Determining LASIK Surgeon Qualifications

Determining LASIK Surgeon Qualifications
Determining LASIK Surgeon Qualifications

Your eyesight is a valuable asset. As such, you should protect it by choosing a qualified and experienced LASIK surgeon to perform your laser vision correction. But with so many LASIK surgeons advertising their services, the choice can be a little overwhelming. What qualifications should you look for in a LASIK surgeon, and how can you be sure you're getting a competent professional?

First, rest assured that serious complications due to LASIK are very rare. IntraLase and wavefront LASIK use computer-guided lasers to reshape the surface of your cornea, perfecting your vision as they go. Mishaps do occasionally happen, though. To maximize your safety, let's look at some of the questions you'll want to ask when you select a LASIK surgeon. Of course, any LASIK surgeon you choose should be board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, but as you'll soon see, certification isn't the only consideration.

Determining LASIK Surgeon Qualifications

Question 1: How long have they been performing laser eye surgery?

Experience is absolutely crucial. The top 1% of LASIK surgeons in the U.S. have been in practice for more than 10 years and have conducted over 2,000 procedures. Look for similar statistics when you choose your surgeon.

Question 2: Do they offer a variety of laser vision correction services?

If a LASIK surgeon is a leader in their field, they should offer cutting-edge technologies like bladeless LASIK and custom Wavefront LASIK. Additionally, they should perform other refractive surgeries as well, and should offer thorough pre-screening evaluations as well as complete and personalized post-operative examinations. Versatile surgeons are highly respected and sought after.

Question 3: How trusted are they in their field?

You don't need to ask this question directly, but do pay attention to the evidence. Do other eye doctors come to this LASIK surgeon for their procedures? Do they trust this surgeon with their family members' eyes? Does the surgeon perform revision LASIK procedures for patients who had complications from their first surgery? All of these would indicate that the surgeon is respected and trusted.

Question 4: Are they involved in LASIK research?

If the LASIK surgeon has published papers on refractive surgery, taught courses and mentored new surgeons, or carried out studies, they are probably very knowledgeable about the lasers, equipment, and techniques involved in LASIK. Some surgeons work closely with laser manufacturers and universities. Others lecture at large scale industry events. It never hurts to do an Internet search to see what kinds of projects your surgeon is involved in, and which academic accolades they've received. You can also contact the licensing board to see if any ethics or malpractice charges have ever been brought against the surgeon.

Some LASIK candidates make the mistake of choosing a surgeon based on pricing. While rock-bottom deals might sound tempting, remember that you get what you pay for. Low prices can be the sign of an inexperienced surgeon eager for business. Instead of bargain hunting, expect to pay at least $700 to $1,000 per eye for a quality LASIK procedure. In the end, the extra money will be well spent.

By Jeff Kimball
Determining LASIK Surgeon Qualifications

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