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Necromancer

Anyone Here Know Anyone or Have Had Lasik Eye Surgery?

Do you require glasses and/or contacts?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Well?

    • Yes
      15
    • No
      6


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This thread could be monumental in the metamorphisis of my life. If I could trade everything I have for 20/20 vision I would instantly without hesitation. I cannot fathom the possibility of awakening one day and being able to have vision that is flawless.

Please post your experience with eye surgery of any kind. Thank you for your cooperation and have a nice day.

-Necromancer

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I did not personally have this done, my dad did. I would never, too scared something could possibly go wrong. My dad was very happy with it, had to go back once for a correction, but this was more due to my dad being "probably the worst patient we've ever seen." The recovery was a bit difficult for him as he does not like to sit still (part of the reason the surgery was rough too). But overall, he would do it again. Just a note, his vision is still not perfect. He wears reading glasses for the paper, books, ect...As you age, nothing will prevent that.

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This thread could be monumental in the metamorphisis of my life. If I could trade everything I have for 20/20 vision I would instantly without hesitation. I cannot fathom the possibility of awakening one day and being able to have vision that is flawless.

Please post your experience with eye surgery of any kind. Thank you for your cooperation and have a nice day.

-Necromancer

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I had Lasik surgery on both eyes about 7 years ago. Absolutely one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

It was quick and easy, as I only needed a slight correction. The only really uncomfortable part was having my eyelids held open by that clamp they use .... but that was only for a minute or so on each side.

I got out of surgery in the late afternoon and had to wear these very heavy dark glasses going home, and then have my eyes covered for the rest of the day and that night.

When I got up the next morning, the world was in crystal clear focus. :)

So I'm definitely a success story and I think most people are. But there's a very unpleasant possible side effect, and this actually happened to my best friend: a case of permanent dry eyes. She had the surgery done at the same time I did, and this problem is still with her. Also, I recently read an article about someone who ended up not only with the dry eyes, but with additional vision problems. I think this appeared in the NY Times .... though it might have been the WSJ Personal Journal section .... anyway, I'll see if I can come up with a link later today.

I had my surgery done at UC Berkeley, btw, and I was enormously impressed with the people there.

UPDATE: I had forgotten, but glancing at that article reminded me ..... I did have the night vision problems for awhile after surgery. Haloing around lights, mainly. This is kind of scary when you are driving at night.

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LASIK SURGERY: WHEN THE FINE PRINT APPLIES TO YOU

By ABBY ELLIN

Published: March 13, 2008

The New York Times

I was vain.

That’s the only way I can explain why I willingly let a doctor cut my corneas with a laser: vanity.

Little did I know when I chose Lasik surgery that I would not end up satisfied like the friends and acquaintances who raved about their post-glasses existence. Instead, my days are complicated, since I am dealing with side effects that are far more bothersome than being unfashionably four-eyed.

I had been wearing eyeglasses since I was 8, and I was tired of never seeing the stars without glare, of not being able to go rock-climbing unless I secured my glasses. Not to mention the horn-rimmed barrier between me and a date.

I had trouble figuring out which side of a contact lens to stick onto my eye, so I never really gave contacts a chance.

I had been considering Lasik — short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, which entails cutting and reshaping the cornea — since the Food and Drug Administration approved it in the late ’90s. Because I was not too nearsighted and not too old, ophthalmologists told me I was an excellent candidate. But I wanted to wait until more people had gone under the laser.

Roughly 800,000 patients have had Lasik annually since 2000, spending about $2.5 billion on the procedure every year, said David Harmon, the president of Market Scope, a research company for the ophthalmic industry in Manchester, Mo.

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery reports a 95.4-percent patient satisfaction rate for Lasik, based on a recent analysis of research worldwide. The researchers found 19 studies specifically addressing patient satisfaction from the last decade, encompassing roughly 2,022 patients. (Some had been post-op for a month; others for a decade).

Most ophthalmologists are confident about the efficacy of Lasik, as well as another popular procedure — photorefractive keratectomy, or P.R.K. Both are designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

“It’s very few people who don’t have a superb outcome, especially with the new technology,†said Dr. Marguerite McDonald, the president of the International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

About five of my friends had undergone the surgery. “Life-changing,†they cooed. “Miraculous!†Because my 40th birthday was looming, my parents offered me either a cello or Lasik. I chose Lasik. But first, I looked up studies online and consulted three doctors. Each did a spate of tests and pronounced me an excellent candidate.

I asked about the risks, and they explained that some people come away with dry eye, double vision, decreased contrast sensitivity and decreased night vision. Some see halos around lights. I was assured these side effects were rare, and usually fleeting.

