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Experiences with Laser Eye Surgery?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the is-it-worth-the-risk-to-your-retinas dept.

Biotech 1104

GodLessOne asks: "I am about to get my hands on a reasonable lump of cash and I am working on my list of ways to make it an ex-lump of cash. All of the normal geek things appear on the list, but one item that I keep considering is corrective laser eye surgery. Would anyone care to share their real world experiences? I worry that the people selling it are the only ones saying how wonderful it is, and what percentage of people show a marked improvement afterward. Are there any stories out there relating how bad it can be if it goes wrong?"

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And the short answer is... (4, Funny)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785364)

Would anyone care to share their real world experiences?
I would, but I'm a hunt-and-peck typist, and my keyboard is pretty much just a blur.

Do not look into laser with remaining eye (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785466)

As we say at los alamos

Re:And the short answer is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785471)

£300 says that the ¥en will pick up on ©opyright concerns.

Do common glyphs work on /. now? Yup they do!! :-)

Re:And the short answer is... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785485)

What MORON decided to post this? For fucks sake.

Re:And the short answer is... (1)

Steve Embalmer (783552) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785486)

There are some real benefits...

I can hear [medicinenet.com] TONS better now.

someone has to say it: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785366)

please do not look into laser with remaining eye! haha!

and gay niggers, of course

haha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785367)

i got a fp and you didnt. so nyah nyah nyah

Re:haha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785393)

I would've gotten FP if I hadn't squeezed that stupid gay nigger comment into my post the last second. I'm such a turd.

A few thoughts (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785370)

First, how bad can it be? Well, potentially, you could go blind.

Second, do you really need it? If you don't really need it, then waiting may be your best option. Medical technology changes so fast that a new, better procedure could be out within a few years. Sometimes, having one of these surgeries disqualifies you from a future surgery.

It basically comes down to how much you're risking. If I had only minor vision problems, I wouldn't have it done. If my vision is already pretty bad, I might be willing to risk more for an improvement.

BTW, you can always invest money rather than spending it. It's a wacky idea, but might be worth your consideration.

Re:A few thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785509)

Consider this:

Lasik => 40 years of eye appointments
1 appointment/year at $50 each makes $2000

It does fix the problem.

Go for it! (1)

tarballedtux (770160) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785373)

I'd say go for after looking into the long term side effects

Re:Go for it! (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785497)

I'd say go for after looking into the long term side effects

This is an interesting remark, because AFAIK this kind of eye surgery (at least for the mass market) really took off during the last 3, maybe 5 years.

So I guess not much might be known about long term side effects as of yet...time will tell.

Then again, please prove me wrong if you can ;)

I'm holding out until... (0, Offtopic)

OneDeeTenTee (780300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785375)

...they can give me slit pupils like a cat.

Most importantly (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785376)

Do not look at the laser with your remaining good eye.

Start off with Google... (4, Informative)

halo1982 (679554) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785379)

I found a ton of info on Google...first hand encounters. Lasik experiences. [google.com]

If I had money to spend... (4, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785380)

... personally I'd just wear glasses, and spend the money on a new computer. For me, glasses help boost your intellectual look (Don't something like 70% of engineers wear glasses?).

Re:If I had money to spend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785405)

something like 70% of engineers wear glasses
whoo! at last, i'm a minority!

Re:If I had money to spend... (2, Insightful)

UEinSD (750756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785547)

So you enjoy being a stereotype, do you? I certainly hope I never have to interview for a job with anyone prejudiced against me for not wearing intellectual-looking glasses.

Real intellectuals don't worry about if they look intellectual, get it?

Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785390)

If the fucking computer BSODS on you or some spyware makes the laser burn a permanent imprint of a porno website on your eye otherwise its a realitivly safe technology, imho.

Don't do it. (4, Informative)

faedle (114018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785391)

Yes. Do a google search on "lasik dangers" and you'll find that when it goes wrong, it can go horribly wrong, up to and including blindness.

I, personally, wouldn't do it unless my vision was so bad I needed coke-bottle bottoms to see.

Re:Don't do it. (4, Informative)

2starr (202647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785457)

The most important thing to avoid this is to make sure you get a good doctor. Get referrals. See how much experience they have. There is definitely a difference between a good surgeon and a not-so-good one and this is one place you might not want to go for the guy with the cheapest price.

