Questions to ask your laser eye surgeon
Deciding to have laser eye surgery is a big decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Being confident in your laser eye surgeon is extremely important and the following are some laser eye surgery questions you should consider asking during your consultation:
- How long have you been performing laser eye surgery? A minimum of 2 years is acceptable but the longer the better.
- How many laser eye surgery procedures have you carried out in the past year? 300 or more is considered good.
- How many of your intended treatment has the surgeon performed? For example, if you are going to have Wavefront Intralase surgery then it would be useful to know how many of these procedures your surgeon has completed. You would hope your surgeon had carried out at least 100 of the exact same procedures that you are considering having.
- What percentage of your patients requires a laser enhancement/re-treatment? You should also check what the clinic’s policy is on laser enhancements and whether you have to pay. Many laser eye surgery clinics have a policy where up to a certain amount of time after the procedure (e.g. 12 months) the re-treatment is free. Some clinics offer a lifetime guarantee so you will need to check this. A 5% enhancement rate is considered normal.
- How many of your patients do you consider unsuitable for laser eye surgery? Not all patients are suitable for laser eye surgery and be wary if the surgeon says everyone is suitable. The average figure for laser eye surgery is about 90% although some specialist clinics may have a higher figure. You can read more about suitability issues at the following link: Laser eye surgery suitability
- How many of your patients achieve 20:20 vision? 6:6 vision is the term used in the UK and refers to perfect vision – 20:20 is in fact American terminology but is widely used here as well. Most clinics will have 20:20 vision success rates of at least 90% and this is likely to be considerably higher for low, short sighted prescriptions.
- What is your complication rate? With today’s modern laser technology a complication rate of 0.1% is considered to be normal. This means that only 1 in 1000 procedures result in problems and the vast majority of these are easily treated by your surgeon. You can read more about the complications of laser eye surgery here.
- Is your surgeon accessible if you have any concerns? If you have any worries or concerns following your surgery is it possible to see the surgeon or do you have to see one of the ancillary staff?
When it comes to making the final decision about where to have your surgery, the best thing to do is to go with your instinct. Do you feel you trust the surgeon, optician and all the ancillary staff to carry out your laser vision correction and give you the vision you have always wanted? If the answer is yes, then go for it!