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New Vision with LASIK – Performed by Dr. Jon Dishler

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One of Dr. Jon Dishler's LASIK patient, who was once told by another surgeon that she was not a candidate for LASIK, talks about her LASIK experience at Dishler Laser Institute.

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TOM: If you’re considering LASIK, surgery, there are so many reasons to consider it. You can’t see and you want to see, right? What about the cost? Do you know there’s actually cost involved with wearing glasses? People never figure that out. They don’t know that over a lifetime, they can actually save money. And what about technology? You want the best technology, right? The--you want cutting edge technology, but you also want experience. And there’s a lot to talk about. Dr. John Dishler’s here to help us make decisions. Dr. John Dishler from the Dishler Eye--it’s a LASIK institute. And John, we have talked many, many times about who you’ve helped. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Yes. TOM: And examples were people who were told they couldn’t have LASIK. And we have Jennifer Mack with us. Can you explain what happened? You said she was told she couldn’t have it? DR. JOHN DISHLER: Yes, Jennifer came to us. She said she was told she couldn’t have LASIK. Her eyes were too bad. Another center turned her down here in Denver. And we looked at her and said, you know, with the new technology and with what we can do with your eyes, we think we can do it. And even though her eyes were extremely bad-- TOM: 20/1000. Now. MS. JENNIFER MACK: Yeah. TOM: First of all, what does that mean? An eye test, when you say 20/1000, what does it mean? DR. JOHN DISHLER: Well, it means 20/20, let’s start with that, means you can see something at 20 feet that you should be able to see at 20 feet. 20/1000 means that someone that had normal vision could see something 1,000 feet away. She could only see it 20 feet away. TOM: So what I can see at 1,000 feet, she had to be 20 feet? DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. And the reality for her was she had to hold something, you know, right up to her nose, right, to see it? MS. MACK: Yeah, yeah, exactly, like right in front of my face. I couldn’t-- TOM: You had glasses at what age? MS. MACK: About five years old. TOM: Five years old. MS. MACK: Yeah. TOM: And never stopped wearing them until now? MS. MACK: Yeah. And they were pretty thick, too. So they switched me to hard ridged lenses when I was second grade. And so it’s just kind of been an ongoing battle with my eyesight. So-- TOM: And your father, he saw--he heard about-- MS. MACK: He saw it on Timer and Tino (phonetic). And I was in Hawaii. And he called me up and he said that I should, you know, check out Dishler when I get home. And so, that’s what I did. And so-- TOM: And how, I mean, did you ever think about LASIK before? You did because you went somewhere else? MS. MACK: I did about three years ago, I had went to another LASIK eye surgeon and tried to get--see if I was a candidate. And they said that I wasn’t and our-- TOM: Did they say why? MS. MACK: They said my prescription was too high and that the technology wasn’t advanced enough to be able to treat me. And so, they basically told me I would have to get corneal transplants if I wanted to do it. TOM: Wow. So you went to Dr. John Dishler. How was the experience? MS. MACK: It was great. It was pretty effortless. Like they got me in. And they said I was a candidate. And the next week, I was scheduled for my surgery. So it was-- TOM: When did you notice a difference? MS. MACK: The very same day. I could totally read everything. It was a little cloudy. TOM: In their office? MS. MACK: Yeah, exactly, right when I got out, I could see clearly. And just kept getting better and better every day. DR. JOHN DISHLER: You only had it two weeks ago, right? MS. MACK: Yeah, and I can see 20/15 now. So it’s awesome. TOM: Wow. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Better than 20-- TOM: Better than-- DR. JOHN DISHLER: Now she sees better than 20/20. TOM: You were--you had to be at 20 feet to see what most people can see at 1,000. Now you can see-- DR. JOHN DISHLER: At 15 feet, she can see what people--normal people can, you know-- TOM: Yeah. DR. JOHN DISHLER: --she can see things 20 feet away that normal people can only see 15 feet away. TOM: Exactly. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Yeah. TOM: It’s just the opposite. DR. JOHN DISHLER: The reverse. TOM: You’re better than normal. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Better than perfect. MS. MACK: Yeah. TOM: And by the way, what I want to know is the expense of glasses. Let’s talk about that. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. TOM: Because people say well I can’t afford LASIK. First of all, we should mention that there is financing available. But let’s talk about the cost of glasses, especially if you have glasses like she had. But let’s take these numbers right here. If we can look at them. DR. JOHN DISHLER: You know, we’ve analyzed this, Tom. And other people have as well. And someone, you know, young like Jennifer, over the course of a lifetime can save over $50,000 in the cost of glasses, contacts. TOM: And here’s why because you have yearly costs. People don’t consider-- DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. TOM: --like contacts and glasses and prescriptions, right? And so, at age 25, a lifetime of glasses will cost you $52,000, right? DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. TOM: And $9,000 for LASIK in all the other exams. Okay, so what about this? This is at age 40. You still have savings of $30,000. Over a lifetime, if you really amortized this over a lifetime, age 35, age 30, it goes on. You still save--the younger you are, the more you will save. DR. JOHN DISHLER: The younger you are, the more you’ll save, but even at age 50, there’s still a significant savings. And that’s one of the reasons Jennifer, she told us that part of the reason she was having this done was because it was so hard, you know, being so near-sighted and being dependent on contacts, but part of reason was she was aware of the cost savings and she did this partly for saving the money over, you know, the years that she’s going to get to enjoy this. MS. MACK: Absolutely. TOM: Now extremely near-sighted, but plus astigmatism, right? MS. MACK: Yes. TOM: And you are a student of biology? MS. MACK: Yes, conservation biology, yeah. TOM: What do you want to do? MS. MACK: I would really love to work with the National Wildlife Research Center or just do something to help protect the environment and so-- TOM: How has this changed you? MS. MACK: It’s an unbelievable change. I really wasn’t able to see the landscape when I was outside. You know, my contacts would give me problems. And glasses were just really hard to hike in. And so, now that I can be outside and see clearly, it’s just totally changed my life. It’s got a reprogram my brain almost to do it. TOM: Let’s talk about why you could do it. Let’s talk about the technology. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. Advances in the technology. There’s-- TOM: The prescription was too much, they said. Explain. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. Because back then, and some centers still today, they’re using the bladed micro carotome (phonetic), which is very imprecise in making the corneal flap. We use all laser method in all patients. And we have this very advanced all laser method called Visiomax. We can extremely, extremely thin and accurate flaps that follow the curvature of the eye. Much less invasive into the eye, so it leaves us more room to do higher prescriptions. And then we team that with a laser that can do these prescriptions. FDA approved for these high prescriptions like she has. And the combination of the two lets us fix people that previously weren’t candidates for this kind of procedure. TOM: If you were going to talk about the average correction, the average correction, where would Jennifer have stood here? Where does she stand here? Is it twice-- DR. JOHN DISHLER: She’s about-- TOM: --three times, four times? DR. JOHN DISHLER: She’s about twice as bad--was twice as bad as the average person that has this done. But we do people that are again a third worse than she was. TOM: Really? She wasn’t even the worst case? DR. JOHN DISHLER: So she’s not the worst case, no. TOM: 20/1000 is not the worst case? DR. JOHN DISHLER: That’s correct. TOM: Wow. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. So I say, you know, it’s got to do with the eyes being healthy. TOM: Right. DR. JOHN DISHLER: And not so much what the prescription is. So if someone is interested in looking into this, they should come and have a free evaluation-- TOM: Yes. DR. JOHN DISHLER: --and find out if they are a candidate, because many times, people are surprised to find out that they really--far-sighted people, people with very high astigmatisms, sometimes people that were told they weren’t candidates really are candidates. TOM: So if we the math here, you can see it’s a savings over glasses, especially-- MS. MACK: Yes. TOM: --someone like Jennifer-- MS. MACK: Yes. TOM: --your glasses must have been very expensive and your contacts? MS. MACK: They were, yeah. Glasses were about $600 for-- TOM: Oh. MS. MACK: --the frames and lenses. TOM: Think about that. MS. MACK: Yeah. TOM: Just normal glasses are $300 now, right? DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right, right. TOM: And so you think about glasses, yours were $600. Exams are expensive. And then maintenance of contacts-- MS. MACK: Yeah. TOM: If you wear contacts. MS. MACK: Yeah. You have to factor in, you know, contact solution, eye drops, the cleaning supplies. TOM: And the hassle. MS. MACK: Exactly. TOM: All of that. So if you take a lifetime, you saw that savings can even at age 50 amount to $20,000 or more? DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right, right. TOM: And so, when you consider that, and then you consider the technology now available to correct almost any eye condition, and Dr. John Dishler’s office is not going to push you into it if they don’t think you’re candidate. So here’s what they want you to do. Come in for a complimentary consultation and a tour of the facility. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Very important, very important. TOM: Very important. And now, if you’re a candidate, whether you schedule surgery or not, they’re going to give you an iPod just for coming in, a free iPod just for coming in. And it’s the lowest guaranteed price, the lowest guaranteed price. And you’re holding the “Forbes” Magazine. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Right. TOM: You ought to mention that since you’re holding it. DR. JOHN DISHLER: Well-- TOM: You were named-- DR. JOHN DISHLER: I’m kind of proud of this, because they only picked 10 doctors in the whole country as the top LASIK surgeons for “Forbes.” TOM: Right. DR. JOHN DISHLER: And 2009, we were one of those 10. And they’ve just recently contacted us about that we’re going to possibly be again in 2010. TOM: Wow. DR. JOHN DISHLER: So-- TOM: That’s incredible. DR. JOHN DISHLER: --we don’t know that for sure, but at least in 2009, we were one of the top ones. TOM: Here it is. His number is (303) 793-3000. 793-3000. The number right there. Or dishler.com.