Levi’s story: LASIK is ’the way to go’

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

By: Alysha Schertz

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Levi Cotter, 23, has been wearing glasses since he was 12 years old. He switched to contacts once he got to high school, but it wasn’t until he got LASIK surgery at BayCare Clinic® Eye Specialists that he realized how much easier his life could be.


At the age of 19, Levi enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard.


There, it’s against protocol to wear contacts. He was given a pair of army-issued glasses to wear.  He completed basic training and a deployment in Afghanistan, but the glasses made it challenging for him.


“Even the best fitting glasses are going to fall off your face when you start to sweat,” Levi says. “If you’ve ever done any military training, even if it’s really cold outside you’re going to be sweating… you can wear a retainer, but when anything gets moist it gets slippery and even the retainer can fail.”


Levi, who suffered from severe near sightedness without his glasses, was often forced to carry two pairs of glasses with him in case the pair he was wearing fell off and got broken in the field.


At the age of 19, Levi Cotter enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard.


“It’s kind of hard to carry your rifle, or really do anything, if you’re constantly pushing your glasses up on your face,” Levi says.


Levi’s team leader, Josh, had gotten LASIK surgery and encouraged Levi to explore that option.


“I was surprised to find out he had gotten LASIK,” Levi says.


He was also surprised to learn Josh’s vision post-surgery was even better than when he had worn corrective lenses.


Levi completed his deployment and returned home to Green Bay in November 2019.


He scheduled an appointment with Dr. Larry Meyer, ophthalmologist with BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists in Green Bay.


“I met with Dr. Meyer, he did an exam and walked me through the process and about a week later I was scheduled for surgery,” Levi says.


BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists offers LASIK that is customized for each patient.


During the procedure, one laser creates a flap in the cornea, folding back a small portion of the cornea’s top layer. Then a second laser reshapes the inner cornea. Once that’s done, the flap is folded back and locks into place.


“The surgery itself was very quick. I think the whole process took 45 minutes to an hour,” Levi says. “I would say it felt a little uncomfortable, but it didn’t hurt- that was surprising for me. It felt a little like someone was pinching your eyeball, but it wasn’t painful.”


Reshaping the cornea improves a patient’s vision.


According to Levi, his vision improved immediately, but the real difference came the next day.


“Everything was sharper,” he says. “My life is 100 percent better. I’m an active guy, and there wasn’t anything I felt like I couldn’t do before, but everything now is so much easier.”


The staff was great to work with too, says Levi.


“Dr. Meyer. I trust this guy,” he says. “He’s got a reassuring voice and he’s very professional. He talked to me throughout the whole procedure, made sure I was feeling OK. After surgery he got me up and before I could even talk to my dad he went over and let him know how everything went, gave him his own information packet and his card in case he had any questions. That was really nice.”


Levi still participates in training with the U.S. Army National Guard and is relieved he no longer has to worry about his glasses falling off or fogging up.


“LASIK is the way to go… all the time,” Levi says. “If you can afford LASIK, get it. It’s worth it.”


You don’t have to spend years saving if LASIK surgery is right for you.


BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists offers a variety of financing options for those interested in LASIK surgery.


Dr. Larry Meyer is an ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained corneal specialist and refractive surgeon with BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists. He sees patients in Green Bay and Marinette. Request an appointment online or by calling 920-327-7000 in Green Bay or 715-732-4181 in Marinette.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.