My Lasik Experience

I was writing a Google review for Dulles Eye Associates in Lansdowne,VA but the character limit was exceeded, so I decided to put the full review here on my blog:

First, a little background: I am nearsighted (can only see things up close) and also need reading glasses when I wear contacts because I am over 40 years old. I went to three different Lasik providers before I decided to go with Dulles Eye Associates. I felt comfortable with Dr. Nasrullah because he explained that the best procedure for me was Monovision Lasik (dominant eye corrected for distance, non-dominant eye slightly under-corrected to allow for reading). The first provider did not think I was a good candidate for Lasik. The second provider said I should do both Lasik (for distance) and Raindrop (for reading). Dr. Nasrullah suggested monovision and said Raindrop was not necessary for now because the under-correction can solve my reading. He said that he COULD do Raindrop, but it would just be more expensive and was unnecessary for my situation. I felt that this was the right call, and his honesty of providing me a less expensive alternative was much appreciated.

After making the decision to go with Dulles Eye Associates and Dr. Nasrullah, I scheduled the procedure for a week after my first visit. I came back for a pre-op check-up and measurements, and during that time was when I had to sign all the “disclaimers”. If anything, I suggest they update those disclaimer documents because they reference the use of microkeratomes (blade) which they actually don’t use anymore. The “flap” is made nowadays using the laser. When you read the disclaimer documents, it references worst-case scenarios such as loss of eyesight, halos, dryness, and other scary things that could happen if things go bad. Yes, they caused a little trepidation, but I understood that this was just all standard legal stuff to protect themselves from lawsuits.

On the day of the procedure, it is mandatory to have someone drive you home, because your vision will not be fully clear immediately after the Lasik. They explained everything to me and my wife right before going into the operating room. In the operating room, you lie down on a special “bed” that has a receptacle for your head. This keeps you in the proper position and keeps you from moving your head. They put eye drops to numb your eye, then they place the instrument that keeps your eye open. You are obviously awake throughout the entire procedure. It does cause a little bit of anxiety as your eye is held open by the instrument, and you see the laser machine approach your eye. However, you don’t feel anything at all. The next thing is a sort of “suction cup” that they place on your eye that lets the laser “lock in” to your eye. This first laser actually makes the cut for the flap. It lasts a few seconds. After that, they wait a couple minutes, recalibrate, do the same thing for the other eye, and now you have both eye flaps cut. Once the flaps are ready, they recalibrate the laser again, this time, they don’t need the suction cup anymore, and the surgeon uses an instrument to open the flap and your vision becomes very blurry. You see him “wiping” your eye in preparation for the final laser. That laser is the actual one that corrects your vision. Again, it is positioned right in front of your eye, the laser fires for a few seconds, and then it’s done. The only comment I have on this is that you will smell it when the laser fires. If you think about it, the laser is actually burning away tiny portions of your cornea. That is why you can smell it. In all of my research and reading before doing this, I don’t think I read anyone mention that there would be a slight burning smell. Definitely not a big deal, but thought I would mention it.

Once you are done, you are assisted to walk out of the operating room, as your vision will still be very blurry. They will provide you with sunglasses (very dark ones) as well as some goggles for sleeping. They recommend you just take the rest of the day off and not do anything that utilizes your eyes. I just forced myself to go to sleep that afternoon and things started to become clearer once I woke up a couple hours later. That night I put the eye drops in, and slept with goggles on (the goggles are to protect from inadvertent rubbing of the eyes). The next day was when I really started to see clearly.

I came back the next day for a post-op check-up, and then another week later for another follow-up check. On that 2nd post-op follow-up, Dr. Nasrullah confirmed that the flaps have healed and that everything looked good.

I am now 10 days past the procedure and everything works great. I can see distance, and I can read things that are close (books, my phone, etc.). The monovision works for me and my brain has adjusted automatically.The next follow-up check-up will be in 3 months. So far, I have not had any side effects from the Lasik, and have very minor dryness every now and then, which is easily remedied with artificial tear eye drops (over the counter). I usually go a whole day without needing the eye drops.

I would definitely recommend Dr. Nasrullah, as he has a very therapeutic demeanor. Throughout the entire operation (which lasted only around 15 minutes from walking into the operating room to walking out), he kept talking with words of encouragement, clearly stating what he was about to do, what he was currently doing, and the immediate results of what was just done. Their office in Lansdowne is easy to get to, plenty of parking, and I never had to wait more than five minutes when I arrived for my scheduled appointments. If you are considering Lasik, definitely put Dulles Eye Associates and Dr. Nasrullah specifically on your short list. I DO recommend visiting at least a couple of providers and comparing what they have to recommend regarding your specific situation. I went with Dr. Nasrullah because I felt he gave the best option for me and his demeanor was honest and caring, and also because he had the latest laser technology right in his Lansdowne office (where others would have had you go to a different location for the actual Lasik procedure).

Hope this helps someone, and if you have any questions about this review, feel free to reach out to me.