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Spicoli
11-05-2007, 03:51 PM
I'm considering getting Lasik surgery as my eyes are starting to reject contacts and I despise wearing glasses.

Anyone here had Lasik? And, if so, was it a good experience. Any recommendations for doctors in Indy?

Gyron
11-05-2007, 03:55 PM
I had it and LOVED IT!

My docotor ws down here in Charlotte.

The surgery is essentially painless. Its quick, and very easy.

I think there's several thread son here that I talk about it. I'll see if I can find them and link them here.

Hicks
11-05-2007, 05:28 PM
Gyron, what's the story after you walk out post-"operation"? What do you have to do before you're back to normal? Isn't there a phase where you take drops and/or keep shades on?

Also, do/did you have an astigmatism? Did Lasik treat that as well? Also, what happens if/when your eyes' prescription changes?

Spicoli
11-05-2007, 05:43 PM
Since I've been doing a tad bit of research I can probably answer a couple of those questions . . .

1) Only mild discomfort post-op, like an eyelash in your eye. You're supposed to rest once you get home, but in most cases you are fine the very next day, although it can be a couple of weeks until your vision is perfect.

2) You take some drops after surgery, then rest.

3) Lasik will treat astigmatism.

4) When they do your evaluation, you are supposed to have the same prescription for at least 1 or 2 years, be over 18 years old, etc...

SycamoreKen
11-05-2007, 05:56 PM
I talked to my eye doctor about getting it since I can't wear contacts and my glasses are annoying. He said that since I am near sighted that eventually I would have to get reading glasses if I had the surgury due to how it corrects for the near sightedness. Not sure if he was correct, but I decided not to go any further with it.

Gyron
11-05-2007, 05:57 PM
I haven't had time to link back to the other thread yet, but let me answer Mal's questions to the best of my knowledge.

1. You walk out post operation with some heavy duty shades on, doped up on some valium. They want you to go home and go to sleep for a few hours. It allows your eyes time to heal. You will be wearing what they call BCL's(bandage contact lenses). In most cases they will take those off in 1-2 days. They are just clear lenses that assist in the healing of the eyes. You can drive about 2-3 days later. Although I will tell you for approx 2-3 weeks afterwards, you are sensitive to bright lights, especially at night.

So headlights coming at you always seemed to hurt my eyes during that time period. You may also experience starbursts around lights at night and what they call ghosting during the day and night. Essentially you see a ghost twin image next to things that are really bright colored like the white reflective lines on the road. But all of those symptoms are gone within 2-3 weeks or sooner depending on the person.

When they sit you up out of the chair, your sight is tremendously better. I went from 20/100 to 20/40 immediately after the surgery, then as your eyes heal over the next 2-6 months your eyesight continues to get better. After 1 month I was at 20/30 and after 3 months I was 20/20.

3 years later, I am still a perfect 20/20.

2. As for drops in your eyes, you will do special eye drops for about a week and then for a couple months you will uses the "preservative free" eye drops you buy at the store. I could never do eye drops before my surgery, but you learn quickly when you have to do that, and as a matter of fact, I think those preservative free eye drops feel great on my eyes now. But nothing difficult with the drops. The ones you do for about a week are to help the healing of the flap.

3. I had a slight astigmatism and it is corrected now. Lasik did treat that.

4. As for your prescrition changes, essentially the way they doctor explained it to me is candidates for the surgery have gotten to where there prescription changes have slowed down, thats why most teenagers are not candidates for the program because their body is still growing and changing.

However to explain how Lasik works, it reshapes your cornea, which corrects the prescription. When your eyes change shape thats what causes the need for glasses. So to my understanding, once your eye is reshaped you shouldn't need the surgery again.

He did however tell me that this will not eliminate the need for "readers" when you get to an onlder age(he gave 45-55 as an example). There is a surgery that corrects that as well, but nothing can be done to stop the aging of the eyes at this point.

