With eight locations throughout the Greater Boston area, including two in the Merrimack Valley, Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group has been helping patients improve their vision and keep their eyes healthy since 2000. (sponsored)
When Dr. Samir Melki started Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group in 2000, he had two main goals. He wanted to establish an “academic” practice that would focus on new research and technological developments in the fields of eye health and vision care, and he wanted to provide his patients with a positive experience both medically and from a customer service perspective. Since opening the original office in Brookline, Melki has expanded the practice to include offices in Lawrence, Wellesley, Medford, Norwood, West Roxbury and Norfolk. Just recently, Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group also opened an office in Andover.
Perhaps best known for excellence in LASIK surgery (according to Medicine.net, LASIK is an abbreviation for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, a kind of laser eye surgery designed to change the shape of the cornea to eliminate or reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses …”), Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group also offers a number of other eye care services including cataract and retinal surgery, and screenings and treatment for diseases of the cornea and retina. Cosmetic procedures including Botox injections, surgical eyelid lifts, dermal fillers and collagen treatments are also available at the practice.
“Although not everyone is a fit for LASIK surgery — screening is required to determine if a patient is a fit — the procedure can offer permanent improvement for people who are dependent on glasses and contact lenses. In many cases, people will no longer need to wear glasses at all,” Melki says. “It’s important to note, too, that because of recent innovations in LASIK technology some people who were not candidates for the surgery in the past might be candidates for it now.”
According to Melki, the LASIK process at Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group begins with a patient evaluation that takes about two hours. “We discuss what results the patient is looking for as well as the risks of the surgery, and do a number of tests before we tell them what their options are,” Melki says. “Sometimes people who aren’t candidates for LASIK might qualify for other vision-correcting procedures, such as implantable contact lenses.”
According to the Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group website, the LASIK surgery itself only takes about 12 minutes.
“Patients feel some pressure, but not really much pain,” Melki says. “For 80 percent of our patients, the recovery time is also fairly quick. People are usually very happy with the results. We have a 98 percent satisfaction rate.”
North Andover resident Laurie McGovern, 58, recently had LASIK surgery at Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group. According to McGovern, she had been relying on reading glasses for years to perform simple tasks, such as working in her garden and doing projects around the house.
“My eyesight was getting progressively worse,” McGovern says. “I was constantly on and off with the glasses. It was getting so tedious, but I didn’t want to wear contact lenses.”
McGovern’s husband and son had both had LASIK surgery years before and were happy with the results, so when a store clerk recommended Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group to her, McGovern decided to make an appointment.
“The surgery was very quick, but it took longer for me than most people to recover. My eyes were so light sensitive I could barely keep them open. I was very nervous, but they took my concerns very seriously. A doctor was always available, and the aftercare I received was awesome. After a month, my eyes were fine,” McGovern says.
McGovern had one of her eyes corrected for nearsightedness and the other corrected for farsightedness, so she will no longer need to wear glasses.
“I can read, garden — do tasks like pruning that require up-close vision. I can even thread a needle,” McGovern says. “It’s great being able to get dressed up and go out to dinner now. I don’t need to use readers to see the menu. I would highly recommend LASIK surgery. It’s changed my life. It was definitely worth it even though my recovery time was longer than average.”
To people who might be thinking about LASIK surgery but are nervous about possibly getting the procedure done, Melki says, “I want people to consider their options seriously because any type of surgery involves some risks, but I also would say that we’ve been around a while now. We have a lot of expertise.”
Famous Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group LASIK patients have included retired Boston Red Sox player Jim Rice and Mark Recchi of the Boston Bruins.
Although LASIK surgery isn’t covered by many health insurance plans, Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group offers free initial consultations as well as financing and payment plans. Patients with questions can chat online with someone in the office via a link on the practice’s website.
Although LASIK surgery is what Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group is most well-known for, Melki says that it represents only about 30 percent of what the practice does. “People might not be aware that cataract surgery has really evolved in recent years. We screen diabetes patients, and perform retinal surgeries. In the last five years, we have also implemented many innovations in the treatment of dry eye, something that can be debilitating for patients,” Melki says.
Melki is the author of three textbooks on LASIK, corneal and cataract surgery. He is on staff at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both in Boston. Melki also operates a fellowship training program at Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group in conjunction with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group’s new Andover location is located at 323 Lowell St., near the Internal Revenue Service building. The practice’s other Merrimack Valley location is next to Lawrence General Hospital at 25 Marston St. Appointments can be booked online or by calling (617) 566-0062.
Boston Laser — Boston Eye Group