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    Old 05-28-2006, 09:08 AM   #1
    gmiyano
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    Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    I've been reading this message board for a few months before my procedure.
    Although I've read some positive comments, most of the posts seemed to be on the negative side.
    Well, I had my procedure on 5/25/06. I went to Dr. K.A. in Santa Monica, Ca.
    He is regarded as one of the best refractive eye surgeons in the entire country.

    Yes, as most do, I researched almost every doctor in the L.A. area, including those "$499 per eye" places, which by the way, you should avoid at all costs.
    My consultation at these places seemed more like I was at a used car dealer being pressured to commit to something that I wasn't comfortable with.
    The doctors are advertised as being "experts", and maybe they are, but you have to remember that the best doctors do not need to offer discounts.

    Anyway, my final choice came down to 2 doctors. Dr. K.A., and Dr. R. M.
    Dr. R.M. was the guy who did the procedure on "Extreme makeover".
    Dr. K.A. did B. Pitt, C. Cox, J. Salley(Best Damn Sports Show), and many other celebrities.
    I went to consultations with both and was equally impressed with both.
    I ended up choosing Dr. K.A. because I learned that he trained many of the top doctors in the world including Dr. R.M.

    The "walk-in" price for these doctors was around $5600 for both eyes.(Regular Lasik procedure only. PRK, LASEK, and other procedures are probably higher)
    Yes, it is definitely on the higher side, but it is a normal rate for the best doctors and well worth it when you consider that it is your eyes that are being operated on.

    Ok, now for my procedure:

    Before I begin, my prescription was -4.75 (left eye) and -4.50 Astigmatism (right eye). A lot of these people who had problems on this site did not mention their prescription, but I'm assuming that it was worse than mine.

    I arrived at 10:45 am, checked in, and was given Zanax. Reading all these negative comments on this site made me more nervous than I should have been.
    Dr. K.A. has a staff of around 7 or 8 O.D.'s who perform all the pre-tests for him. These doctors are very knowledgeable of the procedure and most have had it done themselves.
    Within 5 minutes of my arrival, I was taken for my final preliminary tests. Please note that I went through 4 cycles of complete tests before my procedure to ensure all the numbers were consistent. I did 2 with my own doctor, and 2 with Dr. K.A.
    Dr. K.A. has the latest equipment, including wavefront, and each test was performed by a different doctor assigned to that particular station.
    I had 5 different doctors that worked on me the day of my procedure, so I felt very comfortable.
    I was given another Zanax after the tests because the first one didn't hit me.
    I'm 6'0, 185#, so one pill may not have been enough.
    After the 2nd one, I felt nice and calm.

    My tests were completed at around 12:15, and I was placed in a room with a massage chair. I almost fell asleep in there.
    I was called into the operating room at 12:30.
    There were 2 nurses and one O.D. present. They were all very kind and supportive making small talk and answering any questions I had.
    I sat in a reclining dentist type chair adjusted to lie flat. They put some numbing drops in my right eye, and I waited.
    Dr. K.A. came in shortly after, I greeted him, they pushed me under the laser machine, then told me, in detail, what they were going to do.
    First, they first taped my eyelashed up using some rubber sheet material. Then they inserted the eye speculum. (This is not at bad as it seems. As long as you relax your face, you won't feel it.)
    Then they squirted some liquid in my eye to cleanse it.
    The Dr. then placed that ring on my eye to keep it from moving, cut the flap, moved it aside, and lasered my eye.
    I was able to see the entire process and was told of each step prior to it happening. The most uncomfortable part was that ring on your eyeball. It didn't hurt, it was just some pressure that I wasn't used to.
    If you close your eyes and push your eyeball in slightly, that's the feeling you would get except your eyes are open.
    Anyway, after the laser, I saw him put the flap back in place, he squirted some more solution, then it was done!
    He did the same on my left eye. It wasn't as bad because I knew what to expect.
    Each eye took about 8 minutes.
    After the procedure, residual gunk was cleaned from my eye, the plastic shields put on, and I was placed in a room for 40 minutes where my eye can settle. An O.D. came in afterwards, checked my eye to see if everything was fine, which it was, then I was sent on my way.
    After the numbing wore off, my eyes stung a little for about 2 hours.
    After that, nothing. I was fine. I could actually see through those plastic shields, and was amazed at what I was able to see.
    The rest of the day was spent in front of the TV. My wife and 2 1/2 year old left me alone by going shopping, so I was able to relax.
    I hit the sheets at 10, got up at 7 the next day, took my shields off, and saw perfectly!
    I went to my 24 hour check-up and had 20/15 in my left eye, and 20/25 in my right. Due to the astigmatism in the right eye, I was told that it would take a little time to heal completely, but hey, I'm not complaining.
    I had and have ZERO complications. Nothing. Not even dry eye.
    It just goes to show you that if you go to a reputable doctor and spend a little more money, the chances of complications are decreased significantly.
    It was worth every penny.