All in all, its really a painless surgery and has been an absolutely awesome thing for me. I wore glasses for 13 years and never could do the contact thing. It feels so great to be free of glasses now.

Just like Jayredd gaining his freedom from his Superman underroo's after all these years.

ABADays
11-06-2007, 05:35 PM
I'm considering this surgery when I get home. What is the ballpark price for this?

Gyron
11-06-2007, 07:37 PM
Figure around $2K, better if you have a company flex plan where you can do it tax free.

Hicks
11-06-2007, 08:29 PM
Thanks for all of the solid information, Gyron!

Anthem
11-06-2007, 09:02 PM
Got it in 2002. Best tax-deductible $1500 I've spent.

I got it done on a Friday afternoon, and was back at work Monday. I actually had to leave early that day due to headaches, but that's because I was copy-proofing small printed text against HTML on a screen. So basically the single worst thing for your eyes. But by the end of the week I was totally fine.

The funny thing was that the doctor said "Now after the surgery you may notice starbursts at night, or ghosting in certain circumstances, or decreased night vision." And I was shocked and asked "You mean everybody doesn't get those?" With Lasik, the starbursts are WAY better than before, the ghosting disappeared after a month, and my night vision is BETTER than before. Just shows how bad my eyes were.

Funny story: they give you a valium to keep you calm, since they're cutting the front off your eyeball and shooting a frikking laser beam into it. Three of us were in the waiting room, and they gave all three of us the Valium at the same time. And then she looks at me and says "let's go" while the pill was still sliding down my esophagus. And I went in and did the surgery, absolutely petrified. They were so fast that they got the whole thing done before the Valium even kicked in. So it actually went into effect after I got out of surgery. My wife came in and I slurred "They gave me Valium... but I don't feel a thing!" as I just about fell out of the chair.

Eh, you had to be there.

Gyron
11-07-2007, 12:27 AM
The actual surgery....no kidding....90 seconds per eye.

Its over so quick you don't even realize they are done.

Hicks
11-07-2007, 12:35 AM
Wait, they cut you AND use a laser? I thought it was all with the laser? Do they start with a blade?

brich
11-07-2007, 12:48 AM
Wait, they cut you AND use a laser? I thought it was all with the laser? Do they start with a blade?

I didn't have it done...but my wife did. I was actually able to watch it...not hovering over teh doctor's shoulder...but they had it up on the monitor. They basically do cut a sliver off the top of the eye...they don't cut it all the way off...just enough so they can peel it back. Then it looks like "Windows" on the computer monitor. They select your name and your eye...and then before you know it...rat a tat tat...and the lasers do their thing...next they smooth the "flap" from earlier back older, and then it is off to the next eye.

Gyron
11-07-2007, 09:38 AM
There's two ways of cutting the flap. With a blade, or with a laser.

Here's what my doctor told me.

The cutting with the laser over the blade is advertised as better at preventing infection, and supposedly a cleaner cut. However, he said in the studies, the reduction in chance for infection was less than 1/10th of 1%. In addition, he said the cut from the laser over the blade heals no differently one over the other. And if you go to a clinic that is "blade free", you are typically going to pay probably double the price per eye.

Here's something else most of those clinics will not tell you.

And I'll tell you this before I explain, my doctor makes his living off of all kinds of eye surgery, so cataracts, trauma, etc. So he isn't dependant on solely doing lasik like a mass production factory for the money.

Essentially everytime they turn the laser on the machine, they pay a liscensing fee. The fee is no different for any prescription, no matter how bad. So he charges the same price per eye no matter what your prescription. I paid $800 per eye, but I think he's at $900 and eye now.
Most lasik clinics are going to charge you by your prescription, so the worse your prescription, the higher the charge. My docotr explained to me that its essentially a scam to make more more money by charging by the prescription. So thats something to ask when you go to the clinics. Do they charge you a flat fee per eye or do they charge by the prescription. I think you will find out most of the clinics that charge by the prescription are the mass surgery, churn'em out as quickly as possible to make more money.

