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Lasik eye surgery anyone?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Ozzisk8tr, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Just wondering if anyone has had, or knows anyone who has had Lasik eye surgery. I'm considering getting it done early next year. I've done a fair amount of research and like all things there are pros and cons. There are some great stories out there on the web of success and some scary horror stories too. I figured there are enough people on here with great opinions and advice I'd put it out there and see what peoples experiences have been.
  2. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    I haven't had it done personally, but my two best friends say it's the best thing they've ever done.
  3. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada

    i know someone whose lasik surgery went wrong and it had to be corrected and redone. all together there were i think 4 procedures. and she still recommends it to others.
  4. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I had Lasik about 10+ years ago. I'm sure the procedure has been much improved since then.

    I can still see pretty well but I notice that my vision has diminished since then (your eye balls will still change their shapes as you age). I don't like driving at night, especially in bad weather, because the starburst effect when looking at car and street lights can be annoying. It's difficult for me to see really clearly when sitting in a movie theatre. I also suffer from dry eyes, but I can't determine if it's from the lasik or not.

    I still would recommend it though. The alternative for me was to wear thick coke-bottom glasses or contacts, which my eyes could not tolerate at all.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  5. alexikeguchi

    alexikeguchi Well-Known Member

    My husband and I both had Lasik over 10 years ago and are success stories. As highly active people who enjoy travel and adventure sports, we found glasses/contacts and associated paraphernalia to be extremely cumbersome and are 100% satisfied with the long term results. The only slight down side, which I was informed of at the time but have only begun to notice within the last year, is that the normal far-sightedness that comes with age hits you a few years sooner. I accepted this risk because I would much rather wear glasses when I am sitting still and reading than deal with a prescription scuba mask and ski goggles.

    As with any medical procedure, make sure you do plenty of research beforehand and find an experienced practitioner. I think many of the horror stories are from people who went for the least expensive alternative and ended up with someone who had taken a weekend course and was not a proper specialist. I don't know if you have that same problem in Australia, but just make sure to ask if the provider has the appropriate certification.
  6. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies so far. Pretty amazing that someone who had problems still talks highly of the operation. My concern is the starbursts and halo's around lights. Apparently it goes after a couple of months but there seem to be a lot of people out there that it never goes away for. Still, I hate wearing glasses and would feel much better without them. They often go flying across the rink when I demonstrate things (not jumps anymore, too wise). Well I can go without them but I often end up having conversations with a)the wrong people, b) my reflection or c) wall art.
  7. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    I had definately decided to get the surgery done early in 2011, but that was before I forked out over $3,000 for car repairs this past Fall - ugh!! :(
  8. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    I did the lasik surgery last January. Best present I ever gave to myself. I especially love waking up in the am and not having to fumble for glasses! I really think the overall risk is pretty low, particularly if you go with a well respected doctor. Get recommendations and ask the doc lots of questions, do your research. And max out your FSA plan so you can do as much of it on a before tax basis as possible.
  9. Erica Lee

    Erica Lee New Member

    I decided to have it done, had all the pre-op appointments completed, showed up on the day of my surgery, paid, and then when it came time to actually "go under the knife", the surgeon had one last look at my eyes with the split lamp and noticed an abnormality that wasn't picked up in all the pre-op sessions. He was willing to do my right eye but not my left. I wasn't comfortable with that (what's the point?? I'd still have to wear glasses for my left eye), so I walked away.

    I came back a few days later to see another specialist for a second opinion, and he referred my case to the "higher up" doctors... straight to the guy that started this particular chain of lasik centres. At this point I was starting to question their motives - they were obviously for-profit and it was in their best interests to tell me the surgery would be safe and fine, even with a very rare condition. I studied medical journals and found that the largest study done involved a sample size of 4 eyes... hardly conclusive, IMO. So I freaked out a little, and backed out of the whole thing.

