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Lasik or other vision improvement service?

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
I've had several people tell me good things about http://www.2020institute.com/ -- has anyone heard anything about them?

Also, is Lasik the best procedure or is there something else out there to consider?

I have a consultation appointment this Saturday, so any feedback before then would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,463
3,228
Sleazattle
I just squint and leave my fly open. It lets me use my penis like a bug uses it's antennae. Luckily I am farsighted.
 

Prettym1k3

Turbo Monkey
Aug 21, 2006
2,867
0
In your pants
The surgery itself has worked wonders for my mom and dad. They each had it done a few years back by whoever does a lot of the players on the Giants, 49ers, etc. They said for the 24 hour period after the surgery, it felt like they had Taco Bell Fire sauce poured into their eyes. After that, it was nothing... unless you count having to wear goofy goggles to bed so that you don't rub your eye in your sleep and lift the flap of tissue up.

I'm not too sure about the 2020Institute, but I know that the lasek surgery in general has worked wonders for my parents. My mom still wears glasses when reading, but otherwise she's says her eyesight is leaps and bounds better than it was before.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
What kind of vision problem you have dictates what procedure is appropriate.

Make sure you choose a place with a good doc with the latest equipment and techniques.

I got Lasik 3-4 years ago - back then the better places had the newer all laser lasik - they precisely cut the eye flap with one laser before they use another to reshape your eye. Before that they used use a mechanical device to cut the flap.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,183
1
TN
Man I dont know...ever since I got HDTV, I have come to the realization that Chris Collinsworth is much uglier than originally suspected. Bad vision could be a blessing if you've never seen your significant other, or other loved ones with perfect clarity.
 

jbrunton

Chimp
Oct 26, 2001
49
0
America's wang
I just had Lasik sugery less than two weeks ago. The only thing that is kind of a pain is the constant dry eyes. According to the doctor this should only last for the first two to three weeks. What is so amazing is that at the post-op the next morning I was seeing 20/15. My astigmatism was so bad though, that I had to have another procedure three months earlier to correct most of that.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
I just had Lasik sugery less than two weeks ago. The only thing that is kind of a pain is the constant dry eyes. According to the doctor this should only last for the first two to three weeks. What is so amazing is that at the post-op the next morning I was seeing 20/15. My astigmatism was so bad though, that I had to have another procedure three months earlier to correct most of that.
thanks for the feedback!

I have dry eyes, but am not sure if that's natural or due to the contact lenses.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
my brother performed my lasik about 2 years ago. 'twas a simple procedure and i didn't experience the "taco bell fire sauce in my eyes" feeling. i went from a terrible astigmatism (20/400) to (20/20). i had the dry eyes for about 2 months but the supplied eye drops do the trip. it is AMAZING going from glasses all my life to perfect vision over a weekend. i highly recommend it...especially if your brother is an opthomalogist and will do it for free :D
 

jbrunton

Chimp
Oct 26, 2001
49
0
America's wang
thanks for the feedback!

I have dry eyes, but am not sure if that's natural or due to the contact lenses.
I had the worst time with dry eyes with contacts. After the procedure just make sure that you stick to the prescribed drops. The last thing that you want after spending 5K on your eyes is an infection.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,429
2,007
Portland, OR
My brother decided to have his eyes done a few years ago. He did a ton of research and ended up going to Stanford Eye Center because they were supposed to be the best in the world at it.

Long story short, they had an oops. They did have an associate center repair it for free and he now has eye care free for life, but he also has a slight kaleidoscope type spot in his upper left eye.

I laughed because it cost him a small fortune to go there rather than some strip mall with a coupon. :rofl:

<edit> http://med.stanford.edu/ophthalmology/laser/
 

Echo

crooked smile
Jul 10, 2002
11,818
1
Slacking at work
I got Lasik about 6 years ago, best money I've ever spent in my life, period. I can see better than I ever could with glasses. Trying to list all the awesomeness of Lasik would exceed the character limit for posting.

Oh, and I got it done in Canada (Niagara Falls) for under $900.
 

Serial Midget

Al Bundy
Jun 25, 2002
12,735
1,427
Fort of Rio Grande
My dad is one example of lasik gone bad - his eyes never improved and now he has horrible vision.

Nothing about the procedure went wrong - he was just one of the small percentage of persons lasik can't do anything for.

My glasses do not bother me enough to risk ruining what vision I do have.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,728
161
NORCAL is the hizzle
My glasses do not bother me enough to risk ruining what vision I do have.
Amen. I only see out of one eye, and I need a -11 prescription for the one that works. Still way better than darkness.

