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djones520
07-26-2010, 04:37 PM
So the optometrist told me this year that my eyes have stabilized enough for me to begin to the process to see if the Air Force will pay for LASIC surgery. I'm excited about this, but also a little worried. I am not at all a fan of any "surgical" procedure. I almost had a panic attack last year when they tried putting me under for my wisdom tooth extraction. I also have a pretty severe sensitivity about my eyes. It freaks me out just watching someone else touch their own eye, let alone my own.

So has anyone ever undergone the procedure? I've read they'll provide a sedative, but how well does that work. I've never been sedated before, so I don't really know what the state of mind is like. Do you really not give a damn about anything? How was the recovery process?

I'm not wondering about any medical advice, I'm just curious about any experiences that anyone could share. Thanks.

bijou
07-26-2010, 04:45 PM
As I understand you have to be able to allow someone to touch your eyeball while conscious, that was the dealbreaker for me.

Nubs
07-26-2010, 05:10 PM
Wife had it done years ago. Recovery is about a day or 2. Make sure AF signs off in writing before you get it done. Years ago this was considered a non selected for admission.

djones520
07-26-2010, 05:18 PM
Wife had it done years ago. Recovery is about a day or 2. Make sure AF signs off in writing before you get it done. Years ago this was considered a non selected for admission.

It's the Air Force that does the surgery now.

malloc
07-26-2010, 07:48 PM
One of my squadmates had this done right before we deployed to Iraq. He didn't want to have to keep track of glasses in the field, or deal with contacts in the sand. The procedure didn't take long, took about 1 day to recover, and now, 7 years later he still has better than perfect vision.

He says it's one of the best decisions he's made.

Kay
07-26-2010, 09:10 PM
Definitely do it. I had Lasiks about 10 years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did.
I did still have a little bit of a blur after 3 months, and had to go back once for what they called back then an "enhancement". Which meant that they tweaked it just a little more. My vision has been perfect since for all but close up reading. I have to wear old lady readers up close, but I can live with that.

My sister had it done about 3 years ago, and she did the one where they do one eye for distance and the other for closeup. She never had a bit of trouble, and doesn't have to use the readers like I do. I still don't think I could take that, with one distance and one close. She says the brain gets used to it, but I don't think I would.

And lastly, my son had this done while in the military about 1.5 years ago. He had the new superlaser kind where they don't have to cut the flap like they did back when I had the Lasiks. His lazering went very well, no problems and very fast recovery. He has eagle eyes with perfect vision now.

Tecate
07-26-2010, 09:17 PM
I had it done back in '97 when it was still new and right on the cusp of widespread approval. Europe had already been doing it for a while at the time. The procedure has come a long way since then and the expected results have become better and better over the years.

Two other people at work both had it done by the same doctor in Houston, Texas and were pleased with the results, so I also went to that same doctor. His name is Dr. Charles Moore if my memory serves me correctly. Without these two test subjects, I can't really say one way or the other if I would have had it done or not. It really helped mith my decision though.

Valium is all I was given, but you don't really feel anything. There is no pain. The most important thing is that you stay relaxed and don't move.

Two things:

It's pretty freaky when they slice the flap off of your cornea because you will get a peek into Stevie Wonder's world, but at least it's only one eye at a time and it doesn't last very long. The second eye is easier than the first since you know exactly what to expect.

When they fire up the laser, you will smell your own eyeball burning because your nostrils are so close to your eyes.


I had pretty good results with mine. Not 20/20 vision, but I've never needed glasses for anything since and was able to have the restriction removed from my driver's licence. I did see halos around street lamps at night for a couple of years, but I've heard that that isn't really an issue anymore with the most modern advances. It was the best $2600 I've ever spent and I would do it again. Being able to ditch the glasses and contacts felt like getting rid of a ball and chain.

Kay
07-26-2010, 09:31 PM
Tecate, nowdays they don't even cut the flap like we had done. My son and sister both had no cuts made, just the lazering.

I forgot to say that they didn't give me anything, not even a relaxer. The first time I was so nervous and my bp was sky high going in. You lay back fully conscious and wide awake. Then they put some drops in your eyes to numb them. You truly do not feel a bit of pain or anything. It's very painless, just very nerve racking knowing what's going on even though you can't feel it; but you can smell it as Tecate said. I did have just a little bit of pain later that evening when the drops wore off. But they sent me home with pain pills, and I took those and slept all night. I think took one more the next day. When I had the enhancement done, it was a piece of cake, since I knew what to expect and that it wouldn't hurt.

