Tips on How NOT to Choose your Lasik Eye Surgeon.
It may seem paradoxical, but the large and constantly growing number of Lasik surgeons available, combined with the enormous amount of information available on the Lasik procedure, combined with the countless number of enticing claims, offers and testimonials for Lasik surgeons have NOT made it easier to select a Lasik surgeon. While wading through all this information that enables you to make an educated choice (and you WILL need to do your research), it might be wise to consider a much smaller body of information: two tips on how NOT to choose your Lasik eye surgeon:
Cost: Lasik is expensive, not as expensive as it once was but it has not reached the point where its affordable for most people. Most health insurance will not cover Lasik surgery because it is considered an elective procedure. Considering these two factors, the financing offers now being made by the biggest Lasik clinics and the low-ball prices many others are offering are no doubt tempting; but you need to take a pledge NOT to give into that temptation . . . not until you've considered many other factors.
Advertising: Unfortunately some percentage of Lasik surgeons will make promises in their advertisements that are, to put it kindly, deceptive. The images, claims and testimonials used in Lasik advertising, can make a Lasik surgeon seem like the best surgeon in the world and can make the Lasik procedure itself seem as simple as trimming your toenails. The Lasik surgeon in question very well might be among the best of the best, but then again, the claims may just be hype; and while the Lasik procedure is wonderful, it's hardly simple. Lasik is a very complex surgical procedure requiring precise manipulation of two pieces of very complex equipment by a skilled operator. So ask yourself: do you really want to put your eyesight on the line based on the word of a paid spokesman, a slick ad copywriter or a possibly unethical surgeon?
There IS a better way: Once you realize that you cannot rely on Lasik advertising and that cost is one of the last considerations in choosing a Lasik surgeons you're ready to be armed with the following tips that will help you choose a Lasik surgeon the right way:
Research: There are many books, pamphlets and reliable Internet sites that can give you straight information about the Lasik procedure itself, the risks of the procedure, the complications you may expect and the results that may be expected from a successful procedure. Read as much of this information as you can, it will not only educate you, it will be invaluable knowledge that you can use during your initial consultations. One tip on Internet research: Lasik has only been a FDA approved procedure since 1998 and since then there have been many improvements in the procedure, in the equipment and in the criteria for patient selection; make sure you are reading recent material so you have the most current information. Much of the material on the Internet is hard to date.
Ophthalmologists in your area: The American Academy of Ophthalmology has an informative, reliable web site (http://www.aao.org/) that is mostly devoted to the Ophthalmologists among their membership but it also has informative links that will help you understand eye health and search for a member of the Academy who is located in your area.
Look for the FACS accreditation: The letters FACS after a surgeon's name means that the surgeon is a 'Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.' Any surgeon who has earned that FACS designation has passed a thorough evaluation in the areas of education, training, qualifications, competence and conduct. Obviously, the best choice for a Lasik surgeon is one who proudly displays the FACS designation.
Ask your optometrist: If you are considering Lasik, it's a good bet you have an optometrist in your past. Talk to your optometrist and see if he or she has a recommendation for a Lasik surgeon.
Consultations (plural intended): After your research you should have a list of accredited Lasik surgeons in your area --- it may be a short list or a long one. Prepare a list of questions and concerns and arrange for appointments with all the surgeons on your list. After each consultation, after you've asked your questions, heard what the doctor had to say, looked around the facility and observed the clinic's operation you will have some definite impressions of the surgeon, the facility and the staff. Don't trust your memory, write your impressions down so you can go back later, after all your consultations, and compare your experiences in each clinic. Eventually you will narrow down your list to one Lasik surgeon that you feel you can trust, talk to and work with.
This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".
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