I went to one like that in Charlotte before I found the place I ended up getting the surgery done at. No kidding at the mass lasik place, I saw 11 people, including a "finance and payment specialist" before the doctor ever saw me. And the doctor was literally in the room with me less than 2 minutes. There was no way in hell I was having the eye surgery with him. To be honest, I had such a bad experience in that place, if I hadn't found Dr. Grayson in Charlotte, I probably wound;t have had the surgery done. My wife talked me into giving another doctor a shot at a free evaluation and see what he had to say. I'm glad I did, Dr. Grayson was completely up front with me, and answered all of my questions himself, and spent a good 20 minutes in the room with me talking about the surgery. And he only left when I felt like I had all of my questions answered.

I have referred 6 other people to Dr. Grayson since then and they all had the surgery with him and all had great experiences. If you can find a doctor that isn't solely dependant on lasik, you will probably find a better eye surgeon for the lasik. Someone that isn't just burning and chruning them out.

Los Angeles
11-07-2007, 11:48 AM
In the old thread I talked about my sister, who was borderline legally blind before this procedure. She still says it was the single greatest thing to ever happen to her. She still cries at sunsets because she can see them.

Fear over something touching your eyeball is natural, but in the big picture is kind of silly.

The money you will save on eye care over 5-10 years is far greater than the cost of the procedure.

There's no reason not to get it done beyond not having the money for it, or being told that it won't help your vision.

bellisimo
11-07-2007, 02:16 PM
In the old thread I talked about my sister, who was borderline legally blind before this procedure. She still says it was the single greatest thing to ever happen to her. She still cries at sunsets because she can see them.

Fear over something touching your eyeball is natural, but in the big picture is kind of silly.

The money you will save on eye care over 5-10 years is far greater than the cost of the procedure.

There's no reason not to get it done beyond not having the money for it, or being told that it won't help your vision.

Not to be debbie downer or anything....

it all depends on who makes the operation...I'd rather not be one that ends up with the following:


Scientists at Ohio State University analysed data from 605 patients who had the surgery six months earlier. One out of three reported vision problems including seeing halos, starbursts and glare surrounding lights problems that can affect a person's night vision.
http://www.lasikmemorial.com/CBCNightVision.htm





Some patients lose vision. Some patients lose lines of vision on the vision chart that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery as a result of treatment.
Some patients develop debilitating visual symptoms. Some patients develop glare, halos, and/or double vision that can seriously affect nighttime vision. Even with good vision on the vision chart, some patients do not see as well in situations of low contrast, such as at night or in fog, after treatment as compared to before treatment.
You may be under treated or over treated. Only a certain percent of patients achieve 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts. You may require additional treatment, but additional treatment may not be possible. You may still need glasses or contact lenses after surgery. This may be true even if you only required a very weak prescription before surgery. If you used reading glasses before surgery, you may still need reading glasses after surgery.
Some patients may develop severe dry eye syndrome. As a result of surgery, your eye may not be able to produce enough tears to keep the eye moist and comfortable. Dry eye not only causes discomfort, but can reduce visual quality due to intermittent blurring and other visual symptoms. This condition may be permanent. Intensive drop therapy and use of plugs or other procedures may be required.
Results are generally not as good in patients with very large refractive errors of any type. You should discuss your expectations with your doctor and realize that you may still require glasses or contacts after the surgery.
For some farsighted patients, results may diminish with age. If you are farsighted, the level of improved vision you experience after surgery may decrease with age. This can occur if your manifest refraction (a vision exam with lenses before dilating drops) is very different from your cycloplegic refraction (a vision exam with lenses after dilating drops).
Long-term data are not available. LASIK is a relatively new technology. The first laser was approved for LASIK eye surgery in 1998. Therefore, the long-term safety and effectiveness of LASIK surgery is not known.

http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/lasik/risks.htm



More stories about LASIK gone wrong below...

http://www.lasikmemorial.com/Home.htm

Gyron
11-07-2007, 02:51 PM
As with any surgery, check with your healthcare professional and discuss your situation with them before making any decisions regarding your treatment.

