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Focus on laser eye surgery: Part 2

01/11/2017

Choosing a laser eye surgeon

Choosing a laser eye surgeon

We continue our series of short articles discussing the common questions people have about laser eye surgery.

Here we discuss a critical part of the process – how to choose a laser eye surgeon. Many people find this a daunting task, especially how and where to begin. So we’ve put together a list of questions that you should ask potential surgeons/clinics:

  • Are you registered with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists?
  • How many laser eye surgeries have you performed and what is your success rate?
  • Are there other treatment options and is this surgery the most appropriate option for me?
  • What is the optimal age for me to have laser eye surgery?
  • What are the potential complications from this surgery? Are there ways to treat these complications if they arise?
  • If the procedure fails to meet our expectations, what course of action might be involved in retreatment? What are the costs of retreatment if required?
  • Do you use the latest state-of-the art equipment?
  • What type of anaesthesia do you use?
  • What is the post-operative recovery period?
  • Is your facility fully accredited, do you use sterile practices and are you adequately staffed?
  • How much do you charge for laser eye surgery and what exactly is included in the fee? Does this include a post-operative review and after-hours care in case of emergencies?
  • If I am concerned following the surgery, how easy is it for me to contact you?

Remember at this stage to focus on the suitability of the surgeon to perform the procedure and important information about the procedure itself (other questions about the procedure, such as what to expect on the day of surgery, can come later). These questions are designed to gather information about the qualifications and experience of the surgeon and how willing he/she is to discuss what is involved and potential complications/retreatment. You should also gain an understanding of the facilities, equipment and sterile practices that the surgeon and his/her staff will use.

Comparing cost is difficult when it comes to complex procedures like eye surgery

Cost is obviously a major factor for laser eye surgery. Always clarify whether the cost is for one or both eyes and make sure you know exactly what is included in the fee. It is important to make sure you are comparing like with like, but this is often difficult when it comes to complex procedures like eye surgery, where factors such as surgeon experience, success rate, equipment and access to aftercare are vital.

It’s not possible to put a price on your vision so make sure you do your homework thoroughly. Make sure you check if you’re unsure about something. You might find it helpful to bring a family member or friend along to the appointment and to take notes that you can refer back to afterwards.

Related posts:

All medical and surgical procedures have potential complications – check with your ophthalmologist before proceeding.

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