Choosing your LASIK eye surgeon is one of the most important health care decisions you will ever make, and you will want to consider several factors when beginning your search. Look for a vision center with a reputation for patient satisfaction and for an experienced, board-certified surgeon. Once you have narrowed down your selections, chat with friends or co-workers who have used the vision center, surf the Internet for real patient reviews, ask the vision center for patient testimonials and check its report card from your local Better Business Bureau.
Top of mind for many prospective patients may be the cost of LASIK. Don’t be tempted to look only at the bottom line; bargain-shopping may be fine for shoes, but your eye care is priceless.
Not all LASIK eye surgery centers and LASIK eye surgeons are equal. The following checklist can help you to determine which LASIK provider will best suit your needs:
Does the facility appear to be clean? A reputable vision center will appear tidy and hygienic.
What kind of technology does the eye surgeon use, and do you have a choice as to the type of technology? Be sure to ask if the surgeon offers 100 percent all-laser LASIK (also known as Bladeless LASIK), or if she uses a microkeratome blade. Many patients prefer a Bladeless LASIK procedure.
From the receptionist to the surgeon, a vision center’s staff and their demeanor speaks volumes. Look for staff who listen to your concerns and are willing to work with your schedule and financial situation.
Will the surgeon work with your current eye doctor—both before AND after surgery—to ensure your continued satisfaction with your LASIK eye surgery?
What are the vision center’s success rates? Of course, you will want to select a surgeon with a low rate of complications, but be wary of a provider who advertises a 100-percent success rate and is unable to back up his claims with objective data.
Are enhancements frequently needed? Remember, laser eye surgery outcomes may vary based on individual conditions. Even with successful surgery, future enhancements may be needed, or you might require eye glasses for activities such as reading or driving. Additionally, farsighted patients may experience deteriorating vision over time as part of the natural aging process.
Does your provider offer a lifetime commitment on her results, including adjustments at no additional cost to eligible patients? Because every case is unique, be sure to discuss your expectations with your eye surgeon prior to your surgery.
State licensing boards can validate a surgeon’s credentials. You also can check a surgeon’s credentials through the National Practitioner Data Bank.
Ask for a referral from your regular eye care practitioner, whether an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. Tell your doctor that you want the LASIK surgeon in your area with the best reputation in the profession. Also, the best LASIK surgeons themselves can be great sources of referrals. If you know of a refractive surgeon who is well respected in another state, call his or her office and ask for recommendations regarding good surgeons in your area.