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The Blurry Artist - Las Vegas, NV

Once I decided to go for it, I read every LASIK...

Once I decided to go for it, I read every LASIK horror story I could find. Though 9 different acquaintances came back with nothing but rave reviews, I knew there would be risks. I knew the structural integrity of my eyes would never be the same. These risks could dramatically affect my quality of life. I'm a graphic designer and illustrator. My eyes are one of my greatest assets.

The day of the surgery, I initialed several pages explaining possible poor outcomes following LASIK. The last page even asked for hand-written consent. Ladies, I also had to confirm that, to my knowledge, I am not pregnant.

I sat in a dim room with 2 other patients while we received instructions for follow up care as well as a group session with the Doctor. At first I was annoyed that we were greeted as a group, but it was actually a great opportunity to share questions and concerns. My prescription was checked again for consistency, and I was given a small pill to help me relax. One by one, the other patients filtered out ahead of me with different verbalized thoughts.

"Oh man, that was so quick!"
"Wow, I'm wide awake now."
"That light was super bright!"

When I was finally escorted back to the surgery room, I was relaxed. In fact, I was too relaxed. My eyes were checked one more time, and I was to lie down. There was a cratered area to place my head, and I was instructed to tilt my chin up and look straight into the small green light. This is more difficult than it sounds. The light was extremely bright, and I was sooooo relaxed. Dr. Rothman kept asking me to stop moving and to tilt my chin back up...to stop rolling my eyes back. I was at risk of not even completing the surgery at this point.

Finally, someone held my head. I focused for all that I could muster and finally lined up right. They had attempted to place the initial flap-creating device on my eye a few times, so my eye was a lil irritated but not in pain. The Doctor apologized, stating that it had to perfect. Fine by me! The suction was applied and the green light disappeared. Everything went black. I smelled a slight scent of something burning. The flap was created, the machine pulled back, and the green light reappeared.

The green light blurred considerably as the flap was lifted back. What looked like the bright light of a scanner crossed over. I kept my eye on the prize and before I knew it, the flap was replaced and the green light came back into focus. The next eye went flawlessly swift. It was over. I had done it!

I slowly sat upright. the Doctor checked my eyes again, and an assistant moved me to a darker room. I could see across the room, but it was blurry. I subconsciously began to panic. I was instructed to have a boring weekend and to go home and sleep. There was to be no reading, no TV, no computer.

It was difficult to fall asleep with the safety goggles strapped to my head, but somehow I squeezed out 5 hours of rest. After that, I endured the rest of the day with my eyes closed. The few times I opened them were to apply eye drops. Many, many eye drops. My eyes were very light sensitive, and the only way I could manage the drops was to apply them in a blacked out bedroom.

The next morning, I was afraid to open my eyes. Was it going to be blurry? Was I an unlucky statistic? Thanks to the eye drops, my eyelashes were like Velcro. Somehow, I pried them open and applied my drops. My sight was much more clear, but still somewhat hazy. My boyfriend drove me back to the office for my follow up. I had gone from 20/400 to 20/20. The Doctor gave me tips and tricks for caring for my eyes, and I scheduled a week followup with the optometrist.

By the third day, I could clearly see things I could not even see with my glasses. The world still feels a little bright, but not nearly as bad as before. I'm still on strict eye drop regimen, but this is easily accommodated. I don't know what the future holds, but so far...so good!

Additional note: my price is including the prescription and lubricating eye drops that I had to purchase before the surgery. I also got some ZzzQuil.

5 Days Later

I've become much less sensitive to light, which is making mornings a lot easier. I can't wait to finish the medicated eye drops. One has a milky texture to it and if there is any left on your lashes, they tend to glue together. My eyes are also a little bloodshot from the initial flap-creating machine. I've added a picture to show this, but it's getting lighter and lighter every day. Most of the red is under my lid. I've noticed things that I could not see even with my contacts, so it's been pretty exciting.

1 Month Later

My 1 month LASIK exam went off without any noticeable issues. My sight is still 20/20. I haven't noticed any glaring or halos at night. In the mornings, my eyes feel a little dry, so I keep some drops right by the bed. Otherwise, I just try to use drops once an hour out of precaution. I've been almost religious about cleansing my makeup before sleep (which I was admittedly bad at before). I've also invested in a nice pair of RayBans to cope with the outdoors.

Eye Infection

I woke up this morning to find my right eye very red. I thought maybe I scratched it while sleeping, and applied a few eyedrops. Arriving at work, the red had faded to a light pink. I scheduled the soonest eye appointment, which was great, because my boss sent me away thinking I had pinkeye.

While I don't have pinkeye (in fact the red/pink completely disappeared), I do have a slight infection in my right eye. My vision is still 20/20. I was given a prescription for antibiotic drops to use in both eyes (just in case). I also tossed out all eye makeup.

I feel guilty, because only a night ago, I had slept in my makeup. I have no doubt that I brought this upon myself. It doesn't hurt, but boy did it scare the crap out of me!

Sensitivity

It's been almost 3 months now, and the "side effects" have been pretty mild. I noticed I'm a bit more sensitive to things that never bothered me before...like cutting an onion and smoke from the grill. During night driving, I can actually see much better that before, but if my eyes are dry, I will noticed some starbursting. Lastly, if I don't take enough breaks from focusing on my computer screen, I start to get some eye fatigue. To be fair though, I'm a graphic designer, and I spend ludicrous amounts of time at the computer. I've installed EyeLeo to remind me to break, and it's done wonders. All in all, it really hasn't been too bad.

