My LASIK Eye Surgery Experience: I CAN SEE!!!

My LASIK Eye Surgery Experience: I CAN SEE!!!

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Back in December, I wrote about how I’d be getting LASIK eye surgery. Many of you kindly chimed in with your thoughts and experiences, so I wanted to report back. While I shared my initial thoughts 36 hours post-operation, I wanted to share my thoughts now that it has been 30 days.

I don’t want to bury the lede, so let me just state upfront that I couldn’t be happier with the results. I now have 20/15 vision (that’s better than 20/20), and have had no real complications.

Why I decided to get LASIK eye surgery

As I explained when I first wrote about my plans to get LASIK, I had pretty bad vision almost my entire adult life. My eyes were healthy otherwise, but my vision just wasn’t great.

I always wore glasses when I drove or when I actually wanted to see something at a distance, while I didn’t otherwise wear glasses during most of my day-to-day activities, including while working on the computer. I never used contacts, even though I probably should have.

I have several friends who have gotten LASIK eye surgery, and they all said it was one of the most life-changing medical things they’ve ever done. So while I’ve been considering it for years, I always kept pushing it off. That finally changed a few months ago, when I scheduled a consultation. The consultation went well, so I then ripped off the band-aid, and just scheduled the surgery.

Before I share my experience, let me note some very important points:

  • You should of course do your own research before getting any medical procedure (including LASIK), as there are risks and potential side effects
  • There are alternatives to LASIK nowadays, like PRK and SMILE, and they all have their pros and cons (which I’m not really qualified to speak on)
  • As you’ll see in the comments section of my previous post, people have varying results with these procedures; many people say that getting LASIK was the best money they ever spent, others say it was one of the worst decisions they ever made, and many people report complications, ranging from dry eyes, to reduced night vision, to seeing floaters

Honestly, when I published the post about my plans to get LASIK and saw such varied responses, I got a bit more nervous than I had previously been. But I had already committed to it, and it was a risk I was willing to take. I also recognize that people tend to share extreme experiences on the internet, both positive and negative, whether it’s about a hotel stay or a surgery.

My LASIK eye surgery experience

Since so many OMAAT readers were helpful with sharing their experience with LASIK, I figured I’d report back on my experience as well.

For what it’s worth, I got my procedure at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. Not only was this convenient in terms of location, but it’s also (apparently) regarded as one of the best eye hospitals in the country, so that worked out great. Dr. Yoo performed the surgery, though I also saw Dr. Perez Blanco before and after the surgery, and I’d highly recommend either of them.

For those curious, the entire procedure cost $4,300, and it’s not covered by insurance, since it’s considered cosmetic (at least for me, though other eye procedures may be covered). Obviously that’s a significant amount of money, but this is also a procedure that can change lives, and that price includes everything from the consultation, to the surgery, to the follow-up appointments.

The actual LASIK eye surgery experience

My LASIK eye surgery appointment was at 1:30PM on a Thursday, and I was on my way home by 2:45PM. I’m super squeamish, and I’m so lucky that I’ve never had to have any sort of a “real” medical procedure, so I tried not to think about this too much, or else I might have had second thoughts.

When I arrived for surgery I briefly sat in the waiting room, and met with the doctor, who asked if I had any questions. I was then given a Valium. That hit pretty quickly, though I was still more “with it” than I was expecting, and really just felt slightly relaxed.

After waiting for a bit, it was my turn, and I was brought into the room where the procedure is performed. You basically just lie down on a fully reclined chair, which can move around between the various equipment.

The surgical assistant sensed I was nervous, and said “don’t worry, it’s no worse than a roller coaster.” I responded “I really don’t like roller coasters, though.” “Neither do I,” she responded.

The entire procedure took maybe 10 minutes, and was performed in two parts — first a flap is created in the cornea, and then the laser is used to reshape the cornea. Each of those is performed separately for each eye, so really it’s a four-part procedure, with each only taking a couple of minutes at most.

