Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Kristin Cavallari's Journey in Lasik Eye Surgery

Has anyone seen the online show "Lasik with Kristin Cavallari"? Recently, actress and star of Laguna Beach (Season 1 and 2), Cavallari decided to take the leap and receive lasik surgery while documenting it with videos and blogs. By doing so, Cavallari hopes to reach out to her fans, friends and the general public and inform them of the risks, benefits and fears pertaining to lasik eye surgery. In total, 9 minute episodes are featured at www.realitylasik.com. Below is a recap of each episode. Check it out for yourself! (Don't read the recaps if you don't want to know any spoilers!)

Episode 1-My Vision
Kristin meets with a director and chief officer to discuss the technicalities of the lasik eye surgery and the concept of the show. She agrees to document her journey through video cameras and blogs. She admits to hating carrying around contact cases, solution, extra pair, etc. Kristin's main goal is to capture the reality of lasik eye surgery and make it as personable as possible. Her biggest concern is "Does it hurt?" since she admits to being a baby about that sort of stuff. Another question is "What is the risk?" since this surgery involves working on her eyes, so she is determined to find the best out there.

Episode 2-To See or Not To See
Next step! Meeting the doctor! As Kristin arrives to the doctor's office, an assistant, Gaby, leads Kristin to a machine that will measure the her approximate correction. The assistant then takes a measurement of her glasses (which she's had for seven years!) A cornotopography machine then takes a picture of the her cornea that will show the doctor the flatness and steepness of her cornea. Nothing to scary, all she had to was lean forward and blink while the picture was taken. Adding to the rigmarole, the next step was to take a wave scan measurement on her eyes, which takes a picture of her eyes and measures 200 different points on the cornea in order to give her a more customized treatment. The procedure involved Kristin leaning forward and staring at a red light. They also checked her vision with her glasses on and her glasses off. Her vision without glasses was horrible! The next test was the Schermer's Test, which checked her tear production. The assistant used strips and placed them in the lower eyelid of each eye and left them there for approximately 5 seconds. According to Kristin, that was the worst part, which only made her eyes water. The next test (how many are there?!?!?) was checking the thickness of her cornea, which meant utilizing a tool and gently tapping it on the eye. Other tests included dilating her eyes, checking the pressure and for glaucoma. At the end of this episode, Kristin met with Dr. Maloni, one of the best ophthalmologist to find out if she was a candidate for lasik eye surgery. The answer lies in Episode 3!

Episode 3-Does It Hurt?
In the beginning of the video, Kristin told the Doctor she chose to have eye surgery because last year her eyes finally stabilized and this something she really wanted. The doctor also said that the risk of infection increases when people sleep in their contacts, so he advises they don't. He then prepared a machine to analyze her eyes and check her tear glands. Surprise! She's a great candidate for lasik eye surgery! The Doctor then delves into the intricate two step procedure: Step 1) A flap is made on the surface, essentially pulling back the outer layers of the eye. Apparently, this does not hurt! The use the intralase procedure while using a laser. Step 2) Custom bulase: Reshaping the eye and gives the vision like you're wearing a contact when you're not. The Doctor reassured Kristin that nowadays, doctors utilize up-to-date tools and methods that are very safe. One of her concerns was could she go blind. The doctor responded by stating that he has done about 50,000 lasik surgeries and said zero have gone blind. He even added that it's safer than wearing contacts and sleeping in them. In the long run, he said you will have healthier eyes by having the surgery. Her last question was could a bubble get stuck when replacing the flap back onto the eye. The Doctor had never heard of such a thing! (Good!) He then led her on a tour of the instruments that they would be using during the procedure. At the end of the procedure he said she'll be able to see the clock on the wall without contacts or glasses.

Episode 4-Mother's Day
Kristin picks up her mom, Judy, from the airport. Your eyes are obviously open during the procedure and afterward you have to wear goggles for four hours to keep the moisture in. Rocco, Kristin's Yorkshire Terrier, also had a cameo! And yes, her mom IS supportive! Tomorrow is lunch in Malibu.

Episode 5-Second Opinions
Once in Malibu, Kristin introduces her mom to her manager, Jason Newman. While there, they look at a beautiful apartment located right on the beach. Newman helps calm Kristin's fear of the surgery. They make plans for dinner at 8:15 that night where they meet some friends and grab some wine. As her mother then prepares to leave, she proclaims her support for her daughter's surgery and even mentions possibly getting it done as well.

Episode 6-Nervous Time
The episode starts with Kristin on the phone with her mom explaining that she has to be at the office by 7am the next morning. After it is over, she gets to come back and sleep for 4 hours.
Before going to bed she films throwing her contacts and solution. In the morning, she has a friend named Joe pick her up to take her to the office. The entire procedure is approximately five minutes per eye. She's filled with nerves but also excitement to never have to wear glasses again. Surgery prep included putting a hair cap on and getting eye drops and antiseptic solution to keep the eye are sterile. She also takes a Valium. Afterwards, she meets with the Doctor again where he said he will talk her through it.

Episode 7-Reality Lasik
The wait is over! Kristin finally gets lasik eye surgery! Entering the room, they have her lay down and put antiseptic in her eyes that sting just a bit. The Doctor covers her face with a plastic sheet to protect her eys and they start to work on her eye. She said nothing hurts but the eye holder puts a lot of press on the eye in order to keep it open. After making the flap, she admitted that she felt no pain and was comforted bythe doctors calm words. People can watch as the Doctor takes back the flap and uses the laser to correct her vision. As she lifted her head, she became all emotional to the fact that she could see the clock with perfect vision.

Episode 8-Baby I'm Amazed
After coming home and sleeping for four hours, Kristin retells her story to a close friend. She confesses again that there is not pain just pressure and blurry vision for 10 minutes. The next day, she leaves for her post surgery checkup where the Doctor finds them completely and 100% fine. When the checkup is over, she finds out that she has what is called "super vision," which is better than 20-20. Her next step is to come back in 2-3 weeks for another checkup. Dr. Maloni said that he loves this part of the job because people come in extremely fearful and apprehensive and leave absolutely estatic and amazed. The wonderful thin about lasik eye surgery is the quick healing process, within a day or so. The next day, Kristin goes on a hike with Rocco and records the entire view of the mountains, as well as the Hollywood sign. At the end, she states that "Life after lasik has been an awakening." To celebrate her new vision, she decides to vacation at the Bahamas and takes us with her.

Episode 9-Life After Lasik
On vacation in the Bahamas, viewers get a chance to see her hotel and the amazing resort she stayed at complete with water slides and a hot spot near the beach and ocean. Back in Cali, she goes back for her last eye checkup and explains to the Doctor how lasik has changed her life for the better. The Doctor said most people get better than 20-20 vision after having the surgery. After passing the 20-15 vision test, they tested her on a very smallest letter test (20-10) and passed the smallest line with flying colors -- Meaning she has "super super vision."


**For more information about Kristin, her surgery or just about lasik surgery itself, head over to realitylasik.com and also check out http://www.realitylasik.com/310-lasik-blog.aspx for more of her blogs she wrote along the way.