I wanted to write this blog post to share my experience with the LASIK process.
During this time of social distancing, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to forego my eyelash extensions and spend a few weeks in my glasses to prepare for the LASIK surgery.
Normally, I would cringe at the thought of having to wear my Coke-bottle lens glasses, but since we were mainly staying at home anyway, it seemed like the right opportunity to fix my vision.
And I want to share my entire LASIK journey with you in case you are looking to have LASIK yourself!
How does LASIK work?
LASIK eye surgery has been around for over 20 years.
The procedure is done by having a laser make a tiny incision to create a ‘flap’ on your cornea. That flap is then lifted, and a different laser reshapes the cornea; this part is personalized to your unique eye.
The flap is then put back into place. Then you rest, and your vision is improved.
It sounds like a miracle, right?!
I initially got a consultation at one vision correction practice that went through the LASIK screening process very quickly – under 3 minutes!
I was told by this place that I didn’t qualify for LASIK, and I would need an ASA ablation surgery instead, similar to PRK.
PRK vs. LASIK
PRK is done by having an alcohol solution placed on your eye in order to remove the outer skin of the cornea, and then the laser is applied to the surface of the cornea. A temporary contact lens is then placed in your eye for a few days while you heal.
This means that with PRK, you won’t be able to see to your full clarity for a month, while with LASIK, your vision can be improved within a day.
Although both procedures are supposed to yield the same results, I was heartbroken to be told that I would have to endure a longer healing process, and they said I might only have partial results.
My vision would be better, but they couldn’t guarantee I’d see 20/20.
Finding a trustworthy LASIK surgeon
I decided to get two more opinions. One of the surgery centers no-showed my initial virtual appointment. Red flag!
The difference between my consultation with Mann Eye compared to my earlier experiences was like night and day.
First of all, my LASIK screening was way more in-depth. The appointment took over an hour compared to the three-minute screening I experienced elsewhere.
This consultation included a full eye exam with dilation and was 100% free!
Mann Eye confirmed that my cornea was thick enough for LASIK, and since I had been out of my contacts for a week, I could get LASIK as soon as a few days later.
I was in shock! How could one LASIK provider say that I didn’t qualify for LASIK, and they couldn’t guarantee my results with PRK, yet another be ready for LASIK surgery in only a few days?
I was almost skeptical, to be honest! I decided to give it another two weeks wearing my glasses and asked for another consult the day prior to my scheduled surgery, just to be 1000% convinced.
Mann Eye happily obliged to provide an extra screening just to make sure, and my results were exactly the same as the first consultation. This provided me all of the peace of mind I needed to get the procedure.
The moral of the story: if an eye surgeon says you don’t qualify for LASIK, get a second opinion.
The quality of the laser technology and the expertise of the surgeon can make a big difference if you qualify or not!
Does LASIK hurt?
On LASIK surgery day, you’re given a light sedative to help calm your nerves, as well as eye numbing drops. You are walked into a cool room and laid on a cushioned table.
Overall, the only part of the procedure that is uncomfortable was the initial pressure prior to the first laser, which only lasted about 10 seconds or so, and for some reason, it felt like more pressure on my left eye than my right eye. I’ve been told this is common.
After the surgery, my eyes were slightly sore for a couple of days, similar to staying up too late, but nothing major.
When you plan your LASIK procedure, I’d recommend planning the next few days to be uneventful to allow extra time for rest.
How long does LASIK take?
For me, LASIK at Mann Eye took 9 minutes from the time I walked into the procedure room to the time I walked out.
When I walked in, I had a contact lens prescription of -7.0 and needed someone to help guide me into the operating room.
Immediately following the procedure, I was able to see (albeit a little cloudy at first) and walked out without my glasses. Simply crazy!
LASIK recovery time
After my LASIK procedure, I went home to nap. A few hours later, I could see! I was still wearing my super-sexy eye shields but was amazed at my vision.
The next morning, I went in for my post-op appointment and was seeing with 20/10 vision and could do my normal activities.
The overall LASIK recovery time in my experience was less than 24 hours.
LASIK side effects
In my experience, the only short-term LASIK side effects I experienced were sensitivity to light and some broken blood vessels in one of my eyes.
The light sensitivity only lasted about a week or two, and the red spots only occurred in one eye, and it didn’t hurt or last long. My eyes were a little dry, but using eye drops helped those instantly.
To help with light sensitivity, reach for some polarized sunglasses!
I’d recommend buying a pair before the procedure. Mann Eye Institute recommends wearing these to protect your vision long after your LASIK surgery.
How much does LASIK cost?
Many eye surgeons charge a tiered scale based on how bad your prescription is.
When you think about it, that seems kind of crazy since the procedure takes the same amount of time, no matter your vision level. In my first LASIK consultation a number of years ago, I heard an advertisement for LASIK for $199 per eye.
After my LASIK screening there, I ended up being quoted a price that was TEN TIMES the advertised amount. It felt so bait-and-switch that I didn’t move forward.
Four years later, I revisited the option of LASIK surgery, and I learned that Mann Eye Institute’s pricing isn’t based on your prescription.
They do have a few options, but it’s not a “tier system” or “starting at” price. They do have specials going on from time to time, and I was able to take advantage of their Friends and Family special.
And, you can get $1000 off your procedure using this exclusive discount link.
Does insurance cover LASIK?
No, insurance does not cover LASIK surgery as it is considered elective surgery. If you have vision insurance, however, you’ll likely qualify for an additional discount!
You can also use your Health Savings Account or Flex Spending Account funds for your LASIK procedure, too! This will allow you to pay for the procedure tax-free, so take advantage of your HSA/FSA if you have the opportunity.
All-in-all, I’m just like every other person I know who has gotten LASIK when they say, “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
I can see so clearly now and don’t have to fuss with contact lenses every morning and night.
What a godsend!
Hopefully, I’ve answered all your questions about my LASIK experience. If not, drop a comment below!