A Real Patient Shares Her Experience with Laser Vision Correction at Durrie Vision
Jen, a patient at Durrie Vision, underwent our SBK LASIK procedure on January 7, 2022. This is her personal story of her experience and outcome.
“I wish I’d done it sooner.”
This is how I’ve taken to responding to people who ask me about my experience with laser vision correction. Every second, every anxiety, every penny was absolutely worth it, in my opinion.
And I’m so thrilled with my results, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being in awe of my ability to see, unaided by my thick eyeglasses or troublesome contact lenses.
How I Learned About Durrie Vision
I’ve worn glasses or contacts the majority of my life and had thought about LASIK surgery often in years past, mostly during all the times when my glasses fell off my nightstand, and I was rendered helpless and unable to find them. That’s how bad my vision was!
I wrote it off as way too scary for me. You see, I have anxiety about going to a regular eye exam. The eye pressure test terrified me. The closeness of hands and tools and drops to my eyes sent me into a mild anxiety attack. So how could I undergo a laser vision correction procedure?
But after talking to a coworker who had had LASIK surgery previously, and watching my aunt in another state come through her refractive lens exchange procedure with stellar vision, I gave in and started looking into reputable eye surgeons near me.
When I found Durrie Vision, I was confident before even visiting their office that this was the place for me. Not only did their eye surgeons pioneer the SBK LASIK, or Sub-Bowman’s Keratomileusis, procedure, but their local reputation seemed far and above other providers.
I attended my consultation, somewhat worriedly, because I feared I wouldn’t qualify for any procedure. My vision was poor, and had been for 24 years, and I’ve had some eye issues in the past, and suffered from both nearsightedness and astigmatism, with vision sitting at about 20/800. I told myself that it wouldn’t be so devastating if I didn’t qualify, but deep down I knew I desperately wanted to free myself of my glasses and give myself the safety I craved.
During my Advanced Ocular Analysis (AOA), an in-depth, seven-step examination, a technician gathered data and created what is essentially a three-dimensional topographical map of my eyes. It was a painless, low-stress process, and I felt comfortable the entire time. The previous consultation I had had at another practice years prior was nowhere near as comprehensive as this.
When I met with Dr. Stahl, I was pleased to learn he thought I was a good candidate for LASIK SBK. I was even more pleased to learn that I could be scheduled for the laser vision correction procedure the very next month.
Leading Up to My SBK LASIK Surgery
Because laser vision correction isn’t currently covered by insurance, it’s up to the patient to provide the funds to cover the cost, which is due the day of surgery.
I used the month between my AOA and surgery to gather the money I needed to pay for my procedure. I was able to sell some items in my home that I didn’t use anymore and had planned to get rid of anyway, and put some monetary gifts from the Christmas holiday toward it. Applying for Care Credit online was easy, so I opted to finance the remainder of my procedure for a low promotional interest rate. The monthly payment fits well into my household finances, especially when I consider the amount of money I’d spent on vision care for the past 24 years – and how much money I’d save in the future.
Before laser vision correction, the Durrie Vision team advised me to pick up two prescription eye drops and over-the-counter preservative-free tears that I’d need to use at home during the recovery period. I got these the week before surgery at my local pharmacy, with no issues.
The day before my surgery, I stopped applying makeup and other facial products, like serums and moisturizers, and bought two pairs of fashionable sunglasses – the likes I hadn’t been able to wear in decades!
The Day of Laser Vision Correction
Before leaving my house to head to Durrie Vision in Overland Park, I dressed in warm, comfortable clothing. This was a major boon because it can get quite chilly in the procedure room. My husband drove me to my appointment.
Together, we waited as Dr. Stahl completed a check-up on my vision and eye health, before a nurse administered a series of numbing eye drops and a medication to help me relax during the procedure. She, like everyone else at Durrie Vision, was exceptionally kind and patient and answered all my questions about the process I was about to undergo.
Later, she walked me to the procedure room where I laid on a bed between two lasers. Dr. Stahl sat nearby and described each step of the procedure as we went along.
My anxiety spiked when he placed an eyelid holder onto my left eye, and then set another one, which felt like a weighted doughnut, on top of that, to help keep my eye still. Thankfully, I started feeling better when I relaxed – and remembered it didn’t hurt because my eyes were numb!
Under the first laser, I stared straight ahead as Dr. Stahl created a corneal flap, and then moved the entire bed under the second laser. He reflected the corneal flap out of the way, and I stared at a green light while the second laser reshaped my cornea. Dr. Stahl repositioned the corneal flap. Then, we repeated the entire process on my right eye.
When Dr. Stahl removed the eyelid holders, I was able to sit up and look around. Although my vision was blurry, it was already less blurry than it had been just 10 minutes earlier. I remember looking around in awe, amazed that I could identify lightswitches on the wall and see people’s faces well enough to identify them, when just the night before, with my glasses off, I couldn’t tell where my husband was sitting in our living room.
After LASIK SBK
The nurse led me back to the exam room, where she administered additional eye drops to prevent inflammation, plus some antibiotic drops. I was still in absolute awe of the improvement in my vision already. She informed me that it would get better and better over the course of the next few hours.
After another quick exam from the refractive surgeon, I was cleared to go home, armed with eye drops, sunglasses, aftercare instructions, and a follow-up appointment early the next morning, just to check in. By 10 p.m., I could see the television clearly across the room.
When it was time for bed, I reached up to take off my glasses. And they weren’t there!
Reflecting on My Procedure
It’s been three weeks since I underwent LASIK SBK at Durrie Vision, and I’m still shocked at how well I can see.
Recently, I visited a large club store on an errand for a family member. As I stood in line for the pharmacy on one side of the building, I realized I could read the large cardboard displays on the entirely opposite side of the store, unaided by glasses. In fact, if I hadn’t had the procedure at Durrie Vision, I wouldn’t have been able to read the display, even with my usual vision correction aids.
For me, my vision is basically a superpower.