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Gareth Rubin - Wavefront LASEK

Gareth Rubin, Health Journalist, had Wavefront LASEK laser eye treatment in May, 2010. Treated by Dr Boezaart at Optimax London Laser Eye Surgery Clinic.


 

Hi, I'm Gareth Rubin. I'm a Health Journalist. I've written for all the broadsheets at some point or another, so you've probably read some of my articles. I am documenting my experiences with Laser Eye Surgery, which I've written about before, but never actually experienced. Because I've decided to get the surgery done because I'm mildly astigmatic, which means that the world for me is a little bit blurred, colours a bit muted, and I know there have been some great advances in the surgical techniques over recent years which have made it extremely safe and with very, very good results, excellent results, even better then they used to be.

 

So, I've had glasses and contact lenses in the past, but I found the glasses uncomfortable and because my eyes are astigmatic in quite a complicated way, I had to get hard lenses, contact lenses, because the strange way my eyes are astigmatic. And because they are so uncomfortable, basically quite painful to wear, I only wore them for a short term. But I liked what they did for me, they made the world a much more vibrant place, colours really stood out. I got to see people faces properly for the first time. I got to recognise people when they weren't standing just 2 metres in front of me.

Working as a journalist of course, I have to spend a lot of time reading. And whenever I'm in a newspaper office, my secretary always laughs at me because I have to hold a newspaper, basically right about here, right in front of my face in order to see it. Whereas I'm hoping, in fact I'm pretty sure, that from now on I'll be able to read it from right up here. So, I'll be able to hold it on the desk in front of me instead of putting it right up in front of my eyes.

I went for Optimax because their surgeons seem to be as good as any in the world. They really are international experts; as good as in anywhere in Britain or America. And the equipment they're using is the most up-to-date, most modern. The surgery is very modern, very friendly, very welcoming; very pretty nurses, makes a big difference. And they're also quite a lot cheaper than all their competitors from what I can tell. They're 30% cheaper. I don't know how they do it because everything they use is really the top of the range stuff.

So, I've met my surgeon. He put me at ease, because, you know, no body likes having somebody else touching their eyes, but I know he's an international expert, so I'm quite confident about this now. More excited than nervous really; a little bit of nerves, of course, that's perfectly natural, -it's an operation. But quite excited about the whole thing. So I'm hoping that after the surgery, the world for me will just become a much more vibrant, colourful place. It's a very beautiful world so I really want to enjoy every sight of it. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. The surgery takes place in about an hour and a half now. And, very excited about the whole thing; I'll let you know how it went.

Well, it's now about an hour and a half after the operation. It all went fine. Mr Boezaart, my surgeon, met me before, during and after the operation, kept me updated on what was going on. You're perfectly awake and alert during the operation, although you can't really see what's going on, so you don't kind of worry about that, it will probably cause you stress.

It's all very relaxed; it's not fun, you wouldn't think about doing it for something to do on a Sunday afternoon. But it's not painful; it's uncomfortable, but it's not painful and it's not really stressful or a really nasty experience all round. So, I guess now we just wait and see how it all turns out. I've got a slight pain in my eye, but very minor, just a little stinging really, and that will go away very soon. We'll see how well I can see, from here on in. I'll let you know how I get along.

Right, well, it's now about 10 days since the operation, and it's been a complete success in terms of the correction to my vision. I can now see much farther than I could before. I can easily read books holding them right up there, quite a long way away from my face. If I want to, I can watch TV or films in cinema without squinting, without having to sit in the front row in a cinema. So it's actually made quite a difference to my lifestyle really. I can now enjoy going to art galleries and seeing the pictures on the wall, and also the captions beneath them, explaining what they are.

Also physically, it's made a difference because my eyes are much more open, much wider, because I don't have to squint to see things. And I don't have the constant kind of tension in my facial muscles now, which was what was happening when I had a squint. That actually led to headaches sometimes, so that doesn't happen anymore. So, I'm actually much more comfortable.

As well being able to recognise my friends from quite a long distance away, so I don't have to pretend later on that I didn't see them; it was slightly embarrassing if I didn't recognise them when they were waving at me or I'd have to try to recognise them from, work out who they are, from what clothes they were wearing and where they were, and that kind of thing. So that's the point. It's great to be able to recognise people from 20, 30 metres away, when you can actually recognise their face. It's fantastic really; it does actually make much more of a difference to my life, than I was expecting to be honest. It's been, it really has been a complete success and more. So I'm now in the process of recommending it to all my friends and my family as well. We'll just have to see if they take me up on my recommendation."

All our success stories are volunteered by Optimax patients who are so delighted with results of their treatment that they wanted to share their experience with others.


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