I know lots of people that have had good luck with lasik but it's not really an option for me, just no room for error.
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
14,848
3,257
behind you, don't wait up.
I had LASIK done 2.5 years ago, and like Echo said it was the best money I've ever spent.

I was pretty much useless with out correction (glasses or contacts) and I went from having a 16" range of vision before the surgery to about 20/20 the next day with a lot of haze settling on 20/15 in about 4-6 weeks. There was the dry eye thing, and the constant irrational fear that I'd rub my eyes in my sleep and blind myself.

My procedure involved the cutting of the flap, then the laser. I had the option for full laser but as I understood it the healing process was longer (burning away the protective layer vs. moving it over 3/4 of an inch) and the risk of infection increased, I opted for the low-tech method.

I can still remember the sensation of the high speed rotating razor wheelie thing cutting into my numbed eye and thinking "this is dumb".

Best $$$ I ever spent.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
I can still remember the sensation of the high speed rotating razor wheelie thing cutting into my numbed eye and thinking "this is dumb".
FOCK YOU!

I'll probably think of you when that's happening and start laughing. Thanks a lot jackass.


:D
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
My procedure involved the cutting of the flap, then the laser. I had the option for full laser but as I understood it the healing process was longer (burning away the protective layer vs. moving it over 3/4 of an inch) and the risk of infection increased, I opted for the low-tech method.
You must be thinking of another procedure as all laser lasik does not involve burning the front of your eye off. The laser is more precise and has a lower risk of flap complications and infections compared to mechanical flap creation. They use a different kind of laser and cut a flap they fold back for the other laser to reshape your eye just like they do with a mechanical blade.

allaboutvision.com said:
As a replacement for microkeratomes, IntraLase creates flaps through infrared laser energy that inserts a precise pattern of tiny, overlapping spaces just below the corneal surface. The IntraLase laser operates at extremely high speeds (pulses of one quadrillionth of a second), allowing tissue to be targeted and divided at a molecular level without heat or impact to surrounding tissue.

...

How IntraLase Works

The LASIK surgeon uses computer software to guide the IntraLase laser beam, which applies a series of tiny (3-micron-diameter) bubbles within the central layer of the cornea. The resulting corneal flap is created at a precise depth and diameter pre-determined by the surgeon.

As occurs with a mechanical microkeratome, a small section of tissue at one edge of the flap is left uncut, forming a hinge that allows the surgeon to fold back the flap so that the cornea can be accessed and reshaped for vision correction.

Comparing IntraLase with Traditional LASIK: The Difference Is in the Corneal Flap

With IntraLase, people with thin corneas who once were unsuitable for LASIK may now be candidates. Most people have corneas that are between 500 and 600 microns thick, and most microkeratomes cut flaps ranging between 100 and 200 microns thick. Because of its precision, the IntraLase appears capable of more reliably and consistently producing corneal flaps as thin as 100 microns.

This means surgeons now have more options to perform LASIK in people with thinner and flatter corneas, according to Vance Thompson, MD, a Sioux Falls, S.D., refractive surgeon with experience using IntraLase. [Dr. Thompson is also an AllAboutVision.com Advisory Board member.]

IntraLase in some cases may present fewer LASIK complications. The IntraLase laser flap follows the curvature of the cornea and produces a flap with easily managed vertical edges, unlike thinner edges associated with microkeratomes that might tear more easily. This difference in flap structure may reduce the chance of cells growing underneath and pushing up the flap (epithelial ingrowth) to create an irregular corneal surface with accompanying vision defects.

Other complications such as "buttonholed" or partially formed flaps also might be avoided with the IntraLase. Because of its sterile system, IntraLase also may be associated with decreased chance of eye infection or contamination.

The IntraLase laser uses a low vacuum suction ring to hold the eye, compared with a higher vacuum used for microkeratomes. However, the time needed (up to a minute) for the suction ring to remain on the eye with the IntraLase may slightly increase chances of some superficial bleeding on the white part of the eye (subconjunctival hemorrhage). This type of temporary eye bleeding is not vision-threatening, and it resolves on its own.

People who have had previous corneal surgery often are candidates for LASIK with IntraLase. Dr. Thompson reports that he now uses laser-created flaps for most people who have undergone previous corneal surgeries such as radial keratotomy (RK), a now obsolete vision correction surgery that involved making cuts into the cornea.

