When choosing an eye surgeon in Denver Co, it may be tempting to go with the first surgeon, best price, or “that doctor that my friend goes to”. But keep in mind that a bad outcome from eye surgery can be life devastating. That is why it is important to choose the best eye surgeon you can.
Some indicators of a good surgeon are excellent credentials, extensive experience, and a willingness to work with you for the long run, in the event that is needed.
How do you find a good eye surgeon?
A few of the factors to consider when reviewing surgeons are:
Licensing: A surgeons credentials can be validated through the Colorado State Licensing Board as well as the National Practitioners Data Bank
Board Certified: Board certified means the surgeon has gone above and beyond the basic medical qualifications and demonstrated abilities to a group of peers. The American Board of Ophthalmology requires board certified physicians to complete very specific training as well as continued education to maintain a current level of competence.
FACS: Fellows of the American College of Surgeons have undergone a very stringent process to prove their skills and knowledge.
Do They Advertise? Many refractive surgeons advertise, but what are they advertising? Is it a price? Or a promise? Don’t let basement pricing be the reason you choose a surgeon.
In a nutshell:
- Ask your regular doctor and friends for referrals
- Check the physician’s credentials
- Inquire about potential complications and how they are handled
- Be clear on the billing process and follow-up procedures
- Make sure you like the staff and they are friendly as well as understanding
Once You Find A Surgeon:
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Unfortunately complications happen and you want to be sure the surgeon who works on your eyes has the experience to keep you out of trouble. Here is a list of questions you might want to ask the Ophthalmologist.
How many procedures have you performed? (be specific about the procedure. ex. LASIK, PRK, CK, LASEK, etc)
What is your complication rate? (In the 1990’s there was a reported 5% of LASIK patients who experienced some sort of complication. This number is improving with better screening and procedures. Today, experienced surgeons may boast a 1% complication rate)
What are your outcomes? And what outcome will you expect from me?
In the event of a complication, what is your follow-up policy?
Do you charge extra if an enhancement is needed? (Get details on time lines here)
If you are not pleased with the answers the first surgeon provided, find another one. Remember you only get one pair of eyes and it only takes one bad surgery to destroy your vision for life. Even with very low complication rates, make sure you choose the best surgeon.
The surgeon you choose will be the one to put you on the table and use a laser as well as a very high tech lighted magnifying glass to make ultra precise adjustments to your cornea. While it may seem simple and the doctor may have done it a thousand times before. You want to be sure that the doctor you choose can do the best job possible on your eyes.
For your reference, here is some further information on eye surgery from the fda.