How do I choose a doctor?

If you are thinking about having Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL eye surgery, this is the forum to research your concerns or ask your questions.

How do I choose a doctor?

Postby fatsheep » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:41 am

I live in Louisville, Ky (ZIP = 40241). I was wondering what is the best way to spot a good surgeon? I have read a lot of the reading material about laser surgery available online but I'm still a bit skeptical about it. If I end up with a bad surgeon, it could turn out very bad and obviously I would rather be nearsighted (contacts -3.00 in each eye) than blind. ;)

So my question is simple: How do I find a good surgeon in my area? There isn't a recommended surgeon on this site in my state: http://www.usaeyes.org/surgeons/states/ ... ntucky.htm.
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Postby ryphoenix » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:52 am

I have the same question myself, except I live in San Diego. I would drive up to Los Angeles for surgery except I'm going for PRK and one eye at a time. I figure that I would probably want a local guy in case I'm having issues adjusting or some such, and it would be a hassle if my eyes didn't recover right on schedule. :?
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Postby cursorial » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:26 am

I am in Australia, so I cannot use the surgeon list on this site either.

I think the best way is to firstly do lots of research, then see lots of doctors, and ask lots of questions. The 50 tough questions http://www.usaeyes.org/lasik/faq/lasik-tough-questions.htm is a good start. It is good that you have been doing a lot of reading. Research beforehand is important as it will prepare you to ask the right questions and will arm you if anyone tries to pull the wool over your eyes. If you know your stuff it reduces your chances of having a bad outcome.

I think not only is choosing a surgeon important, but also choosing a clinic. If you see a few surgeons, you can also see how different clinics do things. I think you can tell quite a bit from a clinic by seeing how they treat you in the assessment phase. Some clinics are more thorough in pre-op testing than others. Some are more open to questions and explain things better. Some may gloss over the risks and want you to book in for surgery as soon as possible. Some may brag about how their laser is the best of the best. A clinic with a good patient management system that carefully selects candidates is less likely to stuff up in my opinion. Pre-operative screening is a crucial stage of refractive surgery, and it is where you have the most control.

If possible, you could also ask others who have been to the doctor/clinic about their experience.
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Postby croanster » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:26 pm

Have to agree with everything cursorial said on choosing a doctor. I think a bit of patient / surgeon time is very important. I think things like going through the results from wavefront mapping / pupil measurements etc with the surgeon could be significant.

Any time spent with the surgeon looking at your eyes and discussing your desired outcome could give him clues to achieve the best outcome for you.

Cursorial have you made a decision yet? I got zapped in Sydney. If thats where you’re looking, feel free to send a pm for more info.
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Postby cursorial » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:56 pm

Hi croanster, pm is disabled (well it doesn't work for me).

I am in Brisbane, I can go to sydney without too much difficulty, but I will exhaust my options here first.

I will post in my thread about my second consult I went to on Monday.
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Postby ryphoenix » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:13 am

So just pick up a newspaper and start checking out each clinic/surgeon? I was hoping to be able to do some research online and narrow down the choices first. My google skills isn't very good though, unfortunately. :oops: I'm looking to get eye surgery done ASAP and it sucks that I can only do one pre-op examine per week. So if anyone have some other tips...I would be most grateful!
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Postby cursorial » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:41 am

Do you have anywhere you can go locally? If you go somewhere/anywhere locally for an assessment at least they might be able to tell you (without you having to drive all the way to L.A.) if you have any conditions you didn't know about that might make surgery more complicated or impossible - eg. thin corneas, poor eye health, keratoconus. If you do have anything like that it may narrow your choices down anyway. You can always go to L.A. later for the actual surgery. Ask them for a print out of all your results - that can be handy for when you do your research.
Another way to narrow it down is pick some of the 50 tough questions list and just ring up the clinics and ask them some, or just ask them if they have an information pack, or a web address or something like that to send you.
I don't know how many clinics you have nearby, and I am not saying you should go to all of them. But I think you should at least go to two or three to get a feel for the way things work. Another advantage of this is you get all your tests run twice, by different testers and with different equipment so it reduces the risk of someone missing something that should have been picked up.
A lot of places have co-management - you might be able to have someone look after you locally and only go to L.A. for the surgery, which might work well for you. The only way to know if a clinic does this is to ask them.
It is your sight you are dealing with. I know it is a pain to shop around when you just want to throw your glasses in the bin ASAP. But a little bit of extra homework can save you a lot more work later when you find that you weren't a suitable candidate in the first place.
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Postby ryphoenix » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:30 am

Thanks for the replies cursorial. I've already had a few pre-op examines done in LA, and the only thing of concern is thin-ish cornea. So I've already decided to go with PRK, after further research. Between here and LA, there are TONZ of choices. I guess I'll just keep whittling my choices down...
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Postby cursorial » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:13 am

Well if you know you want to do PRK that will possibly narrow it down too, you could look for a surgeon/clinic that has done lots of PRK rather than one that specialises in Lasik.
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