Summary

The "all-laser" LASIK approach, using the IntraLase laser and a standard excimer laser, may avoid some microkeratome-related complications such as corneal irregularities and scarring, which can degrade vision.

But plan on significantly increased procedure costs if IntraLase is used with LASIK. Also, IntraLase has been associated with a complication that causes light sensitivity, although eye surgeons report that steroid eye drops will resolve the condition.

More surgeon experience with computer-guided laser creation of LASIK flaps and further analysis of their results should confirm whether IntraLase is a significant advance.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,033
1,049
01776
PRK is what the military typically uses and that burns the front of your lens off.

Lasik involves the flap/laser method. It heals faster, i think, but PRK has less room for error. It's also costlier.

My dad had Lasik done in canada several years ago. It works for him, he had very poor vision and now he doesn't wear glasses. He gets some auras and stuff at night, and his close up vision is very poor, but it's better than the coke bottles he had. They said he can go back to fix the problems from before, but I think he's too cheap to do that.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
PRK is what the military typically uses and that burns the front of your lens off.

Lasik involves the flap/laser method. It heals faster, i think, but PRK has less room for error. It's also costlier.
Looks like NASA and the military are doing Lasik now:

usaeyes.org said:
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida, September 21, 2007 -- The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) has approved All-Laser Lasik technologies for use on U.S. astronauts. The NASA decision was made following review of extensive military clinical data, which showed the combination of femtosecond laser for Lasik flap creation and wavefront-guided excimer laser for corneal sculpting provides superior safety and vision.

Approved for use on consumers almost a decade ago, more than 11 million Lasik procedures have been performed to-date, making it the most-common elective surgical procedure in the U.S. But it wasn't until Lasik developed into an all-laser procedure that NASA approved it for use on pilots, mission and payload specialists who face extreme, physically demanding conditions in space. The all-laser Lasik technologies, which utilize wavefront guided and femtosecond lasers, have also been cleared for U.S. military personnel, including most recently Air Force pilots.

"NASA's approval is further evidence that today's Lasik exceeds all established standards of safety and effectiveness," said Steven Schallhorn, M.D., retired captain of the U.S. Navy, investigator in multiple studies involving use of Lasik and other refractive surgeries for treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and Medical Director for Optical Express. "NASA followed the Naval Aviation clinical studies closely with a particular interest in both safety and quality of vision under extreme conditions. Wavefront guided and femtosecond lasers were proven to provide excellent safety with consistent visual results of 20/20 or better. Lasik was able to withstand even the most extreme rigors of warfare and flight. All surgical procedures have risks, but with this exceptional track record, the average consumer has nothing to fear from Lasik."

Dr. Schallhorn, himself a retired naval aviator, spearheaded the majority of the Defense Department's research in laser vision correction.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
So my wife pushed me into it. I get it done in 11 days. They do all sorts of measurement stuffs in six days and they want me out of my contact lenses starting now.

I hate glasses.

I wanted to go for a long ride today, but think my glasses would annoy me in addition to not having tinted lenses.
 

N8 v2.0

Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Oct 18, 2002
11,007
149
The Cleft of Venus
So my wife pushed me into it. I get it done in 11 days. They do all sorts of measurement stuffs in six days and they want me out of my contact lenses starting now.

I hate glasses.

I wanted to go for a long ride today, but think my glasses would annoy me in addition to not having tinted lenses.
cost for the no-glasses goodness?
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
cost for the no-glasses goodness?
too much. $4000! I almost walked out, but my wife convinced me otherwise.

I could've had the $2000 procedure, but that was the older one without eye mapping and lasers.
11 days? WTF? I had to go 3 months sans contacts...and I am still waiting! Hope to get them done in March...
You're in the military, right? Military has higher standards or something?
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,644
661
Front Range, dude...
Yeah, Air Force. I dont know about the standards. But I have been wearing contacts for a long time, and I did tend to wear them too long (12-18 hour days) so maybe my eyes were really jacked up from them?
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
But I have been wearing contacts for a long time, and I did tend to wear them too long (12-18 hour days) so maybe my eyes were really jacked up from them?
hmm, not sure. I've worn contacts full-time for about 10 years now, all day from wake to sleep.
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
14,848
3,257
behind you, don't wait up.
Wow, $4k??
My procedure was the 'good' choice with mapping etc., and it cost me a $1,000. Come to think of it, I was sort of blown away at the delta of pricing I heard about from other patients in the office. One person paid $2k per eye, yet a girl who was on her husband's union insurance paid one flat $40 co-payment.

