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My Lasik eye Surgery and the 15 years since

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My Lasik eye Surgery and the 15 years since

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
13 replies 2.6K views
amandacatamandacat Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
I wanted to share my experiences for anyone thinking of paying out for laser surgery. There’s a lot of information on the net from people but not so much about longer term results and considerations.

I had Lasik in both eyes in 2004. I was shortsighted about -5.00 in both eyes. In terms of results the op was a success, I achieved perfect vision in one eye and was accidentally overcorrected and made slightly long sighted in one eye but not enough to bother me. The surgery was painless and I experienced no pain afterwards. But I did suffer such severe dry eye afterwards for about 3 weeks and at that point regretted it as I couldn’t go to work but it did resolve itself. I have had mild dry eyes ever since.

Between 2004 and 2010 if anyone asked me to review it I would’ve said it was the best thing I did apart from the night vision issues. It gave me poor sight and glare at dusk and night and caused me to hate driving at night.

From 2010 to 2016 my eyes started to decline. One became short sighted again and the over corrected one became more long sighted. To the point where I needed full time glasses and contacts again. My eyes haven’t got any worse since 2016. Unfortunately Lasik doesn’t stop vision changes that would occur in your eye anyway which is why for some it won’t give you permanent unaided vision.

Now in 2019 I am 40 and need reading glasses on top of one eye being short sighted and one being long sighted so my vision is pretty poor now and I need varifocals.

Here are some financial considerations you need to be aware of if you have had Lasik surgery and your eyes become worse years later:

Contact lenses: Due to your cornea shape being changed by the surgery, I have not been able to see well out of contact lenses. Most opticians have no idea how to fit contacts in post surgery eyes and haven’t believed I am unable to see clearly. I had to find and travel a significant distance to find an Optometrist who specialises with fitting post Lasik surgery contacts and has the equipment to measure my cornea shape. I had to be fitted with special post surgery contact lenses and this wasn’t cheap.

Surgery enhancement: if you do want to have a second surgery, a lot of clinics won’t want to see you if you have had Lasik elsewhere and the ones that do charge a £300 consultation fee to tell you if you are eligible rather than the free consultation you get if you have not had surgery before. The clinic (Optical Express) where I had my original surgery aren’t keen to see me again about re treatment and will also charge me rather than offering a free initial consultation. I didn’t rate Optical Express as their aftercare straight after and even now 15 years down the line has been awful so I wouldn’t be keen to use them again.

I paid a lot of money for 6 years unaided vision and the additional costs now for special contact lenses and my night driving problems means if I could go back I probably wouldn’t have had it done. I know some people have had much better long term results so I don’t want to put anyone off but I do want to share my longer term experience.
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  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    Before I had the surgery I knew there was a chance it would affect my night vision, which it did.
    I also knew that it would not make any difference to age related changes and I would still need glasses for reading etc. in due course.
    I deliberately left one eye slightly shortsighted to stave this off for a little longer.
    It's all about having realistic expectations and a full discussion of all the pros and cons with the doctor when deciding to go ahead with the procedure or not. In my case, I hate contact lenses and I couldn't have varifocals before the procedure so if I do end up needing them I'm still better off than I was.
    Always good to see alternative points of view before going ahead, though.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • milliemillie Forumite
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    My sister had hers done a few years ago as she was short sighted. but they both reverted to their original condition after 5 years so she feels it was a waste of money too
  • GrumpygitGrumpygit Forumite
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    I had mine done about 11 years ago and don't regret it at all.


    Yes I wear reading glasses due to age related decline and yes, I do get glare and my night vision for driving isn't as good as I would like, but I have a pair of glasses that I wear on those occasions.


    I did try a pair of contacts once, but my eyes were just too dry.


    I didn't have any issues after the procedure and I was left slightly short sighted in both eyes for reading purposes.


    I paid £3,600 for mine but even with me wearing glasses, I think it was money well spent.....saying that, pre-op and when I wore contacts, I could peel an onion with no problem, now however.....:(
  • Highland76Highland76 Forumite
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    Sorry to hear about your experience OP but mine was the total opposite. I had Lasik back in 2000 at Optimax (Finchley London). Paid £700 for each eye. Had a strong prescription for both eyes (-9 & -12) but the surgery went very well with near perfect vision the result. 19 years later my vision is unchanged and I’m 43 now. One of best decisions I’ve ever made (despite being a nervous wreck pre-surgery lol).
  • amandacat wrote: »
    I wanted to share my experiences for anyone thinking of paying out for laser surgery. There’s a lot of information on the net from people but not so much about longer term results and considerations.

