I finally did it.
On Tuesday, April 19th, 2016, I went in and got the procedure done. I’m writing this post on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 and I can see without contacts or glasses! Pretty amazing!
Let me give you the step by step, covering the good, the bad and the ugly (aka the cost) of it all.
First off, the people were all extremely nice and informative. I had done my research before hand, and the experience lived up to the reviews. Everyone was very helpful along the way. I would highly recommend Mann Eye (particularly the one located on 5115 Main St.) to anyone.
Step One: Committing to getting LASIK done:
I’ve been entertaining the idea for years… YEARS. I have friends that have had it done and said it was the best thing that’s ever happened to them. One friend in particular had it done 10 years ago and he swears by it! All that said, I was still skeptical/scared and the price was very intimidating. But my contacts were bothering me too much and I didn’t want to go back to wearing glasses full-time. That brought LASIK as an option again.
Step Two: Going in for my free evaluation:
I did my research and narrowed it down to Mann Eye and another highly rated place. After speaking to both sides, Mann Eye seemed to be the most professional, so I decided to go with them. During my first visit, the lady at the administration desk walked me through the process, pricing and all that jazz. I was also told that during my evaluation that day, I would have a number of tests done (including eye dilation) to confirm that I was a candidate. During the evaluation, I guess some confusion happened between the techs to where the eye dilation never happened. In fact, it was noted that I did have the dilation done and I had to confirm with the doc that it indeed did not happen. That was a bummer and a bit concerning as well. A bummer because I felt like I wasted 3 hours of my day and didn’t get the full evaluation. Concerning because they forgot/overlooked something that I would assume to be very important. I followed up about my concern via email and the administration desk was very apologetic and assured me that this was something that usually never happens. Because of all of the positive reviews I read, I gave them a “pass”. During that 1st round of my evaluation, they discovered an infection on my right eye. This pushed the process of getting LASIK done by a week, but that wasn’t too big of a deal.
Step Three: The follow up visit:
After a week of being out of my contacts and using drops to clean up my infection, I came back to the office. They checked me out and did a complete evaluation. They said that all looked good and I would be a great candidate for LASIK. With that, I scheduled the surgery. It’s typical that they conduct LASIK on a Friday, but I was able to sneak it in on a Tuesday.
Step Four: Surgery Day:
Tuesday, Sheena drove me in to the office. I had a 12:30 appointment to get it all done. Here’s me with my Clark Kent glasses (for the last time!).
First I had to fill out some consent forms and make the payment.
Here’s a view of Downtown Houston from the waiting room. I could see my building from there!
The actual surgery probably lasted about 10 seconds per eye. They ran a few more final test the be certain that all is well. All of the extra tests put me at ease since they were triple checking that the surgery would be a good fit for me. Once that was done, they prepped me for surgery.
During the prep phase, they gave me this “super cool” hair net and some Valium (the Valium was cooler than the hair net). Then they poured in a multitude of drops into each eye and did a cleanse on my eyelids as well. After waiting for the Valium to kick in, they walked me into the surgery room.
You can’t see if from this angle, but they gave me a huge teddy bear to hold during the surgery. The room itself was very spacious. It also had a monitor to show spectators how the surgery goes down. Sheena took pics and video of the entire thing!
Honestly I was fine until I got under the machine. Then I started to get a little nervous. I’m a little claustrophobic. With the machine so close to my face, I assume that is what brought on my nerves, but it wasn’t enough to stop the procedure. Like I said, it was about 10 seconds per eye, so it happened faster than my nerves could catch up to.
Getting up from the surgery, Dr. Mann asked me “Can you see the clock?”. I could see it, but it was blurry. Then he said, it’ll look like you’re underwater. That is exactly what it was like. Immediately after that, I walked into another room where Dr. Mann checked things out and he said everything looked perfect. That was reassuring! They placed shields over my eyes and placed sunglasses over that and I was on my way home.
Just for the sake of clarity, the guy pictured above is Dr. Mann Sr. His son (the other Dr. Mann) was the one who conducted my surgery. I was able to meet both of them and they’re both really nice people!
With the shields on, it’s hard to really know how well the surgery went. I could see through the shields, but with all of the holes, it was hard to see how clear things are supposed to be.
Step Five: Post-Op:
I was instructed to sleep for about 3 to 5 hours, which I did. When I woke up from my nap, I was able to see things clearly. It was crazy!
Step Six: Follow-up Visit:
The next day (Wednesday), I had a follow up visit. They did a few checks on my eyes to make sure they were healing nicely. They gave me the stamp of approval and I headed to work.
Step Seven: Drops:
I was prescribed 4 different drops. 2 of which I use for 5 days, 4 times a day (very annoying to keep up with). One are artificial tears that I have to instill every hour for the first week and then as needed thereafter. The fourth one I have to instill twice a day for what I think is 30 days. It’s annoying to have to do it, but in the grand scheme of things its really no big deal.
OK, so I’m sure a lot of you are wondering about cost. I want this post to be helpful to anyone considering the surgery, so I’ll share the numbers. The surgery itself set me back $3600. All of the drops I mentioned above, those aren’t cheap either.
The prices stated above are inclusive of insurance and a few coupons that the eye doc gave me. All in all, I paid roughly $4,100 for the LASIK surgery and it’s associated medications. That is a lot of money! But seeing the results, I believe it’s worth it.
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 8 years old. I’m 34 now. So that’s 26 years of having some sort of corrective lens on me, whether it’s glasses or contacts. I’m still getting used to the idea that I don’t need glasses/contacts anymore. It’s crazy! Little things like being able to wake up and see the clock, or not having to take off my glasses to take a shower… it feels like a miracle.
If you’re considering LASIK, I say go for it! Although it’s pricey, the freedom you get is pretty amazing!