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How To Select Qualified Eye Surgeons

Now that you have decided that laser eye surgery is right for you. Your next step is to choose an eye surgeon to help you get the best vision possible. You may have probably watched commercial on TV and listened to the ads on the radio. Everyone wants you to pick them for your laser eye surgery. But can you decide based on a 30 second ad? This may be a starting point but certainly not the only way to make a wise choice in laser eye surgeons.

Where should you look for qualified Eye Surgeons?

Begin your search by talking to friends, family and people at work. Who do you know that has had laser eye surgery? Did they have a good outcome? Would they recommend their surgeon to you? Talk to your family doctor whose judgment you trust to see if they have laser eye surgeons to recommend.

Ask for a referral from your regular eye doctor. Chances are they've been asked this question many times and have a list of qualified eye surgeons they would recommend.

Look in the Yellow Pages of your phone book under refractive surgery centers and Lasik Eye Surgeons in your area. Many will list their websites so that you can review their procedures, policies and prices from the comfort of your home.

What should you look for in Eye Surgeons

To begin your search look for an eye surgeon who is associated with an academic medical center or teaching hospital and one that has a reputation for advanced technology. You will want to make sure that the eye surgeon you choose has been keeping up with modern advancements in laser eye surgery and is current with new techniques. To be sure of this, ask if your Surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. When it comes to your eyes, you can't be too careful.

What to ask your Surgeon before your surgery

Think of all the questions that come to mind and write them down to ask at your consultation appointment. Don't be afraid to ask every question on your list. If your eye Surgeon is offended or impatient with all of your questions, keep looking. He or she is not the right one for you. Here are some common questions to ask and things for you to think about

  • How long has your eye surgeon been performing surgery? Look for at least tree years. The more experience the better but if your surgeon tells you he's been using a laser for more than 12 years, be wary. Lasik was first available in 1995.
  • How many eyes has he performed laser surgery on? Look for at least 500.
  • Will your eye surgeon provide you with names and phone numbers of several previous patients who have had the same surgery? If your surgeon is hesitant to do this, look elsewhere.
  • What percentage of your surgeon's patients has achieved 20/20 vision after their eye surgery? 50% is the benchmark.
  • Does your laser surgeon make you feel like an important patient? Or do you feel like one in a long list of patients that they will see that day?
  • Will your surgeon spend extra time with you to make sure that all your questions are answered? Is your surgeon genuinely interested in you as a person?
  • Did your surgeon work to gain your trust during your consultation? If something doesn't 'feel right', follow your instincts and choose another surgeon.
  • Finally, will your surgeon be following up with you after your surgery? Or does he expect you to return to your local eye doctor for any problems?

What you should avoid doing while looking for a qualified eye surgeon

Before you venture any further here are tips on how not to choose a doctor for eye surgery.

Don't base your search on which doctor offers the lowest costs for this eye surgery. Laser surgery is elective and it can be expensive. Make the doctor's skills and experience, the priority in your search. You can easily negotiate with your surgeon about spreading the costs over a specific period. But you can not compromise on your eye sight.

Don't rely on the advertising. A doctor may claim to be using lasers for 15 years; LASIK only got approved for use in 1998, do the math.

Eyesight is one of the most precious gifts you have been given, and play a crucial role in your everyday living. If you have opted for eye surgery, you need to put in considerable effort to choose the right surgery and a surgeon with an unblemished track record. Choose wisely as this is not a mistake you can undo.