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Considering Vision Corrective Surgery

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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted January 31 2006 - 04:00 AM

My vision is very important to me, and until I was in my mid twenties I had better than 20:20 vision, ~20:10-15. Unfortunately, as I got older I started to exhibit signs of astigmatism in one eye, and my vision has deteriorated to about 20:200 – still not bad, but it has required me to wear corrective lens for the last fifteen years. I’ve tried contacts, but I never was able to get used to putting them on and taking them off. Now that I have children (2-4) wearing glasses has really become a problem as they keep getting knocked off when I am playing with the kids. It would seem that some form of laser correction surgery might be what I should consider, but my worst fear is that I’ll be one of the few who experience uncorrectable severe side effects like “halos”, “star-bursts”, loss of peripheral vision, and perhaps other side effects I am not familiar with. Who here has had some form of laser eye correction surgery, which method did you chose, how are the results compared to your vision with corrective lenses, and what would you recommend? Thanks!

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Hunter P

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Posted January 31 2006 - 06:18 AM

I had LASIK and it was my best investment ever. EVER.

Yes there are risks but there are risks with any surgery. They have been doing this for so long that I feel it is pretty safe. I think the odds of something bad happening are like something going wrong with getting your tonsils removed.

Some people might need to go back for adjustments but most, like me, have a "slam, bam, thank you ma'am" type of experience.

The prep for the surgery took longer than the surgery itsself. The time spent in the chair for the laser is less than 5 minutes. After the procedure, it feels like you have a bunch of sand in your eyes. I had to endure that discomfort until I could make it to my room and pop in a sleeping pill. When I woke up, it was like a miracle. No discomfort and perfect vision.Posted Image

My night vision isn't any worse than it was with glasses or contacts. All vision has that starburst or halo effect to some degree. I didn't notice it was really different.

The only thing I find annoying is how dry my eyes get sometimes. The surgery kind of hinders your ablility to make tears so I just keep a bottle of tear drops handy for the extra dry days.

BTW, I had astigmatism too. Now I can spot a hot chick from 200 yards away.

I'm still trying to save up for the heat and x-ray vision upgrades.Posted Image
"I am the Doctor of Death, and I have come to cure you of your life." --Endless Mike, The Adventures of Pete and Pete

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Sean Bryan

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Posted January 31 2006 - 07:02 AM

I haven't had this surgery. But I've read a bit about it, and one thing I think is important for people considering having it today is to ask about custom LASIK that is wavefront guided. This is using a technique to get a more individualized map of the abberations in your eye shape, and the laser correction takes that into account for the correctiion. My understanding is that this technique may significantly decrease the chance of developing major high order abberations (halos, commas, starbursts). And I think it may have some potential in correcting or minimizing these abberations if they develop after traditional LASIK. I'm not an expert. This is just may take based on some things I've read. So all I really want to say is ask about wavefront guided correction if you are talking to a doctor about his LASIK procedure (of course, do you own research too, because in my experience people tend to "poo-poo" new things that they haven't started doing yet).
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#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Hunter P

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Posted February 01 2006 - 05:22 AM

Since you are interested in other HTF opinions, I recommend you do a search. This isn't the first thread on the subject.
"I am the Doctor of Death, and I have come to cure you of your life." --Endless Mike, The Adventures of Pete and Pete

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Michelle Schmid

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Posted February 01 2006 - 08:47 AM

I had LASIK, too, in Sept. '00. I agree with Hunter 100%. It is the best investment I have ever made. EVER. To this day, almost 5 1/2 years later there has not been a single day that goes by that I am not amazed that I can see as well as I can, and am not grateful for the care they took to be sure I had a good outcome.

My vision was quite a lot worse than yours, though. My eye doctor told me there weren't really any charts that could measure how bad my eyes were, but he'd "have to guess in the range of 20/1300." I also had astigmatism and had progressed to needing toric (weighted) lenses. I had been told for years that I wasn't a candidate for corrective surgery (based on the astigmatism & extremely poor vision) and had, in fact, after several years of toric lenses, been told that my vision would never again be 20/20. The best the lenses could accomplish would be 20/25 and continue to decline. Ah, then came LASIK. At last I was (barely) a candidate!

