Laser eye surgery is a term commonly thought to be synonymous with refractive eye surgery. Well-known refractive surgical procedures like PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), LASEK (laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratomileusis) and LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) have cemented the association between refractive surgery and laser eye surgery. In truth, a nonrefractive procedure can involve the use of a laser, just as refractive surgery does not necessarily involve a laser. For the purposes of this article, however, we will explore how to get the refractive kinds of laser eye surgery.
- Consult your eye doctor. Explain your desire to consider possible surgical procedures to correct your vision. Your doctor can assess your ocular history and determine which laser procedures would be potentially beneficial. You can learn a lot about risks and what results to expect, as well as the possible expense, by talking to the doctor. Together, you will establish your options moving forward, and determine if laser eye surgery is one of those options.
- Part of that process will be determining whether or not you are an eligible candidate for laser eye surgery. Age, health (both ocular and general), the stability of your vision, your profession - all of these and more must be taken into consideration as you explore whether or not laser eye surgery is an acceptable option for you. Many of you are likely wondering about LASIK surgery; read our other article for more guidance as to whether you qualify for LASIK.
- Find a laser eye surgeon. Knowledge of your eye history and familiarity with the local medical community means that once again your eye doctor can be of great help as you look for an excellent laser eye surgeon. But feel free to conduct your own search for reputable laser eye surgeons as well. There are a few guidelines when searching for a laser eye surgeon.
- Do not judge a book by its cover. Glossy advertisements can be misleading; no ad can substitute for the recommendation of a trusted doctor or the cold facts that you can gather by talking to the surgeon yourself.
- Do not be seduced by the promise of ultra-cheap procedures.
- When you meet with laser eye surgeons, be sure to ask many questions about their practice. Ask how long many times they have performed your particular procedure and ask about the success rate. Medical procedures evolve constantly, so make sure the surgeon avails himself of continuing education. Exposure to the academic world is a strong indication that the surgeon has kept up with all recent developments. If the surgeon seems uncomfortable with your line of questioning, you should continue your search for a different surgeon. A separate article on our site will be helpful if you are looking for a LASIK surgeon.
Once you have found an excellent surgeon, the two of you can begin to make arrangements for laser eye surgery and discuss what you can expect during the recovery period.