You guys! I’m finally getting LASIK. I always imagined that I would get the procedure done and immediately do the celebratory “run through a field of wildflowers” picture.
It would be magical.
Perhaps you’re in the same boat (less the wildflowers) but you’ve put it off because:
- You wanted to wait until you were done having kids because you’ve heard your vision can change with each pregnancy. (Side note: This is not a real problem or concern) (Side side note: I’m not pregnant)
- You either couldn’t afford it because of said kids.
- You’ve heard of horror stories.
- You’re one of those people that are grossed out/scared by the thought of someone touching your eyeball. You don’t even like that I just said eyeball….eyeball!
I was planning already doing extensive research and consulting with several places anyways, but one of my friends suggested that I turn it into another review post.
Ok fine. I eagerly agreed!
So I Googled, asked my friends on Facebook, asked random strangers on Facebook, and contacted random strangers from their Google reviews. I became a certified creep just so I could bring you honest feedback and help myself select a provider in the process.
Bloggin’ ain’t easy.
But here’s what I found out after visiting with 4 popular LASIK places in Omaha:
**Disclaimer: These are the prices I was quoted for my specific eyes so your pricing may not be the exact same. This is just to give you an idea comparatively.
Several people recommended OELI including personal friends that have had the procedure here so this was my first stop. They had a nice office located on the second floor of an office building in the Miracle Hills area. Upon walking in, I was greeted by the lady up front who checked my idea and gave me a clipboard to fill out some forms while I waited to go back. The place was really clean and had a “medical” office feel.
A woman called me back and we headed to do some eye tests. I won’t even try to pretend I knew what was going on or describe the testing, but I do recall that I went through two machines and then the standard eye test that you get at the optometrist. The second machine (as she explained) was to determine the thickness of my corneas because that’s what they would be using for a LASIK procedure. Then I was led back to a patient room as they analyzed my results and answer any questions.
One of the surgeon/owner’s daughter came in to help answer any questions and explain what I would expect in the procedure. I believe they have been doing this for 20+ years and because of the number of surgeries performed, they have surgery every Friday. After we finished talking, she led me back to a room where the pricing coordinator explained the costs and answered any other outstanding questions. She had a “heart to heart” moment with me where she talked to me about having worked in this office for a long time and how the doctors were really some of the cream of the crop.
It didn’t feel pushy and they basically left the ball in my court. She led me out and offered me a water (nice touch) as I was leaving. The sheer size of their office and number of people in the waiting room lets you know that they treat a lot of people.
Length of Appointment: ~60 minutes
Cost: $3,700.00 (This price included $1000 promo until the end of the year)
Quote From a Patient I Contacted: My eye doctor recommended them and they have been amazing to work with hands down!
Walking into Kugler is like walking into a boutique hotel. I recently learned that they opened a brand-spankin’ new office near Village Pointe earlier this year and it was conveniently near my home so this was my next stop. I walked into the office and confirmed my information via iPad and was immediately was greeted to get started right away. They also had a nice coffee, drink, and cookie bar they offered me as we walked back, too.
Quick tangent! One really cool feature I want to point out is that each room has a theme that’s a tribute to Omaha. My exam room was called “The Old Market” and they had others named Benson, Dundee, Blackstone, etc. that had a really cool wallpaper that was an oversized image of that area of town. I thought that was a really nice touch on their end.
Anyways, we went into a futuristic room that resembled a spaceship that had several machines. I appreciated that fact that as I was going through testing, the guy narrated the purpose of every machine and what function it served in the consultation. I was led back into The Old Market room and Dr. Kugler himself explained the results of their findings. Then they dilated my eyes and I went on to do another two eye tests. In total, they tested my eyes with 7 machines!
Dr. Kugler, again, came back to explain the results of these findings and answer some questions that I had. The entire time his demeanor was reassuring and I could tell that he really knew what he was talking about. They took back to a room where I met with a lady for pricing and then we were done. I felt even more confident about my decision to move forward with LASIK from this consultation.
Length of Appointment: ~90 minutes
Cost: $4,999.00 (they told me that this price was all-inclusive for everything post-op)
Quote From a Patient I Contacted: I am always impressed how they stay up-to-date with technology, especially since it involves something as important as our eyes.
They, too, had several recommendations and I personally knew people that went here for their procedure with nothing but praise for the experience. Their office was located off Regency Parkway in a fairly unassuming office building. I was greeted immediately and given paperwork to fill out while they prepared for me to go back for my consultation.
