My Lasik Experience

Wednesday, January 07, 2004
As a public service I am re-posting this which is from my original blog. Toward the end of my other blog this became one of the more popular searches to my site. I enjoy sharing my experience with others so that they can decide for themselves if Lasik is right for them. If you have any comments feel free to post a comment and I will be happy to share some more.


I was going to wait to discuss my Lasik procedure until things settled down somewhat but my roommate Sandy suggested that I blog about it on a daily basis so I have some record of my experience. So here goes.

I got my eyes done by Dr. Kerry Assil of the Assil Sinskey Eye Institute in Santa Monica. I traveled all the way to Santa Monica because I had heard that Dr. Assil was one of the best in Los Angeles and figured I had only one set of eyes so I might as well get it done by the best. He also came highly recommended by an ex-coworker of mine and he was a VSP doctor so I got a significant discount on my procedure.

Dr Assil used the latest WaveScan technology with a VisxS4 laser. This particular technology is especially suited for someone like me because I have very large pupils.

The entire process was VERY quick. The speed at which everything happened made it both easier and more uncomfortable. I got to the office and signed in. They immediately gave me some meds and told me to wait a few minutes. They called me back to get one last reading of my prescription. I thought that after they got my prescription it would be a few minutes because I was pretty sure there were some more people ahead of me. As it turned out Dr. Assil came in at the end of my measurement and I was escorted into the operating room.

Dr. Assil checked out my eyes again and made a few markings on my eye. Then I was placed in the chair and the whole thing began. From the moment I sat in the chair until I got up and could see again was about 15 minutes or so. The actual part of the procedure where they cut open the cornea and apply the laser to my eye probably only lasted about 4 minutes each eye. They cut open the eye (which only took about 20 seconds or so) and removed the flap. They did another quick scan of the eye and than applied the laser with the actual laser being used maybe 30 seconds or so. After they used the laser I could spell something funny which may or may not have been the fried smell of my own eyeball. Kind of disgusting when you think about it huh? As I got up from my seat and looked around things were somewhat cloudy. It was described to me that it would look like I had vaseline on my eyes and that is exactly what it looked like.

They did one last look at my eyes, put these stupid plastic cups over me (which I had to wear all day and the tape hurt like hell this morning removing it. Removing the tape was the most painful part of the whole thing) and I was sent home. I was told not to do any reading or computer work (which if you know me drove me nuts) but I could watch TV. I was annoyed at only being able to watch TV so I went to bed early, 9:30 or so (I was specifically told not to nap yesterday because it dries out your eyes but everyone else I know is told to sleep immediately after), and just got up early and came to work.

So what do I think now? Like I said the rapidness of the procedure made it both good and bad. Good because I didn't have any time to be nervous, it just happened so quickly. Bad because it all seemed kind of rushed and the last thing I wanted was something to be rushed during the operation.

I can't say that the procedure was life-altering. Right now it looks and feels like I have a very dirty and dry pair of contacts on. My vision isn't super clear and my eyes are somewhat irritated. From my understanding this is all very normal in the first few weeks and I will probably discuss it more with the doctor today during my post-op check up. I hope that my vision sharpens up significantly. I'm hoping that I get vision at least as good as it was when I had contacts otherwise I'm not so sure it was all worth it. I like not being tied down to my contacts or glasses, it was nice to be able to see my clock at night and not have to fumble around for my glasses this morning, but I wouldn't necessarily want that at the expense of the clarity of my vision.

I will write about it a few more times over the next few weeks to let you know if things get any better or any worse. I will reserve final judgment until a few weeks from now when my vision should be more or less stable.

UPDATE: For the full story you should see these followups

All Lasik Post

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was intrigued to read about your experience with Lasiks eye surgery. Unfortunately it looks as if you wrote the blog early January 2004. What happened? I am doing research on the Assil Sinskey Eye Institute and would like to learn what happened in your experience after your post-op check-up. I'll look back to your site in the next week, but your follow through with this topic is a little dishartening. I hope everythng went well for you.

