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Eye Surgeons @ Novena Wavefront/Topography Guided LASIK Xtra by Dr. Por Yong Ming

This is a long overdue post about my LASIK Xtra experience with Dr. Por Yong Ming at Eye Surgeons @ Novena. I have had my refractive eye surgery done earlier this year on the 16 February and it is now 8 months post op. And going for it was the best decision I have ever made. Super satisfied with it with little to no sequelae so far.

To begin with, I have never considered going for LASIK ever since ReLEx Smile (flapless) has been introduced. I thought newer technologies would always be better than older ones until I chanced upon a very informative Quora answer by Dr. Por regarding the pros and cons of LASIK and ReLEx when I was researching on it to aid my decision making. It was then I realize that newer does not mean better. I was totally convinced that LASIK is the GOLD standard for refractive correction and would make a better choice, even when I had always thought that LASIK has a higher risk of complications due to the flap. And I already have discomfort with the dry eye syndrome from wearing contact lenses, I absolutely did not want to risk having to deal with dry eyes for the rest of my life after the surgery. You can read the answer by Dr. Por HERE.

After reading the comprehensive answer, I started researching on Dr. Por and have found many people recommending him as an ophthalmologist. He has also contributed several articles to local newspapers. That was when I decided he is going to be the surgeon performing the life-changing refractive correction surgery on me. I am still amazed how my mindset on LASIK changed from "NEVER!" to "DEFINITELY!" with just one answer on Quora.

I emailed him directly to ask for prices as their website does not state them. After a brief back-and-forth communication, I made an appointment for a consultation at Eye Surgeons to check if my eyes are suitable for Wavefront/Topography Guided LASIK Xtra, which was my final choice of surgery. 

The benefits of the Xtra is to stabilize the prescription post surgery. It does not only provide a long term stability but also enhances the safety. There are little to no risks of complications that come with the Xtra as it just involves riboflavin eye-drops being dropped onto the cornea (after the flap has been created and the LASIK done on the cornea and before the flap is closed). The eye-drops will be left on the cornea to soak for a few minutes before being cleanly rinsed off and its flap restored. Ultra violet light will be shined directly onto the eye for the effect of binding chemicals between the collagen molecules. Xtra can also reduce the risk of corneal ectasia. I was like, "I am already spending so much on the LASIK, might as well pay a little more for the Xtra for better effects. It concerns my eyes and sense of sight."

On the 7 February, I went for my consultation. They did a normal eye check for prescription (the same one you do at an optical shop), shone a torch in my eye while looking at 'E' in front and also checked my current glasses' prescription. All these tests were done in Eye Surgeons clinic.

After the first few eye tests were done, I was asked to proceed to Eagle Eye Centre in the same building for more eye tests. For these tests, I had to apply numbing and pupil dilating eye-drops. It did sting a little, but nothing unbearable. The first eye test done in Eagle Eye Centre is the Corneal Topography which checks the cornea thickness and shape. The machine looks like a hypnotizing machine with red swirls and blue lights in the middle which spins like a retina scan. My eyes were scanned 4x per eye with this machine to ensure accurate and consistent results.

The 2nd eye test done was to check the cornea shape as well. It looks like a submarine telescope with orange swirls and green light in the middle. There were cute beeping sounds like it was detecting my eye. This was done 8x on each eye. For both tests, I had to put on a pirate patch.

After my eyes were deemed suitable for LASIK/ReLEx by Dr. Por on the same day, he asked for the LASIK surgery to be arranged 2 days later on 9th of February (so efficient) but as I have a family photoshoot the following day, I asked if I could do it on the 16th instead because I wanted to wear cosmetic lenses and also not have red teary/closed eyes during the photoshoot haha! He agreed that I might have red spots on my eye whites so of course he said ok.

On the day of the surgery, I went to Eye Surgeons first to make payment for it and then proceeded to Eagle Eye Centre again. Eye Surgeons rents the surgery equipment and surgery room from Eagle Eye Centre as it is more cost efficient for both clinics this way. Daniel and Hansel accompanied me there as Dr. Por and his assistant had advised someone to come with me on the day. I had to go with my bare face with no make-up, cream or lotion. Nothing. 

At Eagle Eye Centre, Dr. Por called me into a little room and explained the whole process of the surgery and what to/not to do. He also reassured me that it will not take very long. After the surgery briefing with Dr. Por, he went to prepare himself for the surgery. Then, the assistants in the clinic gave me a disposable gown to put on (over my clothes) and I had to tie up my hair. In a room, she cleaned my eyelids and surrounding skin with what I suppose was povidone-iodine, an antispetic used for skin disinfection commonly used before and after surgery. 

Not long after cleaning my eyes, I was called in to the surgery room! OMG, I was so nervous. But like what Dr. Por said, it was over in a blink of an eye (pun intended hahaha). I won't be writing about the process of the LASIK as you can easily find videos of the process on YouTube (just search 'Wavefront Guided LASIK Procedure'). It would be exactly what my surgery was like and I have also explained earlier on this post about the Xtra procedure.

Right after my surgery, my vision was all foggy. It looked a little like when I am not wearing my glasses prior to the surgery (my degree was quite high -5.75 and -6.00 with low degrees of astigmatism). But I could tell that once the "fog" clears, I would be able to see things afar clearly. Went to another room for Dr. Por to check my post surgery eyes and he said it's all good and there isn't even a single red spot on my eye whites as I kept my eyeballs very still during the LASIK. He gave the green light to go home and to go back the next day for the first post op day review.

