Anyone have lasEk surgery?
April 30, 2006 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Anyone out there have lasEk eye surgery?

I have thin corneas, (less than about 480 microns) that precludes me from traditional lasIk surgery. I've been to two laser centers in our moderate city (200k population). Both tried to steer me into PRK - stating my corneal thickness prevented laser. My understanding from newsgroups and Lasek websites is that anyone who is a canidate for PRK is also a candidate for Lasek. Am I wrong? My thinking is that due to the limited number of folks who would get Lasek, and the specialized training it may need- no one in my small city wants to learn how to do it. Anyone have experience with lasEk? Thin corneas?
posted by bytemover to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
My brother had LASEK done about two months ago and was more than happy.
posted by jedrek at 1:30 PM on April 30, 2006

(wow, hit post too fast)

He had very bad eyesight - -7 in one eye, -8 in the other, slight astigmatism, the works - and was tired of the glasses, tired of not seeing, tired of shelling out $300-400/lens so his glasses didn't resemble coke bottle bottoms. He went in, came out a few hours later, spent a couple of days pouring eye drops into his eyes and... that was it. His vision is pretty much perfect - I haven't asked for figures, but he says it's better than it ever was, with either glasses or contacts.
posted by jedrek at 1:34 PM on April 30, 2006

Byte, my brother got it done about two years ago for the same reasons jedrek's did. I can't really tell you anything about the experience itself, just the customer service bit. The surgery went great but everything else we dealt with was just so baaaaad.

Your profile doesn't say where you're located at, but if it's anywhere near Dallas, avoid Dr. Boothe like the plague.
posted by damnjezebel at 1:56 PM on April 30, 2006

i can't speak to this personally (cursed with 20/20 vision, sorry) but my boss has Lasik done about three weeks ago and it was a miserable experience. First and foremost, it didn't work, she is going to have to go back in for a second treatment, which wouldn't be bad except despite what people told her about it not hurting, she said it was one of the worst things she ever went through.

This is a lady who races motorcycles in her spare time; she once dropped her bike, and in addition to the standard road rash cracked a couple of ribs and broke her collarbone. To her, Lasik was worse than that.

Needless to say, any ideas my wife was having about getting Lasik done are now gone. (which is good because i find her glasses cute :)

Of course, YMMV.
posted by quin at 2:15 PM on April 30, 2006

I got it done about 8 years ago out side of US ( i think it was legal soon after in the states) Took about less than hour for prep and actual surgery...

It took me about about 3-5 days to heal completely... During first few days my eyes were waterly and had hard time keeping my eyes open for long time... but no problem for every day things.... i don't recommend driving during those days though.... I remember when i walked out of doctor's office... it was amazing... everything looked so crisp and clean. for first two years... I had better eye sights than any body i knew.... after 5years later... i noticed my sight was getting blurry again.. probably due to my computer work environment (screens...long.. hours etc..) But still very good.....

After 6-7 years later... I think i am back to how i was before.... I don't blame the surgery.. but my work habits with computer screens...(10-12 hours a day looking at the screens)

I am thinking about anther surgery farily soon.... or i now realize i need to get a glasses for my driving...

one thing though.... My eyes had harder time focusing quickly at night... for the first 3 years or so.... (not too bad... but it was warned by my doctor before hand....)

overall... getting the eyes done is a great experience .,.. especially now when the doctors have plenty of experiences and the technology has become more mature.. I recommend it to anybody who needs them...

I never really heard about horror stories yet....

Another thing i noticed.. was... that me looking at circle was different... what i thought was elipse before surgery was actually a circle... and vice versa....

the doctor says... what ever i see now is the correct one....

he also said the brain takes a while to adjust to new info coming in from my eyes....

i hope it helps...
posted by curiousleo at 3:17 PM on April 30, 2006

I had PRK done last February. My eye sight is better than 20/20 now, but I will still end up wearing reading glasses when I hit my 50's. Your eye still ages and changes shape, just from a different starting point. The nice thing is that I won't have to worry about bi- or tri-focals like my mom is right now.

I found the noise and smell to be the worst part - they warn about the noise, but it wasn't at all what I expected and the smell of burning flesh made me nauseous. The only problem that I had (that caused extreme pain) was a major sinus headache - they screw with the pressure of your eyeball to get the little clear plastic cap on it (it pulls your eye up from your socket so they can get to it) and it never occurred to me that this would give me a sinus headache. I took something for that after suffering for about 2 hours (sobbing, nausea again, the whole nine yards) and was watching TV within 20 minutes.

I could have easily gone to work after my follow up appt. the next day, but chose to stay home since I had already declared the time off.
posted by blackkar at 4:21 PM on April 30, 2006

I can't comment on the respective techniques, but have known a few people happy with the results.
I also know a lawyer who tells me that all the laser surgery providers in Australia have an agreement to jointly settle all negligence claims brought against them.
This allows them to claim nobody has ever had a judgement proven against them. I guess an accompanying non-disclosure agreement would stifle criticisms. I believe this is true, but realise this may be different in the USA.
posted by bystander at 5:10 PM on April 30, 2006

I had it done two years ago, with very good results. I was myopic (nearsighted) and had it done so that I could see at a distance without glasses. The tradeoff was that I ended up needing glasses for reading, but only a very light prescription, and I buy reading glasses for about $15-20.

There was a period of time when I had to get used to the new view on things. I was offered the choice to correct one eye for near and one for far, but I declined that suggestion.

My attitude toward the procedure was that I had undergone a vasectomy ten years earlier. If I could handle that, I could handle Lasik. These procedures involved two of my very favorite organs.
posted by megatherium at 6:42 PM on April 30, 2006

Folks - please note that the questioner is asking about lasEk surgery, not lasIk surgery (note: E instead of I).
posted by aberrant at 7:39 PM on April 30, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks aberrant for that clarification- some people aren't aware of the differences in the various surgeries, and lasek is fairly new- thus my question to begin with. Lasek is similiar to PRK, but done with a laser and is less invasive. It is ideal for folks who have a thin cornea, or have the possibiity of a torn off flap. Thanks for the personal histories anyway everyone!
posted by bytemover at 10:07 PM on April 30, 2006

Lasek is similiar to PRK, but done with a laser and is less invasive.

PRK is done with a laser. It does have a couple weeks' real recovery time--I spent about a week helping my best friend by staying in a dark hotel room (he's military and had to go to a base a thousand miles from home to have the procedure--but then, it was on their dime), waking him up to remind him when he needed to eat or take his medication, and I had to drive the whole way home a couple weeks later. He's been very happy with the results, though has suffered from an increased sensitivity to light (surgery was around four years ago) since then.
posted by Cricket at 10:50 PM on April 30, 2006

I'm nearsighted and in the past few years, I've found that I need to take off my glasses to read in dim light. My opthamologist told me that I would not be able to read at all in dim light if I had the surgery. This made me decide against it.
posted by brujita at 11:46 PM on April 30, 2006

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