I appreciated how the doctor talked me through everything in an honest way, and if anything, she overstated what I’d feel, rather than understating it. “You might feel a lot of pressure on your eye,” “you might briefly stop seeing the green light, don’t worry, that’s normal,” etc.

The first part of the procedure is probably the more unpleasant part, as your eye feels a bit of pressure. However, I didn’t find it to be painful at all, but rather it just felt kind of weird. The second part of the procedure feels like you’re watching some laser show while on mushrooms.

Perhaps the most unpleasant part of the procedure was the burning smell of the vaporized tissue of the cornea. I was kind of freaked out when it happened on my first eye, so I just avoided smelling as much as possible when it was done on my second eye.

And then as quickly as it started, the procedure was over. At the end of the procedure, the doctor taped clear shields to my eyes, and told me to keep them on until the next morning.

The afternoon & night after LASIK eye surgery

It’s such a weird feeling having just had LASIK, because you can see, but your vision is just very blurry, and you have a lot of light sensitivity. So I was told to go home, eat something, have a second Valium, and sleep through the night, while the following morning I could resume my normal activities.

I got home, I ate something, and by 4PM I got in bed, hoping for a long slumber. I had been warned that in the few hours after surgery I might feel the most discomfort… and that did indeed happen. About 15 minutes after getting in bed, I felt a horrible burning sensation in my eyes. My eyes starting tearing up, and I felt like water was gushing out of my eyes.

It wasn’t anything unbearable, but for at least 90 minutes I stayed in bed under the covers doing breathing exercises to help with the discomfort. Fortunately the pain subsided, and then I felt fine again. I managed to sleep through the entire night, and woke up at my normal time the next morning (4AM).

The sensation of waking up with perfect vision!

I was a little nervous to remove my eye patches and fully open my eyes the following morning. It took me about 30 minutes to fully open them and adjust to everything around me, because the area around my eyes was super “crusty,” and for a moment, everything was blurry and seemed very bright (even though it was dark outside).

But then when I actually managed to fully open my eyes… OMG, I could see like never before! I couldn’t believe it. I see better now than I did with my prescription glasses. When you’re a kid and have good vision, you don’t appreciate what a gift that is. Meanwhile when you’re an adult, you maybe just come to accept that your vision isn’t great without some help. But my gosh, I can’t believe how well I see.

The morning after the surgery I had a follow-up appointment, where they confirmed that everything is looking good, and gave me an eye test — I now have 20/15 vision.

The LASIK recovery experience

There’s always still the possibility of complications as your eyes heal from the surgery. Fortunately I’ve had almost no issues. Here are the precautions I was advised to take following the surgery:

  • For the first week, I needed to take two kinds of eye drops four times daily (which was quite the adventure, because I’ve never regularly taken eye drops before)
  • For the first several nights, I needed to tape shields to my eyes
  • I had to be careful not to touch my eyes, had to be careful with showering, etc.
  • I couldn’t swim and was told to generally avoid water for at least a couple of weeks (which I’m totally fine with, because I’m not aquatic)

In addition to that, for the first week I just mostly stayed at home, which frankly is no different than my usual life. 😉 I didn’t work out (I didn’t want sweat to get into my eyes), and I also avoided being outside too much, because it was a windy week in Miami, and I didn’t want anything to blow into my eyes.

The only real complication I had from the procedure was cosmetic in nature. My eyes looked really bloodshot for some time. That’s because during LASIK, it’s normal for small blood vessels to break in your eyes. So in the days after my procedure, my eyes were outrageously red, while within a couple of weeks it got much better.

A month in, everything is fantastic. I’m lucky, as I’m not noticing any of the other complications I’ve heard of, from dry eyes, to reduced night vision, to floaters. This is truly nitpicking, and it might even be my imagination, but the one thing that I’m maybe noticing is that lights look a bit “shinier” at night.

