Lasik Q & A

How To Choose a Surgeon — Including Tough Questions To Ask

Studies have shown that the factor which your LASIK surgery success depends on the most is your surgeon’s expertise and skill. Minor factors such as the type of laser used, and heat and humidity in the environment, can also affect LASIK surgery results, however these factors are miniscule when compared to how a surgeon’s performance affects your LASIK surgery results. In order to make sure that you choose the right surgeon, here is a list of questions that you need to ask your potential LASIK surgeon.

How many LASIK procedures have you performed? How many LASIK procedures of this type have you performed? How many LASIK procedures have you performed this month? You will be able to use the answer to these questions to make a more informed choice as to which LASIK surgeon you wish to choose.

Is your laser FDA approved? Is the laser FDA approved for this procedure? How many surgeries have you performed using this procedure? Have any third parties made adjustments to the laser since it has been purchased? Was the laser produced in the United States? It is important to remember that not all lasers used for LASIK are approved by the FDA, and some lasers are not FDA approved for specific types of procedures. Laser safety is also a key concern, and it is important that you only receive LASIK surgery from a laser that is purchased in the United States and which has not received adjustments by third parties.

What is the percentage of your previous patients which have received 20/20 or better vision, and the percentage of your previous patients which have received 20/40 vision? What are your complication rates? What percentage of patients do you turn down? If your doctor has success and complication rates close to the national average, than you know you are on the right track. Likewise, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK surgery and an honest doctor will have to turn down patients from time to time.

What diagnostic tests do you perform before the surgery takes place? Before LASIK surgery is performed, it is important for your doctor to perform a preliminary evaluation on your eyes. This evaluation should include checking for dry eyes, measuring the pupil, and mapping your cornea in its natural shape, (cornea shape is affected by contact wear).

Have you performed LASIK on any staff members that I can talk to, or do you have previous patients that I can contact? Contact with your doctor’s references should be an important piece to helping you decide which doctor to choose.

While you may feel embarrassed or intimidated at the thought of asking a doctor questions, keep your eyes in mind. LASIK eye surgery is generally safe, but complications can occur. Your doctor’s skill and experience can help to reduce your risks of developing complications from LASIK, and many of these complications can be permanent. Any doctor that is not willing to spend the time with you to answer your questions should not be considered for your LASIK surgery.

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