What to Ask During a LASIK Consultation
The first step in LASIK is always a consultation that verifies your candidacy for the procedure through a series of tests and questions. As a patient interested in LASIK, this is also an important opportunity for you to ask your own questions. LASIK is offered by numerous licensed professionals and you’ll want to find one you can place your full confidence in so you are comfortable and confident before heading into the operating room. In this article, we will cover some of the important questions to ask during your LASIK consultation.
1. Which surgeon will perform my surgery and what is their professional training?
Several surgeons may be at your disposal for the operation. Ask who your surgeon will be and what their expertise and experience is.
- How many years of experience do they have? (Look for a decade or more)
- How many LASIK surgeries have they done? (Look for anywhere from the high hundreds into the low thousands)
- What are their patient results? (What percent achieved 20/20 vision or better?)
- Have they ever experienced surgical complications? How were they handled and what was the outcome? (Complications aren’t a requirement, but the reality on the risks is important)
- Have they operated on friends or family? (A good sign of trust and confidence)
As with all surgical procedures, there are some inherent risks in LASIK. Patients who receive it and eye doctors who administer it believe the rewards far outweigh the risks. If your potential doctor glosses over these questions and blindly assures you all is well, that may be a sign to look elsewhere. Patients should be given realistic expectations on the potential risks and rewards of the procedure.
2. What results can I expect?
Having tested and analyzed your eyes, your eye doctor should be able to inform you as to if or how any eyesight related problems you have will specifically react to or be improved by LASIK, and which conditions will likely not be handled by LASIK. For instance, severe refractive errors, cataracts, or amblyopia (“lazy eye”) are not treated by LASIK but by other procedures.
3. Am I the right age for LASIK?
While LASIK is FDA approved for patients ages 18 and older, eye doctors with extensive experience will be able to tell you whether your age is conducive to getting LASIK. The “ideal patient” is usually between 35 and 55-years-old.
4. How much will it cost?
LASIK centers often provide offers and may include fees. Ensure there are no hidden fees to avoid fluctuations in the initial set price. In the United States, prices range from around $1,500 to $3,000 per eye. This helps you to make the necessary arrangements for the medical fees as well as to help establish the quality of the operation. A well-done LASIK by highly qualified professionals is likely to be very affordable but, factually, not necessarily the cheapest option you will find.
5. Am I eligible for LASIK surgery?
It is important to know if you are a suitable candidate for the surgery before making the necessary arrangement for it. Patients must meet certain criteria for the procedure including:
- Two years of stable (unchanging) contact lens or eyeglass prescription
- Preferably 25 years of age or older, with the minimum age requirement being 18
- No history of significant medical or eye problems
- Is not pregnant prior to surgery
6. What are the potential risks?
Although LASIK has a very high success rate, in the upper 98-99 percentile, it should be noted that everyone responds differently. Ask about the potential risks and benefits based on your medical history.
- Are there better options for my eyes and my eyesight?
- Should I wait a while before getting LASIK?
- Do you see any condition that indicates I should get a different treatment before LASIK or in place of it?
- What makes me a really good candidate for LASIK?
7. How long does the procedure take? How long will it take for me to recover?
A typical LASIK operation takes about 20 minutes. Recovery time varies from patient to patient but typically takes 6 to 12 hours for the bulk of recovery, after which they will continue using eye drops and steroids for about one week. Immediately after surgery, rest is recommended for the remainder of the day, rather than focusing or fixating your eyes on TV, books, etc.
8. Will my results last for a lifetime or will I need another procedure?
Required retreatment is a possibility. Conditions in some candidates make this more likely than in others so be sure to ask about the long-term results of the procedure for you, once your eyes have been thoroughly examined.
9. How should I prepare for the procedure?
Patients with certain lifestyle habits or who are taking certain medications may need to postpone those leading up to and after the surgery.
10. Review their website and reviews
Established eye doctors tend to have a professional website presence and positive reviews on multiple platforms (as opposed to a single “landing page” that can be quickly put together and is designed to flatter and oversell). Esteemed eye doctors will also frequently have media mentions. Spend a few minutes and look through these on Google. If you wish to learn more or schedule a consultation, contact us today!