I just keep pinching myself over how good my vision is. Obviously it’s just what I’ve been used to in recent weeks, but every few hours I think to myself “wait a second, I can see perfectly, THIS IS AMAZING!” I’m currently on my first trip since the surgery, and I can’t believe how much easier it is to navigate airports when you can read the signage from so far away. Heck, it’s even more fun to gaze out the window when you can see things clearly, rather than everything being a blur.

Bottom line

I had LASIK eye surgery a month ago, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision, as it has completely changed my life. The surgery itself was fairly painless but super strange, and I did experience a bit of pain within the few hours after surgery, in terms of having a burning sensation in my eyes.

However, when I woke up the following morning, I had perfect vision, and I just can’t believe it. I could resume most of my normal household activities the following day, though I had to take some precautions for a couple of weeks, which were no big deal.

The world is such a beautiful place, and being able to see it clearly is such a gift. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences ahead of the procedure. And if you choose to get any sort of eye procedure, make sure you do your own research, are aware of the risks, etc. Obviously not everyone’s experience is as positive as mine.

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  1. Michael Guest

    Congrats on a successful procedure. I have read reports that many people who have elected to get Lasik trade in one pair of glasses for another as they will need readers after age 40. I am 51 and wear glasses for distance vision only. In addition, my understanding is that vision changes are a continuous thing so your prescription *may* change as you age. Something to think about!

  2. Henry Guest

    Great to hear your news. Do you live in the area of Bascom Palmer? If there were any complications, would you have to return to them only?

  3. iamhere Guest

    I want to point out regarding your comments to a "real surgery." This is a real surgery. There are side effects. There is medicine given and it is done by a real doctor.

  4. Kevin King Guest

    I had LASIK 25 years ago. Went to eye doctor last week and still have 2020 vision. Also even at almost 60, no reading glasses. It was so good for me. Enjoy being able to see the clock when you wake up!

  5. Aussie Jan Guest

    Twenty years ago I had my eyes lasered and said the same thing...I can see! I still have good vision at 72 and have no complications. I also got my son to have his done and we both marvel at the miracle of it. Good move Lucky.

  6. Brad Guest

    Happy for you Ben! Enjoy your new gift!!

  7. TravelCat2 Gold

    Ben - I had cataract surgery several years ago after a lifetime of very bad vision. The results were great; I felt just like you did after your procedure. My cataract surgical procedure was quicker and with fewer aftereffects than your procedure. A lot more eyedrops were needed, however.

    1. Randy Diamond

      Had double cataract 1.5 years ago - vision not that bad - but hard to drive at night. Natural lense fogs up as you age. Similar process - under the laser - but the laser cuts the eye - and you then go into surgery under sedation (out) when they replace the lense. Have to wait week in between - but what you thouhgt was white was really yellow as you can compare during in...

      Had double cataract 1.5 years ago - vision not that bad - but hard to drive at night. Natural lense fogs up as you age. Similar process - under the laser - but the laser cuts the eye - and you then go into surgery under sedation (out) when they replace the lense. Have to wait week in between - but what you thouhgt was white was really yellow as you can compare during in between week then you see pure white.

      But drops for 30 day - pay extra and get a mix of all three. Lenses are $2K-$4K above insurance per eye for good lenses. Other than 1 week of patch and 30 days of drops - there was no 90 after pain as you describe. Did they tell you that pain was normal?

  8. Michael Guest

    Your experience is almost exactly the same as mine was. Still the best money I ever spent.

    1. TravelCat2 Gold

      You're right about yellow and white; and the cost. I had to pay the full amount out of pocket.

      I had virtually no pain.

      I was fully awake, other than a little "happy juice" during my procedure. It was an interesting experience.

  9. MF Guest

    Whoever could use this info: I had Visian ICL - which is the only reversible eye correction surgery. They implant a contact lens behind your eye, and it's reversible, should your vision change.

    LASIK is a one-and-done. Just putting this info out there as an alternative. Best decision I made. You cant reverse cutting the cornea.

  10. Simon Guest

    Ben - I'm truly glad everything worked out so well, you see great, and no complications to speak of.

