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  • Laser eye surgery – opinions and experiences
  • Premier Icon airvent
    Free Member

    Been debating getting my eyes lasered for quite a long time now but never really had the money until now. What’s the concensus on the various types, best way to pay for it, and how long to take off work etc?

    Premier Icon johndrummer
    Full Member

    Not exactly the same but I’ve recently had cataract surgery on both eyes, result is pretty much the same.

    I can now see distance unaided for the first time in about 40 years. Downside is I now need glasses to see things close to me, but tbh I did anyway when wearing contact lenses.

    Surgeon gave me a two week sicknote for each eye, but did them 13 days apart so the sick period was effectively four weeks. I don’t know if the same applies for laser surgery.

    And no, I wouldn’t have had laser surgery if I hadn’t needed the cataract operations

    Premier Icon benjamins11
    Free Member

    Had Smile surgery about 3 months ago – basically the same as lasik but without the flap in your cornea being made. I used to be -7 in both eyes and have worn glasses since I was 7. I’m now 38 and can see perfectly in both eyes – its amazing. Right eye has been a bit dry – but thats slowly improving. I took 2 days plus weekend off work – realistically could have gone back to work 2 days afterwards. I was driving without issue after an appointment for a check on my vision the next day.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Full Member

    Wife about 10 years ago, still 20:20 vision from being blind as a bat. Better eyes than me now. Dad about 35 years ago and still going strong though has deteriorated a bit in the last 10 year but still does OK without glasses. Cousin for over 10 years, and several friends and work colleges. Not met anyone yet who regrets it.

    I’ve never needed glasses but eyes are starting to weaken now but mainly reading which cannot be addressed by laser surgery…yet. It’s been around for 50 years so not ‘new tech’ that most people think it is. Russia were zapping the eyes of their jet pilots in the Cold War.

    Just get it done. You wont regret it. The process now is a piece of cake. When I took my wife it was like taking her to the dentist. Settled in the waiting room to read a motoring magazine and was still on the first page when she came out. 10 mins or so in a darkened room for some initial recovery and I walked her out of the place and, though blurry and watery she could tell her vision was much better. 48 hours later and it was like she had new eyes.

    Think with it being eyes people are just naturally squeamish.

    Premier Icon mrwhyte
    Free Member

    Wife had it done a few years ago. Disaster. They hadn’t done the tests properly so left with something called dry eye and vision back to how it was prior to surgery. She now has to use eye drops for ever. Vision Express were useless and it took months to get money back and tried to get her to sign a NDA. She didn’t sign and demanded money back. NHS saw her post surgery and the eye specialist have her a right rollicking for getting it done as he sees so many people who have had it done and suffer from complications as a result.

    My brother had it done. After two weeks vision was perfect and no issues.

    Premier Icon benjamins11
    Free Member

    I think doing a bit of homework as to where you go is important. Opthamologist I know once said dont go to the cheap places! Mine cost 5k.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Wife had it done a few years ago. Disaster. They hadn’t done the tests properly so left with something called dry eye

    Snap.

    That was followed up by a lens replacement a few years later. She now has shit vision in that eye and is going to need further treatment.

    Her other eye is fine.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Never mind Gavin. I’ll have a pint on your behalf in the pub on Monday night.

    Premier Icon RoterStern
    Free Member

    Mrs Stern had it done two years ago. She used to have goldfish bowl style glasses her eyesight was so poor which is why she used to suffer with contact lenses. Since the op she has better eyesight than me and has absolutely no regrets. The place she had it done was voted one of the best in Germany. She sent me for an appointment as I have started needing reading glasses but I keep loosing the damn things and I would need a new lens replacement. The consultation was all very high tech with all kinds of digital machines measuring my eye and how much it moves etc. You have to figure in two weeks not doing anything after each procedure as a raised blood pressure can detach the lens and you are back to square one. As others have said go cheap at your peril. My quote was 8 grand for both eyes.

    Premier Icon nostrils
    Free Member

    Had LASIK back in 2013, no issues so far (touch wood), cost about £3000 from memory. Consultant would not let me have surgery until I had turned 21 for some reason?. One of the best things I’ve ever done.