Re:Don't do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785458)

I, personally, wouldn't do it unless my vision was so bad I needed coke-bottle bottoms to see.
Unfortunately, that's often the time when you're not a candidate for this type of procedure.

Re:Don't do it. (2, Informative)

fyonn (115426) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785496)

I've thought about this myself but right now I'm just not gonna do it for several reasons:

1) I'm a big wuss and I'm rwally not sure I can lie there while someone slices my eye open and burns the stuff underneath, while I'm thinking " mm.. bacon"

2) with most normal procedures, if it goes wrong, then you're back where you used to be, with lasik, you could be horribly worse off

3) I beleive that a massive percentage lose alot of night vision, you might not be able to legally drive at night for example

4) the eye is much more prone to infection

5) the army and police won't let you join if you've had it, rather tellling I think

all in all, I just don't trust it yet. last time I went to the opticians (last week), three people there suggested laser treatment and I gave them the above reason, at which point they dropped the act and agreed with me completely and said they'd not do it themselves.

at some point in the future I'd love perfect vision (perhaps with a HUD and tactical data feed ;) but I don't think lasik is the way to go for me right now. I'll just stick to buying glasses that are too expensive for the meantime :)


Some thoughts and warnings. (2, Interesting)

Thinkit4 (745166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785392)

I had intacts (eye implants) put in and taken out. They created halos at nights which were bugging me just too much. A laser will not be reversible.

beowulf cluster (0, Redundant)

sovtekmidget (718312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785399)

how about a beowulf cluster of eyesight-correcting lasers? then we could fix everyone's eysight- maybe even improve it!!!

Re:beowulf cluster (2, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785420)

I think that would be what a fly gets when it goes in for Lasik surgery.

Re:beowulf cluster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785491)

actually they do sorta have a laser cluster eye surgery i think its called advanced or custum lasik... they use like 220 mirros to make the laser tuned to the defects in your own personal eye

Forget laser eye surgery (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785400)

Get laser ear surgery, then you can echolocate your way around even in the dark.

Re:Forget laser eye surgery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785449)

I kept reading this as "eChocolate", and couldn't figure out why you'd want it in your ear.

buy a pair of glasses, put the rest in index fund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785401)

seriously if you have a wad of cash you don't need, the best thing is to invest it.

you don't get any ROI from a guy slicing your eyeball with an overpriced, patent-encumbered gadget.

I'd say keep the glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785402)

And invest your money in a small business, real estate or if you are a gambling man buy some stock.

Jessica Simpson had it done (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785404)

She's pretty smart. I'd follow her lead.

I'd try it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785406)

... But I don't think there are laser powerful enough to correct my eyesight.

Give me a call when they blow the moon up with a laser, that one might work for me.

- Seth

A horrible disappointment (5, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785409)

I hate to break it to ya buddy, but I was crushed when I found out, and I think you should know too. They use a laser ON your eye, to fix problems. They DON'T give you a laser eyeball to replace your puny and misshapen one. I know, I couldn't believe it either, but it's true. Shoulda taken that guy to court for false advertising.

Re:A horrible disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785424)

Yeah, but at least you're not obligated to go on all those secret missions for the OSI.

Re:A horrible disappointment (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785551)

I thought it was an eyeball that shoots laser beams, so you can, you know, like, destroy your enemies and stuff. I hear they have similar surgery for sharks.

I would not mess with my eyes (2, Informative)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785411)

Unless I was seriously blind. I wear glasses, sometimes it sucks, but I just couldn't bear even a 0.5% chance of something going wrong or any chance of blindness.

I've seen/heard (2, Informative)

basslineshift (564949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785413)

I've got a friend who had it done and I watched the tape of the surgery and it looked sketchy. She says that she is stoked she got it, but she has some night blindness from it. I've also talked to a few other people that have had it and they are all happy. I'd say just do research into the doctor you go to first. That's probably the most important thing.


jabbawookie (730487) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785414)

well i live in dallas texas, where dr. boothe practices, and accroding to the radio he's done more lasik proceedures than anyone in the world, 50,000+ so far.. so i guess its good, its gotta mean something if that many people would say yes.

Re:EYE SURGERY (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785465)

If he has done so many, Why does he have to advertize so damn much? It's like brakes to go and other auto 'repair' shops, they advertize so much because they overcharge and can't get word of mouth referals from customers.

