Questions You Should Ask Your Potential Laser Eye Surgeon:
The top questions you should ask when getting a quote for laser eye surgery...
Question: Are you certified by the American Board Of Ophthalmology (or your country's equivalent)?
Answer should be: Yes.

Question: What percentage of refractive surgery patients treated by you achieve UCVA of 20/40 or better?
Answer should be:  Anything above 90% is within a reasonable range.

Question: What percentage of refractive patients treated by you experience potentially serious complications, such as problems in the creation of the flap or healing problems such as epithelial ingrowth, Sands of the Sahara, and the like?
Answer should be:  Most competent surgeons have a rate of less than 1% serious complications.

Question: What percentage of refractive patients treated by you experience minor complications such as glare, halos, or starbursts as long as six months after surgery?
Answer should be:  A minor complications rate of 2 percent is within the normal range.
Question:  How much will I have to pay if I need an enhancement to achieve the best possible outcome?
Answer should be:  Nothing, within a defined period of time, usually one year.  If there is a charge, ask what the charge is for.

Question: How many follow up visits will I have and with which doctor?
Answer should be: Within 24 hours of your surgery, you probably will be seen by the surgeon or by someone on the surgeon's staff.  Thereafter, if your surgery is being co-managed, you will see the co-managing director typically at one week, thirty days, ninety days, six months, and one year.  Annual eye exams afterward are recommended and required by some laser centers that offer lifetime commitments.  Additional follow up visits may be necessary if you experience a complication.

Question: Will I given a copy of the informed consent?
Answer should be: Yes. It is important that you read the document prior to the day of surgery, in case you have any questions.  The document will list every possible complication, no matter how rarely it may occur.

Question:  Will you give me names of patients who have been treated by you so that I might ask them about their experiences?
Answer should be: Yes.

Question: Can I come to the laser facility to watch surgery performed?
Answer should be:  Yes.  Most laser facilities have viewing areas where patients, companions, and prospective patients can watch the procedure being performed.  For most patients this is a very educational and calming experience, as they can see how easily and painlessly the procedure is performed and can talk with other patients right after their procedure.  Others, however, prefer not to see anything having to do with the eye!  Do whatever make you feel most comfortable.
Question: How long have you been performing PRK and/or LASIK surgery?
Answer should be:  Not less than three years.  The number of years the doctor has
performed the surgery is not nearly as important as how many procedures the doctor has performed, but it is some indication of level of experience.
Question: How many PRK and LASIK procedures have you performed?
Answer should be:  Not fewer than 500.
Question: Does your surgeon work with the same support staff or does it change from day to day?
Answer should be:  Surgeons who routinely work with the same staff have fewer complications and better results than those who don't, as the entire team is involved in patient care.

Question:  Have you ever had malpractice insurance coverage denied?
Answer should be: No.

Question: Have you ever had your license to perform refractive surgeries revoked, suspended, or otherwise restricted?
Answer should be: No.

Question: Is the excimer laser you perform refractive surgery with approved by the FDA (or your country's equivalent)?
Answer should be:  Yes.
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The Truth About Laser Eye Surgery
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