T said...

Thanks for your comments. I actually had some more follow through on my other blog before I switched to this one. Overall my vision is not great. I still have some near-sightedness left. I purposefully did not post any more about it yet because I have another appointment coming up where I'm sure I will have to schedule a touch up proceedure. I was going to give a final report after they had done the touch up to say if I was satisfied or not. If I had to do it now the answer would be no. Since my sight is slightly off it is really annoying. Altough I love the freedom of no glasses or contacts having poor vision is a real pain in the butt. But I knew they might not get it right the first time so I reserve judgement until after they try and fix it.

Anonymous said...

How are your eyes/vision now? I'm planning to do Lasik with Dr. Assil, so I would like to hear your progress since last year.
Thanks.

T said...

My vision now is good. You should read about my touch up procedure and the aftermath.

1ijack said...

Nov 21, 2005. My vision was between 20/40 in one eye and about 20/150 in the other. I had Lasik by Kerry Assil 3 months ago. Although vision was corrected to the point that I do not use glasses anymore, except to read at a distance closer than 16-18 inches, one of my eyes is going downhill in vision ability. The Asian doctors who have seen me there since the operation, insist that I am doing great, but when I look at the charts with the little letter that they show me, one eye sees blurry, like before the operation but definitely not as bad, and yet, they, the doctors, seem to disregards my assertions that I see blurry, and continue to say that I am doing great. One eye is not. It's going downhill, deteriorating towards the condition it was before the operation. Be aware that these doctors medical opinion regarding my one eye, may be hiding a problem they don't want to face. I don't know what that is yet but I will keep you posted after my next visit.

Anonymous said...

LASIK ruined my eyesight. I have wrinkles in my flap called micro-striae. These micro-striae in the flap occur in all LASIK cases. Since it is named micro-striae you might think because it is micro it's not important. It is very important because it is the cause of starbursts and glare at night from car headlights. Almost everyone who does LASIK has this phenomenon. Dont believe anyone who says otherwise.
If you really want to have eye surgery go with epi-LASIK or PRK. epi-LASIK maybe better than PRK.

T said...

"Almost everyone who does LASIK has this phenomenon"

That is just a completely meritless statement. I have no problems with my sight and I'm very happy that I had lasik. I must know a dozen people who have had lasik, none of whom have any serious problems with their vision and all of whom are very happy with their sight.

Do some pepole have problems? Do some not get 20/20 vision. Of course. But they tell you up front that that is a possibility. But to say that somehow the most popular cosmetic procedure, done on millions of people across the world, is somehow unsafe, is just false.

Anonymous said...

Let me guess. You must be one of those guys who pimps for LASIK surgeons or a LASIK surgeon yourself.
I'm not saying LASIK is unsafe (by safe I mean you wont go blind) I mean you will get lousy vision especially at night.
Also, you say not everyone will not get 20/20 vision. Guess what you moron I have "20/15" vision acording to my surgeon and I still have lousy vision.
Try an RGP contact lens and see how better you will see. The hard lens reduces some of the irregularites caused by LASIK but does not eliminate it.
Bottom line is you permanently lose vision with LASIK that cannot be reversed. The best vision you'll get is with your glasses.

T said...

Do not come onto MY blog and disrespect me. I have no reason to keep your comments if I don't choose to. If you want to share your opinion that's fine, but don't mistake this for the free press. I have no issues with censorship on my site.

No, I have nothing to gain from promoting Lasik. If you would read the rest of my blog, you would realize that.

I'm sorry you have had problems. There are dangers with any procedure, thinking otherwise is naive. My point was that I have had no issues and the dozen or so people I know who have also had lasik have had no problems. My life is many times better now that I have had lasik and no longer have to worry about glasses or contacts.

Anonymous said...