Re:EYE SURGERY (2, Informative)

maxchaote (796339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785502)

But that means that if he worked eight hours a day five days a week, performing two surgeries per hour, it'd take him over 60 years to have performed all those surgeries. Something tells me you shouldn't trust this guy.

Check the Expert. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785415)

Friend of mine once remarked after thinking about it.

"I wasn't sure, every surgeon I met who would perform it was wearing glasses..."

Do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785416)

My father had it done and can't believe how well he can see again. Seems like the advanced wavefront stuff really does a good job.

WONDERFULL!!! (2, Insightful)

pandrew (233890) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785418)

I had LASIK done a couple of months ago as have my Mother and Father years ago with generation 1 lasers.

They were very pleased, but I was never able to get it because my astigmatism was too bad to be corrected. Recent laser improvements have greatly increased the correction ranges and I could not be happier.

I have never met someone who would not do it all over again if they had to. And as for myself, I would do it again in a hearbeat and am pushing for others to get it done that are afraid.

The only thing I stress is to NOT go to one of those cheap bargin places where docs come out of med school to practice and use old lasers. The new ones are 5th generation and have "WaveFront Technology" which improve laser accuacy.

So, if you have the funds, FREE YOURSELF!!! You will not miss your glasses/contacts I promise!

Surgical Eyes website (1)

Oddhack (18073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785419)

See Surgical Eyes [surgicaleyes.com] for some possible downsides. It is a site run by the small minority of people who do have complications from LASIK and other eye surgeries, so you have to take their viewpoint with a grain of salt - but nonetheless it's good to know what the worst-case scenario might be.

+11 diopter correction... (2, Informative)

twocoasttb (601290) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785423)

...plus some astigmatism in both eyes; my results were quite good, if not perfect. I'm at about 24/40 now. Night vision includes some starburst effect, but not bad at all. I still wear glasses occasionally, but with lenses that don't break my nose. I think the most important things are finding a reputable doctor and going to the followup examinations. In my case, the doctor wouldn't do both eyes at once, given the high correction. I certainly have no regrets, and consider it money very well spent.

Intacts (1)

Captoo (103399) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785425)

Another option to consider is Intacts. (Tiny bit of info available at http://www.bellevue-lasik.com/lasik-information/la sik-alternatives.html) The big advantage of Intacts is that they are removable in case of complications or upgrades.

Re:Intacts (1)

Captoo (103399) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785455)

There's some more info at http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/pdf/p980031.html .

Be careful (4, Informative)

randyest (589159) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785426)

Avoid frauds [lasikfraud.com] and unrealistic [warnerbros.com] expectations [lasik4me.com] .

Understand the risks, ans assume much worse odds than you are told. If you're still up for it, go on. If you aren't sure, wait. It keeps getting better and safer, you know.

Good luck!

Re:Be careful (1)

smitty45 (657682) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785534)

how the hell is that comment "informative".

If you're not afraid, do it, and if you are, don't. ??

what does that tell the guy asking the question ?

From what I understand it is very good. (2, Informative)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785430)

Although I myself haven't had it, several of my friends have. The only real side effects are temporary (blurry vision and double lights while driving at night) so make sure you are prepared for a little recovery time.

The technology and the prices keep getting better as well.

One thing you will need to keep in mind is even though you might be restored to good vision, normal aging will still continue to lessen your vision. However you'll still be better off.

There are a few types of eye problems that are not corrected by the surgery though. So before you get your hopes up first ask if you are a good candidate for the surgery.

Hope that helps.


Still better off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785518)

Since people use this to get read of near sightedness that means the whole range of focus is shifted farther away, making you more prone to far sightedness as you get older.

No free lunch, but most people would gladly trade in near sightedness for the need to wear reading glasses a little sooner. Personally as long as my monitor is in focus Im chuffed though ;)

Get some nice glasses instead (1)

sith (15384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785431)

Go to a trendy glasses store and work with someone to find the right frames for you. I found some Kazuo Kawasaki frames a few years ago and it really helped me realize that glasses aren't so bad - speaking as someone who's worn them since first grade and has a ridiculous prescription. Nice light frames that accentuate your face seem way better than expensive surgery that might leave you blind... (or unable to drive at night or whatever)

Re:Get some nice glasses instead (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785516)

I had trouble with Kazuo Kawasaki frame discoloring and the coverings of the metal stripping off, since then I've gone to Oakley's.