It wasn't so easy for me, though. Instead of about 5 minutes total they spent over 10 minutes on each eye from cutting the flap to sealing it back up. In addition, most people require around 200 pulses from the laser for each eye. Mine required more than 400 each. Before the procedure they even told me I'd be lucky to get correction down to 20/100 and would probably still need corrective lenses of some kind. I was thrilled with even that prospect.

After, I didn't really experience any "sandy" feeling, but was instructed to put in their special eye drops every 20 minutes for the first day (so the flap they cut in the eye didn't stick to the eyelid). That was not particularly fun since I lived in Moab, UT at the time, and had the procedure done in SLC. 250 miles with stops on the freeway every 20 minutes made for a long trip home! (They did not tell me about the drop requirement until I was done, otherwise I'd have gotten the babysitter to stay overnight and gotten a hotel).

What they accomplished has been nothing short of amazing. At first my vision corrected to 20/15 but has since leveled off to 20/20 with no change for several years, and obviously, no need for additional corrective lenses. No more astigmatism, either. No dry eyes at all (pure luck on that one, I'm sure), no halos, nothing but perfect vision. Go with an experienced surgeon, though, as it's the flap cutting that is key. Make sure they check the size of your pupil in dim light, because if the flap is cut too small to accomodate the enlargment I'm told you will see halos for sure.

Whenever I see a new eye doctor I have to actually tell them I had the LASIK procedure. Apparently most people have a "grey" ring around their eyes where the flap was cut, but mine was done so well, and healed so nicely, they can't see it until I tell them, even with their high-powered equipment and lights! One doctor even told me I was mistaken and must have had a PRK or something. Um, NO, I know what I had done. But thanks for telling me my eyes are now so healthy! Posted Image

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted February 01 2006 - 09:16 AM

Overheard on the radio, nowadays they offer flap-less eye correction. Anyone have this done, and are there downsides to the flap-less procedure?
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#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Brian Harnish

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Posted February 01 2006 - 02:51 PM

I have been seriously considering LASIK for about a year now. I haven't had great lense-free vision for over 8 years now. How I would love to have lense-free vision again. I think it's time for me to delve into my research mode! Posted Image

BTW - does anyone know how sitting at a computer (my job is technical support) for 8 hours a day will affect your vision post-op?

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr



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Posted February 01 2006 - 03:57 PM

Wish I had the intestinal fortitude to do LASIK, but I'm not willing to risk the possible complications no matter how slight the chance.

Anyhow, what I wanted to mention is that when I was doing some Christmas shopping at an area mall in December I came across an eye care center in the mall that performs LASIK and other eye procedures. What astounded me was that the laser and procedure area were right out in the open for everyone to see! Only a glass window separated the shoppers from the doctor performing the procedure and the patient! Posted Image Something like that would have me even more nervous. I could envision (pardon the pun) some punk kids going up and pounding on the glass trying to distract the doctor or patient.

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Ravi K

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Posted February 02 2006 - 08:31 AM

Its the flap cutting that scares me. I'm afraid that I'm gonna move my eyes and get a chunk of it cut out. Plus, THEY CUT A FLAP IN YOUR EYE!!!

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Hugh Jackes

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Posted February 02 2006 - 09:29 AM

I had Lasik 2-1/2 years ago on a Friday.

The surgery was absolutely painless, although quite unpleasant. Between the multitudinous eyedrops; the disturbing view watching the surgeon write on my eyes with a marker, make the cut in the cornea, peel back the cornea, and then smooth the cornea back into place (much like wallpaper); the sound of the cut and the laser; and the smell of cooking eyeball; I practically twisted the neck off the teddy bear they gave me to hold. I guess I'm a total wuss.

All that being said, let me say again, there was absolutely no pain.

My bride drove me home. I felt comfortable enough to swing by In-n-Out Burger for dinner on the way home. I watched a movie that night through my plastic eyeshields. The 20 or so air holes in the shields created so much refraction that I couldn't get a great sense of my visual accuity.

Come Saturday morning, I woke up, removed the adhesive tape that held the eyeshields to my face, looked out the window, and read the address on the garage across the street.

I went back to the eye surgeon (drove myself) Saturday morning and the optometrist on the staff tested me at 20/25. I went back to the eye doctor after a week and I had improved to 20/15. My eyes feel almost normal after the procedure, very, very slight dry eyes and no significant haloing around lights at night.

