Fox 13 News reports an up close look of Kiaora Bohloolâ€™s LASIK experience at our Salt Lake City office.
MALE VOICE: Youâ€™re watching Fox 13 News at 9:00.
FEMALE VOICE: Welcome back. Well, if youâ€™ve considered having laser vision surgery, known as LASIK, youâ€™re not alone.
MALE VOICE: It is the second most common eye procedure in America after cataract surgery. Fox 13â€™s Kiora Belul [phonetic] had LASIK surgery herself. And she gives us a unique view on the process.
KIORA BELUL, FOX NEWS 13 CORRESPONDENT: Iâ€™ve been nearsighted since about age 12. That means I can see okay up close, but not far away. Iâ€™ve been considering LASIK surgery for about five years. And after doing research and touring several clinics, I decided to pay the money and have the surgery.
Hereâ€™s an up close look at my experience with LASIK.
If I donâ€™t wear glasses or contacts, I canâ€™t drive, I canâ€™t work, I canâ€™t see much at all. But hopefully, thatâ€™s about to change.
LASIK is a refractive surgery that started clinical trials in the late 1980s, and received FDA approval in 1995. An Exemer [phonetic] laser reshapes the cornea after a flap is made. LASIK can correct for certain levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism caused by an abnormally shaped cornea.
20/20 vision means what you can see from 20 feet away, I can see from 20 feet away. My prescription is more like 20/800. And that means what you can see from 800 feet away, I have to be at 20 feet to see.
Like any surgery, LASIK has its risks. Infections and inflammations are possible. Dry eye and night glare can also be issues.
Keep in mind everyoneâ€™s vision begins to decline to some degree in their 40s as a natural part of getting older. Dr. Phillip Hoopes, whoâ€™s performing my surgery, says LASIK has come a long way.
DR. HOOPES: The lasers are better. Thereâ€™s more lasers to choose from. The results are better. Itâ€™s safer.
MS. BELUL: Being a candidate for LASIK depends on your specific prescription, your eyes health, and foremost, your expectations.
DR. HOOPES: If youâ€™re after improvement, youâ€™ll be happy with LASIK. If youâ€™re after perfection and donâ€™t obtain it, you may be disappointed.
MS. BELUL: I had to be out of my soft contacts for seven to 10 days before my pre-op appointment, so my eyes could relax. Just two days later, I was having the surgery. Iâ€™ll walk you through my process coming up later in the show. For now in the studio, Iâ€™m Kiora Belul, Fox 13 News Utah.
MALE VOICE: Youâ€™re watching Fox 13 News at 9:00.
MALE VOICE: More than a million Americans undergo LASIK eye surgery every year.
FEMALE VOICE: Now one of Fox 13â€™s reporters is among them. Earlier, Kiora Belul shared the steps leading up to LASIK. Now we see what happens on the day of surgery.
MS. BELUL: I am nearsighted. That means I canâ€™t see well from far away. So after years of thinking about it, and months of research, I decided to have LASIK eye surgery. Fox 13 had a sneak peek on the whole process. And just a warning, some people will call this footage interesting. Others may find it graphic. With that, hereâ€™s an up close look at my LASIK surgery.
DR. HOOPES: Another blink? Now hold it right there. Hold it for five, four, three, two, and one.
MS. BELUL: The morning begins with high tech testing at Hoopes
Aldridge Vision Institute.
DR. HOPPES: Tells us the thickness of your cornea and gives us an elevation method for the front of her eye.
MS. BELUL: Orb scans, vision tests.
DR. HOOPES: Can you read those letters?
MS. BELUL: Yeah.
DR. HOOPES: Okay.
MS. BELUL: F, D, B, D, V.
And 3-D imaging.
DR. HOOPES: This is the ring of the iris.
MS. BELUL: Yeah. All the data creates a customized map of my eyes.
DR. HOOPES: Look right in the middle there in that black dot. One more blink.
MS. BELUL: LASIK ranges in price, depending on your prescription and the procedure.
DR. HOOPES: The average price in Utahâ€™s about $1700 an eye. It can range anywhere from $900 up to $2400 an eye.
MS. BELUL: After giving me a small dose of Valium, the surgical team gets me ready. Doctors must first create a flap in my cornea using either a blade, or the IntraLASE laser, which is what Iâ€™ve chosen.
My eyes can feel pressure, but not pain.
DR. HOOPES: People watching your surgery will actually watch the flap being created. And theyâ€™ll see this sheet of white bubbles go across the eye.
MS. BELUL: Was it okay?
DR. HOOPES: Perfect.
MS. BELUL: Okay.
I have to wait several minutes for those bubbles to dissolve. Then Iâ€™m back in surgery. Dr. Hoopes lifts the flap and directs the Allegrato [phonetic] laser.
DR. HOOPES: Iâ€™m going to have you focus on a green blinking light.
MS. BELUL: After about a minute, itâ€™s done. I sit up and take a look around.
DR. HOOPES: How are you doing?
MS. BELUL: Itâ€™s blurry, but I can see things. Although Iâ€™m excited to put this clear world in focus, itâ€™s time to get a ride home and rest my newly shaped eyes.
The next morning, itâ€™s off to Marie Vision Center to shed some light on my progress.
DR. HOOPES: Along that area right there.
MS. BELUL: Before the surgery, my prescription was somewhere around 20/800. One day after LASIK, my optometrist Dr. Finley says Iâ€™m around 20/30.
DR. FINLEY: And how about the next row there?
MS. BELUL: D, F, L, C, F?
Dr. Hoopes has been involved with LASIK since it was approved in 1995, and says itâ€™s been a pretty stable procedure through the years.
DR. HOOPES: Well, I was 50 when I had it done. So that was seven years ago.
MS. BELUL: Doctors say take a good look at the risks, realities, and potential results of LASIK surgery to see if itâ€™s right for you.
After going through the process, Iâ€™m amazed at what I can see now. And I am happy I had the surgery. But remember, LASIK isnâ€™t for everyone. And the goal is improvement, not perfection. You can log onto our website at fox13.com if youâ€™d like to learn more. In the studio, Kiora Belul, Fox 13 News Utah.