Re:Get some nice glasses instead (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785520)

It seems to me that appearance is probably one of the last reasons why most people would have the surgery -- after all, most (though admittedly not all) people who are candidates for the surgery could also wear contacts, and get the benefits of "no glasses".

Although I haven't done it yet, I'd like to do so in the future; the biggest reason being convenience. No more glasses to break or contacts to lose; no more groping for my glasses in the middle of the night; no more spending the time to put in and take out my contacts every day. Everyone who I've talked to who has had it done had the same reasons that I do. I have, however, been a bit worried about the failure rate, which is why I haven't yet done it.

Re:Get some nice glasses instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785541)

I'd like to add looking into soft contacts. I have soft lenses and my vision is better than Lasik promises me, but it's getting closer every year. This is entire due to my vision problem. I'm very near sighted (worse than 20/400) and have no asygmatism.

But as sith says, light frames [eyeglasses.com] are really nice. Even though I have a strong perscription, my glasses are so light I can't shake them free.

Get a regular eye exam from someone who doesn't do surgery and ask about your options, odds and risks.

Why just laser surgery? (2, Informative)

Zibblsnrt (125875) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785433)

I've been hearing of some other options [getintacs.com] lately, which are both less destructive and pretty much reversible/adjustable. Strikes me as more palatable than having some of my eye's tissue permenantly vaporized.

I'm still hiding behind a pair of armor plates suspended ahead of my eyes on metal frames, but when I get to the point of actually doing some vision repair/etc, I'd be leaning towards this type of procedure instead of laser surgery.


New eyeballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785435)

I'd try to get some linux powered eyeballs instead...

I am a success story here (3, Informative)

OwnedByTheMan (169684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785436)

Had both eyes done at once (Lasik) and mine were bad but with minor astigmatism. I thik they were like 20/200+ each before.

After a VERY simple procedure (apart from the razor cutting a flap in your cornea), the recovery process was about 2 days long and now, after 1 year, I have absolutely no ill effects (apart from temp night halos for a bit but they went away after about 6 months).

Vision now 20/20 left eye, 20/15 right eye.

Reconsider (1, Insightful)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785438)

If this really is a decent lump of cash, you'd be much better off investing it in the stock market (after the election, if Bush is still in) or using it to start up your own business. If I had 25 to 50 thousand spare cash, there are a few things I know and ideas I have to start up a nice little business. You aren't going to be ahead at all in three years, when all your electronics gear has depreciated to nothing even if it still works. And in 10-15 years you'll be back in glasses as your eyes naturally tend towards farsightedness.

Those with whom it went wrong... (4, Funny)

Karpe (1147) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785441)

...are not here to tell their stories.

long term consequences (3, Insightful)

Jodka (520060) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785444)

It's not accidents during surgery that you have to worry about so much as the long-term consequences. They are removeing part of the cornea eye and this weakens the eye structurally. Nobody knows what are the consequences of reduced structural integrity twenty or more years down the road.

Had it done (2, Informative)

lecithin (745575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785446)

I had it done 1 month ago. I could not get lasic, I had to have PRK performed. The biggest difference I am told is the pain that I went through. So far, so good. This has been the first time without needing glasses in 29 years. I seem to be healing quite well but am a bit far sighted now. Good trade! One of the hobbies that I have is astronomy. So far my night vision is as good or better than it was (corrected). No complaints so far. I have heard the horror stories as well. I researched and made the decision to do it anyway.

Do you need it? (1)

usefool (798755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785448)

Are you wearing glasses at the moment? Have you tried contact lenses?

Personally, I am wearing glasses and sometimes contact lenses, and i find they're enough to get on with my life, so I never consider laser eye surgeory.

Corneal Refractive Therapy (5, Interesting)

dorko16 (797086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785456)

Recently my doctor told me about a new therapy as an alternative to lasik. Essentially special lenses reshape your cornea in your sleep. More information. [allaboutvision.com]

Hard/Gas Perm Contact Caution (4, Informative)

kmahan (80459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785459)

You don't list if you currently wear contacts or glasses. A word of warning if you wear Hard or Gas Permeable contacts (rigid type). Since they ARE rigid they reshape your eye. After you've used them for a while your eye starts to reshape a bit. Which is great. Right up until you decide it's time to STOP wearing them. It takes a while for your eye to gradually reshape -- up to a year depending on the doctor you talk to (and since it's your eyes I'd assume you'd want to be cautious...). So if you get the surgery done before your eye has totally relaxed the surgery will be a waste.

