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Choosing the right LASIK surgeon for your procedure is one of the most important decisions that you will make. Taking the time to find a highly qualified surgeon is important to protect your investment in excellent vision.
Step 1: Gather Initial Intel
The first step is to ask friends and family members who have had LASIK about their surgeon. Would they recommend him or her? Why or why not? Your eye or primary care doctor may also have names of local surgeons who perform LASIK to share. This exercise should help generate a list of several potential LASIK surgeons.
Step 2: Perform Some Online Sleuthing
Once you have an initial list of names, it’s time to evaluate the surgeon’s credentials. Some of this can be done online in advance of a consultation. For starters, check to see if he or she is board-certified and fellowship trained in corneal and refractive surgery. The American Board of Ophthalmology, a medical credentialing organization, offers a verification service on their website.
Step 3. Schedule Some Consultations
Scheduling consultation/s is another key aspect of choosing a LASIK surgeon. During these visits, ask how often the surgeon performs the procedure that he or she is recommending. He or she should have a great deal of experience – it is not unusual for skilled refractive surgeons to have performed thousands of procedures in a given year. Highly qualified surgeons also ensure they are using the most advanced technologies and treatment profiles to ensure the best visual outcomes.
Other questions to ask should include:
- Am I a good candidate? How good?
Most surgeons will reject individuals who are not deemed appropriate candidates for the procedure.
- What is your complication rate, and how does this compare with national averages?
- Where do you perform the procedures?
- What are your outcome statistics, and how do these compare with national averages?
- What results can I realistically expect?
- What type of equipment do you use?
Expect to have a frank discussion about risks, benefits and your candidacy for the procedure during the consultation. Side effects from LASIK are rare but may include dry eye symptoms, nighttime glare, and vision fluctuations during recovery. There may be a small chance you will need a second procedure to achieve the visual outcome you desire – typically less than 2 percent during the first year after your first surgery. Don’t be afraid to ask for contact information for patients who have had the procedure with your surgeon.
Consultation red flags may include grandiose promises such as perfect vision without any risks! You will never need glasses again! and pressure to book the procedure.
Step: Go with Your Gut
You should have a good rapport with your chosen surgeon. It is important to be confident in their skill and expertise and to be comfortable in their presence.
Visit the americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org to learn more about corrective vision.