I decided to start off by addressing the elephant in the room about LASIK Singapore: Doctors themselves don’t undergo LASIK surgery.
Ergo, LASIK must be unsafe. The truth is that I know of countless other colleagues who had underwent LASIK Singapore surgery, ranging from doctors to surgeons, to eye surgeons and their family members.
People often tell you it’s the best decision they made for good reason – No more smudged glasses, no more dry eyes with contacts, no more poking your eyes out in the morning and again at night for good measure.
Clearly a messed up vision would be career-ending, so choosing the best clinic for LASIK Singapore was paramount. Our search was quickly narrowed down to two LASIK Singapore clinics after plenty of research amongst our colleagues:
Eagle Eye Centre’s Dr Julian Theng versus Jerry Tan Eye Surgery.
We simply asked our colleagues which LASIK Singapore clinic they chose and why, with an emphasis on whether there were post-op side effects. Eagle Eye Centre and Jerry Tan Eye Surgery were consistently highly recommended by our peers for the doctor’s expertise and experience, and a lack of side effects after.
There are plenty of bloggers who blogged about their own experience, but we were less inclined to trust these accounts given that most of these posts were sponsored. It was still useful reading about their actual experience to know what to expect from each clinic, and I encourage you to do the same.
We went to the respective clinics as unsponsored, paying customers. I would love to say we did so purely out of altruistic reasons to write this unbiased account, but the truth is that neither of us had affiliations to either clinics, nor could we masquerade as social influencers (sadly).
We could also have had heavily subsidised rates if we went to our own hospital’s eye centres, but having done our research on LASIK Singapore, we were convinced that these two clinics were the right choices for us.
- Pre-LASIK surgery preparation
- Eagle Eye Centre: The operation
- Post-LASIK surgery and side effects
- LASIK surgery: Things that stood out
- Eagle Eye Centre versus Jerry Tan Eye Surgery
1. Pre-LASIK surgery preparation
This is pretty much standard everywhere you go. Stay off contacts for 1-2 weeks, followed by a pre-op assessment to see if you are eligible for the procedure. This involves a series of eye sight checks with a optometrist, followed by a quick consult with the doctor.
What I liked about Eagle Eye Centre is that it is the only clinic that offers a same day assessment and operation, which suits my packed schedule just fine.
The downtime for recovery post-op is 3 days. Dr Julian Theng only operates on Thursdays, so you get a MC to cover you for 2 days, before returning to work on Monday. He mentioned during my consult that he had a 100% success rate on ALL his patients, and also that he would soon be doing LASIK surgery on his own daughter. (Edit: As of Feb 2017, we’ve learned that he’s now performed LASIK surgery on both his son and daughter).
Dr Meow had her LASIK surgery done by Dr Jerry Tan – She liked the fact that there was a lot more pre-op explanation and preparation, and also the fact that he did one eye at a time, one week apart.
I couldn’t stop ribbing Dr Meow about how much MORE expensive Jerry Tan Eye Surgery was – She ended up paying approximately 2 – 3 times of what I did. Clearly he caters to the more well-heeled clientele, although she thinks it’s money well-spent.
2. Eagle Eye Centre: LASIK Singapore operation
I didn’t catch the laser on flesh burning smell that everyone talks about, or maybe I’ve just become too desensitized from all the time I’ve spent in a operating room dishing it out. The laser can’t be felt at all.
I remember one of the first things Dr Julian said while I was lying down:
Now you are the patient – how does that feel?
Truth be told, I was pretty relaxed throughout the procedure, which took all of 5 minutes. Mostly because I had utmost trust in Dr Julian (whom I had just met earlier that day for the first time) and my friends’ accounts of their experience.
I was never in pain, although the suction to hold your eyeball in place does get a bit uncomfortable. It’s definitely bearable overall though.
3. Post-LASIK surgery and side effects
Turnaround time is fast at Eagle Eye Centre – Don’t expect a lot of handholding. Patients are packed in one after another, almost like going past revolving doors. On any given Thursday, Dr Julian does LASIK surgery on 10-15 patients.
Immediately after the operation, you are handed a pair of shades and pack of eye drops/eye shield with instructions, before being directed to the counter to make your payment and follow-up appointment. It suited me just fine, as the whole experience was efficient and friendly.
Dr Meow’s experience in contrast had all the molly-coddling one would expect from the equivalent of paying for a Business Class SIA ticket. After the op, she got to nap in a dark room for an hour, which Dr Jerry Tan believes is necessary to make the eye heal better. This was followed by a couple more counsellor/nurse/Dr Jerry Tan drop-ins, before she was finally ready for home.
Aftercare for both of us involved a regimen of wearing protective eye shields and eye drops. Dr Julian Theng and Dr Jerry Tan both met us the following day respectively – The bandage contact lens comes off, they do a quick check, and we are on our way.
This is followed by a one week and one month review – I was able to meet Dr Inez and Dr E-Shawn at Eagle Eye Centre, both of whom were lovely. If you prefer, you can request to see Dr Julian again, but his timings tend to be more inflexible. Dr Meow got to see Dr Jerry Tan for all her follow-ups.
Vision wise both of us had perfect vision at the one week check – although Dr Meow did have better than 6/6 vision after just one day, which she gloats about.
Side effects wise, I had nothing apart from a little bit of glare and halo – that is perfectly normal during the recovery process, and it resolved in the next week or two. Dr Meow apparently had no side effects from day one, which she was delighted about. Your eyes will be super sensitive to light for a good week or so, so be prepared to rock the indoor shades look.
4. LASIK Singapore: Other random notes
- Bandage lens suck – couldn’t wait to get them out the next day, which immediately improved my vision and comfort.
- Not swimming for a month sucks.
- Vision is serviceable the instant your bandage lens are out – I could use a laptop and read.
- Paranoia about side effects is real – ie “is that a glare or do you see that halo too?”
- The left eye versus right eye sharpness check is real.
- I was a serial habitual eye rubber before LASIK surgery – if I could do it, so can you.
- Wearing sunglasses indoor – fake it till you make it.
5. Eagle Eye Centre versus Jerry Tan Eye Surgery
Eagle Eye Centre’s Dr Julian Theng is a great choice for doing LASIK Singapore if you want an extremely experienced doctor who is efficient and reasonably priced.
Go for Dr Jerry Tan if you needs lots of TLC and preparation/explanation throughout the process. Also do consider him if you are paranoid and prefer do one eye at a time.
If you would like more options to consider in your search for a LASIK doctor, head over to this post where we cover the 6 best LASIK clinics.
For any other LASIK surgery-related questions, head over to our Ask A Doctor section, or browse previous questions and answers about LASIK Singapore here.