Chocolate Or Valium?

Chocolate is something I normally try to avoid. Any rare craving for the stuff is quelled by nibbling a square of bitter dark 60 or 70%. That would happily satisfy the urge until the next time…. Unless it happens to be surgery day at the London Vision Clinic … then it’s like open day at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory… and it’s all on “prescription”.

Dr Dan and the LVC team find the combination of comforting chocolate (full of its feel-good endomorphins) alongside the gentle administrations of Nikke Ariff, whose magical hands performing a relaxing Indian head and shoulder massage on patients, simply melt away any pre-operation nerves.

So what is it that makes us so nervous about Laser Eye Surgery?

Dr Dan thinks that part of our irrational fear of laser surgery might be because we have seen one to many James Bond films. You know the scene where 007 is about to be sliced in half by a strong laser beam if he as much as moves a muscle. Not, of course, an ideal image to take into the operating theatre. But what would happen if some involuntary twitch causes us to move our head; or – God forbid – a sneeze creeps up?

Perhaps it would help if we understood more about the nature of the laser beam.

Dr Dan assures me that it is a completely gentle form of concentrated ultra-violet light. So gentle in fact, that you can safely put your hand under its beam for several minutes without feeling a thing. By using more energy, it is however able to evaporate tissue (like the sun can evaporate a glass of water) and this is how – under expert guidance – it is able to reshape the cornea or the protective layer over the eye (the epithelium) to improve sight.

Well that’s as maybe but what’s wrong with taking a sedative just to quell the possibility of freaking out at a crucial moment?

Dr Dan will answer this question next time.