Another warning -- always get a second opinion (from a competent opthamologist) as to whether the thickness of your cornea is great enough to successfully do the surgery. In a story a while ago (cnn?) one of the major problems was that a doctor would attempt to do the surgery with a cornea that was too thin to work with.

My Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785461)

I had my laser eye surgury in Toronto Canada and it was great. Before with glasses I would see 20/20 and now that I have had it done I see even better 14/20. The process was quick and the next day everything was clear. I did have some night vision halos for a few months but it wasn't anything too bad and did go away. Go in for a consultation and see if you're a able to have it done. If you are I would recommend doing it in Canada since it'll be half the cost and they have newer technology.

Good luck and hope all goes well.

bad experiances (2, Informative)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785462)

A friend had this done and has had continuing problems because of it. I'm not entirely sure the exact issues but if you send me your email I can put the two of you in touch with each other.

One issue is that she now has serious night vision problems.

My brother had an RK which is an older corrective technique and he felt it was well worth it. However, you may want to read the book "Left for Dead" because it was the eye surgery that left Seaborn Beck Weathers incapacitated and he really was left for dead, twice in fact. So there can be serious consequences.

I where glasses and did consider surgery at one time. The glasses don't really bother me and since I am short sighted I have found that this is actually a blessing in disguise.

The glasses fix the distance vision perfectly and I can see perfectly from about 24" to infinity. Under 18" I take off the glasses and can then focus to the tip of my nose. Thus I can do close up work that others can't.

If you do elect for the surgery, then make sure you get a good doctor... there are some who try to cut a few corners (pardon the pun)

An even better Idea for than Eye Surgery. (5, Funny)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785467)

Get breast implants. Then you won't need a girlfriend ;)

Sage Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785469)

Don't order the do-it-yourself kit.

Intacs (2, Informative)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785470)

Have you considered Intacs [getintacs.com] ? They're much cheaper, lower risk and very effective, though they don't correct all types of flawed vision.

Fresh Cut... (1)

gnomepro (588995) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785474)

I got mine done June 2nd. I love it. I had both eyes done at the same time and now see with 20/15 vision. It really is a noticable different from wearing glasses. The only problem I have had is dryness in my right eye, but that is tolerable and getting better.

Well worth the money - I paid $699/eye in the midwest.

In Soviet Russia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785476)

In Soviet Russia Laser Blinds YOU! [ltjackdaly.com]

Special Contacts that reshape eyes (2, Interesting)

MacFury (659201) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785478)

I'm not sure if it's still in the FDA approval stage, but talk to your optometrist about a contact lens that you only wear at night.

Basically the idea is that the contact reshapes your eye while you sleep. In the morning, you take the contacts out and have near perfect vision for close to 24 hours. That's not the beauty of them though. Apparently, if you use these contacts your eyesight does not worsen.

I wasn't able to afford them when my optometrist told me about them. They were around $700 a pair because they were new and specific to your eyes. I have no clue what they are called but it's worth looking into...no pun intended.

It does not always work as expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785479)

My sister's surgery improved her vision by about 70%, not the 100% improvement that she had hoped. She was still happy with the results, though. I hear of people in the US going to Canada for surgery since it is more cost effective there.

Well.... (1)

holysin (549880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785480)

the main thing to remember is that when you are doing laser surgery (instead of the perm. contact solution that is coming) they are reshaping your eye. That is, they are REMOVING part of your Cornea. There is no undo button, if they cut too much you're screwed. Also if you have really bad eyes (sigmatism or what have you) you need to have decently sized corneas for it to be worthwhile. And even after surgery your eyes will still age, so you might need glasses again. I would strongly advise against it unless you're a big x games like person. I considered it as a graduation gift to myself, but my then fiancee an Optomitrist talked me out of it.

On the other hand, my dad did do it about 10 or so years ago, and he was very happy with the results. His retina has since detached, and his eyes have grown progressively worse, but that's not due to the surgery, it's just a matter of getting older.

