Monday, October 6, 2008

My Pre-Op Experience

Well, I thought that I'd write out my experience at Boothe Eye Care and Laser Center with Dr. William Boothe. I'm going to try to keep it as fact oriented as possible!

I found the website before I called and looked over it. I did some independent research on the process of lasik and tried to do some background research on Boothe Eye Care and Laser Center but was unable to really find anything that was detailed information of the process or experience. Most of the reviews were people expressing their opinions about how they felt about lasik or them saying that Dr. Boothe ruined their vision and they had to go somewhere else to get it fixed. I began to ask around to a lot of people that I knew and found that a lot of people had gotten their lasik done there with no qualms except the waiting.

I went in for my consultation on July 24th, 2008 at 10:00am. I was told to expect to be there about three hours if I chose to do the pre-op while I was there. I was also told that the pre-op would cost $150 but that if I did not qualify for lasik I would receive my money back.

When I got there on the morning of July 24th, I was honestly surprised at the... normal office in which Boothe Eye Care and Laser Center was housed. I guess that I thought that the place would be all slick metal and shiny glass everywhere since he has apparently done so many surgeries. I signed in at the window and was asked to fill out paperwork. Honestly, I don't remember what the paperwork asked. I returned the paperwork to the lady behind the window. She did ask that if I had contacts in that I would need to remove them. I had my glasses and therefore didn't need to do this. I do believe that there were contact cases and fluid in case people needed it, but I can't "confirm" that.

In the waiting room was a rather large flat screen TV that ran ads for Dr. Boothe's surgeries. Some of the speakers on the ads were "famous" people, some were unknown old, middle aged, and young. There was an ad of Dr. Boothe playing football with a jersey that said 20/20 on the front. I know that I'm not supposed to be emotional... but that little ad made me laugh out loud. There was another ad that was designed to look like an interview with a news station, and I remember thinking that Dr. Boothe seemed very uncomfortable and it appeared that he was reading his part. I thought, at the time, that this was simply because he was nervous or uncomfortable in front of the camera.

I then waited until they called my name. I went back into a narrow hallway and was seated at a machine that looked at my eyes. The gentleman that was running the test told me what he was going to be doing, but didn't speak to me other than that. I do remember thinking that his hands smelled like cigarette smoke. I was then escorted into a room right next to the area in the hallway where I had the original test done. There were two stations here where I went to one in the corner and this gentleman told me what he would be doing (which, of course, I don't remember) and then he struck up a little bit of conversation with me. Next, I moved over about two feet, sat on another stool, and had another individual run a test. I remember that for this one I had to look at a red dot or something and I had trouble because I kept moving my eyes. The gentleman would look at his computer and say, "We need to do the right eye again." He had to say this to me multiple times, and I remember thinking at the time, "Oh, he's being so patient with me." Now, I can't remember if they gave me drops at this point or not, but I remember needing a kleenex as I went into the next room.

Another man introduced himself (I can't remember his name) and guided me down the same hallway towards an office with a desk and two chairs. The office was about 6'x8'. He had me sit down in one of the chairs and he sat at the desk. He told me a bit about the specifics of what was going on with my vision and then got out a piece of paper with the rules and instructions at the top, spaces for prices at the bottom, and a space for payment information. He told me that he could give me only one discount, and he took off $350 dollars and then took off an additional $200 because I was paying in cash. (No, I'm not rich, I worked extra and saved up for this). He said that the end price would be $3,250 and I told him that I needed to call my husband. He stepped out into the hall and closed the door while I called my husband. After my phone call, I stepped out into the hallway and called the gentleman back in. I told him that I was only allowed to spend $3,000 and he said that he couldn't change the price but that I could put the remainder of the $250 on credit at no interest. He then gave me a brochure for this credit. He asked me then if I would like to continue on with the rest of the exam. I told him yes. We then scheduled my surgery date. He was suggesting that I do the surgery the next day (July 25th) but I knew that I couldn't do that date or the next week, so we scheduled it for 5:30am on Friday, August 8th. I was supposed to be there at 4:30am with no makeup or perfume on. I was supposed to eat something before I went because they would be giving me a light sedative and I was supposed to wear warm clothes and no flip flops or open toed shoes.

He then guided me back through the waiting area and into another hallway. At the end of the hallway, I paid my $150 with credit card and then I was instructed to go back into the main waiting room. I returned and waited for about fifteen or twenty minutes. Then, I was called back into the last hallway and taken to a row of machines where you look at an image of a hot air balloon. The gentlemen there told me to go to the waiting room just across the hall from where that was. I went in and sat down and read for a while and then a young lady came in with drops to dilate my eyes. She spoke with short, simple sentences and did not make eye contact with me. She told me to tilt my head back and she squirted eye drops into my eyes. These drops stung quite a bit. She gave me a kleenex and told me that she'd be back in five minutes to put in more drops. She came back in five minutes and put in more drops. At this point there were about four or five other people in this second waiting room having the same thing done.

After this, I was called down the hall to another office where a doctor looked at my eyes (and I remember thinking that he was very nice) and then I was sent to wait in another waiting room near the back of the facility. Another test was run back there. Then, I was called to wait in a room for Dr. Boothe. I waited here for about 15 or 20 minutes. He came in and I said, "Hi" and smiled. He said, "Hello." He was with an older lady. He looked at my eyes using some eye-looker thingy (haha) and then asked, "Do you have any questions?" I asked him if there was going to be any lifting restrictions after the surgery since I have a baby. He answered, "No." Now, I'm going to give my opinion here, but I'm not going to get all emotional about it: I remember thinking at the time, "Oh he IS just like he was in that advertisement on the TV. He really doesn't have a personality." He was very dry, never made eye contact unless he was looking at my eyes, he and the older nurse with him seemed to have a system where he would just reach out and she would give him a tool or the papers that he needed. I did not feel comfortable with him, but I knew that he did a good job from the people that I had spoken with, so I wasn't worried about it. The nurse handed him a prescription which he read out the three things that were on there and reiterated the instructions that had already been given to me earlier.

After this portion of the appointment, I went to the main checkout area and the nurse went over the rules again and explained that I needed to get the eye drops on my prescription, that I could get the codine if I wanted to but I probably wouldn't need it, and that I would need a ton of sterile eye drops in individual droppers and she recommended a brand which she wrote down on my paper.

After that I left! My whole pre-op took until 1:15pm.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Review your experience with Dr. Boothe

Hey ladies and gents!

I've recently decided to get LASIK done on my eyes and I was having quite a bit of trouble finding reviews over people's experience at Boothe Eye Care and Laser Center that weren't entirely melodramatic and that had actual information about the process. So, I thought that I'd just start up my own place for people to do that in the future!

So, post a comment below about your experience. Your comment MUST have all of the following information or it WILL be deleted. You may not write anything along the lines of "there were no pros":

Date of Surgery:
Cost of Surgery:
Questions to Ask:
Additional Details:

Thanks for everyone's input!