How To Choose A Lasik Doctor

It is important when considering refractive surgery you work with a competent surgeon. Since you get only one pair of eyes to live with the rest of your life, you want to be sure they are cared for in the best way possible. So, how do you go about selecting a competent surgeon? All you have to do is follow some key guidelines to help you select a good rather than mediocre doctor. Here are three key guidelines to consider before selecting a surgical center.
  • Check references - you should always review your surgeon's references, good and bad, before agreeing to surgery. Any surgeon with a reputable patient history will gladly provide you with references to contact.

  • Certifications and Licensing - Make sure your doctor's credentials are up to date. You can also verify whether your surgeon has had any complaints filed against him or her by checking in with your state's licensing authority.

  • Experience - Don't go with the cheapest surgeon, and don't go with a surgeon who is "new" to LASIK. You will find the best surgeons are those that have worked on many patients performing procedures similar to your own. The more experience a doctor has with a technology, the more likely they are to wield it correctly. You can avoid costly errors by verifying your surgeon's expertise in LASIK surgery.

Of course, much of selecting a good doctor has to do with selecting someone you are comfortable with. Here are some additional tips to follow when choosing your LASIK surgeon:

  • Look for a doctor that will remain actively involved in your surgical process from start to finish. The doctor should perform most of your exams and monitor your progress following surgery.

  • Choose a surgeon who specializes in LASIK if possible.

  • Try a surgeon with at least 1,000 surgeries under his or her belt.

  • Look for a surgeon that willingly discusses your risk factors and complications you may experience after surgery. A doctor should have plenty of time to discuss your concerns in detail and review your candidacy for surgery thoroughly.
  • Avoid centers that focus on budget or bargain basement pricing for LASIK procedures. Remember, you only get one set of eyes. You don't want a hack operating on them. While you may pay a bit more in price, it makes sense to go with a competent physician. Many surgical centers offer payment plans for customers who can't afford the cost of surgery up front. Ask about installment options if you are interested in reducing the impact of pricing. You can actually take price out of the equation if you work with centers providing financing options for patients.
  • Look for a surgeon you feel comfortable with. You should feel comfortable talking about your expectations, concerns and medical history.
Keep in mind when selecting a surgeon there are also different types of refractive surgery the surgeon may specialize in. Many lower cost surgeons specialize in traditional LASIK. Other forms of surgery however, include:
  • Wavefront-guided LASIK - Also called custom lasik surgery.

  • LASEK - Similar to LASIK but involves cutting a flap in the epithelium only.

  • Epi-LASIK - Similar to LASEK but no blade or alcohol is used during procedure.

  • PRK - Helpful for treating farsightedness and astigmatism.
Remember, when it comes to LASIK surgery, a lot of your result depends on the skill and expertise of the surgeon, not the type of laser your surgeon uses. So, when in doubt go with the best. A laser doesn't make good eyes. A good surgeon does. Take steps to make sure you work with a qualified, competent surgeon. Only by doing so will you ensure you are well cared for and your treatment outcome meets your expectations.