Why You Should Talk with Your Eye Doctor Before LASIK Eye SurgeryAuthor: Dr. William Tullo
January 28, 2019
Interested in learning more about LASIK eye surgery? Striking up a conversation with your regular eye doctor is a perfect place to start. While your eye doctor may not bring up the topic themselves, it's worth bringing it up during a visit if you're considering the benefits of laser eye surgery. Your regular eye doctor is in the best position to know the details of your unique eye conditions, vision problems, and vision health history.
It's a good idea to have a conversation with your eye doctor anytime you're considering changes that could impact your vision health, and LASIK is certainly no exception. So even if your eye doctor doesn't bring up the topic themselves, you can take the next step simply by asking for their feedback. In addition to being in the best position to know about your vision health, your eye doctor may be able to recommend a trusted, local surgeon for your laser eye surgery needs.
Most optometrists are familiar with other vision health practitioners in their area, and can help take the mystery out of finding a laser eye surgeon who is right for your needs. While online reviews can be a valuable place to start, a referral from a trusted eye doctor is a great tool to help you choose a surgeon with confidence.
Coordinating LASIK with Your Regular Eye Doctor
Your regular eye doctor's input doesn't have to end with telling you about whether LASIK is a fit for your vision health needs, or even recommending a surgeon who can help you take the next step. Team-based LASIK care, also known as LASIK co-management, starts with the initial contact between your eye doctor and surgeon. Although your regular eye doctor won’t perform the surgery, he or she can help evaluate whether or not LASIK is right for you and assist in creating a vision treatment plan.
When your laser eye surgery case is co-managed, the eye doctor generally sees you for most of your pre- and post-operative eye care visits. That means your eye doctor is a good resource to discuss your expectations for the procedure and evaluate any potential risks of laser eye surgery based on your vision health history.
Your eye doctor is positioned to provide an honest assessment of your vision health, and recommend treatment options based on your unique needs. Remember that while laser eye surgery can address the most common vision problems and may reduce your need for vision aids, nobody can promise that you will never need vision aids again.
What Is Your Eye Doctor's Role in Team-Based Care?
At the start of the process, your optometrist can help test your vision health, in order to decide whether LASIK is right for you. That can mean a measure of corneal thickness, a look at your vision prescription history, and tests for overall eye health. Your eye doctor may also ask some important questions, to ensure that you understand exactly what to expect from laser eye surgery.
Aside from helping you prepare, your eye doctor may also be able to manage key elements of pre-operative and post-operative care if your case is co-managed. That means that you can return to your normal eye doctor for post-operative checkups, an arrangement that is preferred by many LASIK patients.
Co-managed or team-based LASIK care is a great way to learn more about the process, and keep your regular eye doctor in the loop. However, not every LASIK center offers co-managed care, so it's a good idea to ask before assuming that your eye doctor will be able to be involved in the process. The potential benefits of co-managed care are many, so it's worth asking next time you're considering LASIK eye surgery.