Health & Wellness

[Merged] laser eye surgery

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

  • Total votes: 430. You have voted on this poll.
Yes
 
227
53%
No
 
67
16%
Pizza is yummy
 
136
32%
Deal Addict
Aug 17, 2008
1263 posts
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blckmntn wrote: Pandemic has me in a yolo mindset so I've decided to pursue laser eye surgery. Mainly astigmatism with mild myopia, I've settled on the SMiLE procedure because the idea of a flap makes me uncomfortable (contact sports) and I like the reduced risk of dryness.

I've consulted at a few places but only these two offer SMiLE, at Herzig by Dr. Herzig and at Clearview by Dr. Kranemann. I have friends who speak very highly of Dr. Herzig and I was lucky enough to meet Dr. Kranemann at my consult.
You are wise to be concerned about the flap with LASIK, particularly if you play contact sports.

However, do your research on SMILE, as I think the reason that you only found two clinic in your area that offer SMILE is that while SMILE is "newer", most ophthalmologists do not believe that SMILE is superior to LASIK. Do your own research, do not rely on the marketing materials from clinics that have invested in SMILE equipment.
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Oct 28, 2004
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Toronto
Just a quick note about flap vs prk....

I did LASIK aka flap. Dr. Herzig explained to me that yes, while your eyes’ integrity is different due to the flap....the severity of the damage to your eye to cause the flap to be undone would be so great that your eye would be seriously damaged even if you didn’t have the flap.

That and PRK recovery is longer.....I decided to go with LASIK.

I don’t do contact sports like boxing anymore but I do play basketball, volleyball and tennis and have no worries about damaging my eyes through these sports.

I think PrK would be good for folks playing contact sports but I am chicken...lol!

FS: Nothing at the moment
Heatware: 63-0-0
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Aug 17, 2008
1263 posts
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One more comment on the flap in LASIK.

First, there is no doubt that the vast majority of people who get LASIK are very satisfied with the results, and LASIK has much shorter recovery time than PRK. But the concern is not if you are like the 96%+ who are happy with it, it's what are the risks. And the worst case scenario with LASIK is much worse than the worst case scenario wtih PRK (check out the site Lasik Complications). In particular, while very rare, LASIK has greater risk of damage to the nerves leading to ongoing pain. Of course the big negative with PRK is a longer recovery time, so many doctors and patients prefer LASIK if the cornea is thick enough. But isn't a longer recovery time worth it if it's safer in the long term?

Here's article on PRK vs LASIK:
https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-h ... -they-work

PRK : "The complete healing process lasts about a month. Your vision will slowly get better each day, and you’ll see your doctor regularly for checkups until your eye is fully healed."

LASIK: "You’ll probably see much more clearly right after LASIK than you could before, even without glasses or contacts. You may even have close to perfect vision the day after your surgery. You won’t experience much pain or discomfort as your eye heals. "

Both techniques are equally effective in permanently correcting your vision. The main difference is the recovery time.

LASIK takes a few days or less to see clearly while PRK takes about a month. The final results won’t differ between the two if the procedure is done properly by a licensed, experienced surgeon.

"Overall, PRK is considered to be safer and more effective in the long term because it doesn’t leave a flap in your cornea. The flap left behind by LASIK can be subject to greater damage or complications if your eye is injured


And another from an eye clinic (that does both):
https://www.allaboutvision.com/en-ca/vi ... rgery/prk/
PRK versus LASIK
Results of PRK surgery are comparable to LASIK outcomes, but initial PRK recovery is slower because it takes a few days for new epithelial cells to regenerate and cover the surface of the eye.

There also is a slightly increased risk of eye infection and haziness of vision in the first few days following PRK surgery.

LASIK patients generally have less discomfort, and their vision stabilizes more quickly, whereas vision improvement with PRK is gradual and the final outcome can take several weeks.

PRK does, however, offer some distinct benefits.

Because no LASIK-style corneal flap (which contains both epithelial and the deeper stromal tissues) is created during PRK, more corneal thickness is available for treatment. This is beneficial if your corneas are too thin for LASIK.

