28yr Old Female Lasik Myopic Procedure - San Diego, CA

Ok, so like many people wanting LASIK, I am tired...

Ok, so like many people wanting LASIK, I am tired of wearing contacts/glasses. I began wearing contacts at 18, and honestly had bad eye hygiene, would sleep in them sometimes. I wore them until about age 25 when I noticed I was getting some pterygium. I was unsure if they were caused by my contact use or not. My optometrists never said anything about them though. I soon developed dry eyes, again, unsure if it was due to the contact wear or because I am a heavy computer user. I started wearing glasses, more or less for the past 4 years now. I wear them for driving and also at work. I am a phlebotomist, so I always wear them when I am drawing blood, but my glasses would always slide down because my nose area is oily. This was very bothersome, I mean, who wants the person drawing their blood to suddenly have their glasses fall off? I also have a flat face and big nose, so finding the right glasses was always a drag. Either they would lay too close to my eyes, or they would pinch my bridge due to my wide nose.

9/4/25 I went in for my consultation. The place I went to was having a Groupon deal, and I decided i'd check it out. I know, most people say dont go for deals or what is cheapest, but after reading their reviews I didnt really see any bad reviews. They complained, not about the procedure or the outcome, but about being treated like an assembly line. I did feel this a bit at my consultation, I was there with 3 other people with the same appointment as myself. But it didnt take that long to be seen. It seemed that when i was getting one test done with the medical assistant, the other patient was seeing the manager, while the other was with the optometrist. It wasnt that big of a deal. So I got all my tests done and they concluded that i was a good candidate. Even with my dry eyes which in their opinion werent severe at all. I honestly feel the dryness by the end of the day when I have been in front of the computer the longest, or in dry weather or wind. Sometimes at night they become red. This is one of the things I am most worried about following my procedure, that my eyes will get even more dry. I really hope not :/ My procedure is this Friday the 11th.

1 day after the procedure

9/11/15
So on the day of the procedure I was there for about 2 hours. I had my eyes re-checked and measured, saw the optometrist one more time as well, and spoke to the manager to get payment and everything else set up. I told them about my interest in getting punctual plugs put in. The medical assistant told me it would be $200 for the semi-permanent ones, or $200 for the permanent ones. This was the price for me since I purchased the groupon, regular price was $500 and that would be my price as well if I waited over 2 weeks to get them put in. Because of my concern about my dry eyes, I felt that this would be a good investment especially since i had heard Lasik makes your eyes even drier. I hadn't spoken to my husband about getting those in, so i told them i would wait another week so that I could speak to him about it. I was then "in line" to get the procedure done. There were 2 people ahead of me. They cleaned my eyes first with a solution and put cloth booties over my feet as well as a cloth hairnet.

I went in, the doctor looked at my eyes, and had me lay on the table. It had a hole on the headrest. Stupid me forgot I was wearing one of those hair claws and i wondered why i was so uncomfortable. I then remembered, took off the claw, and laid back down. He told me to just relax and lay still. I don't remember the exact order of these things since they happened so fast, but this is basically what happened: I had some drops put on my right eye, and my left eye was covered. They put some tape on my top lid to hold it open, and they did the same for my bottom lid. Then some kid of forceps were put in to hold my eyelids both open. A red and green spotted light came on and i was told to look at it. I felt like my eyeball was going to pop out for a couple of seconds as he was telling the med assist to turn on the suction. My eye went black for a couple seconds. At one point the machine also turned on, there was a whirling of sound, and then i smelled something burning. Then my eyesight was back. The dr came and started rubbing my eye. It was kind of surreal. It was like watching tv, where you see things being done, but since you can't feel it AT ALL, it feels like you are the spectator. He seemed to be putting my flap back together, adding more drops, using a tiny squeegee(i dont really know if he was, but it looked like it). He then wiped my eyes and covered it up. He then went and did the same thing to my left eye. After the cleaned that eye, he had me stand up and sit in front of his eye machine thingy so he could check both flaps were back in place. They were fine and he gave me some glasses to wear while telling me to try and sleep for a couple of hours, then start my prescribed eyedrops in 4 hours.

