My LASIK Experience
In August 2021 I underwent a LASIK procedure on both of my eyes. The procedure was a success and this is my account of the whole journey. I first wore glasses in August 2018 to correct my weak astigmatism, these glasses allowed me to see the world in HD again but I wasn’t keen on wearing them. In late 2021 I started researching laser eye surgery as an alternative.
When it comes to doctors you really want someone who has been practicing for years and who uses the latest equipment. For LASIK you’ll want to go all-laser wavefront guided. There are other options such as SMILE and PRK and most clinics offer all three. I live in San Francisco so I limited my options to the Bay Area.
I decided to go to the two highest rated doctors in San Francisco, Jay Bansal (LaserVue) and Scott Hyver for consultations. Both places provided a free consultation and recommended LASIK, they said my prescription was low and predicted a quick recovery period. I didn’t meet either surgeon during the evaluation (I had a 2 minute video call with Hyver), instead I met a number of assistants and eye doctors and they put me through the usual array of tests. Bansal did dilate my eyes during the evaluation, Hyver didn’t do this until the pre-op checkup. Hyver highlighted my deep-set eyes and made me aware that the procedure may be more complicated as the bone structure of my face may block some of the equipment during the procedure.
The final part of each evaluation is a sit down with a patient counselor who goes through the pricing of the procedure, payment options, scheduling and all other questions you may have. Hyver was $4995 for both eyes, Bansal was $5200 for both. The patient counselors were a little pushy when it came to making a decision but I explained I was weighing up my options and would get back to them when I was ready to proceed. I was impressed by both clinics.
I decided to go with Scott Hyver after considering the positive reviews, the experience I had during the consultation and the scheduling availability.
5 days before the procedure I had a pre-op checkup, in which an eye doctor on Hyver’s staff did three back to back eye exams (with pupil dilation) to be certain my prescription measurement was accurate. Once the exam was out of the way I paid for the procedure in full (more on this later) and was informed of the sequence of events on procedure day. They also checked the eye drops I had purchased at the pharmacy to ensure everything was correct.
The procedure itself was very quick, I was in and out of the office in 45 mins. After arriving I was offered some pain relief as well as an anti-anxiety pill, I was advised by friends to take the Valium and so I did. I was then called into a pre-op room where a nurse put some numbing drops in my eyes, reminded me of the order of events and then guided me to the operating room.
Dr Hyver greeted me with a big smile, I asked him if he was feeling good (doctor’s have bad days, mortgages and families too) and he replied “fantastic”. If you want to know the specifics of the surgery there are plenty of [resources](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWP-1T-b3Ww (opens in a new tab)) on youtube. My experience was very standard with the exception of some trouble with my deep-set eyes that Dr. Hyver had pointed out in consultation. The bone structure of my face made it difficult to get one piece of equipment on my eye, to overcome this the Dr had to put a large amount of pressure down onto my eye and surrounding bone. It was intense but not necessarily painful. There was a slight smell of burning when the corrective laser was reshaping my eye but my research had warned of this. Dr. Hyver opted to put a clear contact lens on my right eye for the night to ensure everything healed in place.
Once the procedure was over my roommate picked me up, I was able to see but it was very blurry. I followed the advice to stay awake for 4 hours following the procedure, I sat in my room, listened to some podcasts and applied drops every hour. I wore the provided eye goggles while sleeping for the first few nights.
The following morning (16 hours later) I was able to drive myself back to the office for a post-op checkup. My right eye was measured at 20/20 and my left 20/25. I could notice the difference in ability myself but I was assured the healing process takes up to 1 month. My eyes were dry and I needed to add drops every few hours.
About a month later I went back for another checkup. At this stage I was so impressed by the results, both eyes seemed equally strong and both eyes measured 20/15 in this exam. My dry eye symptoms were completely gone too which was a major concern for me. This was my last interaction with Dr. Hyver’s office, he does provide a guarantee which covers all corrects and checkups for as long as he is practicing, but 🤞 I won’t need that.
My LASIK experience was very positive, and despite some initial hesitation I’m very glad I decided to go ahead with it. My vision these days is perfect, I’ve only felt the need to add drops in my eyes 3 mornings in the last 4 months. If you are considering LASIK I would advise you to do your research, find a doctor you know and understand the risks involved. If you have any questions please ask, I’m more than happy to share my experience.
Does insurance cover LASIK?
No. As this is an optional procedure your insurer won’t help. I did get a 15% discount because my eye care is through VSP.
Can I use my FSA/HSA?
Yes you can! I elected to max out my FSA going into 2021 to $2750. This meant that over half the final cost was pre-tax money (saving 25-30%). Just make sure to give your FSA administrator a heads up so you can confirm the expense is covered. I paid for the procedure with my FSA card and the remainder with my personal credit card.
Can I shower after the procedure
I was advised to wait until the morning after to shower, to allow the initial healing phase to begin.© Sean Bolton.RSS