THE DIRECTORY OF OPTOMETRISTS & OPHTHALMOLOGISTS IN WASHINGTON DC

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3.4

The Eye Center

Optometrists

Merrifield, 8316 Arlington Blvd Fairfax, VA
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Gretchen P.

Since I just came from my 4-month post-LASIK appointment, I figured now is as good a time as any to finally review The Eye Center! As you may have guessed, I received LASIK surgery here in October 2013. My prescription, prior to the surgery, was absolutely TERRIBLE (-7.5 -- which, for reference, is pretty much blind-as-a-bat-without-your-glasses-blind), and as someone who has worn contact lenses since she was 11 years old, and glasses since age 7, I honestly couldn't wait to free myself from their oppressive reign.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little bit dramatic, but waking up and not even being able to see your alarm clock, or going to sleep and having to feel your way from the bathroom to your bed in the dark? That kind of stuff affects you, man! And now? I honestly have almost forgotten what my pre-LASIK life was like. It's amazing to be able to wake up and see, to have your nighttime ritual reduced to brushing your teeth and hopping into bed, and to know that if I fall asleep on someone's couch one weekend, I won't wake up with my contacts stuck behind my eyelids.

The Eye Center, which I chose after my sister-in-law had a successful and pleasant experience with her own LASIK surgery, has truly been great. The staff at The Eye Center have never been anything but awesome with me, especially one of the technicians, Rachel (not sure of her actual title, but she's great!). And while I probably only spent like 20 minutes in total with Dr. Boutros (including the time spent doing the surgery!) he was, contrary to what a lot of these reviews say, really nice to me. He made some jokes, put me at ease (because the dose of Valium that they gave me beforehand didn't really do as much as I was hoping), and explained everything that he was doing to my eyes as it was happening.

Here is pretty much what my LASIK experience was like:

- You have to stop wearing your contact lenses at least 2 weeks prior to the surgery. I hate wearing glasses, so this was close to the worst part for me, haha.
- You get a prescription for special eye drops to use the morning of your surgery.
- You go in for your surgery appointment (have someone drive you), and I scheduled mine early in the day (9 AM) so I did not experience the long wait times that some of the other reviewers are complaining about. I don't really remember waiting all that long, in fact.
- They run some final tests, take you into a room and give you a Valium to calm you down. I don't think the Valium actually had a super intense effect on me, but it did calm me a little.
- The surgery happens. It's a little scary, because you're awake and there are a lot of bright lights and noises, but they have fully prepared you for everything that you experience, so there are really no surprises.
- After the surgery, you can already see slightly better!
- You go home, take another Valium, plus two ibuprofen, and try to go to sleep. I had a lot of trouble falling asleep, again, because the Valium dose wasn't particularly high for my weight/body type, so this was the worst part. Because after about an hour, your eyes start to hurt and MOST people are probably asleep for this part but it took me a really long time to pass out.
- Once you DO fall asleep, you wake up a couple hours later and YOU CAN SEE!
- You go back the next day for a follow up appt, then the next week, then a month later, then 3 months... well, you get the picture.
- You use artificial tears and the special eyedrops you already picked up according to the doctor's instructions. Your eyes will be dry and nighttime driving will be scary for the first week or so. No makeup for a week, no working out for a week.
- BUT YOU CAN SEE!!

My LASIK cost about $4,000 in total (mine was slightly more expensive than my sister-in-law's since my prescription was basically twice as bad as hers). I did not get the warranty option since it requires yearly eye visits that cost extra money, and since they explain that regardless of whether you have perfect vision your whole life, or if you get LASIK, with how the eyes age I will probably end up needing reading glasses after the age of 40 anyway. So I figure that while, yes, my perfect 20/15 (!!) vision may not truly last forever, honestly it's already been worth the price. Plus they have a thing with Wells Fargo where you can finance the procedure for 0% APR for 12 months. Also, if you have a Flexible Spending Account as part of your healthcare, you can use that towards your LASIK and save a few extra tax dollars!

