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LASIK Surgery with Dr David Goh at Novena Singapore

October 25, 2019 | Author: Wahyu | Posted in Cataracts

I turned 24 years old and after thinking for 5 years, I finally took the plunge and did LASIK surgery with Dr David Goh at Novena Eye Clinic!

What made me consider LASIK?
I dislike contact lenses and glasses are a hindrance to my sports and photography. So, I decided to go all out and explore the options of corrective eye surgery to treat myopia and astigmatism. My degrees were :  -5.00 / -1.75 x 10. There were so many options I was absolutely confused and I didn’t know whom to trust because every clinic promoted different things. A female doctor that my friend did Implantable Contact Lens with said I should do ICL as it doesn’t cause dry eyes and is reversible. Another male doctor said I should do SMILE because it is better than LASIK because it is newer technology. Wow! You can imagine what was on my mind! Is there really so many different ways of treating myopia. How am I going to make up my mind???
Then I consulted Dr David Goh, medical director of Novena Bladeless Cataract Surgery & Eye Specialist Center. He was somewhat different to the other doctors. He is not only a LASIK surgeon, or only a SMILE surgeon, or only an Implantable Contact Lens surgeon. He is able to do everything.  His clinic even boasts its own ambulatory surgery centre for eye surgeries to be done inside 3 operating rooms; his eye surgery patients do not have to go to main hospital’s operating theater.
In fact, Dr Goh’s main specialty is Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery which uses the same laser that we use in our Lasik surgery. So he is an expert with the femtosecond lasers for cataract surgery and for Lasik surgery.
Dr Goh told me that actually, most patients’ eyes can do well and safely with either LASIK, SMILE and Implantable Contact Lens (ICL). Some doctors promote only ICL if they don’t have a Laser machine or don’t know how to do LASIK. As for SMILE versus LASIK, he told me I would be better for LASIK  because I need to go back to work the next day and LASIK recovery is immediate, whereas SMILE visual recovery is slower and can take a few weeks.  LASIK is also FDA approved for everything – myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia correction since 2000 , but SMILE is not yet approved for astigmatism , long-sightedness and presbyopia treatment ! There you go, newer technology does not necessarily mean they are better. Dr David Goh thinks that SMILE technology still need more years to “mature” to become as good as LASIK. It is not reach there yet. LASIK is FDA approved for everything, but SMILE is FDA approved for myopia -1.00 – -8.00 D only.
Dr David Goh told me that he wants all his patients to have the best for their eyes and he assured me that he will not be biased with his recommendations for my eyes. To be honest, no doctor ever said this to me.
I was still not sure about the different types of LASIK. Wah, it is so confusing when one considers surgery……………  Standard, Wavefront -optimised, Wavefront-guided. Dr Goh’s clinic specialises in Wavefront-guided LASIK which is the technology used in NASA and US Navy where the LASIK procedure is computer map – guided throughout laser treatment process,  so that my astigmatism correction will be dead accurate. Of course, he says I can also opt for the cheaper Standard version if I want to save cost.
It is confusing.
But I can try and explain. Standard and Wavefront-optimized Lasik treatments don’t have computer map guiding during treatment process. Only Wavefront – Guided Lasik treatments have because Wavefront-Guided treatments are customised with your eyes’ personalized map creation that is used during the actual treatment. Phew……! It took me so long a time to understand the differences.  Too technical for most people.
Considering that I only have 2 eyes, I decided to go for the best even though I would really have liked to save costs ☺, but then……….. health is more important than money, my parents always teach me to think like this.
By the way, Standard LASIK is $1600 per eye versus Wavefront-Guided LASIK using NASA space technology is $1800 per eye.
Dr David Goh seems to love his machines. He personally performed scans for me and he seemed to enjoy it, talking about them all the time to his team, and he seems to be teaching them at the same time. I listened with interest although I didn’t understand all of it. Wavefront – Guided LASIK uses a form of Artificial Intelligence, a machine called iDESIGN, to create my personalized cornea map which Dr Goh would use to map-guide my LASIK procedure.
This way, I can get even sharper night vision than what I used to have before my LASIK surgery.
Actually, I already have glare and haloes at night time for many years since I started wearing contact lenses. Dr David Goh explained to me that the cause of it was due to my contact lenses  rubbing against the cornea and causing dry eyes, because I am really too much and wear contact lenses for 8 – 9  hours per day. Dry eyes caused glare and haloes for me at night time.
Dr Goh said that I will expect to have temporary post LASIK dry eyes, but 3  -  4 months post LASIK surgery, my dry eyes would feel a lot less dry than daily 8 hours of contact lens wearing eyes. He also said that iDesign iLASIK will treat my glare and haloes at night. iDesign iLASIK is an artificial intelligence machine renowned for creating superior night vision than what we humans are capable of having  naturally. Dr Goh says that superior vision and zero degree eyes can be surgically achieved using iDesign iLASIK, very few people are lucky enough to be born just like this. After all, NASA astronauts need excellent night vision because there is no lighting in space! They have to be able to see very well in the dark. So NASA’s choice is also iDesign iLASIK for their astronauts. With that, I felt all ready and eager to undergo my surgery at Novena Bladeless Cataract Surgery & Eye Specialist Centre. 

