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Intralase Bladeless LASIK, 2 Years Later
- posted 3 years ago
- updated 3 years ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $3,500
- Dr. Louis Probst (Arlington Heights, IL)
Growing up, I had perfect vision - or so I had...
- 22 Feb 2010
Growing up, I had perfect vision - or so I had thought. One of my boyfriends in high school once commented to me, "Why do you always give me that mean face?" I laughed and asked him what he had meant by that. Apparently, I had gotten in the habit of squinting without realizing it because my vision was slowly deteriorating.
First, I tried eyeglasses. My depth perception with glasses was way off, and I would actually trip and fall because of it! Then I got contact lenses, but they didn't sit right on my eyes because of astigmatism. I wore the contacts anyway and experimented with different eye colors in college (LOVE Acuvue's ColorBlends!) but after I graduated, I decided it was time for a real solution.
My employer offered a VSP which entitled me to a discount on LASIK procedures, so I did my research online and found the best eye surgeon in the Midwest. How does one determine the best provider for their eye surgery, you may ask. I based my decision off of the total number of surgeries performed and their subsequent results. At the time of my surgery, my provider had performed over 60,000 procedures while other local surgeons had done about 6,000 or so. My doctor also offered the most cutting-edge, bladeless LASIK surgery available. I made an appointment and drove an hour and a half to their office.
After a battery of eye tests, it was determined that I was a candidate for LASIK and they presented me with the price. After much deliberation, I decided to proceed - I was 24 years old at the time and figured I may as well do it now and enjoy good vision for the rest of my life. Many LASIK surgeries offer a lifetime guarantee, meaning if your vision changes as you age, you are welcome to come back for a complimentary revision.
Two weeks later, I was in the operating chair. They gave me a mild sedative (just one pill) and had me relax in a private room until it was my turn.
The procedure itself was relatively quick (about 10 minutes) but those moments were among the most terrifying of my life to date. During the surgery, your cornea is cut (mine was with a laser, rather than a blade) and although there is no physical pain, physchologically it is nerve-wracking. Everything goes black for those 10 minutes, and a part of me wondered if I had just made the biggest mistake - if I may never see again.
After reciting a few fervent Hail Marys in my head, the surgery was finished. I sat up in the chair and - WOW - I could see the clock on the wall! My eyes felt like there were sand in them, and I wanted so badly to rub them but it is forbidden. You are not allowed to touch your eyes at all for the first 24 hours, because you may rip your cornea and create complications. I was driven home by my dad and I took a sleeping pill, then put on an eyemask or goggles (can't remember which) and slept for a LONG TIME.
Patients are written prescriptions for special eye drops for before and after the procedure, to minimize swelling and infection. I had to shower with goggles on and couldn't wear eye makeup right away. The next morning, I woke up with crystal clear vision. No more fumbling around for glasses or contacts.
I went back to the doctor's office for the day-after checkup, and they tested my eyes: 20/15 vision, better than perfect! I had the procedure done in the fall, and I still remember how breathtakingly beautiful the autumn leaves looked from my new perspective.
Overall, I do recommend bladeless intralase LASIK surgery for suitable candidates. I don't regret my decision (yet) but I am concerned when I read about other patients' issues down the road - however, I take heart in the fact that they may not have had the same type of surgery (bladeless intralase) so results may vary. The only adverse side effect I've experienced is slightly drier eyes than before, but I don't mind this since my eyes were pretty wet to begin with (I can cry at the drop of a hat!).
I'm happy that I had this surgery and I love the freedom that it has afforded me - traveling without lugging around contact lens products, and less chance of eye infections because I'm not messing with them at all. Very satisfied, and I highly recommend my surgeon! :)
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Dr. P is fantastic at what he does, and he has a great presence and manner in how he practices his craft.