A lady led me back to a room with two pieces of equipment and explained what the machine was doing as she took the scans of my eyes. Then we did one more test out in their hallway before I was taken to an exam room to meet with their onsite optometrist. She was really helpful in explaining the results, but what impressed me most about this visit was how she explained the restrictions that came with a LASIK procedure. For instance, she mentioned that you couldn’t swim, wear makeup, or sweat within certain times periods post surgery so to be mindful of planning your surgery around weddings, vacations, fitness events, etc. I thought this was extremely helpful and thorough for a consultation.
When we started talking about surgery day and the procedure, she was upfront and mentioned that since LVI is a franchise that their primary LASIK doctor travels between 12 clinics and stops in Omaha about every other week for surgeries. He has been performing LASIK procedures for over 20 years but was not a local resident.
As we finished up our discussion, I was taken back to a room by their patient coordinator to answer any outstanding questions and discuss pricing. The experience felt individualized and they were thorough with answering my questions.
Length of Appointment: ~90 minutes
Quote From a Patient I Contacted: Post op-I was able to see that day, the next day was better and I’ve got perfect vision still a year and a half later. No regrets here!
Unlike LVI, I did realize that LASIK Plus was a franchise combining local providers with a corporate back office support.
They operated much like a franchised business-fairly efficient processes and systems. When it came to making my appointment, it was done easily online and confirmation came in the form of email and phone call follow-up. My appointment was at 10 AM and I quickly checked in and took a seat down in the lobby to wait to be called back. With several people in the lobby, it took about 15 minutes before I was able to get back and start the exam.
The lady who tested my eyes was extremely friendly and some of the machines were unlike any I’ve seen in the previous three places. I believe there were a total of 4 eye tests before I was led to another waiting room where I had to watch an FAQs video. It was a little cheesy, but I completely understand why they do it. (Side note: I wish it was on an iPad or something other than a bulky portable DVD player #firstworldproblems)
One cool thing about this waiting area, though, is that they were operating on patients in the next room and I could watch on a screen the actual surgery of another patient. Of course, if you’re feeling squeamish about LASIK then this won’t be a selling point for you. Afterwards, I went back to meet the onsite optometrist to get one last look at my eyes and review the results of the previous tests to determine my candidacy for LASIK. (By this point, I’ve consulted with 3 providers so I know that I was eligible)
She presented the pricing options in the same room and their approach is more of a “customized pricing”. So there were varying levels of technology, warranties, and eye correction ranges (ie 0.25-1.00) that you could receive a quote on. I believe the cheaper option used an “older” technique or machine and she explained the procedure would be a little bit longer, whereas the latest and greatest would be substantially faster. However, she explained that the outcome would be the same.
So for this, I got two quotes- one with the cheaper option and a 1-year warranty and the more expensive option with a lifetime warranty. I felt very comfortable leaving their office and while waiting, got a chance to read several glowing reviews.
Length of Appointment: ~90 minutes
Cost: $1,390.00 or $3,783.00 (plus the cost of post-op prescription drops)
Quote From a Patient I Contacted: I would recommend them over and over again because my surgeon was so nice and calmed me down and told me step-by-step during surgery if I was doing well and what I was supposed to be feeling which was so reassuring.
SO WHO GOT THE FINAL ROSE?
Honestly, there’s a lot to weigh out including the cost, reviews, personal recommendations, and the consultation experience. Most of these places had raving reviews about the experience, staff, and results from the surgery. Every place had flexible financing and I (believe) offered Care Credit, HSA payment, and the typical cash/credit card options.
It was a tough decision, but ultimately Kugler Vision won me over.
- I didn’t realize how uncommon it was to speak to the actual operating doctor until it wasn’t offered at any of the other places.
- The way Dr. Kugler addressed my concerns left me feeling more reassured and confident in my decision to move forward with LASIK.
- Technology. Not only did I take way more tests here, all of my results from the test were shown to me on a screen and explained in a way I could understand.
- As compared to the other places I visited, they were literally the only one that had only 5-star reviews. (Don’t believe me, here’s a screenshot)
Picking someone to operate on your eyeballs (there I go again) is not something I take lightly and while the quote from Kugler is the priciest, all those reasons above made me feel 100% at ease going to them.
I’ll be going in next week to have my procedure done so follow the Light Passing Through Facebook page for play by play.