    Premier Icon benjamins11
    Free Member

    Your eyes keep changing before that age – you need to have a stable prescription or you can start to develop short sightedness again.

    Premier Icon airvent
    Free Member

    Quite a wide range of prices there from 8k to 3k are these different types of surgery or just different places with wildly varyijg price structures?

    What I can’t do is separate the horror stories from the success stories. I feel like by this point in time it should be routine/flawless. Hmm.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    MrsMC has a friend who runs the private side at Moorfields, so got hers done at “mates rates” about 12 years ago. Took her from -8 to -0.5.

    No issues since, no regrets, keeps telling me to get mine done but No. ****. Way

    Premier Icon frogstomp
    Full Member

    Had it done 15 years ago which took me from about -10 to 20:20 (or better). Any surgery has its risks but the potential benefits for me outweighed them.

    Be aware that it is not necessarily permanent and your eyes may still degrade over time. I’m back to about -2.5 and wearing glasses again but still a massive improvement on before (I couldn’t even read the bedside clock).

    Premier Icon OwenP
    Full Member

    Had mine done in 2009. From around -4.5 to perfect. Still 20:20 for all intents and purposes.

    I’m another who paid a lot more than I could have. I had a long running good relationship with my optometrist (I bought a lot of contact lenses…) and went to a place they recommended. I was cautioned against going “cheap” and it was 3.5k in 2009.

    Stories seem to vary between those like me who find it transformational for their lifestyles, and those for whom it is a disaster. I’m not actually sure how you can control which experience you get, although my understanding is that the experience of the individual surgeon is key with Lasik, so paying more and knowing who that will be may be worthwhile. Ultimately though a risk seems to remain, so it comes down to if you consider it “worth it”. Mid 20s me, absolutely; mid 50s me, maybe I won’t do it again!

    Premier Icon saintsludge
    Free Member

    I became short sighed in my early 20’s. Fairly mild at -2 but enough to need glasses and later soft contacts which were great for a good while. I had looked into the laser on and off but couldn’t bear it if anything went wrong so just went with the contacts for years. In my late 30’s my eyes became more dry which meant i only wore contacts on evening out and sport, and glasses the rest of the time. Whilst looking into laser surgery again i came across IGO Lenses (Autho K) on Youtube which i actually thought was a spoof at first having never heard of it. I have now been doing IGO for about 8 years and its great for me. A quick clean and put them in at night, out in the morning and i can see 20/20 or better all day. i can even have a night off here and there if i want. the best thing is that the prescription can be changed i necessary as my eyes age/ change and they will go back to a normal -2 within a few days.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Full Member

    Your eyes do degrade but the benefit of the latest techniques is you can have the surgery done multiple times. Post procedure my wife had an eye test and she was 20:20 in one eye and better than 20:20 in the other and was offered to have the other eye done again to bring it back up to the other…she declined, but she can have it done again when her eyes degrade…but that could be another 20 years, so getting 30+ years out of it and 30+ years of not wearing glasses or contact lenses, well for my dad and my wife who have both worn glasses permanently from a young age, that is an easy decision.

    Yes there are some stories of those where it hasn’t been totally successful. Must be awful for those affected, but lets face it, cock ups are made all they time by those in the medical sector. My step mum is kept very busy presiding over complaints made against doctors…same as with any procedure I guess. And its all the clever machinery that does it. Totally automated so not sure a better opthalmist makes that much of a difference. The machine tests your eyes, and zaps them too so no interaction from the opthalmist – they don’t eve dial in any settings. They literally do nothing. Obviously there is some assessment that has to be done before hand to establish if its the right thing for you given what’s going on with your eyes, and maybe the is where the mistakes are made. My wife was denied it for years due to something to do with her eyes, but then they brought out a new technique and whatever the issue was with her eyes could be accommodated by the newer technology. Same with my dad in the ’80’s. He has astigmatisms which couldn’t be dealt with at the time, but a few years later they could and he’s never looked back.

    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    I had it done 21 years ago -6 then great eyesight for 6 months but steadily back to -3 now still much better than -6
    I had both zapped the same day 45 seconds smelling my eyes burning, 1k all in with Optimal
    Low light vision was another problem I had but you tick the boxes and pay your money and back then 80% success so they said

    Premier Icon boriselbrus
    Full Member

    Had mine done by Optimax 28 years ago. Still perfect vision now. Since then I’ve known 6 family members or colleagues have it done. All with no issues.

