Over the past weekend, I finally took the plunge. After days (well, mostly nights) of researching and coming up with various scenarios of horrible things that can happen as a complication, I finally accepted the risk(thank goodness I never was all that good at stats).
In an attempt to get rid myself of eye glasses, I played laser tag with my eyes. Good news is that the surgeon who was controlling the laser, keeping up with my unsteady eye, was 20,000+ surgery veteran (come to think of it, that should be about 40,000 eyeballs he has zapped with his laser gun) and result came out to be just fine. 5 days after the surgery, I am completely corrective eye wear free and enjoy the freedom.
I ended up tirelessly researching, “interviewing” different offices/doctors in the Toronto area (Bochner and TLC Toronto) and settled to go with Lasik procedure and TLC Toronto.
I chose TLC over Bochner because of two reasons.
First of this was the based on way the initial consultation was carried out.
At Bochner, I was the first appointment for the centre. After a customary and expected form fill out exercise that any kind of doctor’s office always runs you through and measurements using two devices, I ended up sitting and waiting 20 minutes for the Consultation specialist whom as far as I can tell just did not show up yet to the appointment she personally arranged with me. This Consultation specialist was the main contact point rather than the doctor (optometrist) throughout this visit and I sat there patiently waiting without any of the staff just casually chatting away with each other failing to inform me why I’m waiting for so long. Once the specialist finally showed up, she walked me into a her very nice office and showed me a computer generated illustration of the Lasik procedure itself and handed me an information package and casually pointed out to a price sheet saying, “Our price is $2700/eye”. When the question of when the last time I wore my contacts came up, the consultation specialist handling my case informed me minimum 3 days prior to the surgery is enough although they would like it if I was out of them for 6 days (which is much shorter than any of my own research of minimum 14 days requirement). After a brief evaluation by a surgeon (who was wearing a pair of glasses as I noticed), I was told I am an ideal candidate and they can schedule me in for a surgery in the next two days.
Umm, are you guys trying to pull a fast one on me? Well, that was that.
Next, TLC. I called their 1-800 number and got connected to a central call centre that handles all of the inquiry in North America. Not only did they give me the price over the phone, they also promptly booked the consultation for me without having to play an email tag I had to play with the other place.
The actual consultation itself was full 1 hour of examination both by a dedicated technician testing using machines used at Bochner plus a few more. Optometrist took over and discussed all the potential complications and side affects as well as suggesting I come back for a second evaluation session to make sure I am truly an ideal candidate since it has been less than 14 days since I wore contact lenses last. Second consultation actually lasted longer than the first because Dr. Kim (the optometrist) actually gave me a full eye examination (including dilating my pupils) that I have been custom to when seeing an optometrist. Now, I felt more like a patient who’s well being is considered first and the revenue of the centre second.
Ok.. I said two reasons. Second, my relocation. As my family will not be in Toronto for year to be able to go through the whole duration of required (and hence included in the price) follow up care, I asked both centres what I should do. Bochner suggested I fly back to Toronto and didn’t hint any form of price adjustment where as TLC suggested to visit their New York Manhattan location for the half of follow up (3 months, 6 month and 1 year after the surgery) and have voluntarily took off the cost associated with those three visits. Again, I felt that my well being was considered first before this particular centre’s revenue.
So.. with my choice made on TLC, I never even bothered to check out the third centre Herzig Eye Institute. Sorry Dr. Herzig, TLC was the lucky one this time.
Now, after the surgery, I can say that the surgery was an interesting experience.
Was it worth it? For me it was as my gamble paid off. Still have ways to go for a complete recovery but all in all, still not much I can complain about the process nor the result thus far.
Next up for the laser tag is Diane as she braves all the risks I had contemplated and calculated before the past weekend.