    I went back to my normal optometrist and got new glasses, and he referred me to (in his opinion) the top ophthalmologist in the country. I went to see him, he confirmed the diagnosis I was given at the lasik centre, and I asked his (neutral) opinion about whether or not lasik was possible with my condition. His opinion is that I can get it.

    My schedule has been busy, the money I had saved up is long gone, so I have yet to consider going back... but someday...
  10. Really

    Really I need a new title

    Has anyone had it done once their eyes have already started the presbyopia thing? I can't get contacts to work for me no matter what, and I'm starting to think lasik might be the way to go.
  11. Lizziebeth

    Lizziebeth the real Lizziebeth

    If you have both eyes corrected to 20/20 you will still need reading glasses for presbyopia :(

    I had lasik about 10 years ago. I actually have one eye corrected for 20/20 and one eye corrected to something less than that (monovision). It works quite well for gardening, swimming, sitting on the couch watching TV, etc. Over the years, I have started to use reading glasses for tiny print, or in the evening when I am tired or the light is not so good. Found out that this problem is due to me starting to get a cataract in my reading eye.

    Lasik is not perfect, but it beats being totally nearsighted. You could talk to the doctor about monovision. My sister also had monovision and really likes it and only wears glasses to drive at night. Good luck.
  12. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

    I had it done about 8 years ago, and I agree it was the best thing I ever did. (I was considered a good candidate, and plus my insurance with my employer at the time covered 60% of the procedure, which was highly unusual even at that time).

    I could see the minute after the surgery, though my vision was a bit blurry. The next day I opened my eyes, and I had never seen so clearly and detailed in my life before! Suddenly I was seeing individual leaves in the trees, individual blades of grass, I wanted to clean my house because I was noticing all the dust in detail that I was totally oblivious to before. The doctor measured my vision at 20-15, and it's been that ever since I have not ever had a single issue. It's so good not to have glasses that constantly slip, (my skin is also allergic to the metal frames, and my eyes too dry to wear contacts well), and wake up every morning with perfect vision.

    I would say the morning of the surgery I had a scare. The lasik machine was not operating properly, my surgery was delayed 2 hours, and I was the second person to go under the laser after it had just been delcared repaired. :yikes: But the surgery itself was quick and painless. It was a bit disarming to be fully awake while your eyes are being operated on, plus to smell the burning skin of your retina as the laser works on it (I say this not to scare you, just to perpare you, it really is a great thing to have done).
  13. pilgrimsoul

    pilgrimsoul Active Member

    Are people with an astigmatism good candidates for LASIK? Thanks for sharing your experiences.
  14. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I had lasik in 1998 and echo the comments from people who say it's the best thing they've ever done. I had very bad astigmatism and terrible eyesight (20/200), and was 20/20 the day after the surgery.

    I'm now having some blurriness, but that may be due to side-effects from some medication i take. However, my vision is still far superior to what it was.
  15. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Replaced the display under my name

    I find these responses interesting. My ophthalmologist still tells me there is not enough long term data and that if a family member were to ask him he would not recommend it in general. I have slight astigmatism and am severely myopic, (natural focus about 1 inch from my eyeball), and have always been told I am a very poor candidate for the procedure and would likely always need corrective lenses regardless. so I figure, what is the point of fooling around with irreversible surgery with unknown long-term results? I have very dry eyes and have not been successful at wearing contacts for much of anything but outdoor, non-driving activities.
  16. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I couldn't wear contacts either. Where do you live? If you can, you might want to make inquiries of doctors who have done large numbers of LASIK procedures and other treatments for the severely myopic. I thought LASIK was so widely accepted that I am surprised that an ophthalmologist would question it. But I do agree that it may be odd to have the procedure done if you still need glasses.

    I had my surgery done at a clinic whose doctors were among the pioneers of LASIK and tested a number of other experimental treatments. The doctor who did my surgery was also running tests on an implantable contact lens for people whose eyesight would not be corrected through LASIK. (The implants were later approved by the FDA.) You might want to do research, see if you can locate some of those doctors, and see what they tell you about your possibilities.
  17. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I am not a candidate either due to a retinal condition. And my retinal specialist (one of the top ones in the country) says the same things about Lasik. A lot of long term questions about it have simply not been answered.