Good luck if you do decide to give it a try.

A huge risk for what reward? (2, Insightful)

Nakito (702386) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785482)

I have a friend who did this. She is a prominent laywer in one of the largest law firms in a major east coast city that is one the medical meccas of the world. By which I mean: she could afford the best that money could buy. Nevertheless, she had complications. For months afterwards, her eyes were too dry and she constantly had to put in eye drops to stay comfortable (and by constantly I mean that the dropper was always in her hand and she was applying drops in the midst of conversations and meetings and such). The doctors ended up plugging her eye ducts so the tears would not drain out so quickly, in an attempt to help keep her eyes moist enough. She still feels discomfort. Remember, these are your eyes we are talking about.

Good advice (1, Funny)

photonic (584757) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785484)

As a physicist who works daily with (only moderate power) lasers, i might share our old and well known survival trick:


I've had it for a while. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785490)

I had Lasik in 1999 and my vision went from 20/400 (can't see the big 'E') to 20/17 (can read a couple of letters on the next to the bottom row)

The procedure was a bit odd. The most unnerving part was when they cut your eye open. You think you're nearly blind then, but you don't have a clue until you see that. The LED light looked about the size of a dime before it was cut, but while it was open for the surgery, it was the size of a *basketball*. Amazingly, I could see improvement while the laser was burning away at my eye.

Immediately after the surgery I could read without my glasses and there was some haze. Kinda like looking out the window on a foggy morning. There were only 3 consequences $5000 fee for the surgery (it was 1999), slightly reduced night vision, and somewhat dry eyes.

5 days later, the fog disappeared and I couldn't see *with* my glasses :-)

Other than that, I can actually see the distortion of a perfectly clean pane of glass vs a plain view. If the wind would stop blowing for long enough, I might just be able to count the leaves on the trees from a distance.

Talk to some of the doc's patients then go for it (1)

UEinSD (750756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785493)

I had the same trepidations... i did it 5 years ago when i lived in Detroit. A doctor in the USA told me he would not do it because my nearsightedness was not severe enough, but to me, who enjoys reading, hiking, swimming, biking, programming... etc... glasses and contacts just weren't cutting it. So I found a doc across the river in Canada who would do it. He ran his office like a meat packing plant. You go in, you pay your money, you get strapped in, they zap you, and then you leave. There was a constant line outside the door and always a full waiting room.

Result? A few hours of pain (5 years ago was ancient history for Lasik), 1 day of groggy eyes, and then perfect vision for 5 years. I can't tell you anything beyond the 5 years, since we are not there yet. I can't tell you anyone else's bad experiences. I have never met anyone who did it who regretted it. That does not mean people like this do not exist... it just means everyone I know who did it was happy. I don't regret it in the slightest and really appreciate the vision I have now.

Myopic? How bad? (1)

vuvewux (792756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785495)

If your myopia is less than (-)5 diopters, consider eyetacs/intracorneal rings instead. If it's worse, don't bother with laser eye surgery, because aside from all of the risks, at higher levels of myopia (and heavily in any hyperopia) there is a lot of regression (especially with PRK but even with LASIK).

Glasses are good (1)

zapster (39411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785501)

I have 20/20 vision but I am considering getting glasses just for the the protection offered. I recently was installing a dish for satellite tv at home, (dish network) and somehow got a metal splinter embedded in the center of my eyes lens. That was needless to say extremely painful and walking around for a few days blind in one eye brings home just how important not only sight is but peripheral vision as well.

Wear glasses and be happy with it.

Do Wavefront... I love it! (1)

rbenech (97413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785506)

I highly recommend LASIK, be sure to get "wavefront"... I used to wear my soft lenses for months at a time - clearly, unhealthy. I hated wearing glasses, so I opted for LASIK when I got a chance. I have had wonderful results. My nite vision is better (no halos) and I can see clearly and don't have any problems focusing. It is really refreshing to just wake up and see, without needing to mess with my eyes. Oh, and I love opening my eyes underwater. And no problems in the rain (if your used to glasses).

My best friend didn't have any problems when he was in Taekwan-do and was repeatedly kicked in the face. That says something about durability.

On the other hand, I fully expect to loose my sight again in 20 or so years, but I'd likely opt to get it again - if possible.

