have a lasik appointment and need help on what to ask the lasik doc!
Lasik Doctor Consultation
Doctor Answers 6
Top Ten Questions to Ask Your LASIK surgeon
There are so many great questions to ask your doctor during the consultation. Here is my top ten:
- Do you feel comfortable with the doctor?
- Have you met the surgeon who will be performing your procedure during the initial consultation?
- Is your doctor a specialist in the field? Has your doctor published papers and lectured nationally and internationally about this procedure?
- Has the surgeon answered ALL of your questions? Some you should ask include:
- Which procedure is right for you?
- What are the risks as well as benefits?
- What is the expected outcome?
- How long does it last?
- Does your doctor have the latest technology for i-LASIK, the VISX Star S4 IR laser as well as the all laser, Intralase?
- Have you researched your doctor and gotten an opportunity to speak with past patients?
- Has your doctor treated other eye surgeons, doctors, inventors of the technology, athletes, and other high profile individuals demanding quality?
- Is the technology in the office? Does the office have the latest state of the art technology? Is it an environment which makes you feel comfortable?
- What are the results of the doctor?
- Does your doctor have low enhancement rates and are enhancements included in the cost of surgery?
These are just a few of the considerations in choosing a doctor. Listen to your inner voice and find the right doctor for you!
Have you had this treatment yourself and has your family...
- Have you had this treatment yourself and has your family had it too? (Doctors should eat their own cooking).
- Have you done at least 10,000 procedures? (Practice makes perfect!)
- Have you published at least 50 articles in the field? (Doctors who publish a lot are a community of experts that shares tips, techniques and new technologies long before they become available to the average doctor).
Top Four Questions to ask at your Consultation
I think I have been asked just about every question in the book over the 16 years I have been performing LASIK. At your request, here are my top 4:
Is LASIK permanent?......The answer is yes. The effect of the laser treatment will last the remainder of your healthy life.
Is LASIK safe?.........The answer is yes. We have found LASIK to be multiple times safer than the long term wear of contact lenses.
Are my eyes "routine" or are they "extreme"?..........this is a good one. You want to make sure your prescription is not the worst case the doctor has ever seen. When it comes to this procedure it is ideal if your prescription is average, routine, run of the mill......something treated everyday.
What equipment do you use(lasers) and when were they updated last?......another good one. One effect of the recession is that some overly cost sensitive surgeons(mostly discount chains) have cut costs by not upgrading or maintaining equipment. In 2010 you want to be sure you are not having your procedure on 2004 equipment. There is alot of that out there.
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Top questions to ask your prospective LASIK doctor
Fortunately, most qualified ophthalmologists can perform LASIK and the results have overall been excellent. It is important to have a referral to the doctor if possible from another patient, the word of mouth rule. Also, you want to have a doctor who has a number of years and many thousand cases if possible since experience counts for a lot in this area. Technology is important and I would choose a doctor with the blade free method available and a newer generation of laser.
Also, diagnostic equipment is important with the ability to measure many parameters of the cornea. A doctor who has been involved in clinical research studies is a good sign in that they understand very well who is and who is not a good candidate for vision correction. Finally, membership in an organization such as "Trusted LASIK Surgeons" only accepts the top doctors in the area and is something to consider.
It is not essential, but doctors who track their own outcomes, and can show you the likely results with your prescription is helpful, and a low retreatment and complication rate history are also helpful. I would also look at the facility and ask for a tour of the location where the procedure will be performed to make sure it is an appropriate medical environment.
Picking your LASIK surgeon
You want to find a board certified ophthalmologist who is experienced in LASIK. It helps to find someone with at least a few thousand cases under their belt, but high volume alone doesn’t guarantee a good surgeon. Look for surgeons who use custom wavefront technology, and femtosecond flaps as opposed to older blade-created flaps. Find someone who other eye doctors recommend, especially surgeons who have operated on other eye doctors.
Questions to ask your LASIK surgeon
There are many good questions posed by my colleagues. I would suggest:
Experience- at least 1000+
Is there anything unusual about my eyes?
How often do you find someone a non-candidate? - the answer should not be rarely
Will I receive Custom WaveFront treatment?- the answer should be yes or go elsewhere
Do you perform PRK and LASIK?- be wary of someone who only does one or the other. Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK and many people do not go through the aggravation of PRK.
What are my options?
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.