I'm in the same situation too. Stig's cherry eye used to contract back in the first couple of weeks, but now have been out for almost two weeks. The vet gave us an antibiotic to reduce the swelling and advised us that rinsing his eye with an herbal tea is also good too. There are two type of surgeries - one where they take the whole cherry eye (eyelid) out or the one where they staple (or some other method) it in. I keep on reading that the former will cause them to get dry eye down the road and the latter, most likely, isn't a permanent solution as it can pop back out. I still haven't decided what's best and really want to avoid surgery too. $800 does sound like it's too much though. Hopefully someone here can share their experience(s).