4 Months

I can still see 20/20. I've had no problems with dryness; However, I had to pull some late-night work and my eyes were fatigued to the point where I couldn't focus. We're talking about 14 hours at the computer with little to no breaks. I ended up investing in some Gunnar optiks computer glasses. They didn't seem very special putting them on, but it made a noticeable difference in my end-of-day eye fatigue. Eye wear is no substitute for taking regular breaks, but I truly feel these were worth the price (given my career choice).

Relaxing

After a couple of months, I've lowered my use of drops substantially. I also no longer feel the habit/urge to remove my contacts before I go to bed (scary right?).

1 Year Later

I just finished my last follow-up LASIK exam, and I'm still doing well. From here out, I will see my own optometrist annually. I could have an annual eye exam at the LASIK office, but I want to take advantage of the vision plan my insurance provides—it's financially more agreeable.

On another note, my boyfriend and I will be taking scuba lessons in the next month or so. The friend that ultimately helped me choose Dr Rothman a year ago, has become passionate about diving and has had no problems with mask or dive pressure. She also started diving in as little as two weeks after her LASIK. I'm pretty excited, so hopefully I have the same great experience with my LASIK below water as above.
Richard C. Rothman, M.D.

Dr. Rothman was friendly, accommodating, and humorous. He is also a perfectionist, and I appreciate that.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (18)

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Thank you, THANK YOU for this detailed and informative mini blog. It's hard to find real testimonies after the post surgical glee that most people post about. I'm glad and relieved to see that you posted up to 6 months after your surgery. I am also very glad that you have adjusted to and are enjoying your new eyes! I have been saving to get this surgery and also have about 20/400 vision with severe astigmatism. So thanks again and best wishes to you!
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Just wanted to thank you again for your really detailed review, and with pics too, which is so hard to find for Lasik reviews! :) How are things going now? Everything still good?
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Happy to help! I still wake up with a slight bit of dryness, but a single drop in each eye does wonders. I experience no other dryness throughout my day. I'm actually coming up on my year follow up, but I feel great!
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I am nearing 1 month post op but still haven't used eye makeup yet - I am glad now after seeing your review. The main reason I haven't reverted back to wearing eye makeup (which I haven't been makeup free since high school) is because of the eye drops - they create a film on my lashes that I need to wash every couple of hours.
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The lash mess was the worse part for me. They told me I could wear makeup after week, but I wasn't finished with my medicated drops. I just waited it out. Then I was so happy to wear makeup again, I forgot to wash it off...
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How old are you? I wanted Lasik but am not sure as I'm 35 and the eye doctor said that my prescription was strong so even if I get it done, I might still need glasses. :/ He also said that everyone usually needs glasses once they reach a certain age for reading. I think he mentioned in their 40s so I only have about 5 years left! Not sure it's worth it. I've been wearing glasses since Kindergarten so I'm used to them. It's an accessory like a necklace at this point but one I wear every day! What do you think about me getting it done?
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I'm 28. I actually have 2 people in my office over 40 who got LASIK and do not wear glasses yet, but everyone is different. I never got used to glasses, and contacts were dry... So for me it was worth it. Also remember that the structural integrity if your eye will never be the same. In the end, only you can make the decision. Sorry so vague. Hope this kind of helps.
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My eyes are usually dry too when I wear contacts. I have to constantly re-wet them. I only wear them now when I have somewhere special to go like a wedding. I usually do a lot of research before I go through with something. Looks like there are more positive than negative comments on this procedure. You are right though that the structural integrity of the eye will never be the same again. Hmmm much to think about.
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The integrity part was the concession that I was willing to make (along with needing eyedrops, but I used eyedrops anyways for my contacts). I read almost every LASIK/PRK horror story I could find as well as watched procedure videos. My findings showed that the flap is multi-layer, and not all layers heal fully. This is where the dryness stems from, as well as the acute awareness that trauma to the eye could cause more damage than it would if you did not have the surgery. (ex: A man accidentally jabbed his eye with a screwdriver, and it dislodged the flap. Regardless of LASIK/PRK, a screwdriver is still going to cause problems.) If the flap is such a huge deal, I thought to go with PRK, but it looked like more people had dryness/healing issues with PRK.
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Hello! Just wanted to drop a line. Hopefully this will be helpful. LASIK does make eyes more dry. It is important that the dryness of your eyes is measured before deciding to have LASIK using the schirmer's test (or similar tests). Usually people with up to moderate dryness do well after LASIK, but they may need some treatment such as artificial tears after LASIK. Also, PRK and other surface treatments actually (contrary to some of the other comments) cause LESS ocular dryness than LASIK. Although there is some discomfort in the first week after PRK, after the eye is healed, usually the increase in dryness is minimal. This relates to one of the earlier comments. Unlike LASIK, with PRK and other surface treatments, there is no stromal (multi-layered) surface flap made on the eye. The only layer that is removed is the surface epithelial cells of the eye which grow back as before. Because there is no "corneal flap" with PRK, it does not affect the surface corneal sensory nerves of the eyes as much, thus not contributing to ocular dryness afterwards as much as LASIK would. I hope this helps:)

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I am contemplating having LASIK. I am 68 and I have astigmatism in my left eye. Would you recommend LASIK under these circumstances.
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Thanks so much for sharing your experience and progress. How are things going for you now?

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Great! I just went on my first motorcycle trip since the surgery, and all was well. I've added an update with more details.
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That's awesome! Since you came back in one piece, I assume your vision is just fine. ;) Thanks for the update as well.

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How's your recovery going?
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I've become substantially less dependent on the eye drops, but I still use them throughout the day. I'm still noticing things that aren't necessarily new, but are just things I couldn't see before.
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Thanks for posting this detailed review!
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I tried to post what I felt I missed in my research prior. I hope it helps!
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