There also is no risk of flap complications, and the risk of removing too much of the cornea with the excimer laser is reduced.


It's easy to see why LASIK is more popular. It's much easier for the doctor (don't have to deal with follow-ups and complaints during recovery) and for the patient. But if you are willig to endure some discomfort initially, and a longer recovery, PRK is safer.
Newbie
Apr 8, 2019
14 posts
5 upvotes
Endeav wrote: Dr. Machat moved to TLC Yonge Eglinton, give them a call at 416-733-2020. I was told that Dr. Machat's nvision patients were adopted by TLC and given lifetime warranties. I had lasik at nvision on December 20th, and I have a prk enhancement scheduled for April 23rd at TLC, by Dr. Machat.
Sorry to dig up an old post. Can you confirm that you were actually transferred to TLC at Yonge & Eglinton? I called them today (after a year of procrastinating) and they said nothing would be covered if I needed a touch-up, but Machat is still there. Wondering if it was only for patients who had surgeries scheduled after closure, not previous patients - I had PRK in May 2018.

Nvision at the time of the Toronto clinic said the warranty is still valid but I'd have to travel to the USA for treatment. I guess I'm learning a lesson about "lifetime" warranties...
Newbie
Jan 5, 2012
23 posts
10 upvotes
Brampton
robody wrote: Sorry to dig up an old post. Can you confirm that you were actually transferred to TLC at Yonge & Eglinton? I called them today (after a year of procrastinating) and they said nothing would be covered if I needed a touch-up, but Machat is still there. Wondering if it was only for patients who had surgeries scheduled after closure, not previous patients - I had PRK in May 2018.

Nvision at the time of the Toronto clinic said the warranty is still valid but I'd have to travel to the USA for treatment. I guess I'm learning a lesson about "lifetime" warranties...
Yes I can confirm that I was transferred to TLC Yonge Eglinton. At the time, I called Nvision and they were closed, I was directed to call TLC Yonge Eglinton and the director there said that they were adopting Machat's Nvision patients. I did indeed have my enhancement done on April 23rd 2019, however I've not followed up to see if I would still be covered for a touch-up in the future. Maybe you should try to speak to Dr. Machat? Were you an Nvision or Crystal clear patient?
Member
Dec 11, 2007
254 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto
Hey guys just an update:

Decided to do PRK for the long-term benefits! Will be doing it sometime next month! :).

Am very, super excited but nervous too!
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Apr 3, 2006
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I'm just past the 6 month mark now with my surgery and I have noticed that I am experiencing quite a bit of floaters - particularly when there is a lot of light or when staring at a screen. Has anyone else had this issue?
Newbie
Jul 26, 2020
1 posts
I found this post when searching for information about TPRK surgery at LaserVue. It's been a couple months since your surgery, how do you feel now?
jaychee wrote: I'm booked at LaserVue in Montreal for end-of-month March for TPRK (SmartSurfACE).

My reasons for choosing LaserVue over PLEC (no criticisms intended)
  • Location is closer to me for any (hopefully none) follow up visits and lower travel costs.
  • included lifetime retreatment at LaserVue
  • Lower cost than PLEC for remote patients.
  • More responsive pre-op service / communication / scheduling than PLEC. Especially LaserVue's Refractive Coordinator "Danielle".

The Con's of LaserVue in comparison to PLEC
  • LaserVue laser is 1/2 the speed of PLEC, w/o "predictive tracking (7th Dimension). but sampling rate is the same.
  • LaserVue probably does fewer surgeries.
  • LaserVue's surgeons' reputations are not quite as publicly burnished as PLECs. They didn't help design the laser, still have a strong relationship w/ Schwind.
  • LaserVue's pre/post protocols seem a bit less conservative than PLECs

I'm taking my fish oil now.
I'm excited about this after 30 years of RGPs, dust, mucus, falling off the pupil, starbursts, and halos.

