Preparing for LASIK – Steps to Take Before Your Procedure

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I am so happy that I chose LASIK of Nevada for my LASIK procedure! Even though many of my friends had LASIK and loved it, when I first started looking for a LASIK doctor, I still had a lot of questions. The other really important thing for me was that I have a very crazy work schedule and I needed to schedule my consultation and my LASIK procedure at very specific times. I called around to quite a few LASIK centers because I wanted to get a sense of who could best fill my needs (some won’t answer ANY questions AT ALL on the phone: avoid these!). The person who answered the phone at LASIK of Nevada was very knowledgeable and answered many of my questions right there on the phone. When they told me that they couldn’t answer a question on the phone, they were really honest with me and told me that certain questions (like what are my chances of needing more than one procedure) could not be answered without knowing my specific eye situation and glasses prescription. They were very accommodating, and actually made special arrangements for me so I could schedule my appointments at a time that was convenient for me – rather than when it was convenient for them. From the first time I called to ask about the procedure to my last visit after the procedure, I found everyone to be very friendly, helpful, and professional.

My goals for my first visit were to:

  1. get a sense of what my options were for fixing my vision,
  2. to learn more about this particular LASIK center and why it was better or worse from the other LASIK centers, and
  3. how much it would cost (I’m kind of on a budget).

I’d visited other LASIK centers in Las Vegas, and found that there are some real differences between them. At one place, they had staff dressed like cocktail servers handing out drinks and snacks (not too bad), but when I tried to ask them a question, I felt like they didn’t know anything (the price here was RIDICULOUSLY high, and the surgeon wasn’t even that experienced with LASIK). Another place advertised a REALLY cheap price, and as usual, you apparently get what you pay for. This was basically a “cattle call” situation and I knew within 10 minutes that I had to get out of there (I think that this is the place that later got shut down by the Department of Health or something).

My first impression of the LASIK of Nevada office was that it is very bright, attractive, and new/modern – yet it felt comfortable to me from the moment I walked in the door. The person at the front desk was very nice and greeted me immediately and also let me know how my visit was going to work that day. She told me that before I left that day, I was going to have all of my questions answered and that I was going to have the most thorough eye exam of my life ever – and she was right.

A short time later, I met Debbie. She explained that she was my counselor and that she be available to me through the entire process (both before and after my procedure) and that she would answer all my questions and then discuss the various procedures, lasers, and pricing options available to me (which she later did in great detail). She also told me that I could choose to get my dilated eye exam done that day if I wanted to, and that this would save me an extra trip back to the office if I did it that day. One thing that was really nice about Debbie was after I asked her all my questions (she answered them all with ease), she actually mentioned a few other issues that I hadn’t even thought of before and then discussed them with me until I felt comfortable with them – like reading vision. I had no idea that once you turn 40, you start losing most of your reading vision – no matter what type of prescription you had before LASIK (unless you get “monovision” – this is for those of you reading this with reading glasses, if you’re under 40 you don’t need to worry about this – yet). Since I’m only 35, this really didn’t apply to me yet, but I was really happy that I wouldn’t find out about this in a couple of years and then think “hey, why didn’t those guys tell me about this when I had my LASIK five years ago?”. Another thing I really appreciated was the whole story about the lasers and which ones are good and which ones were not-so-good. I’ve done my homework guys, and I’ve talked to three or four other laser centers in Las Vegas, so I can tell you there’s a lot of BS out there about laser technology. These guys were honest and direct with me and explained that they only get new technology when they really think it will help somebody’s vision, not just because it’s trendy. These guys are really on the ball. What about the price? Believe it or not, I got my LASIK here for $2000 less than my friend paid at another center in town – and he had his LASIK done with an older laser and by a surgeon with much less experience than mine. I felt like I got a great experience and great results for a really great price.