Go for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785508)

I had mine done a few months ago. Worked like a champ - 20/15.

I do have to say, I did shop around and found the best doctor and best technology I could find. Cost was not an issue for me. Don't trust those $299 an eye places. Plan on spending north of $3000 for the best. These are your eyes, you only get two of them, and any changes are permanent. Like many things in life, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785511)

I had LASIK done a couple years ago. I ended up with 20/20 in one eye, and 20/25 in the other. It was probably the most frightening thing I've ever done (much scarier than skydiving). I had to get one of the flaps redone, because a very small piece of eyelash got trapped underneath when it was put back the first time. I also had a reaction to the eyedrops used the second day, when they took the eyelash bit out. In the end, it was worth it, just to have freedom from glasses/contacts for a few years (though I never had coke-bottle glasses).

That said...

The only downside is that I'm already noticing that stuff is starting to get blurry again, and I think it's likely due to spending so many hours staring at a monitor from 2 feet away.

Dry eyes and "halos" are the usual complaints, but neither of them bother me.

I had my procedure done at Cedars Sinai (in Los Angeles), and, while the doctor was very good, I ended up in a protracted battle over insurance (due to the incompetence of their billing department), which is *still* going on two years later (and impacted my otherwise impeccable credit record). Make sure you do your research into the doctor. Don't go to a doctor that advertises on bus shelters, or in the back of free weekly newspapers, or anyone else like that. And don't go to Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. :-P

I had it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785512)

I had it done 2.5 years ago in Michigan. I have never regretted it. It took bout a min per eye, and the joys of staring at a Reallly bright light, but, I can see fine now. My vision before was -9 left, -7 in right eye aka 20/2000th. I have 20/25 now.


I had it done (1)

herko_cl (533936) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785515)

Both my wife and I got a LASIK done on ourselves. Mine was performed by a former teacher (one of the advantages of Medical School...) who refused to perform the procedure until I studied it throughly.
I went to the medical literature and researched it extensively (keep in mind this was in 1999), and found the evidence and risk acceptable. My wife, also an MD, came to the same conclusion.
I had tried contact lenses and could not tolerate them, and I hated wearing glasses (believe me, I look geeky enough without them). The procedure took a few minutes for each eye, but each eye was done in a separate week. My teacher preferred to do it this way (less dominant eye first) so he could over-compensate just a tiny bit on the dominant eye if he found out the correction in the first one wasn't perfect (it was).
We're both very happy with the results, even though I see with just the slightest hint of a halo around bright lights. I've lived with "LASIKed" eyes for years and I would never go back to wearing glasses.
Standard disclaimers apply: I am not an ophtalmologist, much less an eye surgeon. Even though I researched this some years ago, the procedure and equipment has changed and I have not kept up with the changes. YMMV. I haven't seen you; this isn't professional advice. I am probably not licensed to practice wherever you may live. In summary, I just wanted to share my experience as a satisfied patient...

If Only... (1)

_Potter_PLNU_ (627430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785517)

I wish I could have LASIK surgery to correct my eyes, but alas having Keratoconus prevents me from having laser surgery to correct it because of the weakening of the cornea. I'll have to wait until I'm old and grey to have cornea transplants, if it ever gets that bad.

Life would have been a lot different for me if I didn't have the eye problems I have.

To the original post: If the benefits outway the risks it would be well worth it in my opinion.

good results but get a good doc... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785519)

I had lasic in both eyes about 2 years ago to correct nearsightedness. I had no serious complications but now i am quite a bit far sighted so much so that i still need glasses to read comfortably fro long period. i found out later that this may have been due to the fact that my certified doc was fairly new to the field and so i sort of became part of the learning curve. the procedure, of course, is well worth it despite my minor beef. i can see very clearly and have fare less eye strain at home and work. heck even night driving has become much clearer and i once again enjoy it. so I am certainly not complaining to have taken off the coke bottles.
but for those of you that need it "perfect" get a well experienced doc and pay a bit more. if you go to a new doc you of course will get a price cut and may be a bit more.

I had it done. (1)

akvalentine (560139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785522)

I had lasik about three years ago and couldn't be happier with it.

I left the doctors office with 20/15 vision that slowly worked down to 20/20.

