lasers at that point.

The story is that my ex had laser eye surgery the previous summer and I could see how much happiness and self-confidence laser brought in his life… so I decided to embrace this challenge.

In January my introduction to laser started, I had training by a lady from Zeiss, and at the end of February I finally knew how laser worked.

After talking with ophthalmologists, optometrists, many patients, and actually seeing results from laser, particularly Smile laser, I was fully convinced that every person that is suitable for laser should definitely have it done. I was a laser brand ambassador, I would attend events, go out with my friends, meet new people and promote laser, I could speak about laser for hours without realising it.

I truly believed that Smile is the best… option for anyone that wears contact lenses or glasses and I still believed that…

but recently something happened that changed my way of looking at this solution drastically…

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Let me explain!

I used to think that laser, particulary-Smile is a miracle more than technology, now I truly think that it’s the technology that makes it look like a miracle. As a tech savvy millennial I truly understand that technology nowadays is more developed than most of us can truly understand, however I used to think that the technology for Smile was far beyond what my mind could understand, and somehow in my mind I trusted laser just because I trusted Zeiss and Mr. Bolger.

Last week we had a CET event at the clinic, with a Wet lab for SMILE (a unique experience for optometrist where they can perform surgeries themselves on porcine eyes). After weeks of organisation, the event started at 18:30, everything looked amazing the people, the food, the atmosphere, the information, it seemed to be something new and innovative for them.


After the nice lecture by Mr. Bolger, the group was divided into smaller groups and I joined one of them to do the Wet Lab.

So here the fun begins:

Everyone who truly knows me knows that I have a huge, I mean really huge phobia of blood, I just can’t even talk about it. But after 3 optometrists tried to do the laser on the porcine eyes, I curiously asked: “May I try to do it as well?”.
With no hesitation, they put the poor porcine (pig) eye on the laser stand and gave me the control over the laser.
I started moving the joystick to fix the eye in front of the laser. Although, I am a pro at playing Need For Speed on our PlayStation at home, I found it very difficult to move, probably the responsibility of improving the pig’s vision made it so difficult. After moving it back and forth for about two minutes the eye was sitting at the right place. Should mention here that the laser even stopped moving when I was on the right point even though I was pushing the joystick forward?
“Wow very smart and safe technology” I thought.
I pressed the pedal like when I play formula 1 on the trace in Monaco, and in just 27 seconds the cut was done. Now the important part… they gave me an instrument that I had use to find the cut, in 10 seconds I switched to the other side of the instrument, what I had in my hands looked like a small spatula through the big microscope in front of my eyes. I separated the tissue with it. Switched the instrument for what looked exactly like the one I use to perfect my eyebrows, then inside of the very small cut the laser did and took the small piece of tissue out exclaiming
“Is that it? That is what makes a person myopic”
What I was holding with the tweezers looked like a very small piece of skin smaller than the white line from my French manicure, it was so small and it looked dead. I was shocked I just couldn’t believe that this tiny, super small piece of tissue makes people wear glasses, put in contact lenses and cause more trouble to their vision. I was amazed. Amazed with what laser did, amazed with what I did, amazed about the possibilities, amazed about the process in general.
That made me realise, that it is not laser that actually performs the surgery, what laser does is just cuts that excess of tissue, the laser is like a very precise knife that magically can separate the tissue. The overall work is done by the surgeon who needs to make the calculations, separate the layers and take out the excess of tissue. And you know it doesn’t look as scary as you imagine!! It is quick, safe and I am sure porcine eye didn’t feel anything.

About the experts

Meet the My-iClinic founders, Mr John Bolger and Ms Bola Odufuwa. Two consultant eye surgeons who made it their life goal to make your life better.

bola

Bola Odufuwa

Consultant Ophthalmologist
Clinic Director
MBBS DO FRCS (Ed) FRCOphth MSc

Bola Odufuwa is a consultant ophthalmologist at The Royal Free Hospital and My-iClinic. Her specialities include cataract, glaucoma, paediatric, and laser refractive surgery. Bola has had extensive training at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, where she gained expertise in the management of various eye conditions.

Bola Odufuwa’s special interests include optimal refractive outcomes following cataract surgery, non-penetrating glaucoma surgery, and assessment eyesight in children with special needs: particularly dyslexia and autism.

john

Mr John Bolger

Consultant Ophthalmologist
Clinic Director
FRCS DO FEBOS -CR

John Bolger is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinic Director at My-iClinic. His specialities include ophthalmology, laser refractive surgery (SMILE, Presbyond, LASIK, PRK, PTK), refractive lens exchange (RLE), cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment and macular degeneration.

Over the course of his career, John Bolger has carried out over 35,000 cataract operations, 20 of which were for eye surgeons. He has also taught over 1500 young ophthalmologists worldwide as they begin their surgical careers.