How's that sound Bellisimo?

And for the lasik side effects, they make the above sound really scary, but you'll notice they don't show any actual statistics. As with any surgery, there are possible side effects, and surgerys gone awry, but you have to judge the risk for yourself. I'm willing to bet, the statistics show those with the things above represent an extremely small % of the total population that have had the surgery so far.

But you are right, it is a relatively new surgery. And they do not know the long term side effects.

I do know that at least 15 people I know have had it and none of us have had the side effects listed above. I can only give my own experiences.

I'm also willing to bet that a majority of those with the side effects are people who went to the "mass surgery" clinics I described above as well.

bellisimo
11-07-2007, 04:06 PM
As with any surgery, check with your healthcare professional and discuss your situation with them before making any decisions regarding your treatment.

How's that sound Bellisimo?

And for the lasik side effects, they make the above sound really scary, but you'll notice they don't show any actual statistics. As with any surgery, there are possible side effects, and surgerys gone awry, but you have to judge the risk for yourself. I'm willing to bet, the statistics show those with the things above represent an extremely small % of the total population that have had the surgery so far.

But you are right, it is a relatively new surgery. And they do not know the long term side effects.

I do know that at least 15 people I know have had it and none of us have had the side effects listed above. I can only give my own experiences.

I'm also willing to bet that a majority of those with the side effects are people who went to the "mass surgery" clinics I described above as well.

yup - thats what I was referring to - just be careful as to who does the job. There are so many people malpracticin' out there for a quick buck...I'd hate for anyone to lose their sights over it....

ABADays
11-07-2007, 05:34 PM
Very, very good information.

rexnom
11-11-2007, 12:08 AM
I don't have contacts and I stepped on my glasses yesterday - it's been a terrible pair of days and this thread is sounding more and more appealing.

Anthem
11-11-2007, 01:14 AM
Scientists at Ohio State University analysed data from 605 patients who had the surgery six months earlier. One out of three reported vision problems including seeing halos, starbursts and glare surrounding lights — problems that can affect a person's night vision.
Like I said, I have all of those now that I've had Lasik. But I had all of them BEFORE I got Lasik, as well, and they were worse then. So Lasik has been an improvement.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Gyron
11-11-2007, 10:35 AM
It would be interesting if they asked the people after a year.

Anthem
11-11-2007, 07:29 PM
It would be interesting if they asked the people after a year.
Agreed. My vision was better at a year than at 4-6 months.

Gyron
11-11-2007, 10:42 PM
Yep, for the first year, your eyes continue to heal and get better every month.

Spicoli
11-12-2007, 09:25 AM
Thanks for the help guys. It looks like I'm going forward with it, my procedure is scheduled for January. The place I am going to claims that their technique leads to better night vision and no halos/starbursts (after a few months). We shall see.....

Gyron
11-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Good Luck. I don't thin you'll be disappointed. Let us know how it works out for you.

FireTheCoach
11-22-2007, 09:26 AM
I had it about 5 months ago and it went very well. I had 20/20 the very next morning.

No halos, or double vision, or oversensetivity to light.... I could only barely see at night before the surgery but my night vision is very good now. One thing that I will complain about though is that my eyes feel dry more often now than before the surgery although it's not really a big issue or anything, but I do usually carry eyedrops with me nowadays and use them probably once a day around midday.

Spicoli
01-10-2008, 02:44 PM
Well hopefully at this time time tomorrow I still have some sort of vision. :)

bellisimo
01-10-2008, 03:40 PM
Well hopefully at this time time tomorrow I still have some sort of vision. :)

going with it? best of luck - tell us your experience :)

Gyron
01-10-2008, 05:09 PM
Good Luck Spicoli. I hope it all goes well for you.

Let us know what your experience was like.

