LASEK laser eye surgery diaries: Deciding to go for it

Hello and welcome back to my LASEK laser eye surgery diaries series. This is my third entry, so if you’d like to start from the beginning, visit “LASEK laser eye surgery diaries: The backstory“. Today I decided to proceed with the procedure, which is 45 days from today. In this blog post, I’ll share a few final details I wanted to wrap up before I say “yes!“.

Getting over my fear of the recovery process

The deeper I was into research LASEK laser eye surgery, the more I feared about the recovery process. I know the process will be horrible for the first 3 days, and up to a week. The more I watched and read videos of people’s experiences of getting LASEK laser eye surgery and their recovery process, the more it made me realise that regardless of when I do it, it is going to be done, and the recovery process is going to be the same. Everyone who had undergone the procedure wished they had done it sooner, so instead of getting mine done in August so I could get more time to mentally prepare myself, I scheduled the surgery day for May, which is 45 days from today.

Negotiating the quote

If you’re going with Optical Express, you can haggle the price. Something I never thought of doing, but I read somewhere that clinics are competitive against each other so I thought I’d give it a go. And it worked. I received 10% off my total price, along with 24 months of finance interest-free. On the day of the consultation, you would have been given a piece of paper that told you, that if you paid for the surgery back in 10 months, it’d be interest-free, but if you wanted more time to pay back; 12 months, 24 months, 36 months would be at 11.5% interest which is ridiculous. Call the HQ and let them know that this is over your budget and the only thing stopping you from proceeding with it, and you’d like more time to pay it off, and they’ll offer longer finance plans interest-free. So now let’s look at the long-term savings.

Current annual cost with wearing glasses

  • £25 to get my eyes tested/year
  • £400 to get 2 pairs of daily glasses/year
  • £100 to get 2 pairs of sunglasses/year
  • The total annual cost pre-LASEK surgery is around £525.00

The costs of LASEK

  • £4221.00 to get the LASEK surgery
  • I’ve opted for 24 months contract, meaning I’ll be paying a £500.00 deposit, £155.05 for 23 months, and £154.85 for a month
  • Now that the £500.00 deposit has been paid, I’ve got a balance of £3,721.00 to pay over the 24 months

The long-term savings

  • LASEK lasts for about 10-15 years
  • £4221.00 ÷ 15 = £281.40, saving me £243.60 per year, and with inflation probably more

Booking the surgery (deposit and finance)

I called my designated Customer Care Advisor at Optical Express to help me answer a few questions, one of which is related to the deposit itself if it was refundable as I wanted to secure the date immediately.

  • In my previous entry, I mentioned how the patient advisor who conducted my tests wasn’t an optometrist, I asked about the accuracy of the tests but the answer was satisfactory. They were conducting tests to identify my suitability to undergo the LASEK laser eye surgery procedure. The surgeon will redo the test to confirm everything on the day of the surgery.
  • If you live in the UK, you know how painful the NHS can be when booking an appointment. And because of my asthma and my mental health condition, I’d need to get a sign-off letter from my GP. But since I don’t have the letters or a GP consent yet, and if my GP disagrees with me getting LASEK laser eye surgery, could I get a refund? Yes, I could.
    • Mental health: to get a letter to confirm that I’m fit for surgery
    • Asthma: to understand the dosage of medication I’m allowed to have
  • Working in a consultancy means that time off work must be planned. On Friday I asked my manager for the days I wanted off so I could get the surgery, but she needed to confirm with the CEO who didn’t answer, so it was holding me back from putting down a deposit. Should my holiday not be approved for the dates I wanted, could I change my surgery date to a future date? Yes, I could.

I was happy with the answers so I put down a deposit and secured a date, Tuesday 28th May at 11:40 am.

The process for putting down a deposit

  • If you’re doing finance, they’ll ask you a few questions
  • Once the finance is approved, they’ll ask for a deposit and secure a date
  • If their calendar is already open, they’ll also book a call for the next day to check up on you post-surgery, a follow-up appointment to get the contact lenses out
  • They’ll send an email confirmation

Things you need to prepare

  • Booking your annual leave in advance
  • If you struggle with mental health, you’ll need a letter from your doctor
  • If you have asthma, you’ll need to have a review so the surgeon knows what kind of dosage of medication to give you

The confirmation

  • Finance emails for you to read through the terms and conditions and confirm once you’ve read it
  • A confirmation of the meet the surgeon and the surgery date, with links to the informed consent brochure.
  • An informative email about things you need to keep in mind pre-surgery

What’s next?