I had LASIK about a month ago. For those of you who don’t know what that is you can find out here. I want to tell you about the process, my experience, and how it’s been one month out. (I am not getting any compensation for my recommendation, just sharing my experience with you)
Deciding to do it. This entire process has been in the works for about two years. We’ve all seen the ads for Lasik, but I rarely pay attention to those. We live down the street from an ophthalmologist who does Lasik eye surgery and after an eye exam I decided to see what Lasik involves. I scheduled the appointment and I checked out intial cost/financing and the actual procedure. After asking lots of questions I thought it seemed like something I would like to do. Thus began my journey.
Determining if you are a good candidate. Lasik is not for everyone. Each eye is different and some eyes are not suitable for Lasik. Every Lasik surgeon who is worth his salt will give you a free evaluation. Take advantage of those. I went to three such appointments and another less-involved appointment for a total of four. The whole process was more of less the same for all three full exams. (I had a weird feeling about the other one so I won’t mention it again) It took about an hour and I left with my eyes fully dilated and slightly irritated from the drops and measurements. It was sort of a hassle having that done three times but I believe it was worth it. I wasn’t choosing a plumber to unstop my toilet. I was trying to pick a surgeon who was going to cut my eyes open and use a laser to reshape them. Every office measured my eyes in a number of ways and each measurement was done with precision. Cornea thickness, eye shape, interocular pressure, eye structure, and the list goes on. All of the offices had different versions of the same very high-tech machinery to help with those measurements. I felt very confident that each office did everything they could to ensure I was a good candidate. They were also honest with me. If not, they all three told the exact same lie convincingly. I didn’t have really bad eyesight before, but it wasn’t 20/20. I was more around 20/50 and 20/70 before. My contact prescription was -1.25/-1.5 to give you a frame of reference. After determining if I was a good candidate the most important decision had to be made.
Picking the right surgeon. Like I said before, I wasn’t finding a electrician (as important as that is) I was determining who would cut on my only two eyes. Finding a surgeon involves two aspects. The first is a quality track record and the second is personal comfort. Determining track record is a matter of online research and asking around. I also judge the TV/Radio commercials. If they sound like a sleazy used car lot commercial I stay away. If possible, talk to patients. This is a good indicator of how the surgeon behaves with paying customers who are not celebrities or going to appear on a TV commercial. As odd as it sounds I also didn’t trust a surgeon that was way cheaper than the others. I found a few with good track records and went in for a visit.
What made the most difference to me was talking with the surgeon. I like my surgeons to have a little attitude. (said like I get surgery so much I have a certain type of surgeon I prefer) Out of all three I had ~twenty minute conversations with, one stood far above the rest. Here are two things that helped me determine comfort level.
- Asking LOTS of questions. I didn’t feel bad for one second asking every surgeon every question I could think of concerning the surgery and outcomes. I had looked at all of the Lasik surgery disaster websites and asked about how many of his own patients have had similar complications. How he answered each question helped me feel better about him as a surgeon. To their credit, they all handled my questions with great expertise and went as deep as I cared for them to go.
- Made small talk. I didn’t make much small talk but enough to get a feel for them personally. Feeling comfortable with your surgeon is a huge thing for me.
Finally, I chose Dr. Straub at Lasik Plus here in Albuquerque. He has been doing eye surgery for a while and I really liked him. He seems like a perfectionist, which is what I want in a surgeon, but is also very personable and made me feel comfortable when I talked to him about the surgery and after the surgery. The other two surgeons were nice guys and I’m sure they would have been fine, but I wasn’t as comfortable with them.
I was at the crossroads. It had been determined that I would be a good candidate and I found a surgeon I really liked. So, I scheduled my surgery date and mentally prepared myself for the procedure.