I was also concerned when I heard about some LASIK centers in town (see previous paragraph) who were “cutting corners” to offer a ridiculously low price (which, by the way, never was the real price that people ended up paying there). These are MY EYES, for G-d’s sake! So, after my conversation with Debbie, she took me to a room with five or six machines that test your eyes for your prescription, the shape of your eyes, and all this other technical stuff that amounts to a really thorough evaluation of your eyes. This one machine that they said was like an “MRI of the eye” made these really cool multicolored pictures that the doctor later told me verified that was a good candidate for the procedure. Since I liked what I saw so far, I decided to go ahead and get the dilated eye exam done that day (which really will save you time because you don’t have to come back on another day before the day of your procedure just to get this part done). The eye doctor then gave me a really thorough eye exam so that by the time it was over, I felt like I was ready to take a nice nap. They did the usual “better one or two” deal and also used all these bright lights and special lenses to look in the back of my eyes. Then they checked the pressure inside my eyes to make sure I didn’t have glaucoma (I thought that was for old people). Then they did something to me that no other eye doctor has ever done for me before. They did this dry eye test to make sure that my eyes weren’t too dry to do the LASIK procedure. I’ve never had any problems with dryness of my eyes before, yet when they told me the results of this test it turned out that my eyes really had just barely enough tears to do the procedure safely. The doctor explained all this information about how the eyes can temporarily be drier after LASIK for a period of months and how they have these “eye plugs” that keep tears inside the eye longer so that they don’t get too dry. Wow. None of the other LASIK places I went to even mentioned this to me, so I was really glad to find out:

  1. that I was good candidate for the procedure, and
  2. that my eyes were going to be fine for LASIK,

but I can actually do something proactively to make sure that I healed even better than I would have if I hadn’t learned about this dryness issue. Actually, they put these eye plugs in for me that very day, and within a day or two I couldn’t believe how comfortable my eyes felt. It was almost like somebody was bathing my eyes with moisturizer all day long, 24 hours a day – they really felt great. This was the most thorough eye exam I had ever had before (but remember that those lights were REALLY bright, so be prepared). I’m really getting a good feeling about this place. Back to my story…

Of course, now I’m wondering if their results are as good as everything else I have seen and experienced so far. After my dilated eye exam, they gave me some dark colored glasses to wear home – and boy did I need them. Everything was really, really, bright and I actually put my own sunglasses on over their glasses for the drive home. Before I left the office, we confirmed the day and time of my procedure and I was reminded to bring a driver that day because my vision will not be its best until the day after the procedure. They also gave me a lot of information and some paperwork to take home with me to review before the day of my procedure – which I did. Before I left the office, there were a couple of people standing around the desk who had their LASIK done already, so of course I asked them how they were doing and what they thought of the procedure. One guy had his procedure done a week before, and was really loving life. He said that before before his LASIK, he could barely see the big “E” on the wall, and now his vision was better than 2020. So I asked him, how much better? He told me that he could easily read the 2020 line, and even a few letters smaller than that without his glasses on the very first day after his LASIK! I asked Jannine (the person who works the front desk) if his results were typical, and she gave me this really great smile and said

“I really love my job. All day long I have people thanking me for how great their vision is and how they love their new life without glasses or contacts. You should also know that I don’t just work here – I also had my LASIK done by Dr. Rothman about three years ago. I love my new eyes and my new vision and I’m sure that you will too”.

Boy, did that make me feel better. I found out that Dr. Rothman has done LASIK on almost all his staff and many of their spouses, friends, and family too. Make sure that you check out the “happy patient review” wall on the left as you walk into the office. They have treated alot of entertainers (no, not that kind), and I also noticed that the “Phantom of the Opera” and “Hot Rod Hundley” of the Utah Jazz are also patients of theirs (I guess celebrities need LASIK too). In case you haven’t noticed, I really feel comfortable with this place and am starting to get real excited about getting my LASIK done. If you’re into Feng Shui, there really is a great, positive energy here (which is good).