urgent help needed - having LASIK this Thursday (Feb. 28)

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urgent help needed - having LASIK this Thursday (Feb. 28)

Postby backintocombat » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:44 pm

Hi everyone.

Hopefully someone can help me in time. I'm having LASIK surgery (or not) this Thursday but tension is mounting and I have serious doubts about:

1. My doctor insists that I should operate both eyes at the same time. He argues that the minimal risk of infection is the same operating one eye at a time or both. Most people I spoke to told me to operate one at a time.
I called the clinic today to say I was only operating one at a time and 5 minutes later an assistant called me back trying to convince me to operate both. I told him I was going to think about it. But the whole experience left me even more uncomfortable than I already am.

2. I've always had sensible eyes. The antibiotic drops I'm taking as part of the pre-op procedure is already drying my eye. After reading that dry eye is rather common after LASIK (I read somewhere 3 to 6% of patients), apart from other abberations, I am almost giving it up.

3. While I really want to have surgery, I feel that given my level of anxiety I would have tremmendous difficulties dealing with any kind of complication or long recovery. I think it would drive me crazy. I get jitters only by reading the stuff available on the web.

4. The surgery is scheduled for Thursday here in Madrid. The clinic is well known but they take a lot of patients. The surgeon is the main MD, who is also at a University and seems to be well-known, but I had a bad impression as he examined me while chewing his tuna sandwich. Usuallly I'm not to worried about formalities, but when it comes to operating my eyes...

Truth is the tuna sandwich and the assistant calling me to convince me to do both eyes at once left me insecure. And apart from that, if the percentage of patients experienceing dry eyes is really around 5%, I think I would want to wait for more modern procedures.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this. Hopefully someone can answer my queries.
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Postby backintocombat » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:50 pm

Sorry to bother again, but I have one more question:

The doctor commented that in my case there is plenty room form maneuver as my cornea is thick. And he mentioned that if my vision wasn't fully corrected in the 1st surgery we could do a second one.

In this case, won't he have an incentive to only undercorrect, so I pay for a second surgery?
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Postby Pappy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:28 pm

If they are putting you outside of your comfort zone, I'd cancel and seek a second opinion and a third and a fourth and as many as it took to get either satisfactory service or decide not to do it.

If you have dry eyes (sensitive is subjective), I'd ask them to do tests prior, this wont insure possible complications but it will at least you know if you have an existing condition.

Remember this is elective surgery, don't let any one sell you something you aren't comfortable with nor tell you it's no big deal. They may have done this 1000s of times, but it is your first time.

Good luck!
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Postby Pappy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:30 pm

backintocombat wrote:Sorry to bother again, but I have one more question:

The doctor commented that in my case there is plenty room form maneuver as my cornea is thick. And he mentioned that if my vision wasn't fully corrected in the 1st surgery we could do a second one.

In this case, won't he have an incentive to only undercorrect, so I pay for a second surgery?


Most doctors have either a limited retreatment or lifetime guarantee. If yours doesn't from my experience it would be outside of the norm. I'd ask them how long would should you need retreatment would it be covered under the original plan.
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Postby backintocombat » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:56 pm

Many thanks indeed.

Actually, mine charges for every follow-up consultation after the surgery, including the one the day after surgery (is that the norm?). I'm not absolutely sure about a 2nd surgery.

What about my first question: is the norm doing one eye at a time or both? What are the risks of doing both?

Thanks again.
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Postby janeb » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:17 pm

I think it is very unusual to charge per visit, including the follow ups. I have had three consultations, and they all include everything for either 1 or 2 years. And that included "enhancement" surgery, if something needs to be corrected a bit more, etc.
I agree that you should not proceed unless you have a good feeling about your doctor. That tuna sandwich story would be enough for me to walk out the door too! I don't blame you for being troubled...
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Re: urgent help needed - having LASIK this Thursday (Feb. 28

Postby LasikExpert » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:09 pm

backintocombat wrote:1. My doctor insists that I should operate both eyes at the same time. He argues that the minimal risk of infection is the same operating one eye at a time or both. Most people I spoke to told me to operate one at a time.


The vast majority of Lasik patients have surgery on both eyes at the same time. Due, in part, to the usually quick vision recovery this has been determined as medically appropriate.

If you are only comfortable with one eye at a time, then only have one eye at a time.

backintocombat wrote:2. I've always had sensible eyes. The antibiotic drops I'm taking as part of the pre-op procedure is already drying my eye. After reading that dry eye is rather common after LASIK (I read somewhere 3 to 6% of patients), apart from other abberations,...


Sensitivity to touch does not automatically indicate a higher than normal probability of Lasik induced dry eye. Your doctor can measure both the quantity and quality of your natural tears and advise you on this issue.


backintocombat wrote:...I am almost giving it up.


If in doubt, delay or decline. Lasik is elective surgery.

backintocombat wrote:3. While I really want to have surgery, I feel that given my level of anxiety I would have tremmendous difficulties dealing with any kind of complication or long recovery. I think it would drive me crazy. I get jitters only by reading the stuff available on the web.


If you can't handle the possibility of a bad outcome of an elective surgery, then you probably should not have that elective surgery. A personality type that cannot handle adversity (no matter how low the probability) should probably not have elective surgery of any kind.

backintocombat wrote:4. The surgery is scheduled for Thursday here in Madrid. The clinic is well known but they take a lot of patients. The surgeon is the main MD, who is also at a University and seems to be well-known, but I had a bad impression as he examined me while chewing his tuna sandwich. Usuallly I'm not to worried about formalities, but when it comes to operating my eyes...


This is the first time for you. Your surgeon may have performed tens of thousands of Lasik proceedures. It is not surprising that the surgeon would have a more "casual" attitude, but munching a sandwich while examining a patient is probably bad form no matter how expert the surgeon.

backintocombat wrote:And apart from that, if the percentage of patients experienceing dry eyes is really around 5%, I think I would want to wait for more modern procedures.


Unresolved complications of all types are about 3% at six months postop, but it is my opinion from your obvious fear that you are not an appropriate candidate for elective surgery.
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