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Lasik surgery – it’s worth it if you are a good candidate

By January 20, 2004Uncategorized

Last Friday I got my eyes lasered and now it looks like I’m going to have 20/20 vision. My eyes weren’t that bad before (- 3.00 with some astigmatism), but now they are perfect again. Well, actually I’m going to need reading glasses soon, but that was something I was drifting towards anyway.

For years I have wanted to ‘bite the bullet’ and have the Lasik procedure. I know a lot of people who’ve had it and they all rave about it, and say they wish they’d done it sooner. The price seems steep, but all my laser-eyed friends said that the cost was well worth it –and none of them did the el-cheapo $499 an eye deal.

I knew I wasn’t going to skimp on the cost either so that became my excuse for not doing it. But, fortunately, I had a great eye doctor and he told me about the procedure and recommended it. I thought this was strange because it seemed to me he would be losing a source of revenue (e.g. my ongoing purchase of contact lenses and glasses). Turns out that by referring his patients to one of the premier Lasik doctors he gets a cut of the overall fee (mainly because he does a lot of the ‘prep’ work), and overall cost is no greater to the patient. He also came to the Lasik doctor’s office on the day of the surgery, mostly for support, but also to watch what’s going on and to be involved in the process. This was a good thing, not because anything went wrong (it didn’t). But I could tell that he was learning a lot from the measurements that they took of my eyes. And whenever he learned something useful he would explain it to me in detail, which is not something the people doing the Lasik would have done, mostly because they were too busy getting ready for the surgery.

The surgery itself is so easy and devoid of pain that it’s almost a let-down. Most of the work is the preparatory work involved in mapping your eyes, re-mapping, cross-checking the results, and then loading the mapped data into the computer that will guide the laser. I won’t explain the mechanics of the surgery, but suffice it to say that hearing the explanation is one of the things that will make you not want to have it. Too bad, because if you didn’t know what they were doing you would get the surgery (assuming you qualify to have it done) and feel no pain and very little discomfort. Wearing contacts has often caused me much greater discomfort (and occasionally brief pain) than I felt during the 15 minutes it took to laser my eyes.

Immediately after the procedure I could see better, albeit through a mild milky haze. I was a little woozy because I was given a Valium as part of the routine procedure to ensure I stayed calm. Also, my pupils were dilated to maximum proportions which made it uncomfortable to deal with ambient light. After the surgery was over (at noon) I went home and rested, occassionally blasting the eyes with various drops I’d been given. Then, at about 6 pm, I woke up and I could see pretty clearly.

The next day I drove myself to my eye doctor and he tested my vision. It was 20/20. I can tell that my eyes are still healing and perhaps they will get a little better. I have to be careful not to rub my eyes for about a month and I have to take some drops for few more days. Other than that, I’m done. I now have more or less perfect vision, and no need for contacts or glasses (other than reading glasses).

I’m still completely amazed at how easy the process was. Definitely worth it, and I definitely should have done it years ago. But then that’s what almost everyone says once they have the surgery.

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