Patient Profiles: LASIK

Christopher H

Treatment Type:
  • Nearsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Nearsightedness Mild to Moderate
Pre/Post Unassisted Vision
  Pre-UCVA Post-UCVA
OD (right): 20/400 20/15-
OS (left:): 20/400 20/15-
Pre/Post Refractive
  Pre-Refractive Post-Refractive
OD (right): -4.00 -2.50 x 65 0
OS (left:): -4.50 -2.25 x 83 0.00 -0.25 x 59

Christopher H says:

Doctor Wallace says:

Looking at the numbers alone, one might think that Chris had the "fairy-tale" LASIK experience. That would be incorrect.

At surgery, things went smoothly for the right eye. When creating the flap in the left eye, some of the corneal surface lining cells (the "epithelium") became disrupted. The laser treatment went well, but because of the cell disruption, vision recovery was very sluggish; and did not reach optimum levels. The flap developed some microscopic wrinkles requiring 'smoothing out' in a second procedure. After that, vision recovery was still suboptimal. A third 'touch-up' surgery was done to correct a small reamining optical imperfection. After this last procedure, the eye did recover 20/20 vision, and he is now happy with the results of his care.

This case illustrates that some people do not realize the "fairy-tale" of perfect vision immediately after LASIK surgery. For some, recovery can be very slow, and extended care can be necessary. In fact, I came in several times over the weekend to attend to Chris during his early post-operative course. He needed a certain amount of extra time, and attention, and I tried to be there for him. It is not his fault that the cells became disrupted, or that wrinkles developed. Nor is it mine. However, if I had not been there to help him through the rough spots, I can appreciate that he might have become very irritated with me. Part of the responsibility of doing what I do is an obligation to assist when things don't go perfectly, and to work hard to get things 'back on track' when they go off course.

I am sincerely appreciative that Chris remained very patient and understanding, even though for several months his vision was much blurrier than either of us may have expected, or wanted. I think I earned his respect for handling his situation in a candid, honest and forthright fashion, and for ultimately making good on my implied promise to deliver clear vision as the final result.