My Lasik Surgery Experience with Optimax

My Lasik Surgery Experience with Optimax

It has been more than a year ago since I underwent Lasik Surgery with Optimax Malaysia. Time flies!

To begin with, I’ve been wearing glasses for as long as I can remember… since primary school. I can still recall my dad opting for plastic glasses so that ‘clumsy’ me wouldn’t wreck it.

Honestly, I was embarrassed when I had to wear glasses at such a young age. But having glasses became a norm as I grew older – it became a crucial part of me… for without, I wouldn’t be able to see a damn thing!

optimax malaysia

Plus, I’ve never wore contact lenses because I didn’t dare touch my eyeballs!

Anyway, I was contemplating whether or not I should “do something” about my eyes. This thought was somewhat influenced by my mum since she did Lasik Surgery 10 years ago.

So after working for a couple of years, and feeling that I have “enough” cash to splurge on my beloved eyes, I decided to surf Optimax’s website and dropped an online inquiry.

About 2 hours later, an Optimax customer service personnel called me. She spoke to me about Lasik Surgery, set an appointment for an Eye Checkup, and the rest was history.

bangunan ahp ttdi

My first visit to Optimax was at its headquarters at Bangunan AHP, TTDI.

Before qualifying for a Lasik Surgery, I had to go through a couple of eye tests, such as assessing the cornea thickness, the eye pressure and… basically the condition of the eye. It was to ensure that my eyes are healthy and fit for Lasik Surgery.

optimax malaysia office

The Eye Checkup costs RM195, and it was only the tip of the iceberg before committing to a larger sum for the Lasik Surgery.

In case you’re wondering, my reasons for doing it were simple… convenience (not sure how do I explain it, but basically 1 less accessory to think about) and for sports / exercise (I do badminton and run, frequently).

optimax form

After the Eye Checkup, the optometrist said that my eyes were good for the surgery. There are 3 types of Lasik Surgery available and they are priced differently. Here are the prices for Lasik Surgery at Optimax (approximate as of 2015):

  1. Customized Advanced Surface Ablation Lasik (RM4,200 per eye)
  2. Customized Femto-Lasik (RM4,200 per eye)
  3. ReLEx Smile (RM5,200 per eye)

We discussed on the suitability and I decided to go for the second one, Customized Femto-Lasik.

Despite the first and second options being the same price, I didn’t choose the former because the cornea’s surface will be disposed and a bandage contact lens will be used subsequently. Sounds painful and cumbersome. On the other hand, the ReLEx Smile has better advantages (minimal cornea cut, lesser pain) but it was rather expensive.

To put my seriousness in check, I had to pay on-the-spot. After much deliberation, I reluctantly (hey, it’s quite expensive alright!) swiped my credit card, and booked a session with Dr. Stephen Chung, the pioneer ophthalmic surgeon in Optimax Kuala Lumpur.

optimax lasik customer

3 weeks later, the moment has arrived. I was all set to gain a better vision.

But frankly, I was really anxious. I mean… this is my FIRST EVER surgery, and it was for my EYES. What if something went wrong? I’d be totally blind for the rest of my life! Crap weh…

Those crazy thoughts were real, but I can’t chicken out after paying, right?

optimax lasik attire

I was given this blue scrubs to change into.

optimax lasik footwear

I also removed my shoes and put on this blue cotton-ish footwear. Perhaps it was a measure to prevent the surgeons from getting hurt if patients ever kick them.

I had to wear a shower head cap too… but I ain’t going for a shower.

optimax lasik treatment

Well, this was the last selfie (I don’t usually selfie) with my glasses on. The next phase was the moment I’ve been anticipating – the Lasik Surgery!

I wished I had photos to share, but no phones were allowed in there. So I’m gonna explain the experience as detailed as possible in words (and some made-up photos).

Once I was in the treatment room, Dr. Stephen asked me to lie down on a treatment bed with all sorts of equipment surrounding it. After lying down, he used the Eye Speculum to keep the eyes opened. I think he had to use some force because my eyes were really stubborn (especially the left one). But they gave in, nonetheless, and the eyes could no longer blink… AT ALL.

At that point, I surrendered my eyes to Dr. Stephen. They were in good hands.

He started off with my right eyes by dripping several droplets of liquid and anesthetic into the eyes. It felt really uncomfortable, as though my eyes were drowning! After that, he pressed an equipment onto my eyeball’s surface to slice (using laser) the cornea into a round flap.