    But can we go back for a moment about how you used glasses:

    "I always wore glasses when I drove or when I actually wanted to see something at a distance, while I didn’t otherwise wear glasses during most of my day-to-day activities, including while working on the computer."

    I'm not sure if your opposition to...

    Ben - I'm truly glad everything worked out so well, you see great, and no complications to speak of.

    But can we go back for a moment about how you used glasses:

    "I always wore glasses when I drove or when I actually wanted to see something at a distance, while I didn’t otherwise wear glasses during most of my day-to-day activities, including while working on the computer."

    I'm not sure if your opposition to glasses was aesthetic or related to some health belief, but clearly you probably needed to use some kind of corrective lenses from the time you woke up to the time you went to bed. Again, great that everything with the lasik eye surgery went well, but presumably the "improvement" in vision would be somewhat less if you had used corrective lenses 100% of waking time.

  11. New one Guest

    Ben,

    I'm getting LASIK in the next couple of months. Glad to hear that your surgery went well. Wanted to ask if you had any burning sensations or that extreme feeling of dry eyes after the surgery. Have had issues with those in the past, just want to know what I am getting myself into. Thanks and good luck with more recovery

  12. linglingfool Guest

    If your experience was like mine, then the phenomenon when looking at lights at night is called "haloing". Mine gradually went away after a few years.

  13. Anthony Guest

    Ben good luck, hope your recovery goes well.

    You led us to believe you had the surgery in Hong Kong with
    your articaly title and Hong Kong in the back round.

    A

  14. Dan Guest

    Hi Ben, did you have a strong diopter? Or it was more of a light one? Thank you!

    1. Nun Guest

      It couldn’t have been that bad since he said, “while I didn’t otherwise wear glasses during most of my day-to-day activities.” There’s no way I could do that. I hope the recovery goes very well. So many people love the results

  15. Mo Guest

    God Bless and congratulations!

  16. wpcoe Member

    It sounds like you had both eyes done at the same time. That shows how far these things have come. 45 years ago I had radial keratotomy done (it was state of the art at the time in terms of vision improvement) and they waited a full month after doing the first eye to make sure everything had worked out and was stable before they would consider doing the other eye.

  17. iamhere Guest

    Again you use "real" in quotation marks. It is a real medical procedure. Even you said that it is more of a cosmetic procedure, but that does not mean there are no doctors, medicines, side effects, etc involved and there are pros and cons to it.

  18. Joseph Guest

    This is great. Congratulations!

  19. Sue Guest

    I didnt think it was funny at the time, but when I had lasik back in the day, I had to put towels underneath my bedroom door because it looked like the gap was about a foot tall and a spotlight was coming through. It was so bright. All light was magnified. My vision was much worse than yours. I was legally blind. I was very, very happy when I did it. It doesn’t last forever. I’m about 20 years in and it does start to degrade. Wish I could have it again.

  20. Rick F Guest

    Ben,

    I had Lasik 16 years ago and it cost $3k. I planned for the surgery for months and picked Jan 10 for the surgery date, because I put a little over $3k on my flexible spending account so I saved about $750 in taxes. 16 years later and my vision is still good enough to not need glasses while driving, but my vision is probably 20/30 now, after being 20/20 for over 10 years. Not complaining though!

  21. Bob S Guest

    Thanks Ben for the update. I was wondering how it went. I'm a tad older than you and cataract surgery will be soon for me! BTW - I really enjoy your blog. I worked for Northwest (Orient) Airlines for 21 years...starting in 1978.

  22. Stuart F Guest

    So glad you had the Lasik procedure done at Bascom Palmer, not only for their recognized expertise as one of the country's best hospitals but because should anything have gone wrong, they are prepared to deal with it immediately on the spot. So many people don't take the time to vet medical care options and go to that which is considered the best, whether it be for eye care, specialty doctors or just choosing a...