I went home, took some nyquil, and tried to sleep. They gave me some eye covers with medical tape so that i could sleep on my back and protect my eyes in case i rolled over. I tried to sleep, but because of the heat it was hard. I began to get a headache after about 2 hours, and my eyes were sort of throbbing. Mild, but it was still a pain. My eyes were also watering a lot. After a couple hours I took off the eye covers and got my first look. I could see perfectly. It really did feel amazing to not see blurry anymore. But then I looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes were bloodshot, and i had a red dot on each eye, im guessing from the suction cups. I had seen pictures of other people on here with them, so i kinda expected to get them as well. Thankfully i had told my bosses at work on Friday that i might come in on Monday with bruised eyes, so they won't get shocked when they see me. They are not too bad, and i know they will go away, but i was hoping i would be lucky enough not to get them. My left eye feels great, no pain whatsoever, but my right eye felt as if there was a tiny piece or lint or something. Not all the time, just randomly every hour or so. Anyways, I put my drops in, and went to bed. It was around 9pm by then.

Today 9/12/15
So i woke up and i looked in the mirror. The redness had completely gone away, although i still had the bruise dots. I tend to get eye redness throuought the day regardless since i use the computer a lot and by the end of the day my eyes get bloodshot. By morning it is always gone. Seemed like the same happened today. I went to my 1st day appointment today at 7:30. They checked my eyes again, and told me that all of my numbers were at 0. I did not really know what that meant, and they told me that that was what they were aiming for, but not most people have all zeros by their first day. So they said my eyes were healing pretty well. They did tell me my bruises would go away in a couple of weeks. My vision was checked, and they looked closely st my flaps to make sure they were in place. Everything looked great. I honestly feel really great. I went home and continued my drops, as well as the systane they gave me. I can honestly say that the systane drops are amazing. I bought some generic drops from CVS a couple of days before the procedure to try them on my dry eyes, but i felt that those lubricated for a bit, then left them feeling funny and back to dry, and the redness happened by the end of the day anyways. The systane seems to keep them moisturized for a while. It is not 7:30 and my eyes are still white! This has literally never happened. I dunno why i never used drops in my eyes before. I mean, i did, but i always got the wrong kind i guess. I feel really good about the Lasik procedure so far(minus the bruising). I don't know if the procedure is going to make my eyes drier in time or not, but i have high hopes. I am waiting until my one week appointment to decided whether to get punctual plugs or not, but i am 90% sure i will as a precautionary measure for the future.

6 days in

So it's 6 days in. I stupidly went to what I thought was my appointment today, only for them to tell me it is next Thursday. Great. Anyways, things have been good so far. I see perfectly still. I have been taking the Theratears dry eye vitamins, I bought a pack of 2 on Amazon. They were a bit pricey, but there were many good reviews, so I figured it was worth a try. I haven't felt as much dryness as I thought I would. I have been doing a lot of reading, and to me it seems that more complications occur when the prescription is higher. My prescription was only -1.50, which means that there was less tissue they had to remove from my eyes. I suppose this is why I havent gotten any side effects really?

Using the computer is one of my complaints. My eyes tend to feel strained more easily, especially because of the brightness. They told me my eyes would be more sensitive to light for a while, and I am hoping this goes away soon. It's only been 6 days, so im sure that will improve as time goes on. Turning the brightness down really helps when im on my laptop. I also installed the leo program, which tells me when to look around, take breaks away from the computer. I have been using the Systane drops every day, they really help. I was using 2 vials a day. They are pretty expensive, I bought the box of 60 at CVS for 29$, but i was able to print out a coupon for $3 from their website.

My second complaint is my eye bruises. They have gotten sooo much better than the first day, so im hoping they are gone soon. They make me feel so self conscious, especially at work! None of my patients have asked, but i'm sure they are wondering what is wrong with them.