It was pitch black, and I felt vulnerable. Seconds later, white slicing lights appeared as if a ninja was slicing through a black cloth. Something like this…

lasik laser surgery

When it was done, the equipment was released from my eyeball. Dr. Stephen then used a tool to open up the flap. Once the flap was opened up, my vision went totally blurred. Droplets of anesthetic were dripped once again.

The “blurred” view is similar to the view you get when you’re driving during a heavy downpour.

Anyway, I was asked to keep staring at a blinking green light in front of me. It was meant to ensure that my eyeball is aligned.

lasik green light

There were times when my eye started to “stray off”, but Dr. Stephen alerted me immediately and gave me comforting words.

Next up, the main laser was used to laser off the exposed cornea surface. Shattering red lights were visible during the procedure as he count down from 10 to 1. Burnt smell was apparent too.

Dr. Stephen then closed the cornea flap back onto the eyeball and positioned it back to its original place. Suddenly, his finger was literally rubbing against my eyeball as he was adjusting the cornea flap. Super overwhelming!

The whole procedure for the right eye took about 5 minutes max, and the left eye was next. The same steps were taken and within 10 minutes, I was escorted out from the treatment room.

I couldn’t see properly at first. It was grayish blurry and my eyes couldn’t open comfortably. After a quick post-surgery check by Dr. Stephen, I was done.

optimax surgery outcome

This was how I look like when I exited the treatment room. Damn, like a Korean superstar, right?

Anyway, I was home-bound after that. Moments later, my eyes started to hurt as the anesthetic wore off. It felt prickly and the bright daylight contributed to the discomfort.

I washed up and went to sleep. I literally KO-ed.

optimax lasik surgery eye cup

Eye shields were used during my sleep for the first week to avoid any unintentional contact on my eye. Its purpose was to prevent the displacement of the cornea flap during its recovery.

Besides the eye shields, I was given pain killer (to be consumed only if pain is unbearable), antibiotic eye drop (4 times a day for the first week) and Refresh Plus lubricant eye drop.

optimax lasik care

Hours after the surgery, I was able to see clearly without my glasses. I can surf Facebook on my mobile from arm’s length, which I was barely able to then. It was like… WOAHH!

However, the vision hasn’t been crystal-clear particularly for far-distanced objects. Nevertheless, I’m able to watch television, work on laptop and read books without any difficulty. It’s good enough to get through the day, but not good enough if I’m seated far away from the presentation screen at work.

I returned to my usual daily routine (driving, exercise, and work) within 1 week.

On the flip side, my eyes were continuously dry (and sometimes slight pain) for the first 6 months. I had to keep purchasing eye drops to lubricate my eyes.

lasik surgery eyedrop

My eyes power used to be at -6.00 prior to the treatment. Now it’s about -1.00 for both the eyes. Besides that, my astigmatism has reduced from -3.50 to -0.25.

There were constant post-surgery checkup to assess the recovery progress of the eyes. It was at intervals of 1-day, 1-week, 1-month, 3-months and 6-months after the surgery.

optimax discharge certificate

After the 6-months checkup, I was officially discharged. By then, I still didn’t get my “crystal-clear” vision, but since the treatment is life-time guaranteed, I can undergo the Lasik Surgery again if ever I’m not satisfied with the results. Well, I’m not THAT satisfied (I was expecting 100% clear vision) but let’s see how things go.

I was also told that my cornea is still thick enough for another round. Honestly, I feel like doing it again, but perhaps 2 or 3 years later after my eyes have stabilized.

lasik mugshot

So that’s the story of how I became glass-less with Lasik Surgery. It was absolutely one helluva experience!

Today, it has been more than a year since I stepped out from the treatment room at Optimax. The 10 minutes experience was really overwhelming but I was truly glad that I’ve overcome it.

Thank you, Optimax and Dr. Stephen Chung!

51 thoughts on “My Lasik Surgery Experience with Optimax

  1. Happy for you! I totally understand the discomfort of bright sunlight, I accidentally scratched my cornea last year and I could not work for a week!

  2. Good sharing Ken. Lasik is like a dream for those who are wearing spectacles for a really long time… just that the price is so so expensive. I think I need to hit a jackpot then only I can afford. Haha

  3. And there I was all my life, wishing I could wear glasses to look more intellectual. My eyesight has always been good, until now. :D Hope all’s going well. You look better without glasses, nice eyes. LOL!!!

  4. Hello Ken, I am seriously considering correcting my shortsightness.. Thus, do you still recommend people to do it after doing your surgery few months back?

