It surprises me to no end when I see the way people including my friends and family, choose their doctors even in the present era. I have asked them many times what helps them make a decision how to choose the best doctor for particular problem? Is it the recommendation from a friend, from a doctor or from internet reviews? Have they done their research about the qualifications and the experience of the doctor in treating their problem?
These same questions apply to anyone who is thinking about LASIK treatment and wants to make a decision about where to get the surgery done and from which Lasik Surgeon.
Hence, I decided to pen my thoughts as a LASIK surgeon about how one should choose a Lasik surgeon for the surgery.
Choosing the BEST LASIK surgeon
Surgeon training and qualifications
Whether your surgeon comes recommended by your general physician or a friend/colleague or you got to know about the doctor from your internet search, please do not take your surgeon’s qualifications for granted. It is very important to know about their post graduate eye surgery training, their fellowships and any other qualifications. If the Lasik surgeon has received a formal training in managing cornea diseases, it helps as then the surgeon can diagnose early problems in cornea which will be a contra-indication for a Lasik surgery.
Besides it is important to ensure that they are registered with the local medical body. It is also good to know if they have any scientific publications, do they speak at the national and international conferences. These are indirect indicators that their knowledge is up to date and their work is at par with other good surgeons. Please also ensure that your surgeon is versatile and competent in all different kinds of eye power correction procedures. LASIK isn’t the only option, and it isn’t the best procedure for every person.
Now we have so many other great options like Epi-LASIK, PRK, Femto-Lasik, SMILE Lasik, Refractive lens exchange, phakic IOLs’ etc. It is good to choose the best surgeon who is comfortable and experienced with all these procedures and the latest technology. That will also ensure that your surgeon will choose the procedure that will be best suited to your eyes.
Asking the right questions from the LASIK surgeon
Come prepared with your list of questions on your first consultation with the LASIK surgeon. Write down all your relevant questions and concerns and ask them during your first consult.
In India we are sometimes afraid to ask too many questions lest the doctor gets annoyed or may not have the time to answer too many questions. It is a matter of your eyes and it is your right to get comfortable and get your queries answered prior to going ahead with LASIK surgery.
Some pertinent questions can be-
How many such procedures have they done and what are their complication rates compared to reported rates
How are their results and how they compare to reported outcomes
What kinds of checks they have in place to reduce the scope for errors
How many and what type of tests will be done to ensure safety of lasik surgery
What percentage of their patients need a repeat procedure
Do they charge for a repeat procedure and if not then for how long that applies
The most important criteria for choosing your surgeon is your ability to trust the doctor. You need to feel comfortable with what your surgeon says, how he or she says it, and how relaxed and confident you feel with the level of care.
To sum up, the most important criteria of a quality surgeon include experience, great credentials, feeling of trust and willingness of the doctor and the staff to work with a patient to help him/ her achieve freedom from glasses.