    Premier Icon augustuswindsock
    Full Member

    Worst thing I’ve ever done, got mine done in Newcastle about ten or so years ago, the consultant made a complete pigs arse of my left eye, and had to abandon the procedure half way through, and I had to wait about three weeks for the swelling and redness to go down, second attempt was successful. But now I’m back wearing specs as my prescription changed.
    I think I was spectacularly unlucky as I know others who’ve had it done and been pleased with the result, I’d be interested to know what the (genuine) success rate is.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    Had mine done about 17 years ago to correct shortsighted vision.
    Still perfect distance vision although at 57 I now wear glasses for reading.
    It was a great choice for me.

    Premier Icon simian
    Full Member

    I’m booked in for the 10th june… I guess I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    I would love to get mine done but I get my eyes tested at an eye surgeon, and have asked a few times if he thinks it’s a good idea. Hasten to add I have no complications it’s just I pay the same for an eye test at the surgeons as I would on the high st.

    Anyway, it’s not 100% success rate and there can be complications, eye surgeon wears glasses, so does his receptionist.

    My mate had it done last year, cost 5k and she s v happy.

    Premier Icon hb70
    Full Member

    10 Years ago. Had to have an older procedure that took me 5/6 days to get over it and was pretty grim. Still the best money I have spent on anything ever. When they say “get someone to come with you and, no you can’t take the train home afterwards” they mean it. I bought a cancelled appointment on eBay- worth checking if that option is still available. £795 all in I think. Sounds ludicrous but its totally legitimate if you check the forums.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Had mine done around 18 years ago (high street place, possibly Optimax). It was actually a 2-for-1 offer (2 eyes not people :p ) so was only £700, it was the older technique though (but I was fine with that as at the time it was supposedly more painful recovery but less chance of long-term complications). Also meant having done both at the same time which might not be recommend these days. My eyesight wasn’t too bad before, just a bit short-sighted and needed glasses for watching TV and legally for driving.

    The procedure itself was painless – bit weird as your eye is kept open A Clockwork Orange style and then as it’s zapped everything goes blurry and it smells like burning hair. My dad picked me up after (early evening) and even with my eyes shut and taped over every street light we went past caused my eyes to sting a bit. I spent a day or so just in a dark bedroom and it got better rapidly after that and had better than 20:20 vision.

    For about a year though I did have a weird light sensitivity – it only really seemed to be triggered by car brake lights whilst driving to work in the mornings (when it was still fairly dark out), my eyes would start streaming and I could only open them a bit (thinking back, driving probably wasn’t the safest option…)

    Then it was all good for about 15 years but the last few years my vision has deteriorated again with age and I’m now at the stage I need to think about getting glasses again (or look to see if I can get them zapped again, I didn’t think I could though with the type of surgery I had done).

    As for would I recommend it – I certainly don’t have any regrets and it was worth every penny. It’s always a tricky one to recommend to friends & family though as you do hear some horror stories…

    Premier Icon mjsmke
    Free Member

    Not had it done but was put off during the consultation. They said they had a 99% success rate and see 200 clients a month. When I asked what complications the uncussesful 4 had each month they wouldn’t tell me and seemed nervous. My eyes are bad and need glasses for everything but I’m not risking making them worse.

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    A friend had his done some 12 years ago. It was unsuccessful and now has permanent damage to one eye – so much so he describes it as seeing things like he has his eye open underwater.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Be very careful about the provider you choose to do the surgery. Speak with your optician first, and see if he can recommend a consultant ophthalmologist at the hospital local to you to ask for some advice. Do not just seek the advice of an ophthalmologist working for an eye-treatment centre. Be aware that because the procedure is pretty straightforward, many high street providers employ technicians “under prescription” by a doctor to carry out the actual procedure. It’s pretty common for the prescribing doctor to not be on site on the day, or perhaps in some really bad cases, may not have actually seen you. Many of those technicians have no medical training or qualifications, they’re just programming a computer. remember that this is elective surgery and it will always have a risk associated with it.