    1. Hi Alyssa, you didn’t get clear vision as well? I’m thinking of it too.. but giving myself 2 years before doing it again. I’m not sure if I’m in the position to recommend as I’ve not done it before… but always worth a try, as long as you’re in good hands. :)

      1. Hi ken

        U mean u didn’t get clear vision after the initial lasik surgery ?
        My pre op power is about same as yours. My post op vision is poorer than pre op vision.
        Do you experience any other side effect..sensitive to sunlight , ghosting image ?
        Mind to share ?

        By looking at your post op K-reading 37.+ , are you still able to do enhancement ?

        Because my K reading is higher than yours , but the doctor said I experience ghosting is due to low K-reading means cornea is much flatten compare to pre op . So very unlike can go for enhancement.

        Mind to share yours status ?

        Still hoping a way to get back my vision clarity.

    1. Hi Jamie, I don’t experience dry eyes.. just tired and dry from work. There are no side effects for me. Just fine except for the non crystal-clear vision. :)

  5. Hi Kenwooi

    You also didn’t get clear vision ?
    Looking at your post op K-reading , are you able to go for enhancement?
    I also didn’t get clear vision after surgery and VA is poorer than pre op .My post op K-reading is higher than yours but the doctor said I am seeing ghosting image/ quality of vision affected is due to low k-reading or flatten of the cornea.So , very unlike can be rectify.

    Do you mind to share yours?

    1. Hi LasikPatient, based on my discussion with the staff I’m still able to go for an enhancement because my cornea is still thick enough for 1.00 power. For me, my vision has been fine… except from being tired due to constant staring at the computer at work.

      1. Hi Ken

        Good to hear that your satisfied with the result and no side effect .
        The doctor told you so or the optometrist that you still have enough cornea tissue to go for enhancement? they say anything about your K reading if too low will caused ghosting image ?


      2. HI LasikPatient, the optometrist told me so after checking with the machine. As for the K reading, I’m not aware of the reading. Perhaps I’ll ask during the next checkup. :)

        By the way, the K reading represents the curvature of the cornea – where inconsistent curvature causes visual distortion such as astigmatism.

      3. Hi Ken

        According to their doctor , cornea thickness which shown on orbscan for post op patient is not accurate.

        Low k-reading caused ghosting image.
        by looking at your report , your k-reading is lower than mine.

        But I seeing ghosting image and you are not. that’s weird…..

        Kindly update us once you have check with lasik centre about the k-reading . thanks

  6. Good sharing.
    I did relex smile on july 2016 (not with optimax). Just to share something, upon checking, my right eye is more dominant than my left eye. Then the lady that checked my eye suggest like below:
    Right eye: -2.50 to 0 (for mainly to see far object and causing my right eye becomes long-sighted)
    Left eye: -2.75 to -1.25 (for mainly to see near object and also for reading)
    Hence, combination of both, I can see clearly for both near/reading and far object but not really sharp (for far sighted but managable especially during driving), however I will not depend on reading glasses and/or driving glasses, that is the secret and the purpose why not do the lasik until my power down to 0 for both eyes. So, during the eye test, just take some time to get the optimum condition to see both conditions (far & near/reading). This is something that they do not tell you about: for short-sighted, the lasik cannot down the power until 0 as you will immediately experiencing long-sighted (rabun dekat) condition. Luckily, God makes a pair of eyes and our brain can balance it, so, make your less dominant eye to do the reading work and other dominant eye to do the sighting work. There is a simple task to check which one is the dominant eye but difficult for me to explain in writing (easier to do the demo). However, some people may not have a dominant eye but most people do.
    Lastly, if you are suitable for lasik and have money, just go for it.

    1. Hi M.Jamie

      I think you are trying to tell us that you went for mono-vision.I will said that no all ppl can accept mono-vision.Due to lousy consultation during pre op comprehensive eye test , I end up with full correction (according to lasik).
      Now I having im-balance vision which caused me to suffer headache and seeing ghosting image , lost my clarity after surgery.

      Paid for professional service but end of the day get lousy surgeon service and poor vision result.

      1. Hi LasikPatient,

        Mono-vision, yes, maybe that’s the correct term. Anyway, that optometrist, she said it is “blend vision” and that’s what she recommended to me.

