When it comes to Medicine, it is all about information and communication. The whole paradigm of information seeking avenues and behaviour has changed. Hence, today’s patients ideally should be very well informed. Besides family and friends, now there is the Internet which can really help people get information and become more aware.
- A good percentage of these patients are not suitable for LASIK surgery but have been advised to go ahead with Lasik procedure elsewhere. Some of these have early changes in their cornea which pose a later risk of loss of eye sight or other complications.
- Some of them had not even undergone a thorough pre-LASIK evaluation without which no Lasik expert can decide whether LASIK surgery should be performed or not. Millions of people have undergone Lasik safely but we must understand that a pre-Lasik checklist is a must to ensure a safe outcome.
While this can happen when the Lasik centre does not have full facility for a complete pre-Lasik checkup before Lasik surgery, it can also happen when the Lasik surgeon is not well trained in cornea and Lasik surgery. Some people can also argue about the basic fabric and the unethical behaviors. However, that is a deep philosophical question and probably a topic of future discussions.
Hence, I decided to put down my thoughts as a LASIK surgeon about how one should go about choosing a LASIK surgeon for the surgery.
Choosing a Hospital
LASIK surgery center location
It is good to know whether the LASIK surgery center is a part of the eye hospital or the eye doctor is going to take you to some other center for the surgery. Surgeons who have a LASIK center in their own eye hospital are more likely to have considerable experience because they perform enough Lasik procedures to support a center of their own. If a surgeon needs to travel to an outside surgical center or share a laser, then this may be an evidence that he or she performs fewer refractive surgery procedures.
Secondly, if the LASIK surgery center is not a part of the hospital, it is difficult to ensure the quality of Lasik machines and the practices followed.
Lastly it is good to enquire if the surgical center that the surgeon uses had any serious infection outbreaks. With strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the increase, it’s essential that the surgical center personnel observe impeccable standards regarding sterilizing instruments and equipment.
Lasik center equipment:
Ideal world class Lasik center would have all cornea diagnostic equipments for pre Lasik checkup such as pachymetry, OCT, topography, trained cornea & Lasik surgeon and other staff. The more well equipped the center, better choice you can make about the type of Lasik which will work the best for you.
Accreditations such as ISO certification ensure better and safer processes for the patient. Hence, it may be a good idea to know if the hospital where the doctor is working and will be performing the surgery has any accreditations. This also ensures that the hospital follow the best practices.
Personal touch and the comfort with staff:
Most LASIK surgeons will give you enough time but at the end of the day their time is limited. Most good eye hospitals recognize the importance of having friendly, competent staff that is available to spend time and address any concerns or queries. Friendliness of the staff at “front desk” may be an important indicator of how comfortable you will feel as you go through the remaining steps of pre-LASIK evaluation, consultation and scheduling your lasik surgery.
It is good to assess beforehand if the staff at the hospital is friendly, are they competent or disorganized? Are they willing to take the time to answer your questions? Assessing the presence of that “personal touch” is very important to ensure that you will get the satisfaction, necessary time and attention and overall a good experience.
Be wary of the deals that many eye hospitals put up on the deal sites offering really cheap Lasik surgery. These kinds of deals should make you suspicious. In healthcare nothing of good standard and quality comes cheap. I am a strong proponent of not getting lured by these deals when it comes to your eye surgery. It is better to wait to save money if finances are a problem rather than taking chances with your eyes. Some hospitals may use a single Lasik blade on many patients to cut the prices.