    So glad you had the Lasik procedure done at Bascom Palmer, not only for their recognized expertise as one of the country's best hospitals but because should anything have gone wrong, they are prepared to deal with it immediately on the spot. So many people don't take the time to vet medical care options and go to that which is considered the best, whether it be for eye care, specialty doctors or just choosing a good primary care doctor. In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area two hospitals and their related clinics stand out: the University of Miami and Cleveland Clinic.

  23. Mike O. Guest

    I like many others would've loved to see the facilities and even instruments that were used the same way you take photos of the cabin, seat and the like!

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      the room is generally dimly lit.
      There are pictures on the web of the equipment used. Also most surgeons have their pictures and bios available online.

      In Ben's case, I can appreciate that he is not naming the place to avoid looking like he is representing anyone.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      correction. Ben did name the place where he had it done.

  24. Jay Guest

    14 years ago after a lifetime of glasses and contacts , nearsighted.....I went in. I found myself lifting my glasses to read writing on my laptop....nope no bifocals for me. The surgeon set up their adjustable glasses w one eye set for distance the other for close up. I had an easy recovery and am thrilled everyday waking up and not "looking" for my glasses!!!

  25. Keyser Soze Guest

    Given the cost, the first question that sprang to mind was: Hmmm….Tax-deductible? (or is that only for “Medically Necessary?” Medical expenses?

    1. Bob Guest

      You need to accumulate more than 10% of your income in out of pocket medical expenses before you can deduct a penny. That first 10% is not deductible at all.

  26. globetrotter Guest

    Tim Dunn,
    Where and when did you have the surgery in Canada (facility's name) and the cost? Also the website ? It is closer and cheaper to have it done in Canada than in France.

    Thanks

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Lasik MD Toronto Downtown - more than 15 years ago. I see on their website that several of their surgeons have done more than 60,000 procedures.
      They used wavefront guided LASIK then and still do. As I understand it, it is basically a system of mapping your eye and then feeding the data into the laser in order to cut only where necessary. I think it is the standard now but was not then.

      Lasik MD Toronto Downtown - more than 15 years ago. I see on their website that several of their surgeons have done more than 60,000 procedures.
      They used wavefront guided LASIK then and still do. As I understand it, it is basically a system of mapping your eye and then feeding the data into the laser in order to cut only where necessary. I think it is the standard now but was not then.
      Also, I had to make 2 trips over a couple of weeks; they did not do the entire process in one sitting in part to make sure your eye is stable between the two visits and also to make sure you completely understand what you are agreeing to. I thought they were very professional.
      On my follow up appointment the next morning, they saw something of concern but had me get steroid eye drops and take it for a day and then come back when they cleared me to leave.
      I don't even remember the cost but it was affordable.
      I had friends that had LASIK here in the US about the same time and several did not have it "last" as well as mine has.
      It looks like from their website that LasikMD is now a Miami based company and has offices throughout the US and Canada.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      to be clear, the first visit was only an evaluation and mapping exercise. the vision correction procedure was two weeks later.
      Also, someone asked about the laser used. I still remember doing the research which was part of why I went to Canada.
      Someone asked about the laser used. My surgeon used the Bausch and Lomb Technolas 217Z laser which was approved in the US by then but not widely used. It supports...

      to be clear, the first visit was only an evaluation and mapping exercise. the vision correction procedure was two weeks later.
      Also, someone asked about the laser used. I still remember doing the research which was part of why I went to Canada.
      Someone asked about the laser used. My surgeon used the Bausch and Lomb Technolas 217Z laser which was approved in the US by then but not widely used. It supports the wave guided mapping system that I think was what made the difference in how much more successful my procedure was compared to some of my friends. Other manufacturers have similar technology.
      Also, the link below to the FDA's list of approved lasers is part of their LASIK information site; I would suggest anyone that is interested read it.

  27. MattBallAZ New Member

    Congratulations! That is fantastic.
    (And I'm super jealous - my eyes are too bad for anything like that.)
    PS: Amazing that people will come out to hate on anything and everything, even unabashed good news. Yeesh.

