Making the decision to have LASIK Surgery to improve your eye sight is a big decision. Whether you currently wear contacts or glasses, LASIK Surgery should improve your vision, so you no longer need corrective vision wear.
Finding a Qualified Ophthalmologist to Perform LASIK
Just as you would likely ask for referrals and check credentials on a surgeon working on your home or your car, so too you would be well advised to check the reputation and verify the credentials and quality of work performed by the ophthalmologist you are considering for your LASIK surgery.
Ophthalmologists can be board certified surgeons or they can be medical doctors who have received training in how to perform LASIK surgery. Eye doctors who have the letters FACS behind their name and credentials are board certified surgeons. FACS stands for Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons.
To search for an ophthalmologist with refractive surgery (which is the type of surgery LASIK falls under) experience, go to the web site www.aao.org and put in your zip code. Choose whether you would like to find a surgeon with in 1, 5, 10 or 20 miles and choose subspecialty, refractive surgery.
While there are numerous ophthalmologists who perform LASIK surgery in a given area, only a small fraction of them have the requisite experience in refractive surgery specialty to be considered a LASIK specialist.
Eye doctors who are trained to perform LASIK surgery but who are not surgeons may do a perfectly adequate job with your surgery and may be able to perform the surgery at a lower cost, but of course when it comes to your health, cost should never be the primary consideration.
When choosing an ophthalmologist to perform LASIK surgery, be sure and ask:
What is your success rate?
What are the likely complications?
What are the most devastating complications?
What costs will I be responsible for if more surgery is required for any reason?
What costs will I be responsible for in the event of a complication?
Have you ever had a serious outbreak of eye infections in your center? If so, what was the cause and can you be sure it has been dealt with?
What kind of follow up care is provided with the cost of the surgery?
How many procedures have you performed?
Doctors who Advertise
Doctors who advertise might be a good choice. There’s nothing wrong with advertising per se. Certainly they will have performed more procedures than other eye doctors who do not advertise. This does not mean they are necessarily the most qualified eye doctor in the area. Be sure and follow through your screening procedure to make sure they are the doctor for you.
It is usually easy to find a previous patient of a potential eye doctor among your circle of friends and colleagues if you have been in the area for several years. Be sure and get opinions from patients of the eye doctor, your regular eye doctor and other doctors, such as your family doctor.
Talk to the eye doctor, his nurse, front office staff and billing department before making a firm decision. Make sure all your questions have been answered thoroughly and you are comfortable beyond a doubt before entrusting your eyes to his or her care.