I am considering LASEK, and there is a certain doctor I want to go to (all around me are those "buy one eye, get one free" clinics - no thank you!). Do you get a lot of out of town patients, and what is the follow up like for them? Is it a bad idea to go to a non-local doctor?
LASEK Follow Ups for Out of Town Patients
Doctor Answers 5
This is an excellent question. The key issue is to make sure that you work with a local doctor that would be happy to see you for postop visits. That can sometimes be a challenge. The main issue with LASEK is that there is a 4-5 day healing process where there is a risk of infection - so you need to have someone close and available to see you. once you are through the first week, you would want to be seen a few times over the first 6 months to make sure that the results are as expected. The doctor would check you for dry eye and any other issues.
As some of the other doctors noted - LASEK is a varient of PRK - and is a safe and effective procedure. There is actually no studies that have demonstrated a significant advantage to LASEK over PRK - but regardless - LASEK works (like PRK) and is an option for patients like yourself.
I hope this helps
William Trattler, MD
In answering your question, I would first ask you why you are considering LASEK and not PRK [photorefractive keratectomy] or ASA [advanced surface ablation]. LASEK usually requires longer healing time and bandage contact lens than the other alternatives without distinct advantages in terms of reduction of side effects. Many doctors have abandoned LASEK in favor of modern PRK procedures.
Regarding your question about follow up, I would speak with the doctor and/or center you plan to have surgery at to go over the postoperative regimen and care with you. This way, you can make an informed decision about the best place for your surgery and postoperative care.
LASEK CoManagement postop local eye MD
Because I'm objectively based on experience actually treating at least one person who flies in from another state per week and from another country per month For example we have patients flying in from all over the US who either want to avoid LASIK complications or unfortunately wanting one of these fixed I was interviewed by a national journal in terms how to fix LASIK complications recently. One technique I often employ is to use the prevue lens feature of the VISX laser to show patients how they'd see after hi def LASEK or after a LASEK enhancement of their prior suboptimal LASIK I had a woman fly here from China as nobody there could treat her with LASIK as her rx was -22! I did LASEK on her and removed her entire rx safely and got her seeing better afterwards than she ever saw in glasses or contacts I always insist my MD fellows find a local qualified MD to help w the postop care before surgery.
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LASEK Follow-ups for non-locals
I prefer to see all of my own post-operative patients at least 1 day, 1-2 weeks and 1-3 months after refractive surgery for routine cases. You may want to call your preferred LASEK ophthalmologist and ask what their policy is on post-operative follow-ups and if they have any good working relationships with ophthalmologists in your local area. If any complications arise, your actual surgeon is much more equipped and able to treat you quickly and effectively, since he or she has intimate knowledge of your procedure.