You were wise to have your procedure done by Kerry Assil. Unfortunately 99% of surgeons are not like Dr. Assil. Actually, I am consulting with Dr. Assil thats how I came to your blog. Dr. Assil thinks he can fix my problem. I'm not so sure. Actually, most people DO have micro-striae (or wrinkles in the flap) but it may not affect them. This was what Dr. Assil told me so dont tell me you dont have micro-striae. I bet you do as well but werent told you have it.

T said...

Again, I did not say I did or did not have micro-striae. I simply stated that I have had no noticeable problems with my vision and that none of the people I know complain about anything out of the ordinary.

Do some have problems at night or otherwise? None of them complain about it but I'm sure they do. Do any of them have problems to the point they wish they didn't have the procedure done? No.

So yes, I am sure that it happens and that some people are dissatisfied. But my own personal experience, and the experiences of those around me, have all been positive.

Anonymous said...

I also had my lasik done by Dr. Assil. I'm very happy. I don't know if I do or don't have micro-striae. I do know that it helps to be realistic and fair, because the eyes will need time to adjust and settle in. My eyes were so bad before that I had headaches for 2 months after the procedure! (note - Dr. Assil offers a free adjustment in the first year.) I know that I went to Dr. Assil because I was scared witless. I know several people who've lost sight, gone blind, and have the worst night vision because of bad procedures. I wanted the best possible care. So, even after a glowing referral from my optometrist, I called for an appt only after doing the research and months (yes, months) of anxious debate. By the way, I was advised to only use Dr. Assil because my vision was so bad (9.25 and 9.50), my brother was given the option of using a different surgeon because his vision was mild. His procedure was also a great success. I say this to point out that in my opinion they are a professional and fair facility. My vision may not be a perfect 20/20, but I see well, and I'm happy. I still need my adjustment, but waiting until after I have a baby.

Anonymous said...

I also had surgery with Dr Assil and my vision went up and down (fluctuated as the doctors say) like a roller coaster for the first 2 months. I had my surgery in November and now I see 20/15. I can see the difference and am very happy with my surgery. I guess everyone is different and experiences both good and bad. I just wanted people to know that I enjoyed the staff as well as Dr Assil and my experience was very good.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Assil did my custom LASIK 1 year ago and I see 20/15 with each eye! (I was -4.75 before surery). My vision fluctuated for a few weeks but settled quickly. Not to mention, my night vision is SO crisp as if I were looking at a high definition HD tv screen. His staff is unbelievably knowlegeable and caring too. I wish I would have met Dr. Assil sooner!

Anonymous said...

My wife had her eyes done with Dr. Assil this August. Disaster! Dr. Assil decided to do "monovision" on her without first verifying that she can tolerate it. It was hell for 6 weeks before she got it fixed by another Doctor back home. Never do monovision before trying it with contacts for at least 2-3 months!!! You are warned!!

Anonymous said...

I had my lasik by Dr. Assil about 5 years ago and had "monovision". I could not e happier!! I am very glad that I did my homework and chose Dr. Assil. I think as a patient we have the responsibility to do what we can to get a great outcome. by that I mean go forward with an open mind and ask a lot of questions. If I had to do it over again, I would pick Dr. Assil in a second!!!

Anonymous said...

All of these posts have been helpful to read but now I am a total nervous wreck. Nothing is more precious than the gift of sight! I just hope that after the surgery the things I dream of experiencing...rain drops, exercising without fogging up my specks and cute sunglasses will be a reality.

T said...

To anonymous above. I'm glad I could be of help to you. One of my goals is to help people making this difficult choice. If I can be of any more help, let me know.

VP THE VP said...

By doing Lasik you are creating another disease called dry eyes for yourself.
It ruined my eyes.

Anonymous said...