    I can wear contacts. I may, at some point in the ever nearing future, need to wear reading glasses over them. It doesn't bother me. The Lasik industry (and it is a multi-million dollar elective surgery industry) has done a great job of convincing people that their glasses and/or contacts are the most inconvenient thing in the history of the universe. The reality is that if you keep your glasses in the same place every night when you go to bed, it is not that difficult to pick them up in the morning. And if you have worn contacts for 25 years like I have and you have the right lenses for fit and correction (a lot of people seem not to), that's not a giant inconvenience either. It takes me about ten seconds to put them in in the morning. Twenty seconds to take them out in the evening (putting the solution in the case takes longer than dumping it out).
  18. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    20/200 is approximately a prescription of -2.5 to -3.0 diopters. That is far from severe myopia which begins at a glasses (not contacts) prescription of around -6.5 to -7.0 diopters. That is roughly 20/600 to 20/800.

    My prescriptions (right and left eyes) are in the -11 to -12 range. My mother's is -22 in her GOOD EYE.

    You did not have terrible eyesight. :)
  19. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    My understanding is that mostly the outcomes are good. I do know some people who had to have a redo but are mostly happy with it. I am personally terrified of having someone mess with my eyes while I am awake, plus for some reason I am convinced that I will be the one seeing halos around eyes and getting chronically dry eyes. I talked my husband out of doing it too.
  20. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    My ex-bf was born with congenital cataracts, as was one of his 2 younger brothers, and when Lasik first "came out" the eye doctors he was seeing were pushing him to get it, and he refused. He would say that he was used to his vision the way it was, and didn't want to deal with any possible negative side effects from the surgery. I think it's also because he remembers what eye surgery is like pre-Lasik (as in some 35 years ago) and having someone messing with his eyes squicks him out.
  21. DubbalinGirl

    DubbalinGirl New Member

    I just tried to find it, but I vaguely recall a news item in the last year or so that one of the people involved in "inventing" Lasik is now back-pedalling on how good it actually is. I did a Google news search and couldn't find it though. Does anyone remember what I'm talking about? I think this may have been it.

    I know three people personally and one famous person (Adam Clayton, bassist for U2) who have had it done. All of them now have nightblindness and cannot drive at night. I believe Kathy Griffin has also had a really bad experience with it. That's plenty of anecdotal evidence for me to stay happy with my glasses and contacts. Despite the number of positives I hear, any chance that it'll leave me worse off isn't worth it to me.
  22. Choupette

    Choupette Well-Known Member

    If you don't mind me asking, why are you a poor candidate? Is it because of dry eyes alone?

    I have dry eyes too and I am in the same situation regarding contacts. It took several years, 4 optometrists and two ophtalmologists before I could understand why I had so much eye strain and pain. It was "only" because of dryness. I had already decided that I was not a good candidate. If it is so hard to feel right and get the prescription right, I would never get operated on my eyes even if I was paid to do so.
  23. Carolla5501

    Carolla5501 Well-Known Member

    I did it... I had a very good expereince. My MD did warn me "when you turn 45 you will need reading glasses" He NAILED that. So now I am back to one contact.

    I still have no regrets :)

    I never had a "halo" effect.

    That said I would NOT go to a "Lasik" center. Find a good doctor with a practice who does a lot of these.
  24. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

    I spoke with my eye doctor and he told me that I am not a good candidate for getting my vision corrected via laser for the same reason I can no longer wear contacts - my eyes are just too dry and I'd have to be adding drops often. In addition I'd probably still have to wear some sort of corrective glasses for close/middle distance. Regardless, it would seem that I'm not getting it done ever. BTW, my eyes began to seriously dry out around the age of 40 - less than five years after I had my children. My eye doctor did suggest that my lack of eye moisture was a combination of age and childbearing. I really miss wearing my contacts. {{{sigh}}}
  25. Meredith

    Meredith what a glorious day!