11 days in

Things are still going great. My eyes are getting less and less tired every time I am on the computer. I have also been applying the Systane drops during computer use since I know that I tend to blink less. The eye bruises are going away, although slower than I would have liked. Had I known I would get bruises I would have waited until I had 2 weeks off work. I'm hoping by next week they will be gone.

15 days in

So Thursday I went to my 2 week appointment. I got there 10 minutes early, and they were able to see me 15 minutes before my appointment. They used the machine on me that checked my vision. It had a chin rest and forehead rest, and showed a picture in it that I had to focus each eye on. All my numbers were at zero, just like at my one day follow-up, which meant I was still 20/20. This made me very happy since I was a bit worried about the effect using a computer during healing. I then went in to see the optometrist. He lifted my lids, made me look side to side, up, down. He also checked to make sure the flaps were on well. Everything was good and he was happy with my outcome. He told me my bruises would just get better within the next week. My left eye is just a small speck now, and my right is now a ring around the side of my pupil. I am hoping that by the end of next week they will mostly be gone.

I was never much of a sunglass wearer before Lasik, but now I am pretty religious about always wearing them outside. I went out and bought myself 3 pairs, I keep one in my car just in case I ever forget them. The eye redness caused by my dry eye before the procedure is rarely present anymore I'm guessing because of my constant systane use. I use one vial per day, down from 2 the first week. I also bought the systane nighttime gel to use at night as I sometimes wake up with a tiny bit of dryness in the morning. I never had this issue before Lasik, but it is not a huge annoyance, just something i noticed was new. The gel is ok I guess, it is basically just mineral oil and petrolium. I do prefer to put in a drop at night but i got the gel because i hate opening a new vial in the middle of the night just for one drop. I can technically get about 6-8(I havent really counted)uses out of each vial, and I like to open a new vial in the morning so they stay as fresh as possible. I am hoping the mild morning eye dryness goes away with time. I am sure it will since it really is pretty mild. I only got the gel because I am paranoid about keeping my eyes moist since technically my eyes are still healing and will continue to for at least a year, and I want to help them out as much as possible.

Eye bruise is still on one eye

Eye bruise is still there but getting much better every day. Eyes feel fine. They still get tired and dry after using the computer all day, which was a problem even before the Lasik procedure. I just pop some eyedrops in while I'm using it, and they feel much better :)

update

So it has been a while since my procedure, and things have been great. No more eye bruises, those went away completely a couple of weeks ago. I lost count. They were an eyesore(hehe) and my only main complaint about the whole process. The dryness I used to have before the procedure is still the same. It did not get worse like i had feared. I buy the systane ultra single use vials. I print out coupons from their website so that helps. A 60 vial box is around $29, plus a $2 coupon which i sometimes add to a cvs $2off coupon. Saves me a lot. I use one vial a day, and mainly when i am on the computer for a long time. Fallout 4 just came out, so i have been using it a lot! No more eye redness at the end of the day like i used to get from heavy computer use, which i am very happy about.

My follow up appointment with my dr was yesterday, and i actually forgot about it. They called me to remind me so i have to call them back to reschedule. I got laid off from my job yesterday so my mind wasn't exactly in the right place. I will update if anything interesting happens at that appointment, which i highly doubt.


I posted this info in the comments, but here is the groupon i used. It used to be $1395, and it looks like they raised the price a bit like they told me they would. Not by much though, and i still think the new price is still pretty good.
https://www.groupon.com/deals/the-lasik-vision-institute-46-san-diego

This is the doctor I went to see. He is located in La Mesa. I honestly didn't meet him until i was in the "surgery" room. It was surgery day the day i went and he had a bunch of patients to do all day. I think this is the part that people in some of his yelp reviews complained about. The fact that they felt ushered around like cows. I actually didn't mind it. At my old job me and the doctor ran a similar system. We did bone marrow donations in 10 minutes per patients, did bloodwork, dr did the procedure, and they were out. So I am familiar with that type of system. As long as the doctor is good at his job and efficient that's all i cared about.


http://www.lasikvisioninstitute.com/why-choose-us/lasik-doctor-surgeon/dr-john-kownacki-md/
lasik vision institute

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
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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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