  28. TheBestBlackBrent Diamond

    LASIK LASIK LASIK

    Why does this feel like sponsored content...

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Because you're beholden to conspiracies?

    2. Bob Guest

      If it was it's a terrible one given the lack of coupon discount and referral link. Relax dude. Your life will be much better if you focus on the good stuff.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      it clearly resonates w/ some people and it adds yet another dimension of Ben's personality and life which is part of what makes his blog interesting to read.

  29. Norita Guest

    I had mine done in 1999 and don’t much remember if the finer details.
    Two things though, you will reach to take off your non existent glasses at times, specially at bed time.

    I had cataract surgery later and lasik does affect the calculation for the right choice of replacement lens.

  30. Ed Guest

    For me the worst part of the LASIK was the burning flesh smell when they laser cut your lens... that was kind of weird because it was my eyes that were being cut open LOL.

    After several years my distance vision is still perfect... Unfortunately, my reading vision is now going bad. But I'm still glad I don't need glasses for most of the day -- just when I'm doomscrolling my phone.

  31. Up Up & Away Gold

    You forgot to tell us which credit card to use for maximum point value!

  32. Jake Guest

    Congratulations! Which brand / manufacturer of LASIK laser did you end up choosing and why?

    https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/lasik/list-fda-approved-lasers-lasik

  33. Mike V Guest

    2.5 years since I had LASIK. Best money I ever spent. No complications. Paid ~$3,600 in the RDU area and was able to pay for most of it with an FSA. I had been paying ~$500/yr for contact lenses and an exam, so this quickly pays for itself. The pre-op visit was maybe one of the most comprehensive assessments I've ever gone through. I took a sleep aid immediately after exiting the facility (because mine...

    2.5 years since I had LASIK. Best money I ever spent. No complications. Paid ~$3,600 in the RDU area and was able to pay for most of it with an FSA. I had been paying ~$500/yr for contact lenses and an exam, so this quickly pays for itself. The pre-op visit was maybe one of the most comprehensive assessments I've ever gone through. I took a sleep aid immediately after exiting the facility (because mine was in the morning and I probably would not have slept otherwise).

  34. betterbub Diamond

    Not enough pictures in this trip report. 2/5 stars.

  35. Andy Diamond

    Glad to hear all went well, Ben!

  36. Jed Guest

    I had LASIK about ten years ago. My vision has been great since then, but a long-term side effect seems to be that I am extremely sensitive to light. It is unbearable for me to go outside on a sunny day with out a hat and sunglasses now. It was probably worth it, but side effects are real.

  37. Mo Guest

    Got the procedure done close to 5 years ago. Managed to pay it with a credit card and have FSA reimburse most of it. Easiest way I met sign up a bonus!

  38. Powerball Winner Guest

    Congrats, Ben. Best decision I ever made 10 years ago. You'll wonder why you waited so long to do it.

  39. Tim Dunn Diamond

    congratulations, Ben.
    Not sure of your age or where you are relative to needing reading glasses but my surgeon wouldn't do monovision lasik because I had not worn monovision contacts (or strongly discouraged me from doing it but would if I pressed).
    I wear a single fairly weak reading contact and the combination has worked beautifully. More importantly, my vision has not changed in almost 2 decades. Having a good surgeon using good...

    congratulations, Ben.
    Not sure of your age or where you are relative to needing reading glasses but my surgeon wouldn't do monovision lasik because I had not worn monovision contacts (or strongly discouraged me from doing it but would if I pressed).
    I wear a single fairly weak reading contact and the combination has worked beautifully. More importantly, my vision has not changed in almost 2 decades. Having a good surgeon using good equipment makes a huge difference in the outcome.
    The US was fairly slow in approving LASIK compared to Canada but the US has caught up now and there are very few advancements in the lasers or flap techniques.
    It is most notable that the FAA now approves LASIK for a Class 1 medical and the Air Force even allows it. LASIK is a mainstream procedure.
    You will look back at a few markers in life as before and after events and LASIK will be one of those.
    Congrats again and enjoy!

