Patients Vs. Patience

Dr Richard YeeA word from Dr. Yee on how to make a smarter, safer laser eye surgery choice.

 

Without a doubt, getting your vision surgically corrected is a liberating experience. And there is no shortage of places to go and have it done. Ads abound from eye surgeons and eye surgery centers offering great deals, quick procedure times, and instant results. The choices are vast and the deals tempting. But it is surgery. Therefore it’s a decision that requires careful consideration of the pros and cons before going forward.

I believe the majority of eye surgeons and surgery centers have your best interest at heart. What concerns me though is the “drive-thru” mentality of some, where emphasis is put on number of procedures performed, speed of service, and “the deal.”  True, number of procedures performed is important to look at when choosing a refractive surgeon, but it shouldn’t be the main emphasis. A patient should never be made to feel like a number. That is never acceptable. The same holds true for speed of service. Most laser surgeries, no matter where they are performed, don’t take long to do. So claims of quick service are used generally as ploys to lure customers. Plus, a good surgeon will emphasize the importance of your post-surgery convalescence. Your eyes will need time to heal. Post-op care is of utmost importance. A “speedy” eye surgery only puts you at risk for unnecessary problems, potentially dangerous complications, and little to no after-care.

Then there’s the problem of the “great deal.” As a general rule of thumb, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. What you don’t spend on the procedure could end up costing you problems with your vision. So if the price is well below the average, do more homework. Visit the facility. Visit with the doctor. Check references. If a surgeon’s number of procedures performed is high but doesn’t match with years of experience, alarm bells should ring. Also make sure your surgeon will be there for you post-surgery. Sometimes the “great deals” are advertised by traveling, “from out-of-town” surgeons. Post-op care isn’t part of their deal.

It’s not my intention to sound alarmist, but I’ve had too many people come to me after a bad surgery experience with complications and issues that could’ve been avoided. With all the choices available these days, I just want you to be aware and knowledgeable about what makes a good choice and what doesn’t. Remember, the best eye surgeons practice safety and patience with his or her patients. Your sight depends on it.

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