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Monday, November 28, 2005 

Thank you, bunnies.

Someone told me today that the corneal flap made during LASIK surgery never heals. I've been having nightmares that I dislodge a flap doing something stupid, i.e. blowing compressed air from a can directly into my eye (this is a dream, remember). I searched online and according to every source, including the FDA, but not including the TLC Laser Center's website, this is the case. The flap never really heals. In fact, should one need followup LASIK surgery, a new flap will not be created. The doctor simply pulls the old one back.

I did some searching of the public medical journals and read two cases of post-LASIK corneal dislocation due to eye trauma, including a guy who caught a football with his eye - way to keep your eye on the ball, buddy. Both cases required surgery to re-"attach" the corneal flap, but 20/20 vision was restored. That's good news. Here's the better news: The Air Force conducted a study titled, "Laser in situ keratomileusis flap stablility during simulated aircraft ejection in a rabbit model."

In the study, 25 New Zealand white rabbits underwent LASIK corneal flap surgery - they didn't get the laser bit, though - then were subjected to the Air Force cockpit ejection simulator (I bet that's going to show up on some google searches) with 9 G's of force.

Then the little bunnies were euthanized and their eyes were observed for changes. No, that's not the good news, silly, this is: "CONCLUSIONS: Healed LASIK flaps as created in this rabbit model without laser ablation are stable when subjected to a rapid vertical ejection at nine times the force of gravity."

I for one feel much better. Thank you, bunnies.

god, they made me set up an account to contact you.

anyway - found you via dooce...great work, you have kept me smiling with the dogs.

i wasn't clear - are you thinking about having lasik performed? i had it done a little over a year ago and would not recommend it for everyone. i have chronic dry eyes that prevent me from reading or staying on the computer for long periods of time..as a grad student that spends 15+ hours on the computer a day, that doesn't work out too well. would be happy to answer questions if you have them....cause honestly, i'd rather go back to being blind.

Thank you, Mikela. I had LASIK done about a month and a half ago. I'm pretty damn happy with it overall. The dryness is getting better; I only notice it late at night and right when I wake up.

I'm just miffed that neither my doctor nor the TLC laser center bothered to mention the fact that the corneal flap never heals. I think if I knew that beforehand, I might not have had it done. I do Hapkido, a martial art, and I did mention that to my doctor. Now I'm considering wearing eye protection when I spar. I'm going to look like a dork.

Oh, and I'm sorry about you having to create an account to comment. I have changed the permissions so now you and the other person who reads my blog can comment.

Oh my god PLEASE wear protective eyewear! That woudl be so awesome. I promise I wouldn't laugh... much. We had a guy in our Hapkido school who wore the Kareem-Abdul Jabbar style glasses and he actually pulled it off quite well. Granted, he was black and black people can pull off any look....

interesting that it never heals...makes me nervous to even rub my eyes. yeah the dryness went away for several months and i had normal vision until about six months ago. my doctor prescribed drops that i have to put in twice a day. 5 months of drops later and they're still just as dry... he said it's because i wore contacts for so many years before that. on more thing that was not explained before the surgery i suppose.

anyway, definitely do the protective eye gear and risk dorkdome for a few months. you'll thank yourself later when you can look in the mirror and actually see how dorky you look.

oh and no worries about creating the account. i'm just thankful for your dog pictures...i was rolling. nothing can create a smile like a dog's personality and fully capture that.

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