    1. Clem Diamond

      Well that's a different kind of review haha! So glad it went well, and that you're getting the life changing experience a lot of us have had. And watch yourself going on and on about it every time someone asks if they should do It ;) .
      I did SMILE (which is a bit easier as it has none of the pain, eye shields and whatnot for recovery) and also remember the moment I...

      Well that's a different kind of review haha! So glad it went well, and that you're getting the life changing experience a lot of us have had. And watch yourself going on and on about it every time someone asks if they should do It ;) .
      I did SMILE (which is a bit easier as it has none of the pain, eye shields and whatnot for recovery) and also remember the moment I woke up in my room at the Park Hyatt in Paris, and was able to read the time on the alarm clock which would have been unthinkable before!

    2. Clem Diamond

      And of course my comment was meant for the main thread, not as a response to Tim ugh. Commenting on mobile is finicky...

    3. JB Guest

      There is an issue when commenting on mobile. If you click reply to a comment (even accidentally), any comment you write on that post regardless of where you write the comment (without refreshing the page), it will end up being posted under the comment you originally clicked. And it is extremely easy to click the reply button to comments when you are scrolling down on a mobile device.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Clem.
      did you live in France at the time or did you specifically go there to do LASIK and, if so, why? if you don't mind sharing

    5. Clem Diamond

      I was visiting family for the holiday last year and reached out to one of the few clinics in Paris who have a SMILE laser available. The process was so much more "doctorly" and honest than the sleaze I experienced in the Lasik assembly lines in NYC (where they make you talk to the "business manager", just like a time share pitch). Also I was quoted an obnoxious amount of money in NY because my...

      I was visiting family for the holiday last year and reached out to one of the few clinics in Paris who have a SMILE laser available. The process was so much more "doctorly" and honest than the sleaze I experienced in the Lasik assembly lines in NYC (where they make you talk to the "business manager", just like a time share pitch). Also I was quoted an obnoxious amount of money in NY because my eyesight was really bad, but the procedure is identical regardless of your correction. The doctor in France literally laughed when I told him they charge more here if your correction is high. They quoted me $6500 in NYC (after the "discounts") and it was 2800 euros in Paris so... It would have actually been worth the trip just for that.

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I had mine done in Canada both for experience of the doctors - my doctor had already done tens of thousands more procedures than doctors in the US because the FDA was slower to approve LASIK than other western countries.
      Canada also approved some of the newer technology lasers earlier than the FDA. Regarding the link above, it is interesting that there has been relatively little advancement in technology over the past 10-15 years.

      I had mine done in Canada both for experience of the doctors - my doctor had already done tens of thousands more procedures than doctors in the US because the FDA was slower to approve LASIK than other western countries.
      Canada also approved some of the newer technology lasers earlier than the FDA. Regarding the link above, it is interesting that there has been relatively little advancement in technology over the past 10-15 years.
      And it was cheaper in Canada in part because of currency exchange.
      The only challenge was flying back to the US just 2 days after my procedures. Dry cabin air was not pleasant.

  40. Hepworth Guest

    Ben, you’re the king of reviews! Usually part of a trip report, but also translates to LASIK! The detail here is perfect. I’m looking forward to the follow up post, and may schedule myself an appointment after that. Thanks!

  41. AA Guest

    The recovery isn’t bad at all - you’ll be sensitive to light for about a month but that’s easily remedied with (non-prescription!!) sunglasses.

  42. derek Guest

    Ben mentions Bascom Palmer but not the ophthalmologist (MD) name. That's very important to know. That would ve like saying "I am reviewing a hotel but won't tell you the location or hotel name, just that it is a Bonvoy".

    1. derek Guest

      The former head of Bascom Palmer was a bully, used cocaine with hookers in his office and hotel rooms, and, as a result, lost all his state medical licenses and had to take early retirement. All true per national news media (except the bully part only reported by the Los Angeles Times). His first name starts with c.

