Beauty & Wellness

[Merged] laser eye surgery

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 20th, 2017 9:13 pm

Poll: Mid twenties a good age to get it done?

  • Total votes: 196. You have voted on this poll.
Yes
 
100
51%
No
 
29
15%
Pizza is yummy
 
67
34%
Newbie
Oct 25, 2017
1 posts
3 upvotes
First off, just wanted to thank everyone in this thread, it's been very informative.

I'm planning on returning to the military and want to get my eyes fixed before I go back. So given the stresses placed on your eyes in that kind of job, I'm looking at PRK. My prescription is quite minor at about -1.75 in each eye. Not much by most people's standards, but even for me, glasses make a huge difference. I can't imagine what it's like for most!

So being in Toronto I was torn between just doing PRK at Bochner or flying out to PLEC. After seeing Justin's post though, I followed up with Dr. Machat's clinic (CCV/Nvision) and just yesterday they did in fact confirm that they recently upgraded to the SmartSurface technology for their Schwind Amaris.

I have a consultation on Nov 17 and will update everyone then with what I find out.

Finally, for those in Toronto who are looking around, I was quoted at $5400 at Bochner for everything, and it was all inclusive, even unlimited eyedrops and everything. They're using a slightly older technology (Allegretto Eye-Q at 400hz), but overall didn't feel too bad about the place- Dr. Stein is one of the top refractive surgeons out there. I did find their pre-testing a little light/rushed however, which made me a little uneasy.
Last edited by tornadotrick on Oct 26th, 2017 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 1, 2011
4859 posts
730 upvotes
Looking forward to your updates, @tornadotrick. Thanks for a secondary confirmation of the SmartSurface upgrade at CCV.
Newbie
Oct 22, 2017
16 posts
15 upvotes
Hi guys, I just wanted to add that CCV/Nvision did my PRK for $5100 all in. also not sure if everyone knows but it's also a tax write off!!
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
409 upvotes
JustinLaw wrote:
Oct 26th, 2017 8:43 pm
Hi guys, I just wanted to add that CCV/Nvision did my PRK for $5100 all in. also not sure if everyone knows but it's also a tax write off!!
Its a tax credit, not a deduction, if you qualify, in the ordinary course of the medical expenses tax credit. Remember to also include your personal travel costs to/from the clinic as part of your claim.
Last edited by burnt69 on Oct 26th, 2017 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Oct 22, 2017
16 posts
15 upvotes
Good to know @burnt69 ... oh and yeah I saw that some people were asking about the price. I did my research. Nvision was the best priced of the premium centres (Herzig $5200, Bochner $5400, Nvision $5100). I checked the Nvision website as well and you are correct. The info on their is quite generic. Apparently with the rebranding the webmasters haven't had a chance to update it with all the latest info. My fiancé's sister is looking to get lasik/prk as well and she went to Bochner for a consult and same thing tornadotrick said, she felt very rushed as if there was a time limit. Chatted with her the other night over dinner and she had no idea I even had PRK lol but regardless she also has a consult scheduled.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10279 posts
650 upvotes
Toronto
peanutz wrote:
Oct 26th, 2017 2:54 am
If it's sunny, yeah I do. Smiling Face With Sunglasses BTW, did the itching in your eyes get better?
Not exactly. My eyes still itch a couple of times a day, but putting in the Refresh eye drops seems to make it go away. It's a minor annoyance. I think it started around the time I started to taper off my eye drops. I'm only using the Refresh eye drops roughly 2x a day now compared to 4x a day in the first two months.
Newbie
Dec 25, 2007
10 posts
Ottawa
Just to make sure: What focus eye centre calls Intralase SBK is the same as what other places call All-laser Lasik...right?
Deal Addict
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Oct 1, 2011
4859 posts
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costa wrote:
Oct 27th, 2017 9:36 am
Just to make sure: What focus eye centre calls Intralase SBK is the same as what other places call All-laser Lasik...right?
Intralase SBK is thin-flap All-laser LASIK.

SBK = a LASIK flap is created of between 80-110um thickness. Traditional LASIK flaps used to be 120-160um thick. I believe any all-laser LASIK outfits have the option of choosing how thick to make the flap.

