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It’s been two months since I went in for the Custom Vue LASIK at Hale Vision Clinic in Brookfield and (aside from losing 2 pairs of sunglasses) I’m as happy as I was on the day after I had the procedure. Dr. Lanny Hale and his entire crew did amazing work on me and I wholeheartedly recommend them. Everything—from the first moment I walked in their doors for an exam to make sure I was a good candidate to my first follow-up (including the procedure, of course)—made me very comfortable in my choice.
I feel like a broken record trying to compliment Hale Vision because I have no complaints (which, if you know me, is a first). I was fortunate to be able to have the procedure done through WISN and I could write 1,000 words raving about the clinic and their work.
Instead, I’ll give you an idea of what to expect after LASIK.
My father came down to take care of me after the procedure but, really, I only needed him to drive me home immediately after because I was doped up and couldn’t see very well because my eyes had just been operated on. I had the procedure at 4pm on a Friday and by 10am on Saturday (I slept for about 14 hours that night) I could see just fine. I did have a potential complication—my eyelid was sticking on the way home but I didn’t force it and slept through the night—so it didn’t cause any issues.
While I understand that they are essential to speeding healing and making sure that there is no infection, but the amount of eye drops that I had to take got annoying. Quickly. For the first two weeks I was taking drops of one variety or another every hour and while I wasn’t skilled at first I became a pro at throwing back my head and tossing in a drop.
Right after the procedure, and for the first couple of weeks, I was extremely sensitive to light, to the point where it hurt to drive when there were oncoming headlights. There were halos around every light and starbursting—which looks like fireworks—from every bright light source. That has dulled significantly 2 months after the procedure and the folks at Hale Vision assure me that it will continue to go down (which it has) and will eventually disappear.
That said: being able to see is fantastic. I’ve gone to Brewers games and been able to watch a game without glasses for the first time ever. I went boating over Memorial Day and jumped into the water without worrying about where I put my glasses when I came to the surface. That’s something that you take for granted if you don’t wear glasses but being able to swim without being blind? Amazing.
Rubbing my eyes—which I didn’t do for 3 weeks—was a great feeling. That, to me, was the sign that everything was back to normal. Being an allergy sufferer, I wanted to scratch my eyes. Bad. But I held off because I knew they were sensitive and, frankly, they felt fragile. After a couple of weeks (I don’t know if this is psychosomatic) they felt strong enough to justify rubbing. But I was still quite gentle for a week, just picking out the sleep from the corner of my eye and declining to put pressure on the cornea itself. I babied my eyes and I’m glad I did because the results were spectacular.
I wanted to write this recap and recommend Hale Vision a month ago and I’m glad I waited. While the results were good initially, they’ve continued to improve to the point where now, 2 months in, I can unequivocally recommend the procedure. I still get a little dry-eye from time-to-time, but throw in an eye drop at the beginning of every day (or late at night when I’ve been pushing it hard on the computer) and I have no problems whatsoever. I notice a halo during the credits of movies, when there’s white text on a black background, but it’s minor and limited.
Now, should you get LASIK? That’s a personal decision. It’s an expensive proposition, true, and it is a surgery so you need to go in with your eyes open (no pun intended). If you go somewhere that doesn’t let you meet with the surgeon, doesn’t lay out all of your costs in advance, or give you a complete, exhausting work-up then you need to walk away. Sure, you could save a couple of bucks but would you go to a cut-rate heart surgeon just because you might be able to save a little money? And as important as your heart is to life, your eyesight is as important to your quality of life.
When my friends ask about my procedure and say they have been thinking about it, I tell them to call Hale Vision (even if they’re out-of-state) because they are very hardcore about educating their clients and making sure that they are right for the procedure. And my buddy in Florida? Well, Dr. Hale is one of the best surgeons in the world so I bet he could recommend comparably great in Orlando. We’re lucky to have Dr. Hale here in Milwaukee—once you’ve talked with him, you’ll immediately understand why he’s ranked the Best of Milwaukee LASIK surgeon—and if you’re thinking about getting the procedure then it would seem sensible that you’d go to the best.
I’m 31 and Dr. Hale told me I might need reading glasses in 30 years—if I would have needed them anyway—because the procedure doesn’t deal with that lens and natural aging process. But I’ll take 30 years of perfect (better, actually) vision. I’m 20/15 in both eyes and it is great.
I have blathered on long enough. Suffice to say that I love my vision and was treated extremely well at Hale Vision Clinic. If you’re thinking about LASIK, go to the best and get the facts. I’m glad I did it, would do it again, and have no qualms recommending Dr. Lanny Hale.
--Justin Earl, 6/1/2012