    I had Lasik in both eyes in 2004. I was shortsighted about -5.00 in both eyes. In terms of results the op was a success, I achieved perfect vision in one eye and was accidentally overcorrected and made slightly long sighted in one eye but not enough to bother me. The surgery was painless and I experienced no pain afterwards. But I did suffer such severe dry eye afterwards for about 3 weeks and at that point regretted it as I couldn’t go to work but it did resolve itself. I have had mild dry eyes ever since.

    Between 2004 and 2010 if anyone asked me to review it I would’ve said it was the best thing I did apart from the night vision issues. It gave me poor sight and glare at dusk and night and caused me to hate driving at night.

    From 2010 to 2016 my eyes started to decline. One became short sighted again and the over corrected one became more long sighted. To the point where I needed full time glasses and contacts again. My eyes haven’t got any worse since 2016. Unfortunately Lasik doesn’t stop vision changes that would occur in your eye anyway which is why for some it won’t give you permanent unaided vision.

    Now in 2019 I am 40 and need reading glasses on top of one eye being short sighted and one being long sighted so my vision is pretty poor now and I need varifocals.

    Here are some financial considerations you need to be aware of if you have had Lasik surgery and your eyes become worse years later:

    Contact lenses: Due to your cornea shape being changed by the surgery, I have not been able to see well out of contact lenses. Most opticians have no idea how to fit contacts in post surgery eyes and haven’t believed I am unable to see clearly. I had to find and travel a significant distance to find an Optometrist who specialises with fitting post Lasik surgery contacts and has the equipment to measure my cornea shape. I had to be fitted with special post surgery contact lenses and this wasn’t cheap.

    Surgery enhancement: if you do want to have a second surgery, a lot of clinics won’t want to see you if you have had Lasik elsewhere and the ones that do charge a £300 consultation fee to tell you if you are eligible rather than the free consultation you get if you have not had surgery before. The clinic (Optical Express) where I had my original surgery aren’t keen to see me again about re treatment and will also charge me rather than offering a free initial consultation. I didn’t rate Optical Express as their aftercare straight after and even now 15 years down the line has been awful so I wouldn’t be keen to use them again.

    I paid a lot of money for 6 years unaided vision and the additional costs now for special contact lenses and my night driving problems means if I could go back I probably wouldn’t have had it done. I know some people have had much better long term results so I don’t want to put anyone off but I do want to share my longer term experience.

    Sorry to hear about your visual issues.

    I feel a lot of people undergo laser eye surgery without being told the potential risks. The relaxed attitude by high street clinic fails to address the potential complications.

    Hope things improve for you.
  • Highland76Highland76 Forumite
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    I feel a lot of people undergo laser eye surgery without being told the potential risks. The relaxed attitude by high street clinic fails to address the potential complications.

    Totally agree with the above. If I was to have Lasik surgery today, I would completely forget about bigger/well known providers and instead go to Moorfields Eye Hospital who know a thing or two about eyes. When I had Lasik nearly 2 decades ago, Optimax were the only (or one of the very few) providers who offered Lasik at the time so I didn't have much of a choice.
  • amandacatamandacat Forumite
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    I agree that the high street chains don’t explain the risks properly. Certainly they didn’t in 2004 anyway. Also Optical Express and Optimax have quite persistent sales tactics. When I enquired online with both recently I received multiple calls while at work which I couldn’t answer from them. I’m talking like 6 calls per day. This ceased funnily enough once they found out I’d had surgery before. Even Optical Express where I had treatment in 2004, kept calling me last week and as soon as I told them I’d had surgery with them in 2004, they told me I would need to pay to be seen and I’ve not heard from them since. They’re just after quick money and easy patients and have no interest in aftercare or re treatment.

    That said I would consider surgery again if I was eligible, I mean I already have the night vision problems so it probably can’t get any worse but like you said it’s worth going to a better clinic and avoiding the high street chains. I live in the north east and saw that Sunderland eye infirmary do it so may give them a try , it’s £250 for a consultation to see if I’m suitable as I’ve had surgery before elsewhere but at least I’m more likely to be treated as a patient and not a sales target...
  • Thanks Amanda very useful.

    I'm -2.0 in both eyes. Always bothered me.
  • Not a lot of people would write such an informative post. Thanks.
  • deepikasharmadeepikasharma Forumite
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    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Sharing my experience of Lasik Eye Surgery and 5 years since:
    I got my lasik surgery done around almost 5 years back at one of the finest eye treatment hospital in Delhi, ie Bharti Eye Hospital.
    The surgery went quiet successful and my vision got corrected. Since then I have not faced any major problems. At the beginning it took time to get back to normal, however I was constantly in touch with the doctors, who helped me a lot and guide me throughout the journey. I am thankful to the doctors who treated me with care and love.


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