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How I Went from a Procrastinator to LASIK Advocate

If you have been putting off having LASIK, believe me, I understand.

You see, I began wearing glasses and contacts for my nearsightedness at age 15, and continued to wear them for years after I became a LASIK eye surgeon. During that time, I performed thousands of successful LASIK procedures, yet continued to procrastinate when it came to my own eyes.

Thousands of times, I’d heard cries of excitement as my patients opened their eyes after surgery and discovered they could see everything. Thousands of times, I answered questions about the procedure’s risks—without even taking my glasses off! Your odds of being shot during a bank robbery or being in a plane crash are higher than your chances of being disappointed in the results of your LASIK, I’ve told them. Yet, I continued to procrastinate.

With thousands of surgeries under my belt and a few eye-opening events, I decided just after my 40th birthday to follow my own advice. It was time to see.

Two weeks prior to the procedure, I removed my contacts to allow the cornea to regain its natural shape. I took all the measurements with the same in-office equipment we use to treat patients. Our technicians performed all the necessary testing and measurements under my direct supervision. I asked my friend Jonathan to perform the surgery.

As a doctor, I performed 20 cataract surgeries that morning. As a patient, I arrived at the surgical center and filled out the paperwork for my 6 p.m. procedure, constantly aware of the patients I was scheduled to see the next day.

Jonathan gave me a few words of reassurance, cleansed my eyelashes with iodine solution and took me to the familiar room with the IntraLase™ laser. IntraLase is the ingenious machine that creates the 110-micron LASIK flap without a blade crossing the eye. Jonathan gingerly opened my eyelids and placed a special lens designed to keep the eyes open throughout the procedure. That allows the laser beam to focus at a precise corneal depth while creating a flap.

It took 20 seconds for each flap to be created—no pain, no discomfort, only a light pressure sensation around the eyes. I nearly fell asleep. Everything was blurry when they asked me to get up. That’s the result of microscopic air bubbles that soon disperse. Next, we moved to the room with the WaveLight Allegretto. It utilizes a unique technology that tracks even the most microscopic eye movements without interruption and sends the laser beam to exactly the right place on the corneal surface to correct imperfections.

Once again, the doctor draped my eyelashes and directed me to look at the green flashing light. He lifted the flap and the Eye-Q went on its appointed rounds for 20 seconds—no sensations except light pressure. When I got up, I saw the world with new eyes. As a doctor, I know this stuff. As a patient, I was amazed. I’ve never seen anything like it. The world had become clean and crisp—the way you see it after a summer rain. I noticed streaks of paint on the wall that I’d never noticed before. Not only could I see the minute hand on a clock seven feet away, but I could see the second hand tremble before each move. It felt like I was born again.

It changed my life as a patient and as a doctor. When my post-operative patients began sharing their experiences the very next day, I listened to them full of understanding. From then on, we’ve had the same point of view. And I bless the day and time I chose ophthalmology.

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Hear From Our Patients

Benjamin Eye Institute

147 reviews

  • Photo of Doe G.
    Doe G.
    Los Angeles, CA
    0 friends
    6 reviews
    1 photo

    Wow! I just had surgery by Dr. Benjamin  yesterday. Today I have 20-20, in that eye. Painless & perfect. I had no Idea, what I had been missing.
    Wonderful eye institute. Delightful & very efficient & up to date staff. Especially Myka. Treat yourself to good eye sight by the charming Dr. Benjamin. You will be in good hands.

  • Matt P.
    West Hollywood, CA
    214 friends
    31 reviews
    3 photos

    I have had dry eyes for a quite sometime and had seen several physicians and got eye drops etc but not until I have seen  Dr. Benjamin I found how serious problem that it was. I had the most thorough and individual attention by Dr. Benjamin. He explained to me my problem and treatment options available. Dr. Benjamin and His staff  are very caring and they spend as much time with you as needed and one feels taken care of. I was given state of the art treatment for my dry eyes and my eyes went from feeling tired , red , scratchy and itchy to brilliantly glowing clear. Office is very serene and staff is attentive, pleasant and smiling. Dr. Benjamin is very down to earth and explains thoroughly that one understands what alis them. I will definitely  keep coming back for all my eye issues.

  • Photo of Renee T.
    Renee T.
    Los Angeles, CA
    33 friends
    44 reviews
    29 photos

    I wish I had come to Dr. Benjamin years ago!!!

    I have been hopping around between 3 eye doctors in the last few years complaining of severe eye pain, redness - so bad I haven't been able to wear contacts for a year. Every other doctor made a diagnosis in 2 minutes, prescribed a few things and sent me on my way. Nothing helped and the doctors kept saying my eyes looked fine despite my symptoms. Finally I saw Dr. Benjamin, and he listened to my concerns from top to bottom and did tests the other doctors never did! He made a brand new diagnosis which finally makes sense and fits my symptoms. He spent almost an hour with me which is unbelievable. I am so impressed with this place, even the front desk and other staff were so friendly. I'm so relieved and am looking forward to making a recovery with Dr. Benjamin and eventually getting LASIK.

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Life is beautiful. See it clearly.

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