SBK tries to preserve more corneal tissue than regular-flap LASIK; however, it still does not preserve as much as PRK. It seems that with SBK it is more for patients with more symmetrical, regular topography, whereas PRK is still more suitable for those with irregular topography/astigmatism.

https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/a ... -procedure
Last edited by peanutz on Oct 27th, 2017 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Oct 22, 2017
16 posts
15 upvotes
I definitely had an irregular pattern on my cornea and that's why I got PRK, Dr. Machat let me know that PRK would create a smoother more regular surface which was part of the reason why I had some astigmatism.
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
409 upvotes
JustinLaw wrote:
Oct 27th, 2017 11:48 am
I definitely had an irregular pattern on my cornea and that's why I got PRK, Dr. Machat let me know that PRK would create a smoother more regular surface which was part of the reason why I had some astigmatism.
Yes, that's a nice benefit of transPRK and topography guided ablation (ie: Schwind Corneal Wavefront) -- the topography captured is exactly the topography treated. The PTK portion of the transPRK leaves things very smooth topographically, and SmartPulse polishes the surface for rapid healing.
costa wrote:make sure: What focus eye centre calls Intralase SBK is the same as what other places call All-laser Lasik...right?
@peanutz answer is correct, but one needs to be really careful of what they're actually getting. For instance, PLEC/NVISION Toronto's SmartSurfACE PRK is a true single all-laser procedure. LVC markets a 'no-touch' procedure, but in reality, they use alcohol and a blunt spatula to remove the epithelium, as in PRK. As the options become more varied, surgeons will use all kinds of terms to market to the public, and they may not be directly comparable, or even technically accurate. Even "Intralase SBK" is a term that was concocted for marketing purposes, as it is just, as pointed out, thin flap femtosecond LASIK.

PRK has some sort of strange negative connotation (perhaps many people know people who have had PRK and have suffered pain from it), so some surgeons may, for example, advertise "LASIK" services ("LASIK" being a very well established procedure in public discourse), but actually perform SmartSurfACE PRK. There are a few "LASIK" clinics that have in fact stopped doing LASIK almost entirely once they moved to the new PRK technology.
Last edited by burnt69 on Oct 27th, 2017 2:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Newbie
Oct 22, 2017
16 posts
15 upvotes
@burnt69 ... jeez you know a lot! ever thought about working for these places!? I didn't read back far enough but did you have a procedure done as well?
Jr. Member
Jan 2, 2011
144 posts
25 upvotes
Can someone explain why no one here is really recommending Lasik MD?

I was hoping to get mine done there with one of their surgeona that have done 80,000+.

My prescription is -4.75 & -5.00.

I'm also an airline pilot and really can't have this go wrong!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 1, 2011
4859 posts
730 upvotes
JustinLaw wrote:
Oct 27th, 2017 2:07 pm
@burnt69 ... jeez you know a lot! ever thought about working for these places!? I didn't read back far enough but did you have a procedure done as well?
burnt69 had transPRK with SmartSurface last December or January.
learsid wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 10:39 pm
Can someone explain why no one here is really recommending Lasik MD?

I was hoping to get mine done there with one of their surgeona that have done 80,000+.

My prescription is -4.75 & -5.00.

I'm also an airline pilot and really can't have this go wrong!
Have you already had your consult and booked a surgery date?

I can't say anything good/bad about LASIK MD except they seem to be very pro-LASIK and a bunch of us in this thread on the last few pages are more conceptually comfortable with surface ablation/PRK so we opted for clinics that have more specialization with advanced PRK.
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
806 posts
409 upvotes
learsid wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 10:39 pm
Can someone explain why no one here is really recommending Lasik MD?
LasikMD certainly has some good surgeons. But some of the sales focus exhibited by some 'chain' clinics is perhaps a cause for concern. The clinician who ultimately did my surgery is already (reportedly) quite wealthy and doesn't have 'corporate' pushing him to crank up his procedure volume or ratchet down his personal standards. I'm not personally convinced that pressure, from non-medical "CEO" types, to increase profit, doesn't exist amongst the 'chain' clinics.

In my specific case, the clinic I was treated at didn't have fancy glossy brochures, didn't have a fancy waiting room. The waiting room was nothing different than you'd find at any other medical clinic that would treat any other medical condition. My medical condition happened to be myopia, and treatment was dispensed for such condition. I liked the fact that I never spoke to a person who had a 'sales' or 'marketing' background. A complaint I have read of 'other' clinics in Vancouver is that they have you meet with a 'sales' person after your consult, at which the sales person deems you a candidate. The process at the clinic which performed my surgery was slow and perhaps a bit tedious to ultimately arrange a surgical appointment, but I was convinced that it was the surgeon himself reviewing my file for suitability, rather than a sales person.
I was hoping to get mine done there with one of their surgeona that have done 80,000+.
And most likely nearly all of them are satisfied.
My prescription is -4.75 & -5.00.
I'm also an airline pilot and really can't have this go wrong!
Pay particular attention to measurements of your pupil size, and make sure that they are able to fully treat your entire dark-adapted pupil with their particular equipment. Make sure the fact that you are an airline pilot is clearly documented on your paperwork/forms. You should also ask your relevant Transport Canada medical examiner for his/her opinion on laser refractive surgery, and understand the implications of refractive surgery on your licensing.
Newbie
Oct 11, 2017
10 posts
12 upvotes
learsid wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 10:39 pm
Can someone explain why no one here is really recommending Lasik MD?