    While it can correct lens issues, it will nothing to correct eye muscle problems. As you get older, you may still need reading glasses, consider how close you are to perhaps having to need reading glasses, and weigh up whether the interval is going to be worth it for you.

    Premier Icon mahalo
    Full Member

    Approaching my 10yr anniversary. best money ive ever spent, even though i got it on tick with 3yrs interest free at Optimax!

    -4.5 in one eye, -6.1 in the other. completely reliant on specs or contacts to exist previously.

    fully expected to be laughed out of the clinic when i went for my free consultation! but the optician explained it would just be a lengthier operation – about 3 seconds longer than average!! 😀

    vision is still tip-top touch wood and my eyes feel healthier than ever (apparently i had caused some serious damage to my eyes with excessive contact lens use, worn for days, weeks on end in my yoof)

    I still wake up and pad around for my glasses on the bedside table occasionally which is a nice reminder. Little things like being able to lie watching tele with my head on a pillow were completely new to me, as was buying normal sunglasses! and obviously its a game changer for riding bikes!! ever had a contact lens blow out on a fast descent? nightmare!

    My procedure was a doddle too, never had to use any of the drugs they provided. had it done on a Friday, was back in work Monday.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    Anyway, it’s not 100% success rate and there can be complications, eye surgeon wears glasses, so does his receptionist

    It’s a surgical procedure – absolutely zero surgical procedures have a 100% success rate and every procedure runs the risk of complications.

    Not all eye conditions can be corrected by laser surgery – for example, this:

    While it can correct lens issues, it will nothing to correct eye muscle problems. As you get older, you may still need reading glasses

    Premier Icon nowthen
    Free Member

    Both wife and I had ours done about 8 years ago, early 30’s, best thing we ever did, wifes eyesight is still fine, my eyes are like binoculars and my kids have a running game to see if I can read far off things which I usually win. Should add we didnt do it cheap, I think we paid around US$ 8,000 each with a very well recommended surgeon.

    After all this time I still wake up some mornings and think I left my contact lenses in, bizarre!

    Premier Icon tetrode
    Full Member

    I had mine done in 2012, went with the LASIK option. It’s been life changing, I don’t regret it one bit and it’s improved my life immeasurably. I sometimes forget that I was ever short sighted, it’s fantastic.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    A friend had hers done quite a few years ago now (probably >10 years ago), said it was one of the best things she’d ever done. She was VERY short-sighted, the surgery took her back to about -0.5. She had no side effects, was back at work in a couple of days.

    Since then her eyes have slowly deteriorated naturally and she’s back at about -4 now but that’s still better than what she was. Surgery now has come on massively too.

    I keep thinking about it for me but my prescription has been steady at about -1.5 for years now and it doesn’t seem worth it for that low a correction, I’m happy just wearing contacts for cycling and glasses for everything else.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    Since then her eyes have slowly deteriorated naturally and she’s back at about -4 now

    I’m not sure that there should be a natural deterioration! How old is your friend?
    I was under the impression (from when I had my eyes done) that there is initial deterioration but then it settles and that’s when it’s best to carry out the procedure as it ‘shouldn’t’ change – other than probably requiring reading glasses.

    Maybe she had the procedure a little early.

    Premier Icon simian
    Full Member

    As I said above, I was booked in for teh 10th (yesterday), and had the procedure at 14.30.

    Had a check-up at 0900 this morning, and could easily read the lowest line = better than 20:20. My vision is still a tiny bit hazy, and I’m wearing sunglasses 100% of the time as my eyes are a little light sensitive, and apparently UV rays hamper the healing.

    No regrets yet…

    Edit; Lasik, Allowed to drive today, back to work monday.

    Premier Icon airvent
    Free Member

    Sounds good, how did you go about choosing a place to have it done? I don’t really trust any online reviews these days but I know only a handful of people that have had the surgery done.

    Premier Icon simian
    Full Member

    I knew a couple of people that had used them, and they’re quite local, so I can actually attend aftercare etc.

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    I’ll just sit closer to the telly.

    Premier Icon fieldy
    Free Member

    Which company did you go with and which location?

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