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I asked this same question like 2 years ago, but will give it another go. Any folks out there had the surgery done? If so, pros/cons? And where did you get it done, how much should I expect to pay?


Any input would be 'preciated.


Hopefully, after my speed ascent of Pilot and Black Buttes are both verified the sponsorship checks will roll in and I can get the eyes fixed.




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Not me, but I can still chime in on it, no?


I've heard it is getting better and better, I met a guy who had both eyes done, and was skiing again in a couple of days.


I think Vancouver, BC is one of the best places to get it done... Squish pub club?


Good Luck! smile.gif

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My wife had Lasix 18 months ago for $1599 (both eyes) at Restore Vision Center. Supposedly its cheaper in Canada, but maybe not enough to make the drive and hotel room worthwhile.


She said the surgery itself doesn't hurt, but it was pretty awful - you can smell your flesh burning, they use those "Clockwork Orange" things on your eyes, etc. Of course, she didn't take the valium they gave her so maybe it's not so bad for most people.


Recovery time is about 24 hours. She went to work the next day.


The only downside is your eyes will get dry pretty easy. Up on the glacier in Alaska last year she went through a full bottle of eye drops in a week.


Some people claim that your vision gets screwy at altitude, but we haven't seen any of that - my uncle guides with RMI and he didn't have any problems on Denali last summer.

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I had it done in December in Seattle for about $2000. I used $ from my re-fi on my house. You don't need to go to Canada anymore. I paid for the latest technology on the Baushe & Lomb machine. It friggin rocks that I don't have to mess with contacts anymore. I don't have a problem with dry eyes either. It's a painless procedure and I highly suggest it if you are a proper candidate. PM me if you want a referal to the place I went in Seattle. You want to go to a place close to where you live because you have multiple follow up exams for 3 months after. If you go to Canada, that can be a pain. The doctors I used both had worked in Canada and had 30,000 procedures between them.

Edited by David_Parker
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I had my eyes done almost 3 years ago now by Dr. Ford and paid about $3600. I am not sure what the current cost is but at the time this price was higher then most, but I wanted the best for my eyes.

The first step is to determine if your eyes are good candidates for Lasik surgery. Healing capabilities, pupil size, ...


My surgery was a complete success. I have better then average in both eyes. I also know about 6 other people that have success(3 of which also used Dr. Ford). But, I also have a co-worker that has had repeat correction surgeries and is still suffering from night time star bursting and distance problems. My eyes healed very well. At my 6 month followup, my opthomalogist was showing my eye on a screen under a 25x microscope and had applied a die to highlight the healing scar. He was very impressed,(and me too, as I could barely see the scar) with the work and commented that most of his patients that come back from Canad(at the time) were easily 5 times as large.

Why the difference? Some companies reuse the scapel blade on multiple patients. The blades are spec 'd to handle about 6-8 cuts and are very expensive. Dr. Ford uses one blade per patient, thus he will always be a little bit higher. His technique also was very quick and effiecent. This is a key point because the more the eye is sliced open the more it dehydrates, not good.


I really like the fact that I don't have to worry about dealing with contacts when my hands look like I have just rebuilt a Dodge Dart transmission after a day of climbing. I also drove myself in the next day for my 1 day followup. I also did the eye drops religously and I think that also helps in the healing. Don't skip the drops ever for the first 3 months!


An interesting little tid bit...The eye actually heals from the outside in and thus allows for the touch up surgeries by being able to reopen the flap. This also makes it easy to reopen the flap on accident.


Hope this helps and goodluck with your decision.



Edited by mbcracken
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My optometrist recommend I travel to Canada to have the procedure.

#1 The physicians in Canada have several more years experience than the US docs performing lasik.

#2 Canadians have the latest and best technology because the FDA in the US takes years to approve a new medical device.

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You could apply to "Extreme Makeovers" and they'll do it for free. One woman received rhinoplasty, breast implants, tummy tuck, lasik surgery *and* hair and makeup - all provided by hotshot beverly hills doctors and such...they turned a rather homely woman into a slut. Incredible!