Spicoli
01-12-2008, 10:54 AM
Well that was fun. I had the procedure at about 11:30 yesterday morning. They gave me a nametag (interesting), some valium (good times!), some post-op instructions, and some eye drops and goggles. Then they stuck me in a dark room for about 20 minutes where I had the option of listening to John Mayer to relax. I declined because of the weirdness.

After that, they shuffled me into the laser room laid me back on some swivel chair and gave some weird anxiety pillow to grip or something. Then they cut open the flaps using intralase, couldn't feel a thing. But it was definitely odd when they pulled off the flap and everything went to blur-ville. Then they swiveled me to the other laser, made me look at a pretty, orange flashing light. Lots of weird noises were made (not by me). Then they sealed up the flap and I could actually smell the burn the laser put on the eye. Then, the process was repeated for the other eye, and that was it. Total time, maybe 10 minutes. (and $4000, woo!!!). I could tell the procedure worked because I could read far away stuff I never could before, but it was a bit like looking through wax paper until I went to sleep.

After the numbing drops started to wear off (about 30 minutes), I did have a bit of discomfort keeping my eyes open (stinging, irritated). Not bad at all, but annoying. I put my supply-kit goggles on and promptly fell asleep for about 6 hours. Got up and ate a bit of leftover, diarrhea-inducing japanese food, then fell asleep for another 3 or 4 hours until the diarrhea food was released via exploding colon. (bad decision). I took another valium and basically drifted in and out of sleep till about 6:30 this morning.

I got up and started the post-op eye drops and went for my follow-up appointment at 8:15. I was out of there by 8:30. Already have 20-15 vision in my right eye, and better than 20-20 in the left. Couldn't quite get the 20-15 line yet with the left though. I'm sure that will happen next week. The doc said it looked like my eyes had been healing for a month already, but I think he was just BS'ing me to make me feel good for spending a butt load of money. Either that or because sleeping for 18/21 hours really really helped.

Anyway, it's less than 24 hours since I had it done and I can already see better than I could since I was probably 6 years old (or better). So, yes, this was money well spent...

Anthem
01-12-2008, 12:15 PM
Extropianism FTW!

Be careful, Spicoli. Don't overdo it for a while... wear good sunglasses, use those eyedrops religiously (#1 cause of complications is dry eyes... your eyes literally can't be too wet this week), don't watch a ton of TV, etc.

But yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Spicoli
01-12-2008, 12:43 PM
Thanks for the advice Anthem. I did buy a butt-load of those artificial tears to keep things moist. Trying not to do too much reading, watching TV, etc.

Oh, and I won't lie, I had to look up "extropianism". :)

Anthem
01-12-2008, 12:55 PM
Thanks for the advice Anthem. I did buy a butt-load of those artificial tears to keep things moist. Trying not to do too much reading, watching TV, etc.
Best thing for a new Lasik case: audiobooks. Lock yourself in a dark room and listen to audiobooks until you go crazy.

Hicks
01-12-2008, 01:09 PM
Best thing for a new Lasik case: audiobooks. Lock yourself in a dark room and listen to audiobooks until you go crazy.

Now that's some good advice right there. Not being able to watch TV or be on the PC for a while will kill me because I do those so often. BUT I do have an iPod I could load up with some audio books.

I'm no where near ready for this (unless we start a PD collection for $4000), but I plan to do this some day if the docs tell me my eyes can handle it (I do have some dry eye issues, though not too bad).

Spicoli
01-12-2008, 01:51 PM
Now that's some good advice right there. Not being able to watch TV or be on the PC for a while will kill me because I do those so often. BUT I do have an iPod I could load up with some audio books.

I'm no where near ready for this (unless we start a PD collection for $4000), but I plan to do this some day if the docs tell me my eyes can handle it (I do have some dry eye issues, though not too bad).

Mal, are you full-time teaching yet? If so, you'll want to check to see if you have some sort of health-care spending or flexible spending account. My plan allows me to spend up to $2000 per year on a tax free basis (on health care crap including lasik), and the funds are available at the first of the year, even though it will be taken out of my pay pro-rata for the entire year.