Eagle Eye Centre provides the after-care medicines too which are a bottle of Vigamox (antibiotic eyedrop), Pred Forte (for eye swelling/itching), 2 boxes of Alcon Naturale Tears in disposable vials, painkiller and a medicine that protects your stomach lining which the painkiller would irritate if not taken together. You'll have to pay for these medicines. They also gave a complimentary pair of sunglasses and a pair of eye shield. The assistant at Eye Surgeons advised me to rest my eyes for the day. Maybe take a sleeping pill and sleep throughout the evening. I didn't take the painkillers as I didn't feel any pain that was unbearable.

My pops came to Novena Square 2 to pick us up as I really did not want to take the public transport then. On the journey home I was actually trying to make out car plates number even when the vision is still foggy hahaha too excited to have perfect eyesight again.

When I reached home, it was about 4pm, I prepared myself to go to bed to rest my eyes. I tried to sleep for a few hours, with my eye shield. I was tearing a lot from my eyes, but no pain. Until about 6+pm, I couldn't sleep any longer so I got up. My eyes were still tearing but it was normal. It was then I started to feel a foreign object in one of my eye and it was causing a lot of discomfort, so I texted Dr. Por to tell him about it. He said if it is really uncomfortable, I could let him know and he will go down to the clinic. Or if it can wait, I could go to the clinic earlier the next day for my POD 1 follow up. I decided to wait on it to see if it would feel better the next day.

A 'Post LASIK Care' sheet was given to me together with medicines.

Click to enlarge.

POD 1, 17th February, I went back to the clinic for the first follow-up visit. First, an optician checked the prescription of my eyes with the machine and then with the chart. It was still foggy then but I could already make out the words on the chart and my eyesight was already 6/6! Dr. Por checked my eye which I complained of having the foreign object feeling with an equipment in his office. He told me that there is something stuck in the flap but not to worry about it as it will most likely drop out on its own. So I left it.

POD 7 (1 week), 23rd February, I could still feel that foreign object in my eye but my vision is already pretty clear. Dr. Por checked again and it was then he decided to take it out since it was not falling out on its own. After he took it out, it felt a little better but he said that thing scratched the flap a little so now it's a bit rough and prescribed me a lubricant gel eye ointment to smoothen it and to keep it lubricated so the flap will adhere back nicely. He then arranged for another follow up visit 2 weeks later. This, I wasn't so satisfied with as if he had taken the foreign object out on POD 1 when I first complained about it, I wouldn't have to go back for an extra follow up and instead come back on this day (it's usually 3 post op follow up visits but became 4 for me). Costed me extra for the prescription of the lubricant gel and the consultation fees of the extra follow up visit :(

POD 21 (3 weeks), 7th March, eyes felt pretty comfortable. Other than little halos around lights in a pitch dark setting and a little light sensitivity (nothing major or affecting my daily life), I don't experience any other complications. My eyes also didn't feel as dry as I thought it would! Went back again to follow up on the scratch on the flap. Everything's good. This follow up could've been avoided if not for the foreign object on POD 1.

POD 40 (1 month 12 days), 28th March, last follow up visit with Dr. Por! A corneal topography was done again to see if there are any unevenness and also if there are parts of my cornea that has become too thin. But results were all great. He said my flap is healing well and he also checked for eye dryness but he said I don't have any signs of dry eyes. And that I don't have to apply eye drops often, only when my eyes feels dry from eye strain from doing computer or reading work. I noticed that myself as well, that I rarely felt like I had to apply eye drops at just 1 month post op! I am really amazed how successful the LASIK surgery is.

Dr Por's certificates from The National University of Singapore, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and The University of Melbourne hanging outside of his office.

All in all, I had a really pleasant experience with Dr. Por. He gave lots of advice and every questions or doubts I have, he would explain it to me very clearly without hesitation. He has been very patient, helpful and informative in my decision making. He provides excellent post op care services, like a personal number to contact via Whatsapp for when I feel there is anything wrong with my eyes. He also mentioned that if it is urgent, he will go down to the clinic to check on his patients even at inconvenient hours to make sure necessary treatment will not be delayed. 

I am currently residing in Sweden, a very dry country, and I have also been rarely applying eye drops and they feel absolutely fine. I can't tell if there are any regression since the surgery but I will definitely go for an eye check soon.

Because of the LASIK, I can now wear non-prescription sunglasses without having to put on contact lenses, with a scarf wrapping around my nose and mouth the vapour from my breathing will not have any glasses to mist up, I can wear winter beanies without the beanies pressing on the sides of my glasses, I can apply make up without putting on lenses, I can stay over at a friend's place after a party without having to bring my glasses, contact lens case and solution, I can lie on my side comfortably without the glasses being in an awkward and uncomfortable position etc. It's a new found freedom after 18 years of wearing glasses & contact lenses!!!

Life is so much clearer after LASIK.

Eye Surgeons @ Novena
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre 
38 Irrawaddy Road #09-26/27/28/29/31/32 
Singapore 329563 

  +65 6694 0400 
+65 6694 0500

I do not have a price list but if you do decide to book an appointment with Dr. Por, mention that you were referred by me or that my blog post brought you to him. Maybe he would offer you a discount, I don't know ;)

Disclosure: I was offered a slightly discounted price but there were no obligations to post about my experience. No other monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.


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