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Lasik Eye Surgery Message Board

Lasik Eye Surgery Board Index

I've been reading this message board for a few months before my procedure.
Although I've read some positive comments, most of the posts seemed to be on the negative side.
Well, I had my procedure on 5/25/06. I went to Dr. K.A. in Santa Monica, Ca.
He is regarded as one of the best refractive eye surgeons in the entire country.

Yes, as most do, I researched almost every doctor in the L.A. area, including those "$499 per eye" places, which by the way, you should avoid at all costs.
My consultation at these places seemed more like I was at a used car dealer being pressured to commit to something that I wasn't comfortable with.
The doctors are advertised as being "experts", and maybe they are, but you have to remember that the best doctors do not need to offer discounts.

Anyway, my final choice came down to 2 doctors. Dr. K.A., and Dr. R. M.
Dr. R.M. was the guy who did the procedure on "Extreme makeover".
Dr. K.A. did B. Pitt, C. Cox, J. Salley(Best Damn Sports Show), and many other celebrities.
I went to consultations with both and was equally impressed with both.
I ended up choosing Dr. K.A. because I learned that he trained many of the top doctors in the world including Dr. R.M.

The "walk-in" price for these doctors was around $5600 for both eyes.(Regular Lasik procedure only. PRK, LASEK, and other procedures are probably higher)
Yes, it is definitely on the higher side, but it is a normal rate for the best doctors and well worth it when you consider that it is your eyes that are being operated on.

Ok, now for my procedure:

Before I begin, my prescription was -4.75 (left eye) and -4.50 Astigmatism (right eye). A lot of these people who had problems on this site did not mention their prescription, but I'm assuming that it was worse than mine.

I arrived at 10:45 am, checked in, and was given Zanax. Reading all these negative comments on this site made me more nervous than I should have been.
Dr. K.A. has a staff of around 7 or 8 O.D.'s who perform all the pre-tests for him. These doctors are very knowledgeable of the procedure and most have had it done themselves.
Within 5 minutes of my arrival, I was taken for my final preliminary tests. Please note that I went through 4 cycles of complete tests before my procedure to ensure all the numbers were consistent. I did 2 with my own doctor, and 2 with Dr. K.A.
Dr. K.A. has the latest equipment, including wavefront, and each test was performed by a different doctor assigned to that particular station.
I had 5 different doctors that worked on me the day of my procedure, so I felt very comfortable.
I was given another Zanax after the tests because the first one didn't hit me.
I'm 6'0, 185#, so one pill may not have been enough.
After the 2nd one, I felt nice and calm.

My tests were completed at around 12:15, and I was placed in a room with a massage chair. I almost fell asleep in there.
I was called into the operating room at 12:30.
There were 2 nurses and one O.D. present. They were all very kind and supportive making small talk and answering any questions I had.
I sat in a reclining dentist type chair adjusted to lie flat. They put some numbing drops in my right eye, and I waited.
Dr. K.A. came in shortly after, I greeted him, they pushed me under the laser machine, then told me, in detail, what they were going to do.
First, they first taped my eyelashed up using some rubber sheet material. Then they inserted the eye speculum. (This is not at bad as it seems. As long as you relax your face, you won't feel it.)
Then they squirted some liquid in my eye to cleanse it.
The Dr. then placed that ring on my eye to keep it from moving, cut the flap, moved it aside, and lasered my eye.
I was able to see the entire process and was told of each step prior to it happening. The most uncomfortable part was that ring on your eyeball. It didn't hurt, it was just some pressure that I wasn't used to.
If you close your eyes and push your eyeball in slightly, that's the feeling you would get except your eyes are open.
Anyway, after the laser, I saw him put the flap back in place, he squirted some more solution, then it was done!
He did the same on my left eye. It wasn't as bad because I knew what to expect.
Each eye took about 8 minutes.
After the procedure, residual gunk was cleaned from my eye, the plastic shields put on, and I was placed in a room for 40 minutes where my eye can settle. An O.D. came in afterwards, checked my eye to see if everything was fine, which it was, then I was sent on my way.
After the numbing wore off, my eyes stung a little for about 2 hours.
After that, nothing. I was fine. I could actually see through those plastic shields, and was amazed at what I was able to see.
The rest of the day was spent in front of the TV. My wife and 2 1/2 year old left me alone by going shopping, so I was able to relax.
I hit the sheets at 10, got up at 7 the next day, took my shields off, and saw perfectly!
I went to my 24 hour check-up and had 20/15 in my left eye, and 20/25 in my right. Due to the astigmatism in the right eye, I was told that it would take a little time to heal completely, but hey, I'm not complaining.
I had and have ZERO complications. Nothing. Not even dry eye.
It just goes to show you that if you go to a reputable doctor and spend a little more money, the chances of complications are decreased significantly.
It was worth every penny.

I hope this helps you people considering the procedure.
Some advice:

1) Don't listen to all these negative comments unless they provide all the details of their prescriptions, past history, etc.
The vast majority who go to reputable doctors have success.

2) Dont' go to the doctors who advertise cheap rates no matter how good they look on paper. Get testimonials if possible, or get references.

3) Don't read too many message boards. My mistake was that I read almost every existing board out there, and it just made me worry that much more.

Sorry for any misspellings or grammatical errors. I had to write this in a hurry.
I'll check back tomorrow and try to address any questions that you may have.
[QUOTE=Niland]I would echo Michelle's sentiments and I had a close to perfect Lasik experience (from -6D to 20/15)

The easiest way to state it is: imagine if a close friend asked you your thoughts and you said "sure go for it" and then he or she had a serious complication.

It is great to hear about people who had no complications but be careful how you word your comments, in the end everyone has to weigh up the risk vs benefit for themselves. All I can say is thankfully it worked out great for me.[/QUOTE]

Sorry to make waves guys, I was just trying to make a point, and I see that no one meant any harm. I think what Niland said pretty much summed it up. I just know that of all the people reading these threads, not all of them are gonna have good outcomes. It is just frustrating for someone like me on the other end of things to think back to how all my friends pushed me on and told me how easy and painless and great it was. Not that it is their fault I had the surgery, but if someone would have warned me, I probably would have thought twice.

The reason alot of message boards have negative stories is because it is the people with bad outcomes searching for solutions...I think that makes perfect sense. Ofcourse there are tons of great stories out there, most of us know tons of people with them...which is why we considered it in the first place. I think the lasik industry and all of its online pop ups, radio ads, flyers in the mail, and tv commercials does a good enough job of making people think that it is no big deal. It is the message boards where people can learn about the other side of it so they can make an informed decision.


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