Tecate
07-26-2010, 09:36 PM
Tecate, nowdays they don't even cut the flap like we had done. My son and sister both had no cuts made, just the lazering.

I forgot to say that they didn't give me anything, not even a relaxer. The first time I was so nervous and my bp was sky high going in. You lay back fully conscious and wide awake. Then they put some drops in your eyes to numb them. You truly do not feel a bit of pain or anything. It's very painless, just very nerve racking knowing what's going on even though you can't feel it; but you can smell it as Tecate said. I did have just a little bit of pain later that evening when the drops wore off. But they sent me home with pain pills, and I took those and slept all night. I think took one more the next day. When I had the enhancement done, it was a piece of cake, since I knew what to expect and that it wouldn't hurt.
Is that for ALL of the procedures? I thought it depended on the condition/magnitude of your individual situation with your vision. It's been like 14 years since I had it done, so I'm sure things have changed.

Kay
07-26-2010, 09:41 PM
Well you may be right. But if djones is having it done by the military, I would think it would be the same method as they used on my son last year. But it could be that it depends on each case individually. If I had a choice, I'd go with the kind where they don't cut the flap. They say the recovery time is faster and the results are more precise.

Tecate
07-26-2010, 09:51 PM
I remember when they turned on the laser to do my left eye (which happened to be the second one) I thought it was never going to end. It took forever to burn that sucker and just went on and on.

Zathras
07-27-2010, 04:13 AM
Just don't go to see Luke Skywalker to get it done...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fSj6LxsZes

Tecate
07-27-2010, 05:01 AM
Originally, I hadn't planned on going down this road, but that youtube clip goaded me into it. :D :eek:

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i228/Loveways/wee_big.jpg

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i228/Loveways/lasik_blog-711690.jpg

linda22003
07-27-2010, 07:54 AM
Even reading this thread made me so squeamish that the procedure would be out of the question for me.

noonwitch
07-27-2010, 08:52 AM
As I understand you have to be able to allow someone to touch your eyeball while conscious, that was the dealbreaker for me.



I'm pretty lucky as far as my vision goes, but that would also be a deal breaker for me. My mom had to have a detached retina repaired without anesthesia, and that would be very difficult for me to endure. I would have to choose between having them do surgery on my eye while I was conscious or losing the sight in that eye. I hope I never face that dilemma.

PoliCon
07-27-2010, 11:54 AM
I'd love to do it myself. I hate glasses. :mad:

Tecate
07-28-2010, 01:44 AM
djones520,

I hope that I didn't say anything to talk you out of having this done, especially if they don't have to cut a flap anymore. It's an outpatient procedure that just isn't that big of a deal anymore. You can probably expect perfect or near perfect results these days. You'll be glad you did it for many years to come.

At the very least, go and get a free consultation. You might even get to watch them perform the procedure through a window. The doctor I went to had such a set-up where anyone could watch it being done.

Kay
07-30-2010, 10:42 PM
Hello djones, I am Kay's son and I thought I would throw my .02 in. I defiantly recommend that you have the procedure done! However, I would recommend that you have them do PRK rather than the LASIK. PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy, and this is the procedure I had done. You can punch PRK in google and research the differences and the whole process if you want, but I will give you a quick run down of the highlights.

The biggest difference between the two is that rather than having a cut made around your iris, as with LASIK, they take what looks like an electric toothbrush and scrub the top layer off of your eye. PRK is a much better option for aviators, so I am told, due to the fact at high altitudes some were having trouble with the incision from LASIK reopening. I assure the whole process is very painless, I believe the worst part for me was the clamp they use to hold your eye open, and that is only because the doc forgot to throw some drops in there right from the get go. I also assure you it is very effective, I went from 20/400 in both eyes, horrible I know, to 20/15 which has remained constant for over 2 years now. I had mine done at NNMC Bethesda.

I will say that the first night after surgery just plain sucks! I was in my apartment with all the lights off, sunglasses on, a hoodie on, and I even nailed a comforter over my bedroom window. Your eyes will be sensitive to light for a day or two, but you will really be able to tell a difference even this early on vision wise. As for the rest of it, minor halo's at night around lights for roughly 6 months, and then it all settled out for me.

I hope this helps, if you have any questions or anything feel free to PM Kay and she will get them to me. Wish you the best of luck over there bro, stay frosty.

Semper Fi,
Clay

djones520
07-31-2010, 03:12 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. Sounds like I should be able to handle it. If I could handle having a doc clean out an infected surgical cavity with no pain killers, I should be able to deal with the few minutes it takes to do this procedure.