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Laser eye surgery - miniblog.

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#1
Well i'm gonna post this up for anyone considering it.

I've worn glasses from the age of 4, and a few weeks ago decided to take the plunge for laser eye surgery. You've all seen the adverts for these offers, £500 an eye style jobby's, but frankly, with something as precious as eyesight I did a lot of research and ended up settling on the London Vision Clinic.

These guys have earned a reputation for being leaders in the field the world over, one such review from a US doctor:

I am myself an eye surgeon specializing in vision correction surgery. I practice in Los Angeles, California, and I've known Dr. Reinstein for over 15 years. I visited his London Vision Clinic recently to compare notes, learn about his personal experience with the ReLeX SMILE procedure, and gently pick his brain about host of issues we encounter regularly in our profession.

Dr. Reinstein's expertise in advanced optics and leading-edge technology as applied to human vision is, in my candid professional opinion, years ahead of what US surgeons can offer to our patients. In part this is due to the complex regulatory constraints of the US FDA. But in part it is Dan's particular brilliance in understanding (and evaluating) human vision, combined with an engineer's dedication to process control, continuous quality improvement, and near-obsession with achieving the best results for his patients that are technically and humanly possible.

One of the potential weaknesses of any online review portal such as TrustPilot (in the US we have Yelp.com and others) is that clients (or patients) are not in a position to evaluate issues requiring complex medical or other professional judgment. Clients can comment on how they were treated and offer subjective impressions about the results of their care. I've visited dozens of clinics of colleagues over the years and consulted with hundreds more online, so my perspective is a bit more professionally informed. I can honestly say that Dr. Reinstein and his team run one of the absolutely best clinics for vision correction anywhere in the world. It is a pleasure to see this kind of dedication to excellence, and London Vision Clinic sets a high-bar example that other professionals can admire, respect, and strive to emulate.
The more you look, the more you will find other such reviews. So, 6 weeks ago I booked my initial consultation which was today.

Anyway... so here goes a mini blog to share my completely honest experience on the matter.


Day 1 - Initial Screening & Ophthalmic Exam (30th July 2014)
Arrived at the clinic 30 minutes early, the waiting room was busy but not crowded, and the main reception desk was manned by 2 very welcoming and helpful staff who after introducing myself knew who I was and when I was booked in for. After showing me where the amenities were and offering a good variety of drinks and snacks (which you could get at any time free of charge) they gave me a set of forms to fill out and told me to take my time as I was so early.

Now whilst waiting for my first "meeting" with my patient care coordinator it became apparent how efficient these guys are on reception, they really do keep things ticking over.

First meeting
The first meeting with my patient care coordinator (PCC) was a general information one, generally asking about me and what I do, as well as what I hope to gain from the procedure, and answering any basic questions as well as challenging any pre-conceptions I may have. This was quite informal and basically explained how the rest of the day would pan out.

First exam (Initial Screening)
The first exam was right after the first meeting where the PCC introduced me to the technician. This involved sticking my head in a variety of machines, some similar to those you may see when you go for your normal eye tests, others more specialized. Through the whole thing the technician explained what was happening, why they were doing it and how it would be used in the surgery. The results were checked and double checked every time, and if there was something even slightly off, the test was re-run to be 100% accurate. This seemed to go rather quickly, but did take the best part of an hour! After this, they had all the information relating to the front of my eye, everything they need (and more) to plan the corrections the laser would make, excellent!

Back to the waiting room
My PCC took me back to the waiting room, more snacks and drinks were offered, and I took a seat waiting for the second exam.

Second exam (Ophthalmic)
So shortly after the first exam the PCC came and got me for the second exam. This involved an intense eye exam similar to what you would expect at a regular checkup and much more involving some specialist charts to see how good your vision quality is. This also involved a variety of eye drops to dumb the eye and dilate the pupils, as well as taking various measurements followed by a very in depth look at the health of my eyes on a whole. They do touch your eyes with some very delicate equipment to take some readings, as well as put a dye in the eye and some other bits and pieces, which, while I was aprehensive (lets be fair, who wouldn't be with someone putting stuff in your eyes) it was completely fine, the numbing drops meant you can't feel a thing and it wasn't uncomfortable at all, and this is coming from someone who is a total wimp when it comes to stuff near his eyes!

It is as this time the examiner goes through the pros, cons and the risks of the procedure. They also explain which procedure they would recommenced, in my case this is the new Relex Smile Lasik and run through it. They also give you more information about the place on a whole including the RnD they conduct in house. Finally they give you a lot of information on things to expect in the days and months following the surgery, and how to manage them. One thing was made clear, if there was ANY doubt, get in touch. Fantastic.

After this exam I was taken back to the waiting room.

Final meeting
The final meeting was with the PCC who just re-runs through the days results and what it means, as well as giving a general idea of how thing are to go in the next week.