I highly recommend The Eye Center if you are considering LASIK. It's not the most pleasant experience in the world, but it wasn't terrible, and c'mon! I can SEE! Worth every penny.

 
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Shannon A.

Absolutely the worst experience ever This so-called Doctor treats his patients like meat. The day of my surgery there were over 15 patients in the lobby all waiting. I was given some medication and told to wait in the lobby. When it was finally my 'turn', he was unapologetic and just wanted to make sure I signed all waivers so he wouldn't be sued later on. What a scumbag.

Its obvious he is only in it for the money and tries to herd in customers like cattle and handle as many patients as possible. There are so many other places that do a better job. DO NOT GO HERE.

If you have to wait 3 hours for surgery imagine what follow-up visits are like??!?!

 
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Ryan J.

I had iLASIK surgery from Doctor Boutros a mere 24 hours ago and I am now writing this review from 20 ft. away, using a fork attached to a dowel rod just to test the power of my newly adjusted sight. My vision is now INCREDIBLE! Maybe my enthusiasm level is a tad bit too high, but I have never had such clarity of vision until now.

From start to finish, everyone at The Eye Center was thorough in making sure I understood the entire iLASIK process and ensuring that I was a good candidate for the surgery. Even though I darn near had an anxiety attack prior to the procedure, I was well-aware of what was going on. These folks run a great practice, and are certainly a part of why I chose to purchase a warranty with my surgery. If I need any kind of iLASIK enhancement, I would not think to go anywhere else. I would recommend The Eye Center to anyone interested in improving their vision.

Having your eyes cut open and then reshaped by lasers is a very daunting task. The staff here will have you looking forward to everything!

 
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Taylor E.

I had iLasik here a year and a half or two years ago (I honestly can't remember). I had worn glasses and contacts since I was 13 and my vision at the time of surgery was something like -4.00 and -4.25. I went in for my consultation and they said I was a good candidate (yay!). I had the actual surgery pretty soon after that first thing on a Saturday morning. They really do pack the surgeries in on the weekends so I was glad to have the second appointment of the day. I didn't meet Dr. Boutros himself until I was high on Valium. He explained the procedure, and several other things I don't recall, when I was under the influence of Valium...which was a little strange. BUT, it's a great anti-anxiety drug, so no complaints here. Because of the drugs, I have no concept of how long the procedure actual took...but probably between 3-5 minutes. It's the weirdest experience ever...but worth it in the end.

The same day I had perfect vision...along with a lot of pain. They give you another Valium to take when you get home so that you can pass out right away and sleep through the worst of it. They SAY that for a Saturday surgery you can return to work on Monday, which I did. However, for me at least, It was too soon and I had to leave work early. I probably had extra issues because my job was to stare at a computer screen all day...which exacerbates the recovery symptoms.

Included in the surgery fee is a year's worth of follow up visits. It's something like every month...then every three months...and so on. I had more than normal because I was experiencing dry eye. The optometrists that work there are super nice and helpful. I never had a bad experience with one. The nurses and reception staff are super great too.

In regards to other people's comments about Dr. Boutrous...his bedside manner is lacking. But seriously...he's good at what he does and you only have to spend like five minutes total with him (while on drugs), so who really cares if he's friendly or not? That's how I feel about it at least.

Overall, I would certainly recommend this practice. They always always are having some radio special or something so make sure you aren't paying full price.

 
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Courtney F.

What a rude and patronizing appointment person. I won't attempt to call again for another appointment. WOW

 
5.0

True Eyecare

Optometrists, Eyewear & Opticians

6015A Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA
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James L.

I found this business by accident, when I was visiting a cleaner next door. It is located in a small strip mall across from the Dominion Hills pool. I had lost my glasses and was leaving on a trip. Dr. My-Hahn Trieu gave me an exam, and they then made a new pair of glasses on the spot, for $99 including the frame and the lens. A few months later I returned with a problem with one of temples. I take my glasses on-and-off frequently, and they take a fair amount of punishment. Dr. Trieu gave me a new frame, free on the 1 year warranty, and I was out of the shop in a couple of minutes. I highly recommend you consider this place for eye exams. The selection of new frames is not huge, but in my case, I found a pair I liked for a good price, and had everything done in less than an hour.