I started the visit with a detailed check of the eye from front to back to ensure my eye were healthy and safe enough to have LASIK surgery. My left eye has -4.50 degrees and right eye has -5.00 degrees both with nearly -2.00 degrees of astigmatism
I am glad that Dr David Goh reported my eyes were 100% healthy with no retina disease or glaucoma and more importantly, my cornea’s thickness and shape were ideal and safe to undergo Lasik surgery. My cornea thickness was 580 microns thick, on the thick side.
Dr Goh explained that although most people (95%) are suitable for LASIK, but after thorough scanning and evaluation using multiple machines ( I counted  at least 5 machines I underwent for my assessment ), some candidates will be regarded as unsuitable candidates for LASIK. The optometrist did a detailed analysis of the cornea because Dr Goh needed to determine if the cornea is sufficiently thick for LASIK and identify any abnormal or weak cornea shapes which are not suited for LASIK. For those not suitable for LASIK, other options are available such as LASEK/ PRK or Implantable Contact Lens ( ICL) surgery will be done instead.
I decided on a surgery called Custom Wavefront iDESIGN- iLASIK, which is the most premium option. This means they do a custom 3D scan of the eyes to get a detailed map of the eyes and develop a personalised plan for my treatment. The benefit of this is superior night vision , plus of course, losing my glasses totally. It is also the procedure of choice for  NASA astronauts and US Naval Pilots. ‘Wow’, if it was good enough for pilots and astronauts, hopefully if would be the correct choice for me too.

Deciding on the type of procedure was surprisingly easy, I wanted the most precise procedure and also did not want any “Knives or blades” involved in my surgery. That’s why I went to Novena Bladeless Cataract Surgery & Eye Specialist Centre, because Dr David Goh does 100 % of his LASIK surgery bladeless.

He also shared that now his older patients with Cataracts are also opting for ‘ 100% Bladeless Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery’, in more than 95% of the cases. There is greater precision and better results especially when they want spectacle freedom after their cataract surgery and hence they are choosing the most modern lens implants such as multifocal lens implants or trifocal lens implants. Yes, even our parents and our grandparents don’t want the hassle of having to wear spectacles if they have a choice these days.
On the Day of LASIK Surgery  : 3 Steps Laser Vision Correction
Step 1: iDesign iLASIK Custom Wavescan
Step 2: Intralase Femtosecond Bladeless Flap Creation
Step 3: Wavefront-Guided Excimer Laser 

The surgery was cool. I was nervous before the surgery. The nurses were all very well mannered, very kind and patient and extremely helpful in answering my queries. They gave me detailed information about pre, intra and post-op steps. I was given a post-LASIK kit ( medications to use for 1 week after my op ).
After signing the consent form and wearing an operation theatre gown and caps, I entered the Lasik operating room.
Once I got into the operating room, I was asked to lie down and Dr Goh instilled some numbing eye drops into my eyes. 15 seconds to create a bladeless LASIK flap and 30 seconds for the second part which was the lasering. For the 30 seconds of lasering, my eyes had to follow  a ‘flashing orange light’ whilst my degree was zapped away by a pain-free laser.  30 seconds was all it took.
After that, Dr Goh said “congratulations, your treatment is all done and went beautifully well”. Overall took about 10 minutes per eye to complete given preparation time and switch over time – no pain whatsoever. Lots of  water to flush the eye towards the end, but I was well dried immediately after treatment. In the post-op period, the next few hours, the eyes felt a bit sensitive to light and watery but no pains.
But the transformation came within a few minutes after iLASIK surgery, I could make out details immediately and I could return to work at my office the same day. That night, I could watch TV and appreciate finer details already, without the need for specs. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to change my myopia and astigmatism that I have had for all my life, just like that! I wonder why people who are still wearing glasses have not considered Lasik surgery .
They are not aware of the marvels of modern technology and what they can enjoy these days.
The next day I came back for the follow-up review, very thankful to Dr David Goh because I could finally say goodbye to my spectacles! The next day, the vision was already better than I could achieve with glasses. Seriously! 

Bye Bye glasses!
1 week later 

Post Lasik Medication Kit
It’s the 7th post-op day and my vision is really good compared to previously.  I’m super glad that I don’t need to wear my troublesome spectacles anymore. My vision is 6/4.5 or 20/15 in both eyes which is considered ‘super-vision’, which is actually better than what is considered normal 20/20 vision.   Funnily, I don’t feel dry at all. Honestly, it was worse dry eyes when I wore contact lenses from 8:00 am onwards every day.
Dr David Goh shared that on the world-wide iDesign iLASIK registry more than 70% of patients treated with this system can usually appreciate night vision superior to that which they could possibly achieve with glasses or contacts.
Would I recommend it?
Well it depends. If you are perfectly happy with glasses or contact lenses and the cost of premium LASIK is an issue, it may not make sense for you. Overall the cost for both eyes of my iDESIGN iLASIK with Dr David Goh @ Novena Bladeless Cataract surgery & Eye Specialist Centre was around $3600.
However, if you can’t stand fitting contacts in every day or find visual performance compromised with glasses, like I do with swimming and photo-shooting, then LASIK can be a life-changing experience. Now, I can’t imagine reaching for glasses when I wake up every time and I am super pleased with the result of my perfect zero degree eyes and my new found spectacle freedom. Perfect vision eyes! Wow, I never dream I would be able to have one. Dr Goh said to me, very few people are lucky enough to have perfect zero degree eyes, you have to surgically create it!
My final take on Lasik surgery with Dr David Goh: you really don’t know what you are missing out on until you finally do it. Even after you have read my blog, you cannot feel this euphoria of mine, until you see it and experience it with your own eyes.


Author: Wahyu

This author has published 404 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.

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