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My Lasik Experience

by on Feb.28, 2011, under Personal, Science, Tech

After a few years of being extremely curious about Lasik, and speaking with anybody and everybody I could find that had either had the procedure themselves, or knew someone that had the procedure, I finally decided to take the plunge and get Lasik myself.

So now that I made the decision to actually go through with it, I had to choose a provider.  My first thought was to get the absolute best, most expensive Lasik surgeon available.  They are my eyes, of course, and they are fairly important to me.  So I first had to figure out who the best was.  Turns out, alot of people are pushing for that title.  First off, we have the Barnett and Delaney (sp!?) guys, which are now a fairly decent sized local chain of offices.  Secondly, we have whoever it is that apparently every Phoenix Sun and Coyote uses to get their Lasik done.  Not sure exactly how much that guy paid for the endorsement, but whatever, those guys seemed to get decent reviews.  Then there was this office in the Arrowhead area of Glendale, AZ, which from everything I read was somehow the “gold standard” of who to get Lasik from in AZ.

So I called up the gold standard.  Why not, right?  I schedule an appointment, and while I’m at it, I ask what the cost for the procedure would be.  Turns out, it costs about 6 grand to get your eyes done by those guys, which was over twice what I was expecting to pay.

So the gold standard is out.

I then happened to drive by a place down the street called “Lasik Plus”.  In a way, it almost seemed like the McDonalds of Lasik.  At least based on the name or whatever.  Purely opinion, obviously.   Whatever.  I decided to give them a look-see.  I called up Lasik Plus and was routed to their call center somewhere.  “They have a call center?”, I thought to myself.  I went to their website.  It turns out it’s a nationwide chain with two locations in the valley.  One in Scottsdale, and one just right down the street from me in Chandler.  Same surgeon at both locations.  I did a quick Google search on the Doctor and I’m getting roughly 4 of 5 stars fairly consistently.

Not bad, right?

So these guys are charging $4000, including a discount if you have a health insurance on their discount list, which I did (Blue Cross / Blue Shield), bringing the total down to roughly $3400.  Quite a bit better than the $6k the guys in Arrowhead were charging.

So I go in for a consult where they determine if you are even a candidate for Lasik, and what do you know, I’m a candidate for Lasik.  Hooray!

Ok, so this was Feb 22.  They wanted to get me in for the procedure that coming Thursday, the 24th, only I didn’t get paid until the 1st.  Well, they do procedures in the Chandler office every Thursday, so I took an appointment for March 3rd.  I wanted to pay for the procedure out-right, was my logic.

So with Lasik appointment quickly approaching, I get a call from the Lasik Plus financing people.  I figured there would be no way for me to qualify for financing because of the whole foreclosure thing, but they swore it would be no problem.  So, I let them run my credit.  To my surprise, I qualified.  This was on Thursday the 24th at around 12p.

“Any way to squeeze me in for today?”, I ask, hopefully.  Turns out they are incredibly busy, but since I was right down the street from their offices, they said it would be OK for me to hang out and see if the doctor would let me in.

Sure enough, I get in.  Last appointment of the day.

The procedure was really straight forward, and is exactly what anybody researching Lasik has read about.  One difference was that they didn’t use a blade to make the flap, but instead used a laser to perform that bit of the procedure.  Once the flaps were made, I get moved onto another table and told to stare into a green beam whilst they perform their laser magic.

So, the doctor said everything went flawlessly.   Unfortunately, I am a bit impatient with how long it is taking to actually have the perfect vision I expected.  It is now Day 4, and while I can see well from up-close, my distance vision is still really bad.  I am using the prescribed eye-drops like a mad-man and they only seem to provide me with 10-20 minutes of relief, which at times is coupled with really clear and vibrant vision up-close.  It almost seems as if the quality of my vision is directly related to the amount of moisture in my eyes, only half of the moisture ends up running down my cheek and away from my thirsty, dry eyes.

I am hoping that this is what is to be expected, and that my vision will end up like some of the success stories I’ve read about (20/10, please?).  I would be really disappointed if I ended up having to have an adjustment, which would include its own recovery.

I’ll update this post as my recovery progresses, as I have scoured the web for post-Lasik recovery stories, and have only found a few.  Perhaps my fairly decent Google page ranking will allow someone else that’s recovering from Lasik find this post.  Maybe even comment on it and let me know their recovery was exactly the same as mine?



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