 
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michelle y.

I take my parents every year to get their eye exams and glasses and can i tell you it is one of the most excruciating experiences ever, that is until I found this office and Dr. T. The place my parents used to go to United Optical in Alexandria which closed a few years back, thank goodness, so I had to search for a new place that was accepted by their insurance. I was weary with it being in a small strip mall but it is down the street from my parents' house so we gave it a go.

I can't tell you how much I love the place. The selection does not look to be so big but it is big enough and they carry such a wide range of styles and designers so it works. The best part though is Dr. Trieu who is kind, patient, has a good sense of humor AND is knowledgeable as well. She actually listens to what you are saying, she even does the glass fittings at times and will also suggest better frames if the ones that you picked are not quite right.

The reason why I hate taking my parents is that for some reason their glasses were always ill fitting and usually accompanied by another trip to the office to try and adjust them and then still not fitting and my dad trying to adjust them and breaking them etc. Every year, year after year. My parents are Korean and so I go so for the language reason. My dad gets mad feeling like the people do not listen to him, my mom complains for any reason that she can find, nightmare I tell you. Well after finding True Eyecare the visits are actually pleasant and both parents' love, love their glasses and find that they fit super well. The bifocals are perfectly lined up, the frames do not pinch, etc. They also look great. I don't know what else to say other than Thank you!

I am surprised that there are not more positive reviews but that may be b/c a lot of the patients that I see there are Vietnamese speaking families with kids and adults so maybe not exactly the yelping population.

 
5.0

Target Optical

Eyewear & Opticians

1200 Edwards Ferry Rd Leesburg, VA
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Alexa M.

I have had excellent experiences here over the last 5 years. I've been coming here since 2009. I have brought one of my kids here as well.

The O.D.s Dr. Gage and Dr. Bierly are excellent. I typically see Dr. Gage but I have also seen Dr. Bierly. They are thorough and complete; they do not rush the exam and are very careful with recommendations.

The eyeglass part of the store is also good. I have never had a problem with them and I have used them a few times. They are honest about how long it will take and also seem to try to really help you pick out glasses that are right for you.

I would highly recommend this optometry practice and store.

 
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Hope C.

Dr. Marsha Gage is amazing! She sees my entire family. She is always thorough and patient. Best eye exam I have ever had and she fits us in on Saturdays.

The ladies in the store to help with glasses and contacts are always there to help me. They always make sure we are getting the best use of insurance and their sales. They have great brand names and the newest styles.

I would recommend everyone give them a try.

 
1.0

The Eye Center

Optometrists, Laser Eye Surgery/Lasik

44055 Riverside Pkwy Leesburg, VA
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GoodDay S.

Dr. Pearlman is decent, but if you care about office staff or time of wait - don't go here.

One lab tech is great (the one I saw) the other is NOT (who my husband saw last time). Most importantly, the front desk ladies, are very unprofessional.

Status: They over charge you, you tell them, they don't verify, they still over charge you, you go back to get your refund, and they sing "she's baaackkk"...

Consider yourself 'not a valued customer' who just got disparaged behind your back without fair cause. (Mind you, they over charged me! If you don't mind being over charged these days, AND being talked about behind your back - go on it for your eye exam.)

Dr. Pealman - be advised your front office staff is not helping your business. And neither are you based on the letter you sent me after your staff behaved this way.

 
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Kim F.