3 and a half hours after walking in, i'm on my way home with pupils the size of dinner plates, a whole bunch of information to re-read explaining everything that happens in the surgery, all the facts presented, my questions answered and a smile on my face. These guys obviously take massive pride in their work, from the receptionists to the surgeons, and it fills me with confidence in the next week everything will go exactly as planned.




Day 2 - Consultation with Surgeon (31st July 2014)

Meeting with the Surgeon
So turned up 5 minutes early this time, as before the staff were ready and expecting me, the usual drinks and snacks offered, ran through some final paperwork and then took me up to see the surgeon, Glenn Carp. A very down to earth guy who took the time to get to know me a little as well as run through some checks to ensure all the tests yesterday were a accurate. As you can imagine with the care taken yesterday, they were.

Talked me through the procedure, the timings etc and when I can expect things to line up afterwards. Answered any questions I had and and made me feel very at ease about the whole thing.

Finally signed the informed consent paperwork and all done. A final trip to reception to confirm the surgery times and off I went!



Day 3 - Surgery Day! (5th August 2014)
Did the usual turn up routine and pleasantries. Shortly after was taken downstairs to the surgery waiting area. After being offered more drinks and snacks a nurse took me into a room and gave me some pills to take for inflammation and a sheet with all the information relating to the eye drops id need to take (4 different kinds!). She also explained a variety of other things such as timing, night time eye protection and a list of do's and don'ts.

Once done was taken back to the waiting area until being called again to get ready for the surgery. Some cleaning wipes were used on my eye area, and shoe guards and hair nets put on. At this point the numbing eye drops were put in and after a short while for them to take effect I was led into the surgery room.

Walking in, a whole bunch of technicians and the surgeon were waiting. They got me comfortable on the laser bed and explained what was going to happen, then it began, the surgeon talked through the entire thing explaining what to expect and what I needed to do.

The entire time there was no pain, and only he discomfort of having someone messing with your eyes (the reflex to want to move away or close them). The laser worked for 25 seconds per eye, and the surgeon explained what I would see and what to expect. Then after each eye was done by the laser he did the parts he needed to and moved me over to a microscope to examine everything. All was fine and immediately my vision was perfect, albeit misty as expected due to the inflammation of the procedure. He then took me to the recovery room where I was left a while, then a nurse came and put the first lot of eye drops in and set a timer running which beeps every 15 minutes to tell me to put the next lot of drops in. I was left a short while longer and then they arranged a taxi to take me where I wanted.

Keeping my eyes closed as much as possible and only opening them to put the drops in, every time my vision has been getting clearer and clearer and i've been able to see further and further.

The surgeon text me in the evening to check everything was OK and ask if there were any concerns or questions.

So far... the most uncomfortable part has been putting the eye drops in!!!


See page 3 for Day 4
 
Last edited:

Brad L

Well-known member
#4
Good luck with the procedure. I had it done in 2004 and have no regrets. I occasionally experience a very minor halo effect at night and may get that corrected soon.
 

euantor

Well-known member
#6
Very interested to read this and know more of your experience. I myself have worn glasses since a young age too and have considered laser surgery a few times.
 

RickM

Well-known member
#10
£500 an eye seems like a really cheap deal. £4900 is a bit rich for me. Is there no middleground?

Also is that price pretty much the same regardless of treatment for long/short distance? I'm supposed to wear glasses for distance. Close up I'm fine, although I've not had my eyes checked in about 6 years (I was actually booking an appointment later today).
 

Wuebit

Well-known member
#11
I got it done for only one reason. I couldn't see my kids when at the swimming baths. People getting it done to look better etc... heh.. get it done for a real reason I say!
 

Carlos

Well-known member
#14
Heh, quite
I can understand paying more for a quality service, but...ouch.
That's nothing. Try a major surgery that involves putting a chip into your brain; a cochlear implant. Costs more than that. $120,000 and up. That's U.S. dollars, mind you.
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#18
My dad and sister both had this done and they loved it. I can't afford it currently but would love to do it, and I'm with you @Slavik on the price & one pair of eyes.

I've only heard one bad story personally and that was a guy who ended up with chronic dry eye, not sure how long that happened for or if it's still happening but it was a while - at least a year or so.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#19
I have considered it for years but could never offset the risk versus gain (I know someone who had a bad experience).

Interestingly, I only started wearing glasses when I was 18 and in the last few years my prescription has started to reverse.
I no longer need glasses for 1-2m and even have to take them off for close up work now.

That instability is another reason why I won't get it done.
 

Jaxel

Well-known member
#20
The think I dont understand... every few years my eyeglass prescription changes (I guess my eyes are getting worse?). How does this work with laser eye surgery? Do you have to get surgery every few years?