The only side effect that I had were several months of dry eyes, but it was minor discomfort, eye drops helped, and it eventually went away permanently. Note that I do see halos at night, but I saw them before the surgery and they didn't get any worse so it doesn't bother me.

My doctor says that my cornea is thick enough to have it done again if my eyes go bad in the future. If they do, I'll do it again without hesitation.

Easy....and great!!! (1)

JarrodMJ (740789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785532)

I had Lasik done in December of 1999....I have 20/15 in one eye and 20/25 on the other. My wife had it done at the beginning of this year...got off the table with 20/15 in both eyes...no stars or blurring...it has gotten better since I had it. My father and step mother had Lasik over the last few years and have excellent vision as well....however I recommend on going to a good doctor not a chain store. If you are in my area (Southwest Ohio) I have some recommendations for you....just let me know.

know your dominant eye (1)

viva_fourier (232973) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785533)

My wife's uncle(55 yrs old) underwent a Lasik procedure in order to correct both his near-sightedness and his failing far-sightedness. This involves correcting the non-dominant eye for far-field vision and the dominant eye for near-field.

As the old leg-amputee joke goes(we sawed off the wrong leg), they corrected his eyes incorrectly -- dominant eye went far-field and non-dominant went near-field, irreversibly, mind you.

The end result was that they had to go in 3 months later and re-correct his eyes such that they were both far-field, so that now he still has to wear reading glasses.

So, now, simultaneously, let us all point to an object far away, cover one eye, trace your finger back to your eyes...

Watch out for the stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785537)

Had the surgery 2 years ago in LA (Lasig Eye Center), and the day-time vision is great. I STILL have star-patterened distortion when looking at light sources at night - even dim lights like brake lights. Its not bad enough to be debilitating, but I was hoping for better. That and ocassional dryness are the only changes I noticed.

Tradeoffs (1)

YouHaveSnail (202852) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785540)

Seems to me, as someone who doesn't wear glasses and may therefore be completely unqualified to answer, that there are some tradeoffs to consider:

1. There's a tradeoff between having the surgery now and putting it off. Having it now, you risk missing out on better technology and better procedures in a few years. Putting it off, you lose out on having improved vision for however long you put it off.

2. There's a huge, important tradeoff between spending your lump-o-cash now and investing it. If you spend it now, you won't have it later. If you invest it wisely now, you can have a lot more later to spend on things like eye surgery and whatever else.

3. In having the surgery, you're trading risk (of worse vision than you have now) for potential convenience (of having better vision than you have now).

Yeah, I know the above doesn't give you any answers, but maybe it'll help frame the questions.

Shoe makers wearing sandals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785544)

My father is a doctor and knows quite a few of the eye surgeons who own these clinics in my area. I happened to mention that I was considering laser eye surgery and he strongly advised against it. He said: "All those doctors wear glasses."

Posting AC because I don't want this ever coming back on my father.

Save your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785545)

Get a penis enhancement instead. How bad can it be if it goes wrong? You'll just have a better story to tell.

Having been the recipient of both Laser and PKU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9785546)

Having been the recipennt of PKU (i had keracteconus in one eye and astigmatism in the other..) it was worth it. LASIK corrected my vision in the right eye to 20/40 while the corneal transplant (the eye was 25/100) restored me to almost normal vision --just have to wear the specially fitted contact lens for it.

If you are having serious vision problems and want to have surgery done check with a opthamologist first. Don't let some quack opotomtitrist bulldoze you into a decision that is not right. Get a second opinion from another professional. Preferably an opthamologist, who more suited in treating vision problems such as astigmatism and keractconus.

As I was told by my doctor initally before I had the transplant, "There is no laser, there is no special thing...this has to be done..". One hour and $10,000 later (insurance paid for a good portion of it...) I have been able to see very well for the last six years.

So first check with the REAL eye doctor first to see what your options are. Then make the decision.

Ask Ned Flanders (1)

Snap E Tom (128447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785549)


Did everyone forget Ned's experience??

"I never should have had that trendy laser surgery. It was great at first but, you know, at the ten-year mark your eyes fall out."

Be Wary (1)

ryanmfw (774163) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785550)

I'd check this out first....

Be Wary of the Lasik Vision Institute [quackwatch.org]

It doesn't say that the surgery bit is bad, just that there are some pretty bad conflicts of interest. Mainly unlawful marketing practices. Hope this helps. :-)

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