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ChrisT said:

You could apply to "Extreme Makeovers" and they'll do it for free. One woman received rhinoplasty, breast implants, tummy tuck, lasik surgery *and* hair and makeup - all provided by hotshot beverly hills doctors and such...they turned a rather homely woman into a slut. Incredible!


excellent, i've always wanted to get calf and pectoral enhancements!

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joe_retard said:

My optometrist recommend I travel to Canada to have the procedure.

#1 The physicians in Canada have several more years experience than the US docs performing lasik.

#2 Canadians have the latest and best technology because the FDA in the US takes years to approve a new medical device.


I did a TON of research, including places in Canada. This statement is no longer true! Times have changed. In Seattle, this is where I went:




If you are a serious candidate and want specific info, call me. I don't have time to explain everything here just for kicks. I did it, I like it, 'nuff said.


PS: beware of optometrist referals. They have a pretty serious monetary gain by steering you to who they want you to use. Mine tried to refer me and I chose my own.

Edited by David_Parker
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My buddy Doug (Tim you met him last spring at the Martini Bar) had it done 2 years ago. I was his seeing eye dog for the trip to BC to have it done. I drove him around for less than 24 hours and then he took over.


Painless, short recovery, new eyes. He's a licensed flight instructor among other things and has no problems with altitude in unpressurized airplane cabins. thumbs_up.gif

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I'll echo mbcracken's comments about Dr Ford in Bellvue - he did mine 2 years ago for about $3000. I had been 20/200 and 20/250 and had worn glasses since I was 5 - I am now 20/15 and 20/20. I did have the night starburst that is fairly common but that has gone away unless I'm really tired.


This is the most incredible thing you can do for yourself. I can now ski/climb/snorkle and hot tub and see everything clearly. I walked out of the surgery and went to the window in Dr Ford's 16th floor office and could see the Seattle skyline for the first time in my life.


PM me if I can answer any questions or do anything else to convince you.



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FYI; below is a bit of my own research. My conclusion is that if you want to climb Rainier, fine; but if you are going higher you might wait for more research. Make sure when you get assurance that your eyes will be fine at "high" altitude the medical professionals are not considering 9,000' to be high. (My glasses have not had any problem with hypoxia to 7000m. wink.gif )




In November, 1997, Dr. Byron Stratas and Dr. Cobern Peterson discussed the

refractive stability of a patient's eyes while scuba diving at 110 feet

below sea level for 35 minutes.* Moreover, in a letter to the editor

published in Ophthalmology in April, 1997, Dr. Jonathan Davidorf discussed

the refractive stability of a patient one month after surgery at altitudes

as high as 16,000 feet above sea level.**


However, you should be aware that several branches of the US military have

been conducting studies on LASIK for military patients who are often faced

with harsh environments. The findings of one such small study demonstrates

that eyes treated with LASIK may experience complications at very high

altitudes (i.e., there may be ramifications for mountain climbers):***


A prospective paired eye clinical trial was performed to

determine whether hypoxia induces refractive changes in subjects who have

had laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) refractive surgery. There were 20

LASIK subjects (40 eyes) and 20 myopic non-LASIK controls (40 eyes). Each

subject had one eye exposed to ocular surface hypoxia (humidified nitrogen)

by use of an airtight goggle system at sea level for 2 hours. The other eye

was simultaneously exposed to humidified, compressed air (21% oxygen) with

the same airtight goggle system. The study determined that a significant

myopic shift occurred in LASIK corneas exposed to hypoxia compared with

myopic control subjects. A significant increase in corneal thickening

occurred symmetrically in both LASIK and control subjects exposed to

hypoxia. There was a trend toward corneal steepening (keratometry) in LASIK

subjects, but this was not statistically significant. These results suggest

that ocular surface hypoxia induces a myopic shift in LASIK subjects.



In addition, there has been a case report of a mountain climber in Peru who

experienced noticeable nearsightedness while climbing. His vision improved

with descent, and after returning to 10,000 feet, his vision "cleared." ****




LASIK Institute


* Stratas, BA, Peterson, CV. Refractive Stability of LASIK. Ophthalmology

1997 Nov; 104(11):1726-7


** Davidorf, JM. LASIK at 16,000 feet. Ophthalmology 1997 Apr; 104(4):565-6


*** Mark L. Nelson, MD, Steven Brady, DO, Thomas H. Mader, MD, Lawrence J.

White, MD, Vernon C. Parmley, MD and R. Kevin Winkle, MD: Refractive changes

caused by hypoxia after laser in situ keratomileusis surgery. Ophthalmology.