        The funny thing is this kind of info only can get during consultation and not stated in the Lasik service provider website. Hence, for those reading these comments, please fully utilise the consultation time by asking many questions until you are satisfied. Please go the the place that having friendly environment and willing to answer your questions until you satisfied. This is the major decision, decide wisely as we talking about your vision! The place that I went (at Kajang, you can guess where is it), not really having friendly consultation due to many patients and time is limited. She was kind of pushy to accept her recommendation and even asked me to go somewhere else if not agree with it! Just because I’m living outside Selangor and thinking of the long distance made me just go for it and luckily not really bad recommendation.

        Lastly, what I feel is the outcome of Lasik not really similar like wearing the glasses but the best about Lasik is (if do it right and depends on each individual) no more glasses and feel more freedom. :)

  7. Hi M Jamie

    Yes. Pre op eye examination and consultation is very important.
    The optometrist and doctor must be honest and explain to patient correctly. So , the patient will have sufficient information to make decision.

    the place u mentioned – KPJ ? I am still looking for a doctor who can rectify poor result from initial surgery.

    Unlike the one at bayu tinggi , klang. Not honest and lousy service. the worst experience i have ever had. They only care for the money not the patient ‘s vision.

    1. Hi LasikPatient

      It is not KPJ. It’s Prof Muhaya. RM11.7k compared to Optimax RM13.6k (both eyes for ReLex SMILE) but no Lifetime Warranty.

      I thought if you go for full correction then you need reading glasses, right?

      1. Hi M Jamie

        O. Prof Muhaya. I found out about her after my surgery.
        Yes , needing reading glasses. But my problem is even with glasses , still cant get clarity .Conclusion lost clarity for far and near vision. Lost my pre op VA 6/6-. Deep inside my heart I know that right eye cant function well after the relex smile surgery . There are many other issue with this right eye after the surgery.

        Dishonest doctor consultation , poor surgery skill….

  8. Thanks for the write-up Ken. I wrote in today asking Optrimax about the SMILE cost, it was replied that, RM5,200 was never on their 2015/2016 list. I even referred them to your blog….the price has significantly increased in excess of RM2k for both sides in just 7 motnhs….not price haggling but who is correct???

    1. Hi Seah, the rates above were obtained during my pre-Lasik consultation in February 2015. The prices would have increased since it has been 3 years. :)

  9. Thx for the swift reply Ken. The blog was written 29 May 2016 and your rates stated were Feb 2015, is that the correct understanding? I was informed that 2015/2016 they do not have that rates – that baffles me even more then…..

    1. Hi Seah, your understanding is correct. I did my Lasik in March 2015… and only wrote about it slightly more than a year later. I’m afraid I can’t help with the price confirmation, but I’m pretty sure that was the rate back then.

      1. I done my fento lasik last 6 months. Also no crystal clear. Left eye from 0 become 50

  10. Do you still need glasses whether at night or day time especially reading at far or projector? When are you plan to do second lasik?

  11. Happy for you Ken! Thank you for sharing this article, this article is very informative, and I’m sure this can also help other people, and yeah everything related to our body has side effects. congratulations on your new vision.

  12. Hi Ken. May I know is the surgery is really painful? I would like to do it but i am afraid it is too painful for me. It seems so scary to have surgery performed on your eyeballs

    1. Hi Nicole, it won’t be pain on the spot as there’ll be anesthetics drops. The experience was overwhelming as your eyes will be wide opened all the time, but it’s quick. The real pain happens a few hours later.

  13. Hi, Ken.

    Just wondering, has the price remain the same since 2016 or has it risen?
    If latter, what are the current fees?

    1. Hi Zaki, the price has been fluctuating so I’m uncertain about the latest price. But I believe if you quote me, you should be able to get a discount on your lasik. I’m not super sure, but worth a shot. :)

  14. Hi Ken. Thanks for sharing your lasik experience & this article was really helpful. All comments from your blog give me some idea to consider before I proceed with decision ie: life-time warranty, questions to clarify during pre-op, eye specialist etc. Thanks again.

  15. I have done relex smile in 2014, I never regret but I would say the recovery takes almost 2 years for getting 100% perfect eyesight. After doing the relex smile, It is very hard to work on laptop more than 30 minutes, the vision was blur and I have to stop looking at the screen. Fortunately, my job doesn’t require me to work on laptop all the time. After 1 or 2 years later, my vision is getting better and I don’t have any problem now with laptop more than few hours. Hope it helps

  16. I’m looking to do vision correction myself but kinda on the fence if I should go for LASIK or the newer SMILE which I just randomly found out recently
    Having dry eyes is just something that have been bothering me for some time. Thanks for the sharing of your experience. This post helped me to decide that SMILE is probably better for me.

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