I Can See! Hunter Vision 3D LASIK Eye Surgery Review

I’d been wearing glasses/contacts for 18 years now, and was basically blind without them. I’m talking a prescription of -7 and thick, embarrassing glasses for a ten-year old. I temporarily remedied my “blindness” by turning to contacts and finally finding the CUTEST pair of hipster nerdy eyeglasses around. However, I was still constantly falling asleep in my contacts (bad!), and as Hubby liked to joke, would be handicapped if a zombie apocalypse occurred (yep, we’re fans of the TV show The Walking Dead). So I decided to take action, and finally get LASIK. Oh, and there’s a video! Uh huh, reeeeaddd onnn.

I went with Hunter Vision out of the RDV in Orlando, Florida for several reasons. I knew people who had gone to Dr. Hunter and had a great experience. I also liked the staff, and got a great deal by locking in a last minute appointment! But aside from that, their equipment is top-of-the line and Dr. Hunter is very knowledgeable and personable.

I particularly liked how they offer LASIK 3D, which of course is a marketing thing, but really did mean 2 things. They use fancy expensive  cameras to take 3D images of the eye. This helps to see if you are in fact a good candidate for LASIK, or if you would have major issues down the road. Because of this diagnostic tool, they actually turn down a lot more people as candidates than most other LASIK places. They want to be sure you’re a perfect candidate and will get great results!

Style Trials Lasik 3D Image

A fancy picture of my eye for 3D LASIK by Hunter Vision.

Style Trials Lasik 3D

Side view of my eyeball.

The other thing with 3D LASIK is the type of laser they use. It’s built to retain the natural curvature of your eye as much as possible, which especially helps someone like me with a really bad prescription. This also helps reduce night “light halos,” which is a common side effect people experience for a few months after.

LASIK COST

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “how much does LASIK cost?” Well, I have to tell you that it really depends! I looked at a few clinics, and they all had different options. Mainly, the difference in cost was associated with whether you wanted an “eye warranty” and for how long. They also price per eye, and averages range between $1,500 – $3,000 per eye.

I also had to buy prescribed drops, which is standard with any LASIK surgery. This helps with inflammation, healing, and dry eyes – Restasis eyedrops, Refresh Plus eyedrops, and to some other prescription drops be exact. Even with insurance, these drops still added up to over $200 (I think it was over $600 without), so something you should account for when anticipating costs.

DAY OF PROCEDURE

I have to say, I got really nervous the day of surgery when I realized they were actually going to be cutting my eyeball now (gulp)! In fact, the night before I almost cancelled, but instead decided to eat myself into an Italian food coma so the day would come quicker.

You aren’t allowed to wear any makeup on surgery day either, as well as any eye makeup for the next week. If you’ve read my review on my favorite mascara, you’ll know that was a tough one to swallow!

The day of, I went into the office and they gave me numbing eye drops and half a Valium to calm any nerves.

StyleTrials Lasik Eye Surgery ReviewStyle Trials Lasik Vision Surgery

Dr. Hunter also told me a few key things to expect during surgery. Boy am I glad he did, otherwise I think I would have freaked out during certain parts! Here’s what he told me and exactly what happened.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING SURGERY

  • They work on one eye at a time, and it literally takes only a few minutes to complete. You’re done with the entire surgery in about 20 minutes.
  • They use this thing to keep your top and bottom eyelids open while they’re working on that eye. It felt weird, but not nearly as weird as I expected.
  • They use a tool to hold your eyeball in place. He told me I would feel pressure on that eyeball, and then temporarily lose vision in that eye. That’s exactly what happened, which was kind of strange since you know your eye is wide open. It honestly just felt like it was closed the whole time, so no biggie there.
  • The next step is the laser. He rolled me over to another machine (I stayed reclined in the same chair), and the laser part took about 10-15 seconds. Super quick! All you do during this part is look at a green light, and you don’t feel anything. The only thing you will notice is a smell like a firework. Dr. Hunter forewarned me about this, and told me it’s something that happens when the laser actually hits the air…it’s NOT your eyeball burning.

Check it out for yourself. My hubby was present during the surgery, and took a video of my LASIK procedure!

 

SUCCESS! I was soooo relieved and HAPPY when I was done. Can you tell?

Style Trials Hunter Vision 3d Lasik

AFTER LASIK

 Immediately after this picture was taken, I could already see better than before. My eyes were still numb from the numbing drops, but things were definitely less blurry! I also got some “super cool” shades to wear for the day. 🙂

I was tasked with putting in some prescription drops for the next week, along with those awesome Refresh Plus Eyedrops for the rest of surgery day every 15 minutes. Those things are awesome, and I still use them! Even if you don’t have LASIK, I recommend these drops as it dramatically helps with dry eyes and redness on a daily basis.

I’m not going to say that everything from there was rosy, because it definitely got worse when the numbing drops wore off. It never really hurt, just more watery eye irritation and my vision got blurry again. The best way to describe it is if you’ve ever scratched your eye before, or worn a contact lens that was ripped or inside out. That kind of irritation lasted for about an hour, but I found the Refresh Plus Eyedrops really helped the irritation. Then there was a moment when I guess the “eye flap” seals itself (about an hour or so after surgery), and you immediately feel relief! From there, things just continue to get better throughout the day, and your vision improves. By the end of the night, my vision was amazingly clear but still a little blurry at a distance.