2001 Mar;108(3):542-4


****Lawrence J. White, MD, FACS and Thomas H. Mader, MD, FACS: Refractive

changes at high altitude after LASIK. Ophthalmology. 2000 Dec;107(12):2118.



The above response is for informational purposes only. It should not be used

as a substitute for professional medical advice. The information is provided

without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and use of the

information is strictly voluntary at user's sole risk.





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I had been nearsighted all my life and that had not changed significantly in 55 years. In my latter years I have been wearing a reading prescription (bifocals). The Laser surgery corrected my nearsightedness but I still require mild reading glasses. I expect my close vision to continue to worsen and that I will require stronger diopter reading correction, but that my far vision will not change.


However, you can have a second Lasik if you need more correction. One way to think of Lasik is that they are reshaping the lens of your eyes just as you would grind a lens. During the proceedure you smell burning hair or fingernail - and you think "thats my eyeball they are burning..."


Some folks choose to have one eye done at a time but most just go for it.


I do know one woman who has had radial keratotomy (RK) done at least 3 times - her vision had worsened a couple of years after the surgery and she required a repeat. Completely different proceedure from Lasik, of course.

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i think the procedure is completely worth it if you're a good candidate. and the whole surgery is super easy and fast, too. when i had it done i showed up in the morning and before i knew it i was given a pill cup with valium, demerol, and ibuprofen. i threw them down, got some final encouragement by the doctor, and the next thing i know i'm on my back in a big dentist chair starting up at these red lights--its a little disconcerting to smell your eyeballs getting burned by a laser beam, but it doesn't hurt or anything. and they tell you not to look away so of course you wonder what would happen if you did. i couldn't help but feel the kubrick moment. but the whole thing was over so fast the drugs really didn't even kick in until the drive home. its weird because your vision is pretty blurry and it feels like you've had your contacts in for so long they adhered, but i guess the drugs make it all seem like a twilight zone thing so then its pretty cool.

i was able to drive myself to my 24 hour follow-up and was back at work the next day. my eyes were pretty dry for a while but it was never too bad and eventually got better, and now i've got no complaints at all. that was 3 years ago, and the doctors are much more experienced and advanced now.

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I had mine done a number of years ago, no regrets. My Rx was stable for over 10 years at -3.5/-4.75, and was considered 'moderate'. The more correction, the more they have to take off and the greater the chances complications.


About 3 months after the procedure, I was trekking to 4985m on Mt Kenya, no worries, no problems.


My advice, FWIW, would be to get the latest technology, which means spend a few extra dollars. (no bargain basement operations) As well, the skill of the surgeon matters in this procedure; especially if the flap detaches. (I used Dr. Simon Holland in Vancouver BC on a recommendation. I'd second that if he's still working.)


Recovery time: Did mine Friday afternoon, was working Monday morning. Eyes were a bit sore, but my vision was clear almost instantly. The way it was explained to me, they over-correct in anticipation of a change in shape due to the healing process. In other words, every individual will be react differently, so they can't guarantee 20/20. However, they're getting better and better and statistically your odds of ditching your lenses on the first try are extremely good. On the other hand, I did sign a waver which had words to the effect of... "no one has ever gone blind from this operation, but that doesn't mean you won't." and "the only remedy for a detached flap is cornea transplant" and stuff.


The ususal caveats apply though. It's cosmetic surgery, and you do get a sell-job including a story for all the objections you can think of. No one who's had the procedure is likely to openly admit that they regret doing it, so consider the source. My vision before the surgery, (wearing my glasses) was better than my vision after the surgery w/o glasses; but I no longer need corrective lenses! For me, that's well worth it. I don't expect to need glasses again until I'm a old and require reading glasses. (So if you're already wearing bifocals, it's probably not worth it for you.)


Tons of people have it done with no problems, and are very happy; even with minor anoyances. If you hate your glasses, and have the money, you probably won't regret it either.


No question it's a very committing move. Mind you, it's probably less risky than your last one. rolleyes.gif


Decision time! rockband.gif

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