Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Much Anticipated Post About My LASIK Surgery!

Let me start by saying no, I didn't wear contacts or glasses before my surgery. I own glasses because sometimes it was hard for me to read the overhead projectors in class during high school and college-- but I literally never wore them except for those few occasions. However, in the past year I have really noticed a decline in my vision. It was becoming such a problem that I could only read street signs as I was passing them, and anything illuminated {such as stop lights, blinking construction signs, or neon-lit signs} appeared to be a blurry halo of light that was almost impossible to read or see clearly.

Thus, when electing my benefits for 2012, I told Eric that I wanted to add vision to my plan because I would definitely need glasses and contacts. This is when Eric suggested that I look into getting LASIK. I hadn't even thought about it because my vision wasn't that bad. {I mean, sure... if I took the vision test at the DPS to renew my license, I would probably fail... but that's neither here nor there, haha.}

So I decided to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tylock, because that's who Eric used when he had LASIK about 3 years ago, and he had an excellent experience.
{And because Dr. Tylock is the official LASIK surgeon of the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Dallas Stars... and if professional athletes who rely on their vision to make millions of dollars can trust Gary to take a laser to their eyes, then I can trust Gary, too.} 
These "Best Doctors in Dallas"
magazine covers and plaques are all over the place in the office...
dating from around 2002 to present.

My consultation was back in October, and it was short and sweet. They were basically making sure I was a candidate for LASIK, seeing how bad my vision was, and how much correction was needed, etc. They told me I was a candidate, that my correction would be minimal, and that my vision was borderline legal to drive... Oops. They gave me all the info and pricing that day, and I went ahead and booked my surgery date. There were several other doctors that conducted my consultation-- Gary only does the actual surgeries.

The entire cost of my surgery was $2940-- $150 that I paid on the day of my consultation to secure my surgery date, then the rest was paid on my surgery date. $2500 was paid using my flexible spending card, and the remaining $290 was put on our credit card. {For those of you who haven't used flexible spending, it's an election you can make using your company benefits. The amount of money that you elect is sent to you on a credit card that can be used for a variety of medical purposes. You can use the credit card right away, and the money is taken out of your paycheck little by little for a year. But the best part is that flexible spending is pre-tax! Saving the tax might seem minor, but it's actually a lot of money!}

I arrived at Dr. Gary Tylock's LASIK clinic on Thursday, January 12 at 9:15am {which was 45 minutes late due to the horrific traffic on Highway 114 because of the construction... even though we left an hour before our arrival time for a 30 minute trip without traffic... but I'm not bitter or anything}.

After checking in, Eric and I sat in the lobby/waiting room for about 10 minutes, then they called me back to watch a short video about the whole process and gave me a Valium pill {hallelujah}. After the video, I was taken into a very serene room with recliners where they gave me a series of eye drops, a blue hair cover, and blue shoe covers. {I was looking super hot, as you can imagine.} I relaxed in the recliner for about 20 minutes, and then they took me into the operating room. I was told to lay in the first of 3 recliners {there were people in the other two recliners-- it was almost like an assembly line type of situation} and I was given more eye drops. Gary came over to me while I was in that recliner and said, "Hi Brianna, I'm Gary Tylock. I'll be working on you next. It's nice to meet you." {which I thought was a super nice touch that made the process feel very personal and friendly}. After about 10 minutes {maybe less} I was moved into the operating chair.

Immediately after laying down in the operation chair, Gary said "Hi" to me again, and a nurse introduced herself and said she would be talking me through everything that was going on. They put something on one eye that held it open super wide, and then I could feel pressure on my eye. {It didn't hurt at all-- it literally felt the same as it does if you shut your eye and press on it with your finger.} I could see 5 dots-- a green dot in the middle and 4 yellow/orange dots in the shape of a box. {I've actually drawn an incredibly armature photo for you-- you're welcome.}

This first photo {below} is what I was looking at... I think the green dot is the laser, but I'm not completely sure. So they told me to keep my eye on the green dot. They told me it's going to move around, but just keep looking at it as best as I can.