  43. Drivingrain Guest

    The long term trend of the costs of LASIK compared to just about any other medical procedure is quite attractive. It’s amazing what happens to the cost of medical procedures when the insurance/government-medical-pricing-complex isn’t involved. Congrats on getting it done and I’m glad it went well!

    1. Bob Guest

      Well it's mostly out of pocket and not medically necessary where your co pay is $25 so of course the govt is not interested. People are more than willing to pay for elective surgery like lipo, plastic, enlarging stuff etc.

  44. Find Flights For Me Guest

    Ben, wishing you a speedy recovery.

  45. Clifford Guest

    I'm super happy for you!!

  46. John Guest

    I had my LASIK a decade ago and your experience was almost identical to mine. The cost hasn’t changed much either. They told me I would likely have to wear reading glasses at some point, but 10 years on and I still don’t need them.

  47. Ken Guest

    So glad it has been a good experience.
    I found it interesting that the cornea is being reshaped to replicate the shape of the eye as those you were wearing a contact lens. I didn’t think of that leading up to my surgery, but it made sense when the doctor mentioned it to me after the fact.
    The procedure hasn’t changed much, but the technology has continued to improve. When I had it...

    So glad it has been a good experience.
    I found it interesting that the cornea is being reshaped to replicate the shape of the eye as those you were wearing a contact lens. I didn’t think of that leading up to my surgery, but it made sense when the doctor mentioned it to me after the fact.
    The procedure hasn’t changed much, but the technology has continued to improve. When I had it done you had to keep your eye “locked” straight ahead and stare at a dot. Now, I am sure even with the same “protocol” the lasers/machines adjust so fast it can track eye movements and adjust or even pause. Crazy!
    Three more things
    1) I too loved the clarity. During the day it felt as though someone took an enormous squeegee and cleaned everything just before I turned to look at things.
    2) I do have a slight halo effect at night (stop lights, road lights, reading words on a tv with dark background). Bummer but no biggie.
    3) back in 2006, even though BCBS didn’t cover the surgery they did have in the fine print that they offer a $500 discount on the surgery.

  48. Reyyan Diamond

    Glad to see it went well!

    Now I want to have Lasik too, but the struggle between Etihad Residence or Lasik is real, since money can only be spend once :p

  49. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    P.S.

    Now you'll go through that phase that only us, Crossfitters, and people who just switched religions, can truly understand:

    ....the inability to stop talking about how much it's changed your life, to everyone you encounter, for about a month. ;)

    It's a vibe, don't even TRY to fight it!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ ConcordeBoy -- Hahahahahaha, oh no!! I'll be very cognizant of that.

    2. rpearson Diamond

      Ha ha ha - great comment ConcordeBoy. Of course, the syndrome you refer to also gets worse as people get older. I go to a party now, and its guarunteed I will have at least one discussion on appendectomy or knee replacement. :-)
      Ben - really glad that it went well for you!

  50. jfhscott Guest

    I am glad it went well.

    For people in further north climes than you, I do suggest deferring LASIK to May or June, when recovery coordinates with longer days, mitigating the night time side effects.

    1. Francisco C Guest

      I’m impressed you were able to identify airplane details across tarmacs with your poor vision! Please include in your next future trip report how your flying experience has changed with your 20/15 vision. Thanks and keep up the excellent blogging.

  51. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    We told ya!

    Congrats, and welcome to the club!

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

P.S. Now you'll go through that phase that only us, Crossfitters, and people who just switched religions, can truly understand: ....the inability to stop talking about how much it's changed your life, to everyone you encounter, for about a month. ;) It's a vibe, don't even TRY to fight it!

5
Up Up & Away Gold

You forgot to tell us which credit card to use for maximum point value!

3
MattBallAZ New Member

Congratulations! That is fantastic. (And I'm super jealous - my eyes are too bad for anything like that.) PS: Amazing that people will come out to hate on anything and everything, even unabashed good news. Yeesh.

2
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