How Can One Find a Good Laser Doctor?
Doctor Answers 6
The same lasers may have different results from different doctors
The laser is simply one tool used to achieve certain results. In broad terms, there are two types of lasers, ablative and nonablative.
Nonablative lasers are used to treat broken blood vessels, brown spots and hair removal. Generally, they are done by persons who are supposed to be ultimately supervised by physicians. Results from well qualified allied health care professionals for these lasers generally are consistent through most practices since they are considered safer with less side effects as long as they are used acording to manufacturer guidelines and for the right skin types.
Ablative lasers on the other hand like the erbium or CO2 laser, require the use of skilled surgeons who have had additional training with them since these lasers also have the potential for more harm. I would recommend going to a physician who owns their own laser since that means they use it more often and are likely more skilled with its nuances. Also, I would check to see their credentials with organizations like the AAFPRS, ASPS or ASLM to name a few.
The key to safe surgery in any field of medicine is an...
The key to safe surgery in any field of medicine is an informed patient. Take time to research the LASIK center you are considering for surgery.
I suggest the following guidelines to quality care and treatment:
- Find a surgeon by getting referrals from other doctors or from patients who have had laser vision correction
- Don’t be fooled by fancy advertisements about a particular laser center. Choose the doctor, not the laser center. Find out who will actually do the procedure, then ask about that doctor’s qualifications (e.g., board certification, special training)
- Choose a doctor who has done at least 10,000 LASIK surgeries. What a doctor doesn’t know can hurt you
- Ask for information on your doctor’s complication rates during surgery. If your doctor won’t tell you, find another one. For top surgeons, the figure is under 1 in 1,000
- Ask what measures are taken to prevent infection. Look for a center with a sterile operating room. If the surgeon is operating in street clothes or not wearing gloves, go elsewhere. Insist that your eye be thoroughly sterilized with surgical prep solution
- Beware of advertisements pushing “low cost” surgery. Discount surgery is like a discount parachute
- If you feel like you’re getting a hard sell, you probably are. Go elsewhere. You’re not buying a car – this is real surgery
- While you investigate, don’t lose sight of the benefits: for most people a lifetime of bad vision can be cured in 5 minutes. LASIK surgery has improved the eyesight of millions of people around the world
Good Laser Doctor
The ASPS website is a good starting point for qualified, board certified plastic surgeons. Review the websites of the physicians on this list to understand their qualifications and to review any before and after photographs that the physician may have regarding laser patients. Consult with 3 - 4 physicians that seem to best meet your needs.
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How to find a good doctor?
As simple a question as you can imagine, but what a wonderful question it is! Choose your doctor wisely. Of course you can ask friends, relatives, and other physicians for their recommendations. But be sceptical of hype and marketing. I would choose based on length of time in practice in the same city, number of years that doctor was using that particular laser or other resurfacing modality, and photos of actual patients that have not been digitally manipulated.
Finding a laser doctor
Always go to a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has experience in lasers. How to figure out who these folks are? Look up a doctor in your area by checking the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons website or the American Academy of Dermatology web site. Good luck.
ASLMS is a good resource
The best referral sources are your general doctor and friends who have had treatment. Even if your doctor doesn't know the answer, he or she might do some investigating for you. You can also contact the American Society For Laser Medicine & Surgery, Inc (see reference link).