    I hope this helps you people considering the procedure.
    Some advice:

    1) Don't listen to all these negative comments unless they provide all the details of their prescriptions, past history, etc.
    The vast majority who go to reputable doctors have success.

    2) Dont' go to the doctors who advertise cheap rates no matter how good they look on paper. Get testimonials if possible, or get references.

    3) Don't read too many message boards. My mistake was that I read almost every existing board out there, and it just made me worry that much more.

    Sorry for any misspellings or grammatical errors. I had to write this in a hurry.
    I'll check back tomorrow and try to address any questions that you may have.

    Last edited by gmiyano; 05-28-2006 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Typo

     
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    Old 05-28-2006, 05:51 PM   #2
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmiyano
    I had and have ZERO complications. Nothing. Not even dry eye.
    It just goes to show you that if you go to a reputable doctor and spend a little more money, the chances of complications are decreased significantly.
    It was worth every penny.

    I hope this helps you people considering the procedure.
    Some advice:

    1) Don't listen to all these negative comments unless they provide all the details of their prescriptions, past history, etc.
    The vast majority who go to reputable doctors have success.

    2) Dont' go to the doctors who advertise cheap rates no matter how good they look on paper. Get testimonials if possible, or get references.

    3) Don't read too many message boards. My mistake was that I read almost every existing board out there, and it just made me worry that much more.
    Gyimano,

    I'm sorry, but I am going to have to disagree with your post. Just because things worked out for you, doesn't mean they are going to for everyone reading this. I have no problems with you sharing your success, but I felt that you stated alot of things wrong. For (some of) edited by mod1 those of us unfortunate to have long term problems, it is not because we we didn't do our research or went to lousy doctors. It is because we were the unlucky few who the procedure did not work out for. I've said it a million times, and I will say it again, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES WITH LASIK. No matter how good your doctor is, no matter how many successful surgeries they have performed, no matter how much you pay, and no matter how good of a candidate you are, there is still a chance that things will go wrong. I will not argue with you that the large majority of people do just fine, because that is usually how it goes. However, people need to be informed before they have this surgery. They need to read message boards and realize that complications are possible and that they can be devastating. They need to be made aware of what can go wrong and THEN decide whether or not they are willing to take the risk with their eyes.

    Lasik is NOT an overnight miracle. I'm not trying to scare you, but I was happy with my surgery at 72 hours as well. I was very happy with my surgery at 6 weeks post-op. It wasn't until my nerves started healing and I could feel how painfully dry my eyes were, that I realized something wasn't right. 11 months later, I'm still in the same boat. Again, this is not the case for the majority of people, but it DOES happen, and people need to know about it so they can make an informed decision. I am glad that you are happy with your surgery so far, and I hope that your recovery continues to go smoothly (as it most likely will). I just did not agree with your reasoning and felt the need to point that out. I believe that one of the doctors that you were considering (Dr. R.M) was the surgeon who perfomered comedian Kathy Griffin's surgery. (do not suggest websites) A good doctor does not always equal a good outcome, and people need to know that.