I'll update here with any new information from my experience.
Ideally, my next update is "everything went as expected and I am able to see!".
Newbie
Apr 8, 2019
14 posts
5 upvotes
Endeav wrote: Yes I can confirm that I was transferred to TLC Yonge Eglinton. At the time, I called Nvision and they were closed, I was directed to call TLC Yonge Eglinton and the director there said that they were adopting Machat's Nvision patients. I did indeed have my enhancement done on April 23rd 2019, however I've not followed up to see if I would still be covered for a touch-up in the future. Maybe you should try to speak to Dr. Machat? Were you an Nvision or Crystal clear patient?
Thanks for the reply and info. I was an Nvision patient but the documentation I received still had the Crystal Clear branding.

I'll dig a little further with TLC, not sure if I'll find a direct contact for Dr. Machat though. No issues with my vision at the moment, just want to know where I stand in future.
Sr. Member
Jan 18, 2017
721 posts
324 upvotes
ji2o0k wrote: wow, just happened to see this thread while browsing........I actually did my laser eye surgery with the Herzig office back in July 2010!!! And the surgery was performed by Dr Herzig himself!!

My post here:
merged-laser-eye-surgery-249780/47/#p11277481

Wow - I haven't kept up with the technology (mine was LASIK Wavefront (with Intralase)) - happy to say that my eyes are still good after the laser eye surgery, some slight dryness but nothing too serious.

However, old age is setting in for me and my eyes are no longer better than 20/20 (which it was after the surgery!)......

a little less than -1 in each eye is creeping back - optometrist says due to getting older.

My eyes are still great though and really happy with Dr. Herzig's work!
May I ask how old you are? What age does this start happening; 40?
Sr. Member
Jan 18, 2017
721 posts
324 upvotes
jaychee wrote: I'm booked at LaserVue in Montreal for end-of-month March for TPRK (SmartSurfACE).

My reasons for choosing LaserVue over PLEC (no criticisms intended)
  • Location is closer to me for any (hopefully none) follow up visits and lower travel costs.
  • included lifetime retreatment at LaserVue
  • Lower cost than PLEC for remote patients.
  • More responsive pre-op service / communication / scheduling than PLEC. Especially LaserVue's Refractive Coordinator "Danielle".

The Con's of LaserVue in comparison to PLEC
  • LaserVue laser is 1/2 the speed of PLEC, w/o "predictive tracking (7th Dimension). but sampling rate is the same.
  • LaserVue probably does fewer surgeries.
  • LaserVue's surgeons' reputations are not quite as publicly burnished as PLECs. They didn't help design the laser, still have a strong relationship w/ Schwind.
  • LaserVue's pre/post protocols seem a bit less conservative than PLECs

I'm taking my fish oil now.
I'm excited about this after 30 years of RGPs, dust, mucus, falling off the pupil, starbursts, and halos.

I'll update here with any new information from my experience.
Ideally, my next update is "everything went as expected and I am able to see!".
Looking for an update about this too! I'm considering heading up to Montreal for this but COVID's gotten me scared lol.
Newbie
Jan 6, 2020
6 posts
4 upvotes
I'd love to give an update. Yet here I sit in Chicago wearing my glasses, because border shutdowns.

I will give update if Canada ever lets me (US resident citizen) over the line.
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Oct 28, 2004
22094 posts
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Toronto
KevCnew wrote: May I ask how old you are? What age does this start happening; 40?
Yo, at least buy me dinner first before asking my age!

Lol, my optometrist did mention it starts at age 40 and downhill after...

FS: Nothing at the moment
Heatware: 63-0-0
Sr. Member
Jan 18, 2017
721 posts
324 upvotes
drtse wrote: I did my research and was set on doing SmartSurface PRK with a particular doctor here in Toronto. Unfortunately, he closed down his practice to join a larger group practice (TLC) for whatever reason so I ended up settling on the standard PRK procedure. It went very smoothly. I had no pain! Didn't even have to take a single Tylenol at any point post-surgically. My eyes healed up very quickly too. It is just over 6 months now and my left eye is 20/30 and right eye is 20/25. A touch of astigmatism remains in my left eye too. Prior to surgery I had severe myopia and astigmatism so it's a whole new world for me now. I am 47 and wish I had done this years ago now but was always fearful of the short and long term implications. In terms of supplements, I was doing high dosage fish oil capsules 2 weeks leading up to the surgery date and then high dose fish oil, Vitamin C and something called Eye-Matrix by Cytomatrix also. Perhaps all the supplements helped with healing and no having pain but who knows. The only downsides experienced so far...dry eye upon waking up each morning and now needing to wear reading glasses in dim light or very small print. Good luck!
20/30, 20/25 - do you wear glasses? 47 .. nice! What was your dosage of fish oil and vitamin C?