Are you getting your membrane cut or the full laser surgery?

Either way, you're going to be stoked afterwards! Remember, immediate results are not the same as what you can expect after a few weeks/month or two.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,060
62
chez moi
PRK is what the military typically uses and that burns the front of your lens off.

Lasik involves the flap/laser method. It heals faster, i think, but PRK has less room for error. It's also costlier.

My dad had Lasik done in canada several years ago. It works for him, he had very poor vision and now he doesn't wear glasses. He gets some auras and stuff at night, and his close up vision is very poor, but it's better than the coke bottles he had. They said he can go back to fix the problems from before, but I think he's too cheap to do that.
I got a PRK from the Navy (not that I was in the Navy, but they performed it). And all I remember thinking is that as they clockwork-oranged me up for the surgery was that there was a potentially low-grade doctor behind that laser whom I could never sue if he jacked anything up.

And yes, it was hellish the next day. Percoset and eyes closed in bed, followed by another day of squinting and misery.

Luckily, it worked pretty well. I was only 22, though, and my left eye worsened again (slightly) in recent years, but that wasn't anything to do with the surgery. I still don't wear glasses or a contact unless I'm doing something critical.

And hey, it was free... Good luck, Opie.
 

BMXman

I wish I was Canadian
Sep 8, 2001
13,854
0
Victoria, BC
I have often thought about lasik for my wife but I've heard one horror story to many...I just wish they would develop a procedure for colorblindness...D
 

Spunger

Git yer dumb questions here
Feb 19, 2003
2,258
0
805
My girlfriend/future wife had it done a couple of years ago. I watched it all in the room with her and such and it worked out great for her. She had to wear contacts/glasses before everything. Now you would never know that she had it done. I think she went from something like 20/200 in her vision to 20/20.

I think the coolest part of it was after the 12 hours of not being able to open your eyes, she opened them and could watch TV that night and was amazed. I know she was scared though because it's your vision. What if you couldn't see again? Thank god though it seems like it's a pretty fool-proof system they do.

Plus there's nothing like seeing a twitching eye ball on a big plasma TV in the room. It's kinda gross but that's how you can watch and the helpers watch.

If I were blind (well had trouble seeing) I'd get it done. At this point she might need to go for a "tune up" in a few years as that was expected, but otherwise everything is good.
 

CHepler

Monkey
Sep 5, 2005
208
15
Had it done about 3 years ago. Custom Lasik that takes the topo pic of your eye and goes from there. It is a little more, but supposedly better. Like manimal I have a brother in the business that helped out. I was looking at this since it came out as RK. Really glad I waited the few years it took to advance the surgury to where it is now. I know guys that didn't and are not happy now with what they got then.
Never had any issues with the possible downsides ie.. dry eyes, halos at night, nothing. My brother checked me the following day and was 20/15. Nothing but good from my experience.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
So I had LASIK yesterday morning. I was toast most of the day, but we had a baby class last night, so I had to tough it out, came home and went back to bed. If I had someone at work to cover me, I'd have taken today off as well.

My vision is about 20/30 and they say it'll improve over the next few weeks as my eyes heal. Left eye is slight better vision and NO irritations! The right eye tho has a dry spot that feels like a torn contact lens. They say that'll clear up as well and to just use the lubricating drops liberally.

The other two drops are antibiotics and anti-inflmatory... they both drain from the back of my eye into my sinus down into my throat and they both taste fockin' nasty!

*pause to put more drops in*

PROCEDURE itself...

It took seven minutes. They say that's almost twice as long typical. The equipment and tools were really wierd, like some Star Wars torture looking thing, tho I felt no pain. I'll spare the unpleasant details and elaborate on two really wierd things...

There was a moment where I went completely blind for about a second and then the whole universe opened up to me. Imaging looking out at the stars from the top of the tallest mountain with no clouds, no light polution. Really zen experience.

The other was a moment of massive chain-lightning, very cool.

Strange thing is, both of these only happened in my left eye and that's the one that's doing so well. Go figure.
 
This is pretty timely for me. I'm 35 and got my first pair of glasses when I was 5. I started wearing contacts 20 years ago. In the last several months, my eyes just decided to reject the lenses. My glasses are like coke bottles. Besides glasses just suck all the way around. I can hardly walk around without my glasses on...

Anyway, I'm getting Lasik in 8 days in Buffalo. I thought about going over the border, but don't like the idea of finding the cheapest way to fix my eyes.

I can't wait. Mine is $1500.00 per eye without the 15% VSP discount.