    Michelle

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-08-2006 at 08:38 PM. Reason: removed generalizations that do not apply

     
    Old 05-28-2006, 09:23 PM   #3
    gmiyano
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Dear Michelle:
    Your message is duly noted.
    I didn't mean to sound like LASIK wasn't a risky procedure.
    Just wanted to share my experience. I'm very happy with my results. and to be honest, I thought the entire experience would have been much worse.

    By the time I went for my procedure, I had a very negative vibe from reading so many negative LASIK message boards, and for myself, it wasn't as bad as it was described by some of the people who did have bad experiences.

    I truly feel bad that some people had life changing negative experiences, and if I sounded like I was blaming them for choosing bad doctors or not doing research, it was not my intention.
    I didn't experience any bad side effects or difficulty, therefore, I wanted people out there to believe that not everybody has bad experiences.

    I am not a doctor, so people who read this message can take it as it is and do what they want to do.
    I'm not forcing anything on anyone.

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    I would echo Michelle's sentiments and I had a close to perfect Lasik experience (from -6D to 20/15)

    The easiest way to state it is: imagine if a close friend asked you your thoughts and you said "sure go for it" and then he or she had a serious complication.

    It is great to hear about people who had no complications but be careful how you word your comments, in the end everyone has to weigh up the risk vs benefit for themselves. All I can say is thankfully it worked out great for me.

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 12:47 PM   #5
    gmiyano
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Niland,
    I guess my comments were premature since I'm only about 4 days post-op.
    I was just pumped that I could finally see without my damn glasses.
    I do agree that not everybody is a candidate for problem-free LASIK, and it is a risky procedure.
    Maybe I was just an ideal candidate like yourself.

    *****, I may even encounter some problems in the near future.

    Either way, right now, I think it was the best $5000 I ever spent in my life, and have no reason to not recommend this procedure to anybody I know.

    I'm glad you had a successful experience.

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 03:27 PM   #6
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Personally, I'm glad to see another positive result. I am three weeks out and am amazed every day that I can see. I was -6.75 and -7.25 with severe astigmatism in both.

    The vast majority of those who have LASIK are happy with the results. The problem is that people happy with their procedure generally don't post; those with problems do. So, I welcome any comments, good or bad.

    Congratulations!!!!

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 04:50 PM   #7
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Niland
    I would echo Michelle's sentiments and I had a close to perfect Lasik experience (from -6D to 20/15)

    The easiest way to state it is: imagine if a close friend asked you your thoughts and you said "sure go for it" and then he or she had a serious complication.

    It is great to hear about people who had no complications but be careful how you word your comments, in the end everyone has to weigh up the risk vs benefit for themselves. All I can say is thankfully it worked out great for me.
    Sorry to make waves guys, I was just trying to make a point, and I see that no one meant any harm. I think what Niland said pretty much summed it up. I just know that of all the people reading these threads, not all of them are gonna have good outcomes. It is just frustrating for someone like me on the other end of things to think back to how all my friends pushed me on and told me how easy and painless and great it was. Not that it is their fault I had the surgery, but if someone would have warned me, I probably would have thought twice.

    The reason alot of message boards have negative stories is because it is the people with bad outcomes searching for solutions...I think that makes perfect sense. Ofcourse there are tons of great stories out there, most of us know tons of people with them...which is why we considered it in the first place. I think the lasik industry and all of its online pop ups, radio ads, flyers in the mail, and tv commercials does a good enough job of making people think that it is no big deal. It is the message boards where people can learn about the other side of it so they can make an informed decision.

