Five Must-Ask Questions for Your LASIK SurgeonJuly 26, 2013
LASIK surgeons don't get where they are without succedding in rigorous degree programs, residency stays and addtional special training, such as fellowships and workshops. But some are better than others, as is the nature of humans. Below are five crucial questions to ask your LASIK surgeon that can help make sure you get a safe procedure from a surgeon you trust.
1. What is your experience?
Look for a LASIK surgeon who has been practicing for more than just a few years: the more their experience, the better. Laser eye surgery has been around since the 1990s, so ask for clarification if a doctor claims a longer history.
Also look for a surgeon who has performed as many LASIK procedures as possible. There are many LASIK surgeons who have performed more than 10,000 procedures, and some have performed more than 100,000. When asking about a surgeon’s experience, find out how many of his or her LASIK procedures were performed using the laser that will be used on your eyes, and how many of those cases corrected an eye problem similar to yours.
LASIK surgeons with special training, such as fellowships or workshops, and those who belong to professional associations or hold teaching appointments, may also signal an experienced LASIK provider.
2. Have you performed LASIK surgery on family members or other doctors?
Being trusted and trusting oneself to operate on loved ones or fellow professionals is a great sign of expertise in a laser eye surgeon. These are the ultimate testimonials. It is OK if your provider hasn’t performed LASIK eye surgery on doctors and relatives, but having done so is a big plus.
3. What happens if I need an enhancement?
Many laser eye surgery providers offer enhancements at no extra cost for a year after surgery. Some providers, such as TLC Laser Eye Centers, offer a lifetime enhancement policy. Be sure you understand your laser vision center’s LASIK enhancement policy and get specifics, such as whether or not the same technology would be used during your enhancement and which eye conditions would necessitate an enhancement.
According to Market Scope, a LASIK research firm, the average laser eye surgery provider will perform an enhancement on approximately five percent of patients. Find out the number of enhancements your laser eye surgeon has needed to perform each year.
4. What happens after surgery?
Your laser eye surgery provider should schedule your follow-up within 24 hours of your LASIK surgery. In addition, you should have one-week, one-month and three-month follow-up visits. Follow-up appointments are when any post-surgery complications can be discovered, and when eye treatment and health is monitored.
Your laser eye surgeon might have partnered with your regular eye doctor to handle this follow-up care. Many people believe this team-based approach leads to a safe and more satisfying patient experience. Exercise caution if your laser eye surgeon doesn’t seem very concerned about the care you receive after your LASIK procedure.
5. Where can I find patient testimonials or speak with former patients?
Laser eye surgeons often keep testimonials and contact information regarding former patients. Ask to talk with a former patient who had the same laser eye surgery you’re considering. Don’t be surprised if you are connected only with satisfied patients. Use that opportunity to understand more about what you can expect when you have your laser eye surgery or to address any concerns you may have about the procedure.