    I would not have the surgery for the same reason. Those who do not have dry eyes have no idea how difficult it is to obtain a good prescription. :nightmare:

    As I aged, my near vision seems to have improved, something that would not have happened if I had decided on the surgery, my ophthalmologist notes smugly.
  26. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    I had LASIK 12 years ago and it was the best $$$ I ever spent. I have had no problems whatsoever of any sort. My husband had it 6 months later; he had a follow-up procedure about two years ago because he was getting a little bit of blurriness in one eye.

    When I was thinking of having it done, I happened to meet three people who'd been to the same surgeon, so I went to him for the initial consultation (and he did both of our procedures). It turned out that he, at that time, had done more than 10,000 procedures, the most of any surgeon on the East Coast. The year after we had ours done, our surgeon did Tiger Woods' eyes, and has worked on quite a lot of professional athletes over the years.

    I wanted a doctor with tons of experience so that if something did happen to go wrong, it would probably be something he'd seen and dealt with before. I didn't want to be a guinea pig!
  27. mashenka82

    mashenka82 New Member

    I had LASIK done on May 1, 2009 (yes I remember the date :) ), and I'm completely happy with the experience. Make sure you find a good doctor though - ie one that you trust. I went to a LASIK center and a doctor with a private practice, and ended up going with the private practice doctor because I felt like he was more attentive and aware of 'my case'. When I went to the LASIK center, and asked about complications and stuff (since we're talking about my eyes here!!), he told me not to worry because "I've done thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands..." (I'm not exagerating here). And this did not make me feel better because even with all his experience he was essentially dismissing my worries and telling me I was part of a conveyor belt. The other doctor, on the other hand, mentioned that he'd done thousands of surgeries but understood that wouldn't make me feel any better, and given MY eyes and MY history, I was unlikely to have complications and walked me through the entire process.

    I would try and get a referral through friends for a trustworthy doctor, but also go see a few and see if they have something to say about your eyes and your history specifically. Find one you are comfortable with and who looks at your eyes and talks about what your measurements and your history mean in terms of the results you can expect!

    As for my experience, I was really really nervous, but the procedure was super quick! My eyes were no longer dry after about a week or two, and I had to actually remind myself to use the drops! The only thing that I have now is a slight case of halos. It's nothing big and nothing that gets in the way, and quite honestly I didn't even know I had it or that it was a side-effect until another friend of mine told me that she had it and explained what it was. So in another words, if I had it all to do again, I'd get LASIK in a heartbeat!! Best $$ I ever spent!
  28. Choupette

    Choupette Well-Known Member

    Wow, and I had never met anyone else with this problem (and seemingly none of the profesionnals I saw either except for the last one!). I suppose those who have dry eyes but a prescription that isn't strong aren't as affected.

    Thanks to all who shared their problems with dry eyes. I wouldn't have gone for the operation since I had a feeling it wouldn't be a good idea, but at least now I understand why a little better.
  29. Mozart

    Mozart Well-Known Member

    I wish I could have this but my eye doctor says my vision is too bad (not as bad as yours PDilemma but still severe: R:-7.50, L: -10.75.. coke bottle glasses for sure, especially on the left side) In general, how much can they fix your vision?
  30. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I was told five to six diopters. And there is some speculation that side effects might be more likely with higher correction. It is only speculation as there is not enough data about it all.

    Then there is the question of what happens with cataracts and other age-related eye problems after Lasik.

    My vision could be corrected, at best, 3 or 4 diopters by Lasik as my nearsightedness is caused in part by retinal degeneration. And Lasik, contrary to what a post implied here, does not treat the retina. It reshapes the cornea. My mother has had two laser surgeries on her retinas. It is much more complicated and requires much more preparation, skill on the doctor's part, and recovery time for your sight. And it is not done for vision correction.