I had my eye surgery done by Keon Nia of LasikMD. The surgery did not go well, I now have constant eye pain and can't drive at night. Oh well I guess some things in life are just a gamble.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous above:
My name is Jodie and I am a regional director at LASIK MD. I am very sorry to hear you feel unsatisfied with your experience. I have spoken with Dr. Keon Nia, and he would be more than happy to meet with you at your convenience for a consultation. Dr. Keon Nia is a well respected and experienced surgeon with thousands of happy patients. We are confident that Dr. Nia will be able to resolve your concerns.
Please phone me at 1-877-969-9888 extension 4005 to schedule your consultation ASAP.

Kind Regards,

Jodie Hebbard – Regional Director – LASIK MD

Anonymous said...

I had lasik done by Dr. Assil in 2004. I was happy with my vision for the first 3-4 years, until 2008, I wasn't able to see as well at night. When I did the surgery and paid over $6k, one of their sales pitches to justify the higher price was that several years down the road they would give me a free touch up if needed. Dr Assil's credibility and touch up guarantee were the 2 primary reasons I chose him and flew across the country and paid twice the cost of many other reputable doctors.

Recently, I called to schedule a touch up surgery to correct my vision again and they mentioned that the surgery will be free but the contract says that I will only be charged for the "facility fee". That "facility fee" is $1900 per eye or $3,800. Hopefully his business and marketing ethics don't carry over to his medical procedures. That is deceitful selling at best.

In doing further research I have found that there are many reputable doctors who have performed thousands of these surgeries successfully at half the cost and they offer a true touch up guarantee at minimal cost. I generally believe you get what you pay for and many things are worth paying a premium, but you may be paying for a bunch of hype with Dr. Assil. I wouldn't use him again.

By the way, my cousin also used Dr. Assil and he got a bad eye infection from the surgery a week before his wedding.

Hope my experience helps.

lasik surgery said...

Great data thanks for sharing your experience.

Karina Chiodo said...

Many people are still afraid of LASIK, thinking that its a risky and painful operation. But the truth is, it's very simple and absolutely painless. That is why more and more people are opting to have LASIK instead of spending all their life wearing eyeglasses. For me, it's a wise choice.

Anonymous said...

I had the procedure done through Assil in June 2008 and consider it one of the WORST decisions I have ever made. My vision was not clear after the first procedure. I had to wait six months before I could have it repeated. Assil's response was, "I guess you'll be doing a lot of squinting until then." I did have the second procedure and still cannot see. Now (Oct. 2011) I wear glasses, but my vision changes a bit throughout the day making them ineffective. I really have no clear vision close or far. I have headaches often (never did before) and my eyes are usually irritated. I WISH I HAD NEVER DONE IT! On top of this was the expense, which is much higher than average.

Anonymous said...

Oct. 2011: procedure done with Assil in June 2008
I forgot to mention that I cannot wear contacts, only glasses, because they are too irritating to my eyes now.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Assil is VERY expensive. I regret going to him. I should have done more research and found someone else that is just as competent who charges more compassionately. I also had to go back for correction which I felt should have been done free since the original procedure left me less than satisfied, and for the amount I paid for the original procedure, the correction should have been done gratis.

Anonymous said...

Don't have Lasik!

I had the procedure done maybe seven years ago, and I was fine for several years, just had some mild dry eye when waking up in the morning.

But a few months ago I got a pain syndrome that stems from the surgery. Just google lasik and pain and you will get thousands of hits. And my dry eye got much worse at the same time. I also learned that the procedure destroys the integrity of the cornea so that you can get something called ectasia, which means the eye starts to bulge. Lasik is the absolutely worst decision of my life. It's not only that some people get side effects - all do - this thing with the integrity of the cornea getting destroyed for example. And you will have a flap that never heals, which means that you are much more vulnerable to trauma to the eye, like airbags for example, than other people. How I wish I had done my research before making this disastrous decision.

researching lasik said...

Can you do a follow up post? I think a lot of us are curious how you are doing now that the surgery is over and your eyes have had time to recover!

custom lasik phoenix said...
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