    Michelle

     
    Old 05-30-2006, 06:10 AM   #8
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    I totally agree with everything you said Michelle.
    I too went to an excellent surgeon and paid $4800. My surgeon did Tiger Wood's eyes. I was told i was a perfect candidate. I had NO astigmatism and was +3.5 in one eye, and +1.75 in the other. I had been in monovision contacts for 7 years with no problems.
    I ended up with corneal edema for 2 weeks and was legally blind for that time, until the swelling went down. I lost 3 weeks of work.
    I ended up with astigmatism in both eyes. My right eye was just enhanced 2 weeks ago. It is better but not perfect.
    I had to go in for exams every 3 days for 2 weeks, then once a week for 2 months. I ended up wearing contacts until the enhancement.
    My night vision is horrible. I have halos and starburts.
    To me this was the worst $4800 i have ever spent. I would much rather be in contacts or glasses and have my night vision back and be able to see clearly. The sharpness is gone too.

     
    Old 05-30-2006, 10:01 AM   #9
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    I know that you have cleared the air and explained that you didn't mean to "Blame anyone for picking the wrong doctor or not doing research". But, I need to put in my two cents.

    I chose a doctor with well over 30,000 (if not way more than that...I don't have the best memory) surgeries under his belt. Anyway, he was reputable and I paid a hefty chunk of change for my surgery, and I researched the surgery well in advance for several weeks, for at least an hour a day if not up to 4 hours a day sometimes. And yet, I am still suffering from dry eyes a year and nearly 5 months later. I would venture to say that everyone on this board who has complained of post-op dry eye issues or other issues also spent the large chunk of change to go to a reputable doctor in their area. And, I am sure that they spent some time researching it as well. I really don't know anyone who just goes into a major surgery without some research under their belts. No one goes under the knife not knowing a thing about what they are having done.

    Anyway, I just felt I needed to get my two cents in here. I neither saw a cheap doctor (I paid way more that $400 for my surgery), I didn't see an inexperienced doctor with outdated technology, nor slacked on the research. And yet, I still had and continue to have issues.

    I don't think that those of us who have shared our experience on this board have done it with the intention of scaring anyone. I can only speak for myself when I say that I have both expressed my issues and my pleasure with my decision to have this surgery. There has only been one person that I suggested not to have this surgery due to his or her current and rather horrible pre-existing dry eye issue. I don't recall telling anyone else not to have the surgery based on my experience. I do want people to read my experience and make an informed decision. I have also told people not to go to what I like to call a "Chop Shop Lasik Doctor" where they are going to only pay $400 for the surgery. In fact, I know I can qoute myself as having said numerous times, "You get what you paid for". So, I would guess that one can look at that sentence, having come from me, and understand that I was never anywhere close to getting my eyes done at a cheap rate.

    Ok! I have put my 2 cents in.

    Take care and I hope all continues to work out for you!

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-08-2006 at 07:49 PM.

     
    Old 05-30-2006, 03:57 PM   #10
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Man, you guys write so well.
    I do appreciate all the feedback, both positive and negative, and took every comment to heart.
    Listen, all I wanted to do was let people know what to expect, detail by detail, when they walked into the doctors office. But somehow, I let my emotions get the best of me and obviously did not choose my words wisely.

    I'm sure a lot of people who read these boards want to know exactly what happens during each step of the procedure, from taking the Zanax, to removing the adhesive off of your forehead the following morning.
    I, for one, wanted to know how that lid speculum felt on your eye lids, as well as the suction ring that attaches to your eyeball. Of course, now that I've experienced both, I realized that it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

    So, with that said, if anybody out there wants a more detailed description of what to expect, my memory is still fresh. Feel free to ask any questions.

    And to those of you who had bad results, I sincerely hope things get better.
    To those who had successful results, congrats to you as well!

     
    Old 05-31-2006, 02:23 PM   #11
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Gmiyano...

    I just wanted to say that my experience was almost identical to yours.

    Several people have commented that Lasik is risky no matter what and a good doctor does not guarantee great results. TRUE.

    But...I wanted to back you up and say that I went to a great doctor here in Chicago, one of the top docs. Several qualified professionals worked with me thru all of the testing. I was tested and retested to make sure the readings were consistent. Wavefront machine, etc.