Ultimately, I chose Dr. Sandra Belmont, the founding director of the Laser Vision Correction Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Belmont also runs a corneal fellowship program at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.

A doctor who was a patient of hers recommended her. She charges between $4,500 and $5,500; I paid $4,500, nearly $1,000 less than other quotes I had received, a consideration since my insurance, like most, does not cover elective surgery.

I signed a consent form confirming that I understood the risks. I thought I did understand them. I did not know then that 5 to 10 percent of patients need to have their vision fine-tuned — or in industry parlance, “enhanced†— after surgery because of an under- or over-correction, according to John Ciccone, a spokesman for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

Nor had I spoken to any individuals who wished they had never had the procedure — of which, I have since learned, there are plenty.

On April 13, 2007, I had the surgery. Dr. Belmont’s colleague examined me the next day. My vision was a little blurry, but apparently that was normal. Dr. Belmont said that everything looked good on subsequent visits, too. But the blurriness never went away.

At night, I saw halos around streetlights; neon signs bled; the moon had two rings around it like Saturn. My eyes felt sore, a result of dry eye, which also causes sporadic blurriness.

Dr. Belmont told me that sometimes women of a certain age who are undergoing hormonal changes or who take certain medications get dry eye. It would have been nice if I’d known my advanced age (39) might be problematic before I sat in the chair.

I cut out all prescription and nonprescription pills. Didn’t help. The doctor told me to use Refresh Plus, over-the-counter drops that temporarily help dry eye. The drops cost around $12 a box; I go through two boxes a week. She also prescribed Restasis eye drops, which can help increase tear production. They didn’t for me.

True, I no longer wear glasses. But the 20/20 line on the eye chart is blurry. I can make it out only if I squint, and it takes about a minute to read. My doctor views this as proof of the surgery’s success.

“I do see it as a success,†Dr. Belmont told me in a recent interview. She also has said repeatedly that these troubles will pass. “In 18 years of practice, I’ve never had a patient whose symptoms don’t go away. Most patients take three to six months to heal.â€

But I see my slow-squint reading as a sign of failure. I thought I’d be able to decipher words in the real world at a glance. My consent form said: “The patient understands that the benefit of the Lasik/P.R.K. procedure is to have an improved uncorrected visual acuity.†I took that to mean that my eyesight would be 20/20. Most doctors, on the other hand, focus on the words “improved uncorrected visual acuity.â€

“Not every patient has the potential to see 20/20,†Dr. Belmont told me this month. So, if your eye can see 20/20 with glasses or contacts, the doctors try to replicate that, but there are no guarantees. Dr. Belmont said, “You do the best that you can.â€

On its Web site (www.fda.gov/cdrh/lasik/risks.htm), the F.D.A. cautions patients to “Be wary of eye centers that advertise ‘20/20 vision or your money back’ or ‘package deals.’ †(Still, some refractive eye surgeons’ phone numbers end in 2020.)

Nearly a year later, my problems remain. Still, I’m not mad at my doctor. I’m mad at myself. No one forced me to do it. In our quick-fix culture, we forget that there are risks with any surgery, elective or not.

Between 1998 and 2006 the F.D.A. received 140 negative reports relating to Lasik, including double vision, dry eye and halos, said Mary Long, a spokeswoman. Granted, this is not that many, but Ms. Long said, “If this many people are responding to an adverse event, there are probably others who are not.â€

After concluding that too few well-designed studies have examined quality of life after Lasik, the F.D.A. put together a task force in 2006 to design a clinical trial to explore the subject. A pilot study is now under way at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Md.

LOOKING back, I do not think my doctor and the other experts I consulted adequately represented the pitfalls. It’s one thing to say that dry eye is “annoying,†as Dr. Belmont did; it’s another to explain how feeling as if your eyes are coated in Vaseline may make every waking moment a chore.

Perhaps it depends on what your definition of success is.

“People say, ‘Well, you don’t wear glasses anymore,’ †said Barbara Berney, 53, of Rockford, Ill., who had the surgery in 2001 and now reports dry eye, night blindness, dimmed vision, halos and starbursts. “Unless you see what I see, you have no frame of reference.â€

Unhappy Lasik patients, some with worse experiences than mine (one man I spoke to needed a corneal transplant), have created about a dozen Web sites. The 12 patients I talked with all reported feeling as I did, gaslighted. They said they kept telling their doctors that they couldn’t see, and that their doctors kept telling them that they could.

A few doctors have told me that they think they can help my dry eye, but I worry they will suggest more surgery, and I haven’t gone to see them. A few optometrists said they could fit me with special lenses to moisten my eyes, and I may have to go that route.

Meanwhile, I walk by eyeglass shops and wish I needed to go inside.

