Nervous, Scared, but Worth It - Pittsburgh, PA

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So my wife and I decided to get Lasik at the same...

So my wife and I decided to get Lasik at the same time. We were told not to since we have a ten month year old, but my parents were able to help out driving us and taking care of the little one.

We had our consultation but I was on the fence, since I was comfortable in my contacts still, but my wife couldn’t wear her contacts anymore and with her job she wanted to get out of her glasses. After we had our consultation I decided I would regret not having the Lasik and decided to take the plunge.

The week or so leading up to the procedure I watched videos on it, read horror stories, and positive reviews all over the internet. I read all the possibilities on our waiver that we had the sign and that really didn’t calm me down any. I was still pretty nervous I mean after all it is your eyesight. Its kind of an important thing. As we got closer I got more excited. I compared it to being in line for a roller coaster for the first time. Your go back and forth between being nervous, scared, and excited.

We went to our procedure on the 23rd at the Lasik Vision institute in Pittsburgh. Dr. Jeffrey Karlik, M.D. was the one to perform our procedure. I was comfortable with him after doing a ton of research on the doc. Our eyes were around the same prescription (-4.0), and we were both having custom wavefront lasik done.

We took our xanax, filled out our forms, and then we were prepped for the operation. I wish I had more time to between taking the xanax and then getting prepped. I felt like the xanax didn’t kick in yet. We picked a number to see who would go first and my wife got to go to the operating room first. At this point I was still nervous but starting to feel better. I was thinking about never having to put on glasses or contacts in the morning again.

About five to ten minutes after my wife went in I saw her leaving the room. I thought to myself, “wow that was quick”, but then the nurse came and got me and asked me to join them in a side examination room.

My heart sank. I thought something happened and my wife’s eye was damaged. The Dr. Explained that when they were going to make the first flap in her right eye, that they lost suction, and the machine didn’t perform the cleanest cut, so the Dr didn’t want to go ahead with the lasik. If he did, then there was a greater risk for seeing halos or blurs. The machine lost suction because she cleanched when they were making the flap and it caused the suction to decrease.

After assuring to me that her eye was ok and they would be able to do the procedure in 2 months on her, the attention shifted to me. Needless to say my confidence was not sky high at that moment, but my wife looked at me and said, “do it or you’re going to regret it”. At this point I feel like the xanax I took was useless and I was a nervous wreck. I agreed to go on and get the lasik done.

I went back into the room and they laid me down on the chair and gave me some numbing drops. The first thing they did was plug my tear ducts. These help with the dry eye afterwards and dissolve out on their own. They then taped a shield on my left eye and taped my eyelashes back on my right eye. They then put the device that held open my eye lids.

Now came the scary part. They were going to make the flap on my right eye. The part that went wrong on my wife. They did tell me to looked wide eyed and surprised the whole time and that would help keep suction during the cutting process. They placed the device on my eye. It looked like a small washer being placed on my eye. Once that was in place i couldn’t see anything and felt a lot of pressure, but there was no pain. The doctor made the cut and removed the device. I could now see again, but not for long.

The entire time you’re under the lasik machine you concentrate on a blinking red light. While staring at this the Dr brought in the tool to pull back the flap. It looked like the same type of tool that a dentist would use to scrap your teeth. Once the flap is moved back everything went blurry. Now came the part where I had to concentrate on the laser light for 20 seconds (This varies based off of your prescription). I read reviews where people said they could smell their eyes burning, but I couldn’t. Once completed, they put the flap back on. The doctor uses something to smooth out the flap, again couldn’t feel anything but just felt pressure. They then used water on the eye to flush it and put in more numbing drops. The process was then repeated on the next eye. The whole thing took 10-15 minutes at the most.

When I was done they took me to a darker room where I sat, eyes closed, for ten minutes. The doctor then came in and checked my wife’s one eye, and then both of mine to ensure that our flaps where good. After that we were able to leave.

We had to wear sunglasses and clearly didn’t drive. The whole way I was excited because although hazy, I could see, but I didn’t want to show it. I felt like I had survivor’s guilt because my wife was really looking forward to the Lasik, and couldn’t get it done.

Once home we slept for 4 hours. When I laid down in bed I still had no pain. I woke up an hour in and wow the pain was awful. Luckily I was able to fall back to sleep. When I woke up the pain was gone and I could see, hazy in and out but I could see (Well enough to watch the penguins game). I started the eye drop regiment of cipro, lotomax, and refresh drops.

The next day I went to my check up and I was already seeing 20/15. I felt like my right eye was not up to par yet, but it was fluctuating still.

Here I am about a week out and still seeing fine. I do have some popped blood vessels in both eyes but they are going down.

I drove on Friday night, two nights after the procedure and was able to see fine. Some halos and star bursting, but nothing that was distracting.

I would do the procedure again in a heartbeat! I stop Cipro and lotomax tomorrow, and my need for the refresh artificial tears has decreased a ton.

My wife may do PRK next time to avoid the flap complications but is still debating.

I will update further once halos go away, my wife gets her eyes done, and the right eye stops fluctuating.
Dr. Jeffrey Karlik, M.D.

did a great job. Waiting to see how round two goes to my wife.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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