This post is in regards to the Leesburg location. Over the past several years my elderly mother has gone to The Eye Center for her regular eye examines. A couple of years ago at age 79 she begin to experience trouble seeing out of one of her eyes. She called The Eye Center in July and expressed her symptoms, condition and her change in vision. The reception informed her that the earliest they could see her was September. Trusting that this medical staff had her best at heart - after all she had been a patient for many years, she scheduled the appointment for September. That September she went to The Eye Center to learn that she had advanced stages of AMD in her one eye. She was immediately referred to a retina special - her condition was so advance, that a same day appointment to the retina specialist was required. The outcome became that she lost the eye sight in her right eye. The retina specialist told her if she had come sooner he could have saved or save a portion of her vision. As the months have gone along, my mother has faithfully gone to the retina specialist every six weeks for regular checks on her eyes and for careful watch of her AMD. She has also gone to The Eye Center for regular vision check ups. A week ago my mother went to The Eye Center for one of these regular visits and learned that she had high pressure in both of her eye's and the early stages of glaucoma. The Eye Center doctor showed absolutely NO sign of urgency and scheduled a follow up appointment for a month later. This was even after my mother expressing her concern of saving her ONE good eye. Fortunately, my mother had an appointment with her retina special a week later. He too was concerned over the pressure in her eye. My mother shared with him the outcome of her visit to the doctor at The Eye Center. The retina specialist was so alarmed at the lack of urgency to tend the only good eye she had that he referred her to another doctor, specialist. I'm relived to say that this doctor was amazing and could NOT understand why any reputable doctor would delay treatment of glaucoma when there is only one eye left to save. As of today my mother has started eye drops, canceled her future follow up appointment with The Eye Center and will never return. I urge anyone who reads this post to give great thought and consideration to your eye care. You only have one set of eyes and this place does NOT fine that important. Proceed with great caution!!!

 
1.0

The Eye Center

Optometrists, Ophthalmologists

4900 Seminary Rd Alexandria, VA
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R R.

Terrible experience, wish I had read the reviews of their other VA locations. I called ahead of time to verify that I had insurance money left this calendar year to cover contacts. First receptionist said yes, and that my eye exam would be fully covered as well as my contacts. I went ahead and booked, as otherwise would have just ordered contacts online. Upon arrival to my appt, the receptionist told me that I had no credit available and showed a different date for my last re-order than the first receptionist (could have been the same person for all I know). After several questions from me, she realized that I DID in fact, have partial credit (not full like one person said, or none like she originally said).

Doctor was 45 minutes late. She had no clue what type of contacts I had ordered the previous two years from them, which was important since I wanted to go back to my original kind. I would think that would be an important bit of information for a doctor to have. She then told me there was a "contact lens fitting" fee of $60 in addition to my co pay for the eye exam. Told her I was never informed of that and I had specifically called to find out the charges before booking, and she said, "well it gets very confusing for them". I still have no clue how I was "fit" for contacts....I wore my own in, wore my own out, and never tried on any others. She never looked in my eyes when had my contacts in. Oh, but she was kind to quote me different prices on 30 and 90 day supplies of various contacts.

Then, she wanted to know how old my glasses were....which I never wear. And of course, asked if I was interested in buying a pair. At least she did say that if I don't wear them much, there really wasn't a "need" to.

Normally I would be okay with the actual eye exam since it was very quick and my eyes don't typically change year to year. However, given this experience, it makes me realize I read a total of 4 lines (2 per eye) and then had drops put in to look for glaucoma. Probably not the most thorough exam.

And then when placing my order for contacts with the doctor, she says it is $25 to have them sent to my home! I said to forget it and I would just order them online where they will ship them for free.

When I complained at the front desk about the additional charge and said I would not sign the credit card receipt, the receptionist told me I "had" to since she had swiped the card. I wrote on the receipt that I would be contesting the unauthorized charge for services not rendered.

This place is all about the money and not patient care, and I felt like it was a bait and switch with the "fitting" charge.

 
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J R.

I arrived at 3:15 for a 3:30 appointment. When I was not seen by 3:50, I told the desk that obviously they had overbooked, and that they should call me to reschedule, when they can keep the appointment. I will not be back.

 
 
 
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