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That is awesome that it worked for you. What was your vision before? Also do they have something to hold your head and eyes still while it is happening?

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I only needed a slight correction for my nearsightedness. I think I had lenses of +1.25 in one eye, +1.50 in the other? Something like that .... it's hard to remember now. I needed them for driving (to read road signs) and for movies, plays, etc. Other than that, I could get by without them.

And yes, they have devices that hold your head perfectly still and the eye they are working on very wide open.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. Despite that article I posted, I really believe that the risks are quite low. Just make sure that you've got a top-notch surgeon.

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I only needed a slight correction for my nearsightedness. I think I had lenses of +1.25 in one eye, +1.50 in the other? Something like that .... it's hard to remember now. I needed them for driving (to read road signs) and for movies, plays, etc. Other than that, I could get by without them.

And yes, they have devices that hold your head perfectly still and the eye they are working on very wide open.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. Despite that article I posted, I really believe that the risks are quite low. Just make sure that you've got a top-notch surgeon.

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I hope it goes well.

Is it a LASIK-specific consultation, or are you looking into other types of eye surgery as well?

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my mom had a cataract removed, and she turned out fine. i think that even just removing her cataract ALMOST made her vision good enough to stop wearing glasses. now she just has a less strong prescription.

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Almost my whole family has gotten the surgery. My dad got it and they had to cut something so for him, it was hard to see for about a week but he wears no glasses at all except reading glasses.

My mom got it and she could see fine after 2 days and had very bad sight. For her it was just a 5 minute laser and she was 20/20.

I don't know if the severity or how bad your eyes are area a factor in how well it comes out but my mom had hers in the high 7's and she came out fine.

Another thing, if it's possible, it's A LOT cheaper to get them done in another country. I don't know here right now in the US, but when my parents got their's done, it was about $6000 total here. But we went on vacation to visit family, and my uncle is a surgeon there, and he recommended to take it there, and total it came out to like $1000. But I understand some people have the attitude that US practice is a lot better. I can understand that. But when my dad came here, his doctor said that the eye surgery went extremely well and whoever did it was a good doctor. So if you're visiting family in another country, look up doctor's there as it's going to be a lot cheaper.

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I know a bunch of people who have had the surgery done. Some things I've heard from them about it is it's pretty creepy (smelling your own burning flesh and all that) and for about a week or so their vision will be a little blurry as their eyes heal, then it's all good.

I've also heard of another surgery where they slip a lense into your eyes. Nice thing is they can be removed, but omg ew. That's even creepier. I don't know anyone who's had it and I don't know which costs more.

If I could afford it, I would probably get it, despite my squeemishness. My vision is 20/700 in one eye and 20/750-800 in the other. It sucks. Contacts are ridiculously uncomfortable (nothing seems to keep them from getting dry, even the uber hydrated stuff) and I have to be able to do things without glasses on.

So far I haven't personally met anyone who has had a bad experience. I've only heard the horror stories (there are horror stories for pretty much everything anyway).

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I was actually considering the surgery too...my eyes are pretty bad (-6.75 in contacts for both eyes) I dunno if I'd actually go through with it...but here's a site that's just about Lasik: Lasik Q & A Hope this helps ;)

~Jenn~

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I've often thought of it. My eyes are -4.50 and -4.20 both with Astigmatism. Something to think about in the future.

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I has lasik about 3 weeks ago and I love it. However the improvement may be gradual, could take a couple of months even. And you gotta put eyedrops and keep em moist. But in about week or less you should be fully functioning no problem and even driving. Might have a hard time reading signs :redface: Otherwise, it's great, Good luck.

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if they mess up, im not too sure you can go back, i saw a special on the news about this some peoples eyes are fucked, while many others are a ok.

give me contacts and im happy.

lifes short anyway, id rather be 100% sure my eyes are safe all my life.

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Am I right in saying it's not as successful in patients with long-sightedness?

Also, do the effects reverse with the ageing process? (ie 40s+ when people start to need glasses)

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if they mess up, im not too sure you can go back, i saw a special on the news about this some peoples eyes are fucked, while many others are a ok.

give me contacts and im happy.

lifes short anyway, id rather be 100% sure my eyes are safe all my life.

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Am I right in saying it's not as successful in patients with long-sightedness?

Also, do the effects reverse with the ageing process? (ie 40s+ when people start to need glasses)

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i got pretty bad eyes, dunno the values my eyes are but i got astigmatism in one eye and i currently wear contacts, FKING LOVE CONTACTS.

i may get this done at some point in the future but it would be like 10 years or more from now, the great thing is as time goes on they refine their methods and it gets a lot cheaper and safer.

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