I'm trying to decide whether or not it's worth going to Montreal for SmartSurfACE or just doing standard PRK here in Toronto. I'm tempted to do the latest procedure but after hearing lots of good feedback it might not be such a big deal.
icedout23 wrote: Experience so Far. Payed $4200
Age 29

Went in for consultation at TLC in Oakville had my surgery mid Oct was a candid for both Lasik and PRK.
Went with PRK because i had the time off.
Surgery was quick and painless. I had Dr Dean smith. Great guy crack some jokes and everything really lighten the mood.
I was in and out of the room in probably less then 10mins.
PRK took me about a week to heal up, faster than others but my prescription wasn't that bad to begin with.
First few days were pretty annoying no pain or anything just slept for most of the time.
Went to TLC for my 1 day checkup and my 3 day checkup to take out the contact lens/protection.
Saw my Optometrist for my 1week checkup and was given the green light to drive. 1 week in i believe i was at 17/20
No problems driving at night or halos or anything.
Saw My optometrist for my 1month checkup 2 weeks ago and I'm beyond 20/20 already said everything is good just a little dry.
More then happy with the results so far, would definitely recommend TLC everyone in that Oakville office was friendly and helpful.

LMK if you guys have any questions I'm more then happy to help people out. Lots of people here have helped me when I was deciding on getting it done.
What was your prescription? Wow, slept first few days. Yeah I'm reading don't even bother with screens for the first few days.
ji2o0k wrote: Yo, at least buy me dinner first before asking my age!

Lol, my optometrist did mention it starts at age 40 and downhill after...
Face With Tears Of Joy Sorry the restaurants are takeout only ! Damn I'm close to 40, wish I did it 10+ years ago...
Sr. Member
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May 6, 2005
885 posts
25 upvotes
Hi Everyone,

I"m doing research on behalf of my dad (he's 82) and just told me he was diagnosed with cataracts and his eye test for driving scheduled for Feb 2020. His doc told him he's 50/50 for passing, so he's now terrified at the thought of losing his license. The backlog for cataract surgery will likely not happen before Feb, so now I'm trying to research the private route. Lots to read through here which is great, but my dad's situation might be somewhat different than the younger profile for most people inquiring here. Obviously we need a professional consultation, but just trying to do some of the ground work ahead of time. If anyone has been in a similar situation for private cataract surgery, please share what you can. Much appreicated.
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Aug 17, 2008
1263 posts
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huskylord wrote: The backlog for cataract surgery will likely not happen before Feb, so now I'm trying to research the private route. Lots to read through here which is great, but my dad's situation might be somewhat different than the younger profile for most people inquiring here. Obviously we need a professional consultation, but just trying to do some of the ground work ahead of time. If anyone has been in a similar situation for private cataract surgery, please share what you can. Much appreicated.
I believe you are in GTA (but I'm pretty sure other provinces are the same). There is no true "private" option for cataract surgery. Yes you can have cataract surgery done at a "private clinic" , but the private clinic is really acting as an arm of the public health service. The surgery is funded by the provincial health care plan (you pay extra if you want a premium lens that aim to provide good vision at near, intermediate and far, or if you want laser assisted cataract surgery along with the premium lens), Of you can pay nothing extra or very little extra if you go for a mono-focal lens. But wait times will be long due to COVID backlog, and you can't pay extra to jump the queue. Your father's optometrist should be able to refer you father to either a private clinic or a public clinic. You might make some calls to clinics outside of major cities

Here's a link: https://www.epso.ca/frequently-asked-qu ... ontario-2/
And an older article saying that wait times were shortest in Lampton, Kent, and Essex counties -- e.g. Sarnia/Chatham. I'm sure wait times are longer now even there, but still much shorter than in GTA or major cities. Article does say 5-10% of patients were not from the area. if you are willing to drive out your father can get treated earlier, but follow-up checks may be troublesome if you that route.
https://www.theobserver.ca/2014/02/20/e ... 19aea58a5c

He should avoid driving at night as worsening cataracts will make night driving dangerous for him and others.

