Can You Get LASIK in Your 50s? At the Moran Eye Center, it Wasn’t Too Late for Restaurateur Tamara Gibo

Nov 27, 2019 9:00 AM


Tamara Gibo’s path to LASIK vision-correction surgery was longer than most. But when she finally met with specialist Amy Lin, MD, at the Moran Eye Center, everything came into focus.

Restaurateur Tamara Gibo is pictured at her renowned downtown Salt Lake City Japanese restaurant, Takashi.
Restaurateur Tamara Gibo is pictured at her renowned downtown Salt Lake City Japanese restaurant, Takashi.

In 2004, Tamara Gibo was so busy working with her husband, Takashi, to open their renowned downtown Salt Lake City Japanese restaurant, her eyesight was the furthest thing from her mind.

“The restaurant is dark at night, and looking back, for those first several years, I just accepted that some things were blurry,” she said. “But one night a regular customer came in wearing really cool glasses. I tried them on, just for fun. I couldn’t believe how much better I could see! Those glasses were a revelation.”

Unforeseen challenges

Gibo got a prescription for progressive lenses (bifocals without a line) and bought some designer frames.

“The glasses were a big improvement, but much as I tried, my eyes just couldn’t adjust to them,” she said. “At Takashi, I’m always circulating and greeting people. When I wore the glasses, I could see across the room, but I couldn’t see what was on the floor—which can be dangerous in a restaurant. To read a menu or anything up close, I still had to take the glasses off, as my near vision was better without the glasses. So I lost my glasses easily. Also, I started to feel like the glasses made me look old.”

Gibo found contacts equally inconvenient. She started dreaming about getting LASIK, a laser vision surgery that could improve her vision without the need for contacts or glasses.

“Tamara was a perfect candidate for LASIK. I’m happy to go up to age 55 with LASIK if the patient qualifies. It’s all very personalized at Moran, so each surgeon sees his or her patients every step of the way, starting with a treatment plan suited to the patient’s age and prescription.”

Amy Lin, MD

Checking out LASIK

“We were expecting our first grandbaby, and I didn’t want to be taking glasses on and off with him in my arms,” said Gibo. “But people told me different things. I was in my fifties, and I heard I was too old for LASIK. Then I heard I was too young. I finally decided to go to the Moran Eye Center.

At Moran, Gibo met with Amy Lin, MD, who says people in their 50s may be great candidates for LASIK.

“Tamara was a perfect candidate for LASIK,” said Lin. “I’m happy to go up to age 55 with LASIK if the patient qualifies. It’s all very personalized at Moran, so each surgeon sees his or her patients every step of the way, starting with a treatment plan suited to the patient’s age and prescription.”

In Gibo’s case, monovision to correct vision in just one eye was a good option.

“It’s common to correct just one eye,” said Lin. “But it’s not for everyone, because you have to have one good eye for distance and one for up close. If I think that will work, I first have patients try it with contacts, and if they adjust, we’ll go ahead. Otherwise, we’ll correct both eyes for distance.”

Lin also offered Gibo the option of PRK—another successful vision correction surgery that requires a slightly longer recovery time and is better suited to people with a tendency for dry eye or with thin corneas.

“PRK is fifty percent of our vision correction surgery at Moran, and patients have had great experiences with it,” said Lin. “Outcomes are excellent for both procedures.”

LASIK Success

Gibo opted for LASIK.

“Dr. Lin was incredibly thorough and thoughtful, and we decided to do LASIK on only one eye to get rid of the nearsightedness,” said Gibo. “Dr. Lin did the surgery and saw me through all of my pre- and post-op appointments.”

Following LASIK, vision in Gibo’s right eye went from 20/40 to 20/15—even better than 20/20. She can now see at a distance and close up, as both eyes adjust and work together. As is common over age 40, she sometimes needs readers for extremely small print.

“Today, I cannot tell you how nice it is to go shopping at Costco and not feel like I’m in a fog, and to see signs on the freeway clearly,” said Gibo. “I could not be happier.”

vision LASIK