    Again...my experience was almost identical to yours, down to laying in the "detnist like chair" and being able to see solution squirted into my eye, the flap peeled back, pressed back down, more solution, etc.

    Like you, when I went home, I was able to see well. I slept. At my 24 hour checkup I was 20/15 (-6 before hand, I wore contacts for 15 years). My SIX MONTH check up is next week. I've remained at 20/15 this whole time, no dry eye, no problems, no complaints. It's the best money I ever spent, and I spent A LOT...much like you did.

    Everyone'e experience and result is different but there's a lot of scary/negative information out there too. Like you, I did too much research and was very scared.

    But, I would NOT change a thing. This has changed my life.

    Everyone will agree, this is not a decision/procedure to take lightly. A great result is totally possible and I don't think we hear enough about that.


    Wendy

     
    Old 05-31-2006, 08:45 PM   #12
    gmiyano
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Thanks Wendy,
    I do appreciate the support.
    And I'm happy that you are also having success with you procedure.
    Although I'm only about a week post-op, and maybe it's too early to tell if
    I'm going to have any complications, but I'm still waiting for something bad to happen.
    I bought 3 boxes of those "refresh" disposable eye drops, but have yet to use
    even one.
    My night vision is excellent, no halos, a little glare, but I have no problems reading books, newspapers, or staring at the computer.
    It's a complete trip.

    The most irritating part of the entire procedure is having to put those damn plastic shields on my eyes, but I started wearing some construction work goggles instead, and it's so much more comfortable. (Tip)

    I also have that habit of trying to push my glasses up and end up poking the bridge of my nose. My wife cracks up when I do that, but I've done it a few times when I talked with clients this week, and they looked at me like I was crazy.

    Thanks for the post Wendy. Hope your 20/15 vision continues!

    G

     
    Old 06-01-2006, 10:44 AM   #13
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    Smile Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Good Afternoon,

    Well I thought I would put my two cents in as well ;-). I had Custom Lasik
    two weeks ago and I love it. I have noticed a lot of people with positive results had the wavefront lasik ( like myself) and I wonder if thats why. Maybe technology has helped us. Either way I dont regret it at all.

    My dry eyes is almost clear up (using drops maybe 3 times a day) and my vision went from 20/300 to 20/15 (just checked two days ago). The only issue I have have is the halos at night and I am told it will get better. Its not anything that will prevent me from driving but hopefully will get better. I too had many tests and repeated these test to make sure. Now my husband on the other hand was told because of his dry eyes they will not do the surgery, yet! If he can clear them up they will do it. We were glad they were honest with him and he does not have a problem with that, not sure he will do it anyway. Hope your all doing well!

     
    Old 06-02-2006, 11:31 AM   #14
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    Gmiyano...

    Stay positive....I think you have every reason to be cautiously optimisic. When you have a good result IMMEDIATELY after lasik, that's half the battle...

    Keep using your drops, don't rub your eyes...and, hang in there.

    If you're night vision is excellent, you're doing better than I did right away! My night vision was good...with only slight halos for a couple of months (in the dead of winter...the air here is so dry, etc) But, I even had a bit of halo-ing with my contacts, so it was "same old/same old" for me at that point. No halos for me now.

    Cindylou, I'm happy to hear you are doing so well too! We hear/read about so many problems online...but as several people have stated before, it's normal to hear about problems because people are looking for solutions.

    As you can see...I had a bit of halo-ing but things are fine now. I wish the same for you.

    Maybe Custom Wavefront has something to do with our success....but others would disagree with that theory as well. Custom makes SENSE to me...everyone's eye is different so everyone should have the option for custom wavefront if the outcome would be better.

    I hope both of you continue to experience great/problem free recoveries!
    Wendy

     
    Old 06-02-2006, 12:01 PM   #15
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    Re: Lasik in L.A.72 hour Post-Op

    And you too, Wendy!

     
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