EDIT: This site lets you see wait times and % treated within standard of 6 months by city or hospital. I took a quick look and Chatham/Sarnia still looking good in early 2020, although all surgeries were stopped from March to May, so there will be a backlog everywhere.
https://www.hqontario.ca/System-Perform ... ye-Surgery
Sr. Member
Jan 20, 2012
886 posts
504 upvotes
Toronto
huskylord wrote: Hi Everyone,

I"m doing research on behalf of my dad (he's 82) and just told me he was diagnosed with cataracts and his eye test for driving scheduled for Feb 2020. His doc told him he's 50/50 for passing, so he's now terrified at the thought of losing his license. The backlog for cataract surgery will likely not happen before Feb, so now I'm trying to research the private route. Lots to read through here which is great, but my dad's situation might be somewhat different than the younger profile for most people inquiring here. Obviously we need a professional consultation, but just trying to do some of the ground work ahead of time. If anyone has been in a similar situation for private cataract surgery, please share what you can. Much appreicated.
A friend of mine had it done 2 weeks ago in NYGN. He waited a week only. He paid extra for lenses that required no glasses after surgery. Both Herzig and TLC are full in August and have opening in September for laser eye correction. I assume spot should be available for cataract if you select extra fee lenses procedure that is done in clinic.
Sr. Member
User avatar
May 6, 2005
885 posts
25 upvotes
multimut wrote: I believe you are in GTA (but I'm pretty sure other provinces are the same). There is no true "private" option for cataract surgery. Yes you can have cataract surgery done at a "private clinic" , but the private clinic is really acting as an arm of the public health service. The surgery is funded by the provincial health care plan (you pay extra if you want a premium lens that aim to provide good vision at near, intermediate and far, or if you want laser assisted cataract surgery along with the premium lens), Of you can pay nothing extra or very little extra if you go for a mono-focal lens. But wait times will be long due to COVID backlog, and you can't pay extra to jump the queue. Your father's optometrist should be able to refer you father to either a private clinic or a public clinic. You might make some calls to clinics outside of major cities

Here's a link: https://www.epso.ca/frequently-asked-qu ... ontario-2/
And an older article saying that wait times were shortest in Lampton, Kent, and Essex counties -- e.g. Sarnia/Chatham. I'm sure wait times are longer now even there, but still much shorter than in GTA or major cities. Article does say 5-10% of patients were not from the area. if you are willing to drive out your father can get treated earlier, but follow-up checks may be troublesome if you that route.
https://www.theobserver.ca/2014/02/20/e ... 19aea58a5c

He should avoid driving at night as worsening cataracts will make night driving dangerous for him and others.

EDIT: This site lets you see wait times and % treated within standard of 6 months by city or hospital. I took a quick look and Chatham/Sarnia still looking good in early 2020, although all surgeries were stopped from March to May, so there will be a backlog everywhere.
https://www.hqontario.ca/System-Perform ... ye-Surgery
Wow, thank you for such a detailed response. Much appreciated.
Sr. Member
User avatar
May 6, 2005
885 posts
25 upvotes
Inclemental wrote: A friend of mine had it done 2 weeks ago in NYGN. He waited a week only. He paid extra for lenses that required no glasses after surgery. Both Herzig and TLC are full in August and have opening in September for laser eye correction. I assume spot should be available for cataract if you select extra fee lenses procedure that is done in clinic.
Thank you.
Can I trouble you to let me know what NYGN stands for? (still going through the hundreds of pages here and google brings up Nigerian Young Generation in Nuclear :)

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