I just had my Lasik surgery with Dr. Melki yesterday. Here’s the thing: when you’re writing the review of the place that just did surgery on your open, watching eyeballs, you really really really want to be able to give that place a five star rating. You want to know that everything went as smoothly as humanly possible. They’re the windows to your soul, after all. But while I had no problems at all with Dr. Melki, there were some serious hiccups in my Lasik experience that warranted the loss of two stars.
I’ll start with the good stuff first: it’s been a little more than 24 hours since the surgery and here I am, sitting at my computer, comfortably writing this review. I can see better now without my glasses than I could with them. They also do all of their Lasik surgeries on Friday, so that you can take the weekend to recover. Some reviewers here suggested that Dr. Melki had a bit of a cold bedside manner, but I found him to be patient, professional, and willing to answer my questions. He didn’t pet my head and coo into my ear during the procedure, but I had no qualms entrusting my vision to his care. I had done extensive research on where I wanted to have my laser vision correction done, and I decided that I definitely wanted Intralase, also known as iLasik. It’s a bit more expensive, but it is well worth the extra money. You only get one set of eyes, after all. I won’t go into details on iLasik here, as there are plenty of other resources out there which you’re probably already checking out if you’re considering laser surgery. I was very happy to learn that my insurance offered a discount at Boston Laser, since it was one of my top two choices (the other being Mass Eye and Ear, if you’re interested), and since Boston Laser does iLasik exclusively, which means they have a lot of experience doing it.
Okay. Now the not-so-good stuff. The day of surgery arrives, and I show up by myself, a bundle of nerves. My girlfriend had offered to take the day off work to go with me, but it was her last day before starting a new job and I didn’t want her to have to go through the extra trouble of also taking her last day off. I could take a cab home, after all. No need for us both to miss a day of work. Bundle of nerves, bundle of nerves. They call me in to have me sign some forms and to explain my post-op care. I’m given eye drops, sunglasses, and sleeping eye shields to take home with me in a stylish black fanny pack. I have to initial some other forms. “Did you purchase the lifetime eye guarantee?” she asks me. Huh? Lifetime what? I was never even offered a lifetime guarantee. I have no idea what she’s talking about. “Okay,” she says, “Just initial there where it says you would like to decline the lifetime guarantee.” I initial the line she indicates. Five minutes later, as I’m sitting out in the waiting room, a bundle of nerves, I decide I really really want the lifetime guarantee. Why the hell wasn’t I ever offered this option? Did I skip a step somewhere? And when do I get the Valium?
“Doug?” My name is called. “Sit here, you’re next!” I’m….. wait. I’m what? I’m next? As in next to go in for surgery, or next to get the dose of Valium that’ll calm my ass down? If that’s the case, why am I waiting right outside the surgery room? I grab a passing nurse to ask about that Valium. Again, I can’t help but feel that I missed a step somewhere. “Oh, we don’t give you Valium unless you have someone to take you home. You know, in case something happens. I’m sorry, I thought you knew that.”
No. No, I did not fucking know that. That would have been really fucking helpful to know last night, when I was telling my girlfriend not to worry, that I’d take a cab and call her when the procedure was over. At this point I don’t give a fuck if it’s her last day at work. That suddenly seems VERY unimportant right now. I spend the next ten minutes taking long, slow, deep breaths.
The good news is that the procedure really wasn’t all that bad. The deep breaths helped. I was offered my choice of two different stuffed animals to hold, and chose to hold both. Just as good as an anti-anxiety pill, right? It was like the first roller-coaster I ever went on: I was really really scared as the car climbed the first hill, but then I realized I was going to have to do the whole ride no matter what and it was too late to get off and it’d all be over in a few minutes anyway, and somehow that calmed me down right away. The same thing happened as I was waiting in the Lasik on-deck circle. And while the surgery was going on I squeezed the hell out of those stuffed animals, but I made it through. I’m very glad I did. But if you’re considering getting your eyes done here, be sure to have someone with you who can drive you home.
And why the heck wasn’t I offered that lifetime guarantee?