Also, if you really want to work that system, you could basically spread the cost over 2 years, because your funds stay in the account until the 2nd or 3rd month after the year is over. So, theoretically, you could start the account now, have your payroll deductions taken out for this year tax-free, and then get your surgery scheduled for January 2009, when both years of your HSA ($4000) would be available. So, it's kind of like 0% financing, only better because you don't pay taxes on that amount either...

Hicks
01-12-2008, 02:06 PM
I'm not full-time yet, though hopefully starting this August I will be.

Lord Helmet
01-12-2008, 04:11 PM
My Mom had it done and I don't remember her having to rest her eyes that long.

She slept for the recommended 3-4 hours I think it was, then just was careful not to strain them for a the next few days/week.

Spicoli
01-12-2008, 05:08 PM
My Mom had it done and I don't remember her having to rest her eyes that long.

She slept for the recommended 3-4 hours I think it was, then just was careful not to strain them for a the next few days/week.

My instructions were to have my eyes open as little as possible for the first 24 hours; then, as Anthem said, not to overdo it for the next 4 or 5 days. Although a little TV, etc. is ok.

Lord Helmet
01-12-2008, 05:24 PM
My instructions were to have my eyes open as little as possible for the first 24 hours; then, as Anthem said, not to overdo it for the next 4 or 5 days. Although a little TV, etc. is ok.
It has been awhile, but I'm pretty sure her instructions were 3-5 or so hours of rest, with eyes shut, then don't strain them, but I could be wrong.

Get the iPod ready, I guess. :)

Anthem
01-12-2008, 11:20 PM
It has been awhile, but I'm pretty sure her instructions were 3-5 or so hours of rest, with eyes shut, then don't strain them, but I could be wrong.

Get the iPod ready, I guess. :)
Could be different procedures. But I had mine done on Friday, and left work Monday at 3 feeling like I was going to throw up from the nausea. But then I worked in what was about the most eye-intensive job there is, so I wasn't exactly a normal case.

Also, I got mine done when I lived in Vegas, so dryness and bright lights were kind of on a different level than in the midwest.

Twes
02-13-2008, 02:54 PM
I'm considering getting Lasik surgery as my eyes are starting to reject contacts and I despise wearing glasses.

Anyone here had Lasik? And, if so, was it a good experience. Any recommendations for doctors in Indy?

I had it in January 2007. I spend a lot of time outdoors in the wind and contacts just weren't working for me any more.

I have 20/20 since the lasik in both eye's but the left isn't as good as the right. My right eye is absolutely perfect.
</O:p
I had the halo/starburst deal for a few weeks and it went away.

My wife also had the lasik and the halo never went away.

I think we'd both do it all over again though as it's fantastic not needing glasses or contacts.

Spicoli
02-13-2008, 07:48 PM
What the Fuhhh-helll????

Twes? Holy crap how many drifters have gone missing the past year? Lots and lots of stew . . . . . .

Yeah, lasik was awesome. I never had the halos except around stoplights, but they were actually kind of cool. :D

Still use a few drops every now and again, but then again, I just dropped a deuce no more than 20 minutes ago. Some things never change.

Long live the tree people.

Twes
02-13-2008, 09:33 PM
What the Fuhhh-helll????

Twes? Holy crap how many drifters have gone missing the past year? Lots and lots of stew . . . . . .

Yeah, lasik was awesome. I never had the halos except around stoplights, but they were actually kind of cool. :D

Still use a few drops every now and again, but then again, I just dropped a deuce no more than 20 minutes ago. Some things never change.

Long live the tree people.

Heyyyyyyyyyy buddy. My favorite part of the lasik deal was the solid red eyes at work Monday.

I wish that wouldn't have gone away.

I kind of stopped counting [drifters]<DRIFTERS>.

I hope all is well with you sir.