I remember going out to the within a week of the surgery, gazing at Mars (if you recall, it was very close and pretty big in the summer of 2003). People who may consider this man-made miracle obviously must make up their own minds, I am ecstatic with my choice. It was the best thing that I ever did for myself (after marrying my bride and having my children).
I have learned that some pain cannot be healed, but must be endured. I believe our Higher Power will help us to endure and find peace. I loved the boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable and he is taken from me-yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it."
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#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Hunter P

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Posted February 02 2006 - 11:11 AM

I don't recall much of what you describe. I certainly don't recall writing on the eye. First I just sat back in a chair and they put the machine over my eyes. I'm completely in the dark until a green dot of light appears. The doc tells me to focus on the dot as he does his thing. I hear a little "brrrrrrrrr" sounds as the flap is cut and the laser does its thing. But my eye is numb so I don't feel anything. That was pretty much it. Quick and easy IMO.

Side note on the numbing thing: it's absolutely the coolest thing of the experience. They put a couple drops on your eyes to numb it so they can test the thickness of your cornea. They do this by poking your eye with a metal pen. Since the metal pen is so close to your vision, you dont see it. You only see your vision ripple like a pebble dropping into a pool of water. Imagine how cool it is to be staring at the wall and a part of it seems to warp around like you're in the Matrix or something.Posted Image
"I am the Doctor of Death, and I have come to cure you of your life." --Endless Mike, The Adventures of Pete and Pete

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted April 14 2006 - 02:37 AM

I stumbled across the following item and had to do a double-take:


#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted April 14 2006 - 03:25 AM

Unbelievable. Knowing my propensity for the shakes for detail work, I'd have zigzag flaps.
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#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Paul-D


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Posted April 14 2006 - 03:29 AM

My wife and I both had lasik done just over a year ago. For me, it was the best investement ever!!! I can't tell you how free I feel now. Colors are more vibrant, things are more clear. I think the best thing you can do is look in your area for someone with a great reputation. For instance, I live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona area, and the guy that did mine is the same guy that is the eye-care physician for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Cayotes, and the Diamondbacks. He's got a great reputation and his price was actually really good.
My advice: get it done and make sure it's by somebody who is reputable.
Good luck! Posted Image

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted April 14 2006 - 03:43 AM

I wouldn't chance it personally, but lots of people are not me. Lasik and other surgeries seem to be a big success for the vast majority of people who try it.

There are a lot of disaster stories and horror stories, but www.surgicaleyes.org seems to have a much more balanced approach to the subject. Get educated.
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#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Paul-D


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Posted April 14 2006 - 05:41 AM

The fact of the matter is that you're going to find people on both good and bad sides of ANY topic. If you try to take a vacation somewhere you'll find people who loved it and can't wait to go back. You'll also find people who hated it and wouldn't send their worst enemy there. The fact of the matter is, you'll never know for you until you do it.

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted April 14 2006 - 06:54 AM



Umm, if we're not to look directly at any laser inside that Lasik thingamabob, how are we supposed to perform the Lasik procedure which I presume points that laser at your own eye in some fashion?

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#18 of 19 OFFLINE   EugeneR


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Posted April 14 2006 - 10:03 AM

Just had LASIK on Wednesday and had a (hopefully) slight complication, even though I had surgery with the latest and greatest in LASIK technology, with the custom laser. According to my Dr., when they pulled up the flap on my right eye, the top layer of cells on the flap simply slid off! So, it's taking some time for my right eye to heal and regenerate that top layer of cells. As a result, the vision in my right eye is quite blurry. The left eye had no adventures and is 20/20. The Doc assures me that in a few days my right eye will be just fine and that it is already 90% healed. If it heals with no problems as promised, it'll be well worth it. If not...

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Hunter P

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Posted April 14 2006 - 01:10 PM

Sorry to hear that but I assume it's just scarring and swelling which is why it will take a few days. Although I was seeing 20/20 after the surgery, my eyes still had difficulty focusing for the first week or two. Not a big deal. The eyes just need time to heal.
"I am the Doctor of Death, and I have come to cure you of your life." --Endless Mike, The Adventures of Pete and Pete

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