I was hoping to get mine done there with one of their surgeona that have done 80,000+.

My prescription is -4.75 & -5.00.

I'm also an airline pilot and really can't have this go wrong!

Hi,

I had my Lasik done just two weeks ago with Lasik MD. I explained why I chose them over PLEC and King Lasik (FVLC) a few posts ago, but here is some additional information regarding my experience that I hope would be helpful:

Generally, I wasn’t impressed by the sales staff at Lasik MD, FVLC, or PLEC.

At FVLC, the sales team also does your pre-op, so they are well trained but are also trying to sell you a procedure at the same time. The fellow who did mine was quite professional, but didn’t test for dry-eyes, and wasn’t very clear on the differences between microkeratome and femtosecond procedures, probably because she was trying to upsell me to their total package. They do push Lasik over PRK quite a bit here.

At PLEC, you don’t really get a pre-op during your initial consultation except for one orb scan, I imagine they do all the further testing later on if you choose to go with their services. It is, as others have said, a pretty simple outfit, and one benefit is that you get to meet the Dr. right away, and not at the time of your surgery. This said, in my particular experience I didn’t find this very advantageous as the Dr. didn’t really give me any unique information, brushed away any of my concerns and just sat there looking at me, lol. To be fair, this could simply be because I was truly an excellent candidate for the procedure, but I suppose I would have liked a more open dialogue. I would say they absolutely do have a sales ‘team’, at least they did in my case. Basically you sit in a room and watch a video of the doctors performing (and advocating) Lasik, only to be told in person that it is an outdated technology and that they don’t do it anymore. Following that, you meet the doc, and afterwards you have a 1on1 sit down with another member of the sales team who gives you your price. This person liked to remind me that she was the most qualified amongst the staff and that I was lucky to get her. That’s fine, what I didn’t particularly like was that she (and others) relied on fear-mongering sales tactics by talking about the Lasik flap as something that is extremely prone to complications, and can dislodge virtually any time. I should also mention that they severely downplayed the PRK risks, significantly underplayed the recovery time and said nothing about the potential over/under correction complications.

At Lasik MD, your pre-screening is done by an LPN (blood pressure, etc) and your thorough pre-op is done by an opto-technician that isn’t concerned with sales at all (or at least in my case). I was lucky, I suppose, because my tech was quite fantastic. He was very thorough, and spent a considerable amount of time answering my questions and giving me as much detail as I wanted. He also tested for dry-eyes, and probably gave me the most un-biased opinion on what option to pick. After that, you have a sit down with a young sales rep who gives you a well-rehearsed spiel on what to expect before, during and after the procedure and the price tag. I didn’t particularly find this person very competent, their phone/email communication was lacking, but it did seem like she tried to do her best. It is true that they probably push Lasik over PRK quite a lot, and while I noticed the bias, I didn’t pick up any active coercion towards Lasik when I brought up PRK. My pre-screener person actually had PRK done herself, and my tech didn’t sway me from the choice either.

That said, seeing the doctor a minute before my surgery wasn’t confidence inspiring, but thankfully he was professional and had a jovial attitude that put me at ease. My biggest critique of Lasik MD is that their sales/front counter/call center staff is near incompetent. Here is an example. I tried very hard to find out what technical equipment they use for their surgery and everyone I spoke to seemed either uninformed or unmotivated in providing me this info. The call center reps kept quoting me the Bausch and Lomb machine, the sales rep I corresponded with had some callous colleague (both in Surrey) call me saying that she didn’t know the answer, that it was an “I.T question”, and felt annoyed that it is something I should enquire about. Just rubbish, really. It wasn’t until I met the doctor that I found out they used the EX500 in the Vancouver location and the EX400 in the Surrey clinic. He also said they haven’t used Bausch and Lomb 217z machines in quite some time, contrary to the rep I spoke to on the phone. Also, they do have their EX500 equipped with T-CAT, in case you’re a candidate for topographically guided surgery, but others on this forum know a lot more about that than I do.

If I decided to go with PRK, I would have chosen PLEC simply because they appear to have the most experience and use the best technology. For Lasik, I was happy with the Vancouver LasikMD location, as they use, from what I understand, pretty new technology as well. At the end of the day, for what many regard to be a life changing medical procedure, it is a remarkable shame how much it has become a money grabbing business, IMHO.

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