Price, Safety, Results. . . Scared

If you are thinking about having Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL eye surgery, this is the forum to research your concerns or ask your questions.

Price, Safety, Results. . . Scared

Postby Chelsea » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:11 am

I'm new to the forum and new to the idea of Lasik.
Here's my background.
I am a 23 year old female with a prescription of -4.75. I've been wearing contacts since I was 11 and THOUGHT I didn't have any problems with them. I didn't receive very good instructions on how to care for them - I was actually told to sleep in them (which I rarely did) & put them in my mouth to clean them off when I didn't have access to solution - this I did, hey, I was ELEVEN.
About a month ago my eyes really started bugging me, I immediately took out my contacts and went to the eye doctor. He told me not to wear contacts again, I have the eyes of a 50 year old, a sore on my right eye, and blood vessels growing over my eyes. Oh yeah, and I could go blind if I kept wearing contacts.
My eyes are supposedly healed up now, after 2 rounds of antibiotic eye drops. But they BURN ALOT.
I went for my first Lasik consultation today and they STRONGLY recommended Zyoptix surgery because I have larger pupils - 7.5 instead of the usual 6.5 (whatever that means)
This means it would be $3380 - more than i was expecting.
My questions are: IS IT WORTH IT? Is there somewhere else I can get it done for cheaper? Will my eyes stop burning? If I get halos or floaters can that be fixed? Will the blood vessels growing over my eyes have any effect on the surgery?
I asked the people at the lasik place but I felt like they were just trying to sell it to me. Thanks for reading my ramblings. . .
Chelsea
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:42 am

please be careful

Postby peliot » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:18 pm

Please be careful with LASIK. For many people it is great, but this is a risky surgery. If you fall into the few % for whom it goes wrong (I am one of those) LASIK can ruin your life.

I now have worse vision, worse retinal health, anxiety, depression and loads of regret. My vision is impaired by floaters - they look like large hairs dancing in front of my eyes. The doctors say that there is nothing they can do to fix the problem. It is hard to read, I get dizzy and headaches, my night vision is terrible.

Hopefully your experience would be nothing like mine, but at least go in with open eyes - as it were - about what the risks are. If you can see well with glasses I would count my lucky stars and not go near LASIK.
peliot
 
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Location: los angeles

you are smart

Postby peliot » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:26 pm

you are smart to sense that the people at the LASIK place are "selling you." This is an elective surgery and these people rely upon selling the product for their livelihoods. To them you are just another sale. You are not going to hear the downside case from them...

Another good idea is to get a consulation from a more academically oriented eye doctor, someone who doesn't do LASIK for a living, to give you a more objective point of view about the results you might expect given your particularly case.
peliot
 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:00 am
Location: los angeles

Postby Chelsea » Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:42 am

Thanks so much for your advice.
My optometrist actually told me that Lasik was a good idea - especially if I hate glasses. I've never worn them until these last few weeks and don't mind them.
My husband thinks I should JUST DO IT and get it over with. He's terrified I'll lose my vision if I don't get it done, I'm terrified I'll lose my vision if I DO get it done.
I've worked in sells and healthcare, I know what to say and do to get people to buy/do what I want them to in those settings so I know when I'm getting sold. I just want a professional to be honest with me and tell me YES or NO.
Chelsea
 
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:42 am

Postby beingbobbyorr » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:34 am

Chelsea wrote:I am a 23 year old female . . . .


What are the chances that your myopia is stable (and won't change drastically in future years)?

I don't know either.

Chelsea wrote:About a month ago my eyes really started bugging me, I immediately took out my contacts and went to the eye doctor. He told me not to wear contacts again, I have the eyes of a 50 year old, a sore on my right eye, and blood vessels growing over my eyes.


Common sense suggests you should let your abused-by-contact-lenses eyes heal for at least a year or so before considering doing anything else to them.


Chelsea wrote:I went for my first Lasik consultation today and they STRONGLY recommended Zyoptix surgery because I have larger pupils - 7.5 instead of the usual 6.5 (whatever that means)


The 7.5 is probably the diameter of your pupils in the dark (in millimeters; measured with infrared pupilometry). The larger they are, the larger the treatment zone must be of the Lasik (or PIOL lens) in order to minimize the probablility of Halos. The treatment zone varies by make & manufacturer of Laser.


Chelsea wrote:My husband thinks I should JUST DO IT and get it over with.


1) There is no reason to rush into elective eye surgery.

2) There is no excuse not to research the hell out of this.

Chelsea wrote:I just want a professional to be honest with me and tell me YES or NO.


They can't tell you YES or NO. All they can do is inform you of the benefits, disadvantages*, and risks. The decision is yours.

* They will be upfront with you about the benefits & risks ..... the disadvantages? Hmmmm, better be prepared to interview a LOT of doctors!
beingbobbyorr
 
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Postby Chelsea » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:42 am

They told me my eyes are stable as far as prescription. They shouldn't get any worse. They better not, they've been horrible since I was 8 years old.

As far as 'common sense' goes, my husband and I currently live in Alberta, Canada, where most medical treatments are free. Obviously, this is elective, so it is not free. However, if anything were to happen I would not have to worry about medical bills period. That being said, we may be moving back to the U.S. within the next 6 months and if we do that then I probably wouldn't be able to do it (I'd be sole provider for awhile because he is Canadian).

Anyway, with the way things are going in our life right now, it's kinda now or never. . .
Chelsea
 
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:42 am

Postby Chelsea » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:50 am

Thanks but I think I'm going to get some cute glasses and just stick with those. . . Easier & cheaper.
Chelsea
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:42 am

Postby beingbobbyorr » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:24 am

Chelsea wrote:Thanks but I think I'm going to get some cute glasses and just stick with those. . . Easier & cheaper.


Good decision. Because this ......


Chelsea wrote:Anyway, with the way things are going in our life right now, it's kinda now or never. . .


.... is patently ridiculous, given that you're 23 years old (and living in wealthy, industrialized, semi-free countries like the US and Canada .... where, over time, medical technology's prices often go down and ubiquity often goes up).

Kids! /bbo shakes head/


Chelsea wrote:They told me my eyes are stable as far as prescription. They shouldn't get any worse. They better not, they've been horrible since I was 8 years old.


My eyes have been horrible since age 13, and they didn't stop changing until I was in my late 30's. Your mileage may vary.

If you explore this in the future, ask the refractive surgeon(s) you visit about question #31:

http://iclquestions.angelfire.com/
beingbobbyorr
 
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Postby Chelsea » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:22 pm

That's what I'm hoping for even though I've read that with the advancing technology the prices are only going up. I just can't bring myself to pay $3400 when I can pay $350 for a pair of glasses - as much as I hate them.
As far as wealthy countries. . . Isn't the U.S. in TRILLIONS of dollars of debt??? And yet, they continue to live as if there's nothing wrong.
Anyway, that's a different topic.
Thanks for the advice. I may get lasik later but just can't/won't right now.
Chelsea
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:42 am

Postby engmsf » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:42 am

If you want relatively perfect sharp vision, stick with glasses. If they are not perfect and you are unhappy, go back and get your eyes measured again and buy a new pair of glasses. Pretty easy.

What I have learned after having lasik is you will not get the same perfect vision. You will have very good or in most cases acceptable glasses-free vision. There will most likely be some small residue numbers for spherical/cylinder/axis.

And then there are some people who will return back to some myopia status in the future and will need an enhancement or light pair of glasses. Sigh, short-term gain .....

But who really thinkings about the future? Many people live by the present minute. With that being said, being glasses-free is a wonderful experience, even though it is not as sharp as when I had my glasses.
engmsf
 
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