Choosing to have LASIK eye surgery is an important decision and potential patients must make sure that they have all of the information needed prior to undergoing the procedure. Determining whether you qualify as a candidate, locating a qualified surgeon and learning the particulars about the surgery are but some of the questions that require answers. Here are five questions you must answer before you opt for surgery.
1. Do You Qualify as a Candidate?
A reputable surgeon will tell you honestly whether surgical vision correction is appropriate. If a physician discourages you from having the procedure, understand why. Resist the urge to pursue the matter with other physicians until you find someone who agrees with your decision. The reasons that disqualify patients generally increase the risk of experiencing an unfortunate outcome. Remember that though perhaps less desirable, conventional methods of vision correction still exist.
2. How Many Surgeries Has Your Surgeon Personally Performed?
While many facilities may quickly quote the number of overall surgeries performed, it is important to find out how many procedures your surgeon has personally performed. Also, while many have vast experience with LASIK eye surgery, all may not be acquainted with the different types of vision correction procedures and varieties of equipment. Make sure you understand the specific surgery you need and whether or not your surgeon has significant experience with that procedure.
3. Will My Procedure Include Laser Treatment Only?
Some physicians perform the surgery using a laser and a handheld microkeratome blade. However, many physicians believe that the femtosecond laser creates the necessary flap more accurately, which increases the level of safety. Additionally, some facilities charge extra for a laser-only surgery. Patients should be aware of the difference in procedures and determine the standard of care.
4. Is the Surgical Suite Climate-controlled?
Climate-controlled rooms are equipped with filtering systems that eliminate dust while monitoring humidity and overall air quality. These factors are important as the corneal bed beneath the flap acts as a magnet for even the tiniest foreign particles, a circumstance which poses a risk for adverse reactions. Optimal conditions include the use of HEPA filters and specially designed air-conditioning systems that ensure air purification. Ask your clinic whether or not their site is climate-controlled before deciding on them.
5. Does the Facility Use Sterile Procedures During Surgery?
As LASIK requires little time from start to finish, hopefully facilities take the extra time to ensure the safety of each patient by using the appropriate sterile procedures before, during and after each surgery. These actions should include using sterile eye drapes, surgical drapes, gloves and gowns, in addition to implementing aseptic techniques for medical staff and instrumentation.
Whether planning on having the surgery for cosmetic or medical reasons, putting forth the effort to get questions answered ensures that you get the best outcome possible. Remember, vision is not replaceable. Ask each location about their facility conditions, your operation details, and what experience your particular surgeon has. The answers will enable you to make an educated choice on your eye care.