Did you know that most experts agree that the most critical factor that impacts the outcome of your LASIK is the skill and experience of your surgeon?
You can research on the performance of the various laser systems available for refractive surgery and compare the pros and cons of the different LASIK procedures (iLASIK, Wavefront LASIK, standard LASIK, etc.) to help you make your decision till the cows come home, but it still wouldn’t matter if the surgeon who is performing your procedure sucks at what he does.
Here’s a few simple tips on how to find the best LASIK surgeons in your area.
With so much information available online, and review comments all over the place, you can easily be overwhelmed and be crippled by analysis paralysis.
MACE is a simple acronym that you can use to help you evaluate if the LASIK surgeon in question is the one for you.
Check whether the doctor who attended to you during your eye exam would be the same doctor that performs your surgery, as well as post LASIK follow up.
In some centres, due to procedural and labor issues, the friendly doctor that attends to you during eye exam may not be the same person who does the actual surgery.
It can be troublesome and confusing because if complications arise during and postoperatively, it may be difficult to pinpoint what went wrong.
You may also receive inconsistent information from different people and that may make a huge difference in how you manage your expectations and affect your recovery.
Is your doctor attentive enough to your individual needs and answers all your questions about the upcoming procedure?
If he appears aloof, or you do not feel respected with his responses, that may be a red flag.
While it is true that some highly skilled surgeons lack good bedside manners, and some may rub it off as intellectual snobbish-ness, it does not justify being made to feel lousy as a patient.
It is your right as a patient to information and to be treated with dignity and respect.
A good trusting relationship with your doctor is also found to be helpful in your recovery process.
Make sure that your surgeon has the relevant creds, especially in the field of LASIK and corneal training.
If your surgeon is comfortable and experienced with a variety of laser eye surgery procedures, he will be able to help you make an informed decision about the most suitable type of laser vision correction for your circumstances.
If he is not comfortable with certain procedures that you are interested in, do ask him to explain a bit further than the cursory “Sorry, I don’t do it.”
It may give you additional insight into the procedure that you are interested in.
If your surgeon is also a corneal specialist, his experience with working on the cornea will be plentiful. This is especially important in the event of intra and postoperative complications.
Also check if the surgeon is licensed and meets the standards set by the relevant medical licensing board (e.g AMBS)in your area/country.
Here are some of the questions that you may want to ask your potential surgeon to help you decide if he is the right person to help you with the vision correction.
Ask the surgeon about his experience with intra and postoperative complications. If your surgeon tells you that he has never had any complications with his patients, pick up your bag and run.
Either he is too full of himself, or he does not have enough experience. Both of which are recipes for a botched up procedure.
In addition, if the surgeon owns his own practice, he is very likely to have accumulated enough experience and credential to support a clinic with his procedures, which is a plus point.
One effective way of sieving the best surgeons from the bad is by asking the people who have received treatment from the surgeon in question.
Ask around for referrals for good clinics. People who have really good and bad experiences are usually very happy to share/bitch about their experiences.
Online reviews are also a good way to go, but in these days where reviews can be bought, you might just want to take the reviews with a pinch of salt.
One way to distinguish the fake online reviews would be to put it through fakespot.com.
Check if there has been a history of unusual or ongoing outbreaks of eye infections in the center that you want to have your LASIK in.
If there is, this may be an indication of lapses in sanitation and sterilization standards in the clinic. Eye infections can have serious implications on your healing process, hence it should not be something to be taken lightly.
One last thing you need to know is that you do not to feel obliged to use the first surgeon that you interview or did the eye examination with. It is widely accepted in this industry for patients to ask for second opinions.
You should definitely find a surgeon whom you feel you can trust in terms of their skills and experience because that would most crucial factor in determining your LASIK experience and outcome.
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