Jump to content
Scot's Newsletter Forums
ChipDoc

St Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute

Recommended Posts

Hi all!Well the deed is now officially done! And let me tell you, if you ever need cataract surgery, St Luke's is one excellent place to have it. The place absolutely REEKED of professionalism and, particularly when you consider that I was absolutely terrified, it was a very cool experience.My "appointment" was at 10:20am and SuziQ and I were there by 10am. We signed the official sheets and sat down in a room filled with about 200 people. The place is huge - the size of a regional hospital. Just as I was thinking that we were going to "hurry up and wait" everything started moving quite quickly.A technician named Annette took us into a small room where she did a preliminary inspection of both my eyes and my glasses. I've been wearing glasses since the 2nd grade and this room had by far the most advanced equipment I've ever seen. We then sat for about three minutes in a smaller waiting room until Missy, another technician, took measurements of the inside of my eyeballs with a laser tool I'd never seen before. Another two or three minutes passed and I got to see Dr Webber, an ophthalmologist, who did the most incredibly extensive eye exam I've ever had. I spent almost an hour with him where it was proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that I really couldn't see much of anything through my right eye. They actually interrupted him to take me down the hall to see Nora, a Certified Ophthalmic Nurse (according to the certificate hanging on the wall) for yet another exam, and finally Dr Pit Gills, the surgeon, came in, hooked me up to yet more equipment and dictated notes to Nora in such incredible detail that even I, who actually pays attention to this sort of thing, had almost no idea what he was talking about. He then explained what was going on in English for my benefit.Then it was time to head downstairs to the surgery where we signed more papers and paid the fee before I was taken for one more cursory exam (where they wrote the word YES over my right eye), put about a dozen drops into my eye, gave me 10mg of Valium, got me gowned up and took me into the anteroom with a half dozen other folks. They came and woke me up to take me into the operating theater itself where I laid down and they did the work.Oddly they didn't use a laser to do the cutting. They used a circular saw smaller than the head of a pin to cut a semicircular hole through the cornea and through the eyeball itself, reached in and snatched out the inner lens (which had calcified on the inside, causing the problem in the first place) and popped in a tiny replacement lens. They don't even sew it up; the intra-ocular pressure holds it against the incision and it will seal back up all by itself.I was awake during the procedure and the visuals were quite striking. I couldn't make any visual sense of any of it but there were various lights of various colors, some pressure but no pain at all, They said it would take about ten minutes and I suspect they were pretty much exactly correct.After it was over, they helped me up off the operating table and called SuziQ to come on in and sit with me. That was fortunate, since in my drug-addled state I remember only some of the post-op instructions. She remembers them all though, and we went trotting off to the hotel. The next morning she drove me to the pharmacy to pick up the medicine drops. I've got some OTC artificial tears, Zymaxid (an antibiotic), and Bromday (an anti-inflammatory). Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered the cost of these two prescriptions - just under FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS! Even with the pharmacy's discount for those of us without insurance it was still $240. Well I called the number St Luke's gave for use in an emergency and pointed out that this was simply beyond my ability to pay at the moment. They gave me generics instead. The antibiotic was only $12.50. The anti-inflammatory was $120, but that's at least possible rather than simply out of reach.The bottom line? I'm typing this note without my glasses - something I haven't been able to do in the entire history of computers...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ChipGreat to hear you went to the best. Dr. Gill invented most of the procedures you experienced. Nothing like hiring the best in the world.I used to work as a sub-contractor at the St. Luke's in Tarpon Springs. Is that the one where you went?I was the guy who made sure the water-cooled air-conditioning system behaved. No microbial activity, no corrosion, and no deposits.It was very routine, but important. Legionnaire's disease was traced to bacterial growth in an air-conditioning system condensate pan. Yucky!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dude. nice avatar. lolchip, glad you did well with that.eyes are pretty important. :">

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nah, use the one Eric made for you. Really far out, man! chipshopped-02_small.png
Hey! He really used to look like that.Me and Paul at a local biker event a few years ago...MePaul.jpgMe after about 36 hours of partying at my club's State Rally in '07...07Rally.pngAh... those were the days. Too old and decrepit for that stuff these days.color_me_grumpy.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:hysterical: You guys are too much!!
Here to demonstrate out latest model, The Biker Beer Guzzler 2000, is our very own Eric.No animals were harmed in the making of this lovely pictorial.ericmodelbeerhat2.jpg Edited by Tushman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leave them out of this. :whistling: We are talking about Paul's eye surgery experience, not Shiite's. :yes:
Oh yeah, that's right, isn't it? I went to my first follow-up on Monday afternoon. I didn't have to drive all the way to Tarpon Springs for this one; I got to come to the St Luke's satellite office in Tampa. Once again, the entire process was consummately professional and everyone worked really hard to be certain I understood what was going on. First, a little background: I've been wearing glasses since the summer before 2nd grade and my vision has always been terrible. Before the cataracts, my vision was correctable to 20/50; since they started about six years ago, it's gotten a bunch worse. I had to renew my Drivers License last year and had to look through the right eyehole with the left eye in order to pass - but they let me do this and my license need not be renewed until 2018. Can you believe they let me drive with vision like this? Scary!At Tarpon Springs on the day of the surgery, they asked me to read the lowest line on the chart that I could. Well I did ok with the left eye, but with the right eye I could see the bright spot where the letters were printed and the dark space surrounding it. They had to go to something twice the size of the entire chart before I could kinda halfway make out the number 7.Well now I can read the copyright info at the bottom of the chart. My overall vision has corrected to 20/30 which means I'm seeing better now than I have in over 40 years. It's absolutely amazing!It's also oddly uncomfortable. I've been wearing glasses so long that I feel oddly unprotected without them. I'll get used to it though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had glasses when in grade school for a couple years. Big huge clunky plastic frames. Ugly.Then after a couple years, the doc said I did not need them anymore. I certainly did not question it. ;)When I enlisted in 2001, part of the inprocessing was an eye exam. I knew my vision was off, but did not realize how much. It boiled down to a Q or an O. I picked correctly. Five years later, Medical on base caught up with me and hauled me in for an eye exam. I am wearing glassers again. Now, since I did not wear glasses all those years, my eyes' lenses adjusted to get to the point of being able to focus. Now that I have glasses, my eyes need to relax a bit to their natural state. As such, my prescription changes yearly. I don't know how long it is going to take to get my prescription to a stable point, which is the requirement for laser surgery.Laser surgery scares me, though. The thought of the doc slicing my eye open with a blade is not one I take lightly. I know there are various types of LASIK, PRK, etc., but each has their downfall. The military will not give me surgery until my prescription has been stable for two years at a minimum. :)Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...