My SMILE Journey at Eyes of York

Abigail Frank poses for a picture with Dr. Denise Visco and staff to celebrate her SMILE procedure. 

Reasons for Reaching out to Eyes of York

For a few years my dad and I talked about getting laser vision correction and we always thought about how nice it would be to just be able to wake up in the morning and not worry about putting contacts on or fumbling around trying to find glasses to put on. When we heard about all the good things at Eyes of York we decided to go for it. We heard about people attending a seminar about Lasik and found out it was for Eyes of York. We really like how local they were and how good of a reputation they had established. So we signed up to attend and were very glad we did.

Experience at Appointment 1 Free Screening & Appointment 2 Refractive Exam

When attending the seminar, they offered a free screening to see if my prescription would fit within the laser’s parameters. The staff was very courteous and swift in getting all the screenings done promptly, there were a good many people that showed up. The screening was painless and easy to do. The refractive exam was interesting. I wasn’t sure what really to expect besides what I was told which was that they were going to take measurements of all angles of my eyes and how thick my corneal tissue was and such. I was informed that I would be getting my eyes dilated and it would last a few days. The process of getting the measurements done was painless. The machines they use to take the photos and calculate the measurements was fascinating. At the end of my refractive exam Dr. Visco decided that the new FDA approved procedure SMILE would work best for me. The worst part of the whole exam was going outside after being dilated because it was so bright outside and I wouldn’t allow anyone to turn on any unnecessary lights at home.

My Feelings Leading up to & the Day of the Procedure

I had to keep my soft contacts out of my eyes for 2 weeks before my refractive exam, and depending on when my procedure was as well. Luckily for me they were able to do my SMILE procedure the following week after my refractive exam so a total of 3 weeks without contacts and I had glasses from 2 years prior that I was able to wear to help me through that time. I was pretty calm leading up to the surgery date, I usually do fine with any surgery but it’s afterwards that I get antsy and don’t know what to expect. On the day of my surgery I woke up excited and ready to not have to put my glasses on everyday again for hopefully a very long time. Arriving at Eyes of York they staff was as always very kind and made you feel welcome. When they took me back to start prepping me I made sure I asked all the questions I needed answers to before taking me into the operating room. I’ve never taken valium before which is what they give you to relax so you can keep calm while they are correcting your eyes. I was still excited as to what was to come in a short few minutes.

Experience During my Procedure

Walking into the operating room they laid me down on the table, propped my legs up & gave me a fish pillow to hold so I would keep my arms still. Watching the machine lower down to my face was an experience in itself, the voice that talks during the whole surgery had a strong accent and sounded like something you’d hear inside a spaceship. When the machine said “suction on” Dr. Visco told me to just relax and “zombie out” and just keep my eyes still. It was nifty to be able to see the light above me get more and more blurry. I was told it’d take 33 seconds for each eye but it felt more like 15 seconds. Once the machine was finished it released my eye, Dr. Visco pulled me out. She made the small incision and began to loosen the tissue to remove it. After finishing both eyes she, removed the tool that kept my eyes open wide, and pulled off the stickers that kept my eye lashes away. Pulling the stickers off was the only thing that hurt about the whole experience. I was amazed at how painless and easy it all was. And yes, I could immediately see better after Dr. Visco removed the loosened tissue, it wasn’t crystal clear and I knew it wasn’t going to be but I could definitely tell a difference.

Day After Surgery July 28th

Sleeping in the shields is probably the hardest part of the whole experience besides keeping up with all the medications. After waking up I could definitely tell a difference in my vision versus the day before my surgery. Things are kind of hazy or glaring as if I had slept in my contacts or had my eyes open under chlorinated water for a while. Throughout the day I noticed subtle changes and I couldn’t tell when my eyes were dry, so it was important that I kept steady with putting in my lubricating drops. The only real discomfort I noticed was it felt like I had something itching the inner corner of my eyes. I was examined at Eyes of York that day and they had told me that I saw 20/30 roughly in both eyes and to me that seemed great. I didn’t try driving anywhere until my dad got home I had him take me to work to pick up a few things for the weekend. When getting out on the road I could dramatically notice a difference in my vision. I could see much farther away even though it wasn’t crystal clear. All in all I was happy.

1 Week After Surgery Aug 3rd

I had an appointment on Aug 1st and I was seeing 20/50. I was surprised that my vision had decreased so dramatically within those 5 days but I was told between finishing a medicine and changing how frequently I was putting drops in that it was normal for some of the swelling to increase therefore causing my vision to fluctuate. Dr. Visco wanted me to come back in a week to monitor the swelling and see if my vision would improve. I had returned to work on Monday July 31st. Thankfully I had a fairly short drive to work and there isn’t much traffic so I knew my way and I wasn’t too concerned. Being at work most of the day I noticed subtle changes in my up close vision. The inner corner itching was gone and my eyes didn’t tingle anymore after I put the Pred Forte drops in. My eyes got tired quicker from trying to see up close at my computer and then farther away to try see the delivery board as my eyes adjusted.

2 Weeks After Surgery Aug 11th

I stopped sleeping with my shields on which allows me to sleep more deeply and feel more rested when I wake up. I’m starting to get more used to the fact that I can see more clearly waking up now than when I used to before SMILE. It helps me to feel more awake and ready to go that I can see right away now. My eyes have healed a lot since the appointment when they told me I was seeing 20/50. I had another follow up on Aug 11th and I’m basically 20/20 from what I understand. It lifted my heart greatly to hear that they had changed that much in that amount of time. There is still healing left to do once I trail off of the Pred Forte drops, so I’m excited for the end results. The team at Eyes of York have been great every step of the way through this whole process and I look forward to enjoying my new vision, Lord willing for many years to come.

Additional Comments:

Thank you to Eyes of York for allowing a procedure such as laser vision correction to be affordable and such a blessing for the people in central PA. I would recommend Eyes of York to anyone who is looking into getting vision correction done.