They give you plastic eye barriers to tape over your eyes when you sleep for the next few days. You aren’t supposed to rub/touch your eyes, and this helps prevent that while sleeping. The next morning, I woke up and could see the alarm clock! So weird! My vision (thank God) was perfect.

There was a post-op appt. the next day, and everything looked good. I actually was better than 20/20, I was 20/15! I setup a 3 month, 6 month, and year followup appointment.

SIDE EFFECTS

There are typically 2 common side effects from LASIK. The first is halos around lights, which people particularly experience while driving at night. I had this for literally 2 days after surgery, and it was not even bad then. I don’t experience light halos at all now (maybe the 3D laser really did help), but of course everyone is different.

The second is dry eyes. After surgery, you have to put the Restasis prescription drops in twice a day to help with chronic dryness. Your eyes are healing over the next 6 months, so you will most likely have dry eyes. Along with Restasis, I’m continuing my Refresh Plus Eyedrops. I do experience dry eyes still, and it’s been about 2 months since my surgery. However, Dr. Hunter said that it will get better over the next few months, and I have felt an improvement.

OVERALL

Overall, this is probably the best money I’ve spent! I keep trying to take my contacts out at night, and then realize I’m not wearing them. No more having to run to the store when I run out or forget to pack contact solution, and no worrying about losing a contact lens. If you have anymore questions about my LASIK eye surgery, definitely let me know. Just leave me a comment below or email me and I’ll respond. 🙂

I just want to say a quick “THANK YOU” to Dr. Hunter and his team at Hunter Vision. They really were awesome to work with, and did an amazing job!

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Now the question is, should I get non-prescription lenses put back into my Rayban eyeglasses??? I still love them and definitely want the option to wear as an accessory!


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Comments

  1. Crystal says:

    I told you how nervous I am to go the Lasik route, but you totally make the whole process sound easy. I’m not sure I have the guts to do it, but you are definitely pushing me in that direction. I would love to go a day without contacts or glasses!

    • Kristen says:

      It’s so awesome, I definitely recommend it! Especially since you travel a lot…you won’t have to worry about packing all the extra stuff! 🙂

  2. Nicholas says:

    The FAQs from his website say that the surgery is 100% bladeless.. But it looks like a blade was used to open up the flap in your eye? Do they have a more precise bladeless option?

    • Hi Nicholas! Thanks for stopping by. I reached out to Hunter Vision in regards to your question, since it was more on the technical side. Here’s what they said.

      “With regard to the procedure, it was indeed bladeless. Dr. Hunter used the Intralase femtosecond laser to create the flap, rather than using a blade.”

      They also mentioned they’d be delighted for you to come into their clinic for a complimentary consultation, and to determine if you are a candidate. If you have any additional technical questions, Claire Jordan at Hunter Vision is more than willing to help. She can be reached at cjordan@huntervision.com.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

  3. Pat Romo says:

    I don’t see distance well and can’t read at all without my glasses. Can your surgery help both far and nearsighted people? I ave heard that if you fix the nearsightedness, the you will have problems with distance vision?

    • Hi Pat! I had problems with distance (-7 in each eye), and after LASIK surgery, I am 100% good without needing glasses or contacts! 🙂

  4. Kristen,
    I am the Surgery Counselor here at Hunter Vision (not when you were here) and I have to say this was the most precise review I’ve ever heard a patient share. I had a patient who came in this morning with great questions and said “I read this review from a blog….” and later showed this to me. I’m tasked with telling patients what to expect and walking them through all the logistics leading up to the procedure and I could literally send every patient a link to this post and save a whole lot of talking. Thanks for taking the time you did as it clearly helps people feel more comfortable with LASIK and using Hunter Vision. Dr. Hunter really tries to have this office be a cut above (flap humor allowed?). Cheers!

    Rory Swindell
    Surgery Counselor

    • Hi Rory! Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to write this nice comment! I had a really great experience at Hunter Vision and my eyes have been perfect ever since. Please feel free to share my post with anyone that you think it may help or on your social channels, sites, etc. I’m happy to help spread the word! 🙂

  5. A video i watched says large pupils and dry eyes can prevent you from being a candidate. Can you help me? i do not know what surgery path to take or who to use.

    • Hi Grace! I know that Hunter Vision is very particular about who they accept as a candidate, which I really liked. If they don’t think you’ll have good results then they will tell you, but the best way to find out is to do a free consultation. I haven’t heard about large pupils and dry eyes being a factor (although they may be), but to give you a frame of reference I do have really large eyes in general and I did not have chronic dry eyes. You can book your free consult at their website here http://www.huntervision.com/, or give them a call at 407-385-1620. Hope that helps!

  6. How are the aftereffects like halos and dry eye now you it’s been six months since the surgery?

    • Prior to the surgery, I never had halos but my eyes would sometimes feel dry likely due to my contacts. After the surgery, still halos were not an issue but I did have problems with dry eyes. I continued using Restasis for that 6 months after, and it definitely helped A LOT. It’s now just shy of 2 years since my surgery, and still no problems with halos but occasional dry eyes usually just when I’m on the computer all day. I keep Refresh eye drops on me and at my desk for when that happens, and it’s not a problem enough that I feel I need to go back on Restasis. I would still do the surgery all over again, and several of my friends have gone to Hunter Vision since and also loved their results. One friend in particular had a problem with light sensitivity prior to her surgery, then the day after her surgery she was very, very sensitive to light but only for that one day.

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