So then the green dot does this {see image below}--- it's shooting all over the place and looking kind of like a tiny firework. At this point I'm thinking to myself, "holy crap, green dot--hold still! You're all over the place!!"

That process lasted a total of probably 4 minutes-- maybe less-- and then they switched to the other eye. Same exact thing with the other eye. And that's it.

Yes, I'm serious. The actual surgery took less than 10 minutes.

Then I got up from the operating chair and walked to a little stool across the room with Gary so he could check out my eyes. It was one of those eye scope things where you put your chin and your forehead on the rests and they look at your eye. So Gary checked both of my eyes for about a minute each, and then said, "Looks perfect. Thank you, Brianna, it was a pleasure working with you." I shook his hand and then the nurse walked me out of the operating room.

I was directed back to the serene room with the recliners that I was in just before entering the operating room, and I was told to lay there with my eyes closed for a while. I was so relaxed, so I don't know how long I was there but it was probably about 10 minutes. Then they called my name and it was time for me to go. They walked me to the front where Eric was waiting for me. They gave me a black bag with "Tylock" on the front which contained my goggles, 2 sleeping pills, eye drops for lubrication, and post-op instructions. I put on my hideous hysterical looking goggles and I was ready to go. I could see the whole time, although my vision was kind of fuzzy. We left around 10:45am. That's a total of an hour and a half from entrance to exit.
Wham-Bam-Thank You Ma'am!

I got home, took my first sleeping pill, and I was passed out for almost the whole day. When I woke up, my vision was almost completely clear and I started on my drops {I had 2 prescription drops that I picked up a couple days before surgery and then the natural tear drops for hydration that they gave in my Tylock goodie bag}. I took my second sleeping pill before bed and I was out again until my alarm went off the next day. I could see perfectly.

See... I told you the goggles were hysterical.

I had to go back the very next day for my post op check up. I arrived {on time this time} at 8:30am, and I drove myself. I was absolutely amazed at how well I could see everything... I'm surprised I didn't wreck because of how frequently I was looking around and admiring small things-- like being able to clearly see the individual little bulbs in the green dot of a stop light. Amazing! When I arrived at the office, there was little waiting. They called my name, and I went back to an office where they looked at my eyes and then had me read several eye charts. I could read the very bottom line clearly! That means I have 20/15 vision! I was there for about a half hour, and then was free to go! I have another follow up appointment in about a week. And that's it!

I feel great! Other than sleeping in my goggles, which you have to do for the 3 days following surgery, and not wearing any makeup, I think this process has been wonderful! There was not and still has not been any pain whatsoever. I set timers on my phone for my eye drops so I don't forget any of them, but that's literally the most difficult part. I would absolutely recommend LASIK with Gary Tylock to anyone. It was SO easy, relatively inexpensive when considering the value of not having to ever wear glasses or contacts, and completely painless. And I'm not a tough person-- I freak out about getting shots-- so when I say it was painless, I mean it.


Feel free to ask any questions, although I'm pretty sure this covered everything ;)
Thank you all for your comments and well wishes!! You're the best!!



Ashley Erica said...

thanks for sharing that! it sounds like you have the same vision as I do and I think I'll definitely be considering it now!

Lyndsey said...

It sounds like a breeze! Thanks for all the details about your experience - LASIK is something I want to get in the next few years and I think I know who I'm going to go with! I can't believe how well you could see the NEXT day!

Christin said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm blind as a bat. I definitely want to have it done. Glad everything went well!

K said...

Congrats on your new vision!!!

Thank you for posting such a detailed description of your procedure. I really, really want to get it done! I feel better about it now : )

Kaci Scarlet said...

I've SO been looking forward to reading this! You made this little operation seem like a breeze. Not too terrified by it now. Thanks for sharing, lovely!