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Old 11-25-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Coolerkid9090 HB User
What to believe, what to expect?

I know over a dozen people who have had Lasek or LASIK and they all rave about it. Some are on 5-10 years and have never had any problems. They all said it went smoothly and that it was life changing. I'm reading almost all horror stories on here and wondering if this board just attracts the small % of people who have problems and/or bad doctors, and if the successful patients don't bother to come on forums like this to post a follow up. For those of you with complications, what are your age ranges? Is there anything out of the ordinary you may attribute your complications to? Did you go to a highly rated doctor that you know someone else went to? What were your friends results like? I feel if you Google any surgery you can find hundreds or thousands of complaints out there and horror stories, but most of the time these people only represent a tiny portion of the people who had it done.

How should I go about researching this? I am considering LASIK but am nervous and want to be well educated on it. I don't know anyone personally or have even heard of anyone having less than perfect results. I am fearful of any surgery and want to know I have all the info available first. My contacts and glasses have reached the point where going higher is causing me warped vision, but I don't have perfect eyesight with them now. I am also getting frequent infections/irritations these days from the contacts so if this is a relatively safe and effective technique then I want to have it done, but if I'm really putting myself at risk then I will hold off.

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:17 AM   #2
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Re: What to believe, what to expect?

Hey cooler kid. I thought the same thing when I read these. Statistically very few have issues after the first few months. Those who do are miserable and sometimes severely impacted. One of the things I noticed on this forum is that a lot of people post about their problems then never post again. Some don't even reply to the people who repond to their own thread. My theory is that a lot of people don't know what to expect and are scared when they don't have good vision the first week. Combine that with the 1-3% of people who truly have terrible outcomes and you get a few hundred posts like the ones on this forum.

I suggest you read articles (more than blogs) about lasik, lasek, prk, epi-lasik, led and intralasik first. Appending the word +study to your searches or +research might help you find real data. Once you decide which flavor of surgery you want, then find a surgeon who does that and perhaps read about people's personal recovery stories on the Internet.

As you can see in my posts here I believe it is worth a few months to choose the surgery that I thought had the best outcome in the long run (LED) and to do it one eye at a time for minimal risk and minimal impact to my daily life. So far I am very happy with my progress (I am one week after surgery #1).

Best of luck.

Greg

 
Old 11-27-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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otte HB User
Re: What to believe, what to expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolerkid9090 View Post
I know over a dozen people who have had Lasek or LASIK and they all rave about it. Some are on 5-10 years and have never had any problems. They all said it went smoothly and that it was life changing. I'm reading almost all horror stories on here and wondering if this board just attracts the small % of people who have problems and/or bad doctors, and if the successful patients don't bother to come on forums like this to post a follow up. For those of you with complications, what are your age ranges? Is there anything out of the ordinary you may attribute your complications to? Did you go to a highly rated doctor that you know someone else went to? What were your friends results like? I feel if you Google any surgery you can find hundreds or thousands of complaints out there and horror stories, but most of the time these people only represent a tiny portion of the people who had it done.

How should I go about researching this? I am considering LASIK but am nervous and want to be well educated on it. I don't know anyone personally or have even heard of anyone having less than perfect results. I am fearful of any surgery and want to know I have all the info available first. My contacts and glasses have reached the point where going higher is causing me warped vision, but I don't have perfect eyesight with them now. I am also getting frequent infections/irritations these days from the contacts so if this is a relatively safe and effective technique then I want to have it done, but if I'm really putting myself at risk then I will hold off.
Unlike Greg who posted who had good results I did not. You are correct in saying that those that have problems post more because I/we try to get out the message that there is a 1-3% chance that something will not go right. That is to say 3 out of 100 will have problems. That also means the 97 out 100 are good. Be mindful that you won't know where you stand until after the operation. Best of luck - hope things work out.

 
Old 11-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: What to believe, what to expect?

I also thought the same thing when I found this site. That was over two months ago. I had my Lasik procedure two weeks ago and made sure to keep this tab open in my browser so I could come back here and share what I knew would be my positive results. And you know, they are. Still healing and adjusting, and the dryness is a little bit of an issue sometimes, but for the most part I am amazed and excited that I never have to wear contacts and glasses again. Especially for you, since you said you're getting frequent infections lately, the risk of infection after Lasik is so much less than that with contacts.

It was disheartening and very disconcerting to read all of these horror stories when I was heavily researching Lasik, and I will always feel for those who had a negative result. It's a risk one chooses to take. The best thing you can do is find a surgeon that you TRUST. I switched surgeons from one who I had heard many positive accounts of to one who had had over 80,000 surgeries under his belt and does the Lasik for the Atlanta Falcons and Hawks... If he's good enough for them, he's good enough for me!

I want to echo Greg; take your time, several months perhaps, and do plenty of research, go to more than one doctor for a consultation, and reach a point at which you are confident in your decision and your surgeon's ability. I'll say that even on surgery day and afterwards, because of all the horror stories I'd read, I still vaguely doubted my decision and my amazing surgeon's ability, but everything turned out fine. And I'm confident enough in the positive accounts I've read to believe that after another month or two or three, things will stabilize more and heal more and be really great for years to come.

Good luck with your research, and be sure to update us on your decisions!
Ashley

 
Old 11-30-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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Coolerkid9090 HB User
Re: What to believe, what to expect?

I ended up backing out about an hour before the procedure. When it came down to it, I was far too uncomfortable to go through with it at this time. My anxiety and concern center more around the longterm risks and effects of it. I wasn't really scared off by the horror stories I read online, you can find horror stories about practically anything, it was more in reading about the procedure itself, talking to doctors, weighing the known risks, the 'accepted' complications, and the big risk of the unknown.

Considering the eye never fully heals, I wouldn't feel like I was in the clear even if the procedure went perfectly and there were no complications right away. I feel like I would always have a lingering anxiety about having had it done, and I'm not sure if that alone is worth it. All it would take is one study, or an episode of 60 mins questioning Lasik and I would be living the rest of my life in fear even if nothing bad ever happened. Regardless of what the docs say, they have no idea what the longterm effects are and what the risks of having this flap are, they are just guessing. My doc, who is one of the top guys out there and was very open to answering all my questions and gave very honest answers, said that they really don't know, but that it's been around for 10-15 years and if problems haven't happened by now, they probably wont. I don't agree or are comforted by that logic at all. I also don't feel comfortable agreeing to certain amount of acceptable complications.

Not saying I'll never have it done, I haven't deemed it unsafe or safe in my mind yet, I just want to be completely comfortable going in, knowing all the risks, but excited about the rewards. Going into it today I really feel like I was playing Russian roulette, so I knew I wasn't ready to make this decision. I make plenty of calculated risks in life and biz, nothing is ever a certainty, but I don't like to gamble and that's what it felt like I was doing. Even with 20/20 vision and no complications, I think I'd still feel uneasy and constantly be second guessing my decision. I'm already glad I didn't go through with it, and will continue waiting for a safe alternative to glasses, and have not ruled out the possibility that it could be Lasik someday.

For those who have had it with success, don't think I'm knocking it. Who knows if I'm right or even if I'll have severe complications from wearing contacts all these years, or if not getting it done now will lock me out of getting it down the line if my eyes change in the next few years or I develop other problems. Maybe it's deemed undeniably safe in a few years and I'll be kicking myself for not having it done sooner. I'm not trying to influence other people's decisions, I'm clearly no expert on this, I'm just explaining the thought process that went into my decision.

 
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