Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pacific Vision Institute - San Francisco

5/5 stars

This was my 100th Yelp review. And I couldn't have picked a more heartfelt place to review. Because of PVI, I woke up this morning and, for the first time in 17 years, was able to see clearly without the help of contacts or glasses.The words on my small, plastic floss dispenser from Walgreens never looked so clear.

Thank you, PVI + incredible, talented staff, for giving me the gift of sight. I am awestruck. There are no words good enough to describe this. I was aprrox. an 8 in one eye, a 7.75 in the other, with 1.75 astigmatism in both. I am now BETTER than 20/20. I always knew that I wanted to do LASIK, but I'm glad I waited for the technology to improve and for a blade-less cut. I couldn't imagine watching a doctor approach me with a blade to slice open my cornea. No, thank you. Fast forward 5 years or so. Then I got the push from my friend Aaron who was stoked to get his wavefront intraLASIK done which in turn got me all exicted. Before I knew it, I was at PVI for a consultation. Even though I arrived 2 hours late to my appointment (it was my first time driving to the City and I somehow managed to get to Fort Mason...), it was by far, the most comfortable doctor experience I've ever had. Gene took all my measurements and was so patient and sweet. He explained everything. What's super cool is that PVI has the ONLY CAT scan for eyes in Northern California! Leah was my point of contact there and she was very personable and straight forward. With my vision ins., it was going to cost me $5600 - $300 referral. If you plan it right and work with Flex, $3000 of that can be non-taxed money. Sweet! Okay, now the above price tag may be higher than what you're used to, BUT PVI IS WORTH IT. Several reasons: 1. I don't believe in designer jeans or $7.00 bottled water, but when it came to my eyes, I was willing to pay for the best. Dr. Faktorovich looks better on paper than anybody else I've ever read about. She has written textbooks on this stuff. You know what that means? Future eye surgeons study her. 2. Your touch-ups are free... for life. Other places may offer free touch-ups for 6 months after or up to 2 years. We're talking, for life. No bargaining, no paying for appoinments, or anything hidden. One, direct fee. Dr. Lee did most of my pre-op work as well as surgery prep and post-op and let me tell you - he's a cool cat. Very patient (I asked like, a bajillion questions), very honest, very nice, and incredibly professional. Because I wore hard contacts for so long and was on antibiotics that dried up everything from my skin to my eyes, he and Dr. Faktorovich just weren't ready to perform surgery on me. I am SO HAPPY that I had doctors who were honest enough to say, "No." They said no to me two times before they said yes.

THE PROCEDURE: the pain was minimal, just mostly uncomfortable and weird. I spent most of the time stressing out that I was doing it wrong. Before I had time to fix whatever I was doing, it was over. The procedure itself (the cutting of the flap and the LASIK) lasted... maybe 10 minutes? It was mostly keeping your eyes closed and waiting.

First they give you some medicine to relax you (and boy did they work! I could barely hobble around on those beautiful pills!) and then they put a bunch of drops in your eyes - to numb them, ect. Then Dr. Lee uses a marker and makes marks on your eyes - I didn't feel a thing! Then you lie there for awhile, again, with your eyes closed. Then you're led to a fairly cold room. Dawn, who's very sweet, gave me a pillow to squeeze on. There, you lie and wait. What's kinda cool is that you can hear the surgery that's going on in the other room so you know what to expect. FYI - the machine makes noise. Then Dr. Faktorvich comes in and this is when the flap is cut. Sharp, metal things are inserted into your eyes to hold them open - one eye at a time. And then you're supposed to look at the light. Problem was... I thought I saw two lights. If you look at the wrong one, Dr. F will tell you. Then you're moved over to another machine that creates the air bubbles? Then you're sat on a comfy couch where you wait for the bubbles to do its thing. Finally, you're taken into another room where the most painful part was Dr. F removing the flap. The surgery itself was the most confusing part for me because behold, the light show! You're supposed to fixate on the green light, but there was so much going on - red splotches, yellow. I apparently also had some trouble keeping my head still. Dr. F (or somebody) helped hold it down for me. Then, before I knew it, it was over. I wanted to sing my thanks to Dr. F but A) I couldn't see and B) she had already left the room. Busy lady.

What I did hear was a wonderful "Congratulations" from Dawn and then Michelle led me into a room where Dr. Lee did a final check-up and I was given all my drops and my eyes were covered. I was so thankful and loopy. I fell asleep instantly and woke up, re-born.


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