What doctor to choose, USAeyes certified vs The Best ?

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What doctor to choose, USAeyes certified vs The Best ?

Postby bikereyes » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:34 am

Hello folks!

I've been reading a lot on this forum and got to the point of selecting the doctor to do the surgery for my wife and me.

We live in Nashville TN and the USAEyes certified doctor is Dr L. He charges $1,500 per eye. I am scheduled for surgery to correct my astigmatism on december 5th.

The other doctor is Dr MW, who is a Harvard doc with a PHD in laser physics, teaches other lasik docs and is an eminence in the field. He charges $2k per eye. (usually charges 3,800 per eye, but due to the economy being bad, he adjusted his prices)

My questions is, how strong is USAEyes' certification for me to go ahead and have piece of mind in choosing the certified dr vs the Dr who is not certified by USAEyes, but has the best background and credentials? Who would you folks choose? There is a 1k savings in choosing Dr Loden and he is USAEyes certified.

I appreciate your input in this!

Thank you!

Note: Post edited to remove names of doctors.
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Postby beingbobbyorr » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:59 am

I'm shopping for ICLs, not Lasik, but since Lasik may be the way they fine-tune post-ICL vision, I've looked into Lasik/PRK a little, as well.

My random thoughts:

1) I don't look at price for refractive surgery. My eyes are my most important organ, and I refuse to let dollars factor into my decision.

2) The word on the street is that the Visx S4 or the Alegretto Wave is the state-of-the-art laser. If the doctor doesn't have one of those in his toolkit, he's off my list. I know Glenn will downplay this in favor of judging the surgeons skills, but as far as I'm concerned, the greatest surgeon in the world can't do the best job possible with middle-of-the-road technology. In other words, my philosophy is that a state-of-the-art laser is a necessary -- but not sufficient -- condition for optimum results. That said, I admit this could be the engineer in me getting carried away with technology.

3) To me, the USAEyes certification is less important than the doctor having his answers to the USAEyes questionairre (or the equivalent thereof) on his website. Or at the very least, he needs to demonstrate that he's very patient with answering ALL your questions in the consultation(s).
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Postby DryEye » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:57 pm

Don't underestimate the importance of choosing a TOP Surgeon if you choose to do this surgery
If you can get a Top 10 Guy then do it
I'd rather have Michael Jordan even with a ball that is slightly off than not
That's the only way I go on my next go around
No guarantees, but your giving yourself the best odds
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Postby bikereyes » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:32 am

I am seeing the TOP surgeon tomorrow for my complete examination. We got a great deal and me and my wife are getting it done. My doc has written a couple of books on refractive surgery, has a non profit organization for the blind, has a PHD in laser physics.. etc.. I could brag all day thankfully. We just hope that all this positive things beat all the odds of post op complications. Wish us luck.. and I promise to update this post with our experience. :)
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Postby LasikExpert » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:12 pm

I am familiar with both Nashville surgeons. Dr. L has gone through our certification process. We have actually looked at his patient outcomes to affirm that he meets or exceeds our requirements.

Dr. MW is very well respected in the ophthalmic community; however we have never evaluated his patient outcomes.

When evaluating any credentials proffered by any physician, see what is required to attain them. I'm obviously biased, but I believe an evaluation of actual patient outcomes is of the highest value. Dr. L has been willing to submit to our evaluation.
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USAEyes

Lasik Info &
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I am not a doctor.
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Postby bikereyes » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:23 pm

I ended up having the Wavefront bladless LASIK with DR MW. It has been 6 days and I am really surprised and pleased with the results so far, although it is too early to say I'm on the clear free from post op complications. I can see 20/25 for now, but the doc said that It should improve with healing. To me, this is already fine! I can see just as sharp as when I was wearing my glasses. The bad part is that I am experiencing a little bit of dry eye mostly on my right eye. I had dry eyes before the surgery as well, so this was expected. The doctor decided to put the silicone plugs on both eyes and on both eye lids (top and bottom) before the surgery ..so my tears have no drainage!! between my natural tears and all the prescription drops I have to use every other hour, my eyes are constantly wet.. like I am crying all the time! Doc said that is better for healing vs having dry eyes. I also have the halos at night and during the day, but only for certain types of lights.. in example a certain type of car headlight. My wife had it 2 days after me and she has the halos as well and no dry eyes! I am looking forward to a complete recovery with no complications. I've looked into the FDA public hearings held in April of 2008 and Lasik has been devastating for some. I hope me and my wife are the lucky ones!
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Postby LasikExpert » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:44 am

As I'm sure you know, it is much too early to make any decisions about your final outcome, but so far all sounds great.

bikereyes wrote:I've looked into the FDA public hearings held in April of 2008 and Lasik has been devastating for some. I hope me and my wife are the lucky ones!


I made four presentations at this hearing; three for others and one presenting the USAEyes Competence Opinion Relative to Expectation (CORE) patient survey. Yes, there were many angry people there. Fortunately, as a percentage they are a minority.
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Postby bikereyes » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:30 am

I read the presentation you linked above. I bet it was a lot of work gathering all the data. Thank you for doing this.

Your results are based on 6 surgeons and their patients. I wonder if these are top notch doctors. I am assuming that they are from the good results post op. From your experience and what you heard at the hearings, would you say that the doctor's experience is the number 1 factor in having good post-op results? Assuming the patient was properly selected and the laser is state of the art.

Have you heard anything about the FDA banning the procedure?
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Postby LasikExpert » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:13 pm

All surgeons in the study had already been certified by our organization, so they were the better doctors. More physicians have been added since the preliminary report was presented to the FDA and with additional funding we plan to expand the survey much more. It is already the most extensive independent refractive surgery patient survey to date.

bikereyes wrote:Have you heard anything about the FDA banning the procedure?


The FDA has absolutely no plans to even consider banning laser assisted refractive surgery and when such a thought was raised at the meeting it was roundly denounced.
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Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Postby Mark20 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:01 pm

Was the banning thought raised by the FDA or a presenter(s)?
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Postby DryEye » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:46 pm

Where is the survey online?
How much more funding and how big do you foresee it being?
My bet is that the 95% success ratio the media touts and that almost all hear about it is with Top Surgeons and not the middle/lower tier of the industry that is allowed to perform this.
Problem is most don't know about this site to gather the necessary information/expertise and most trust doctors on what they say or write on their websites, which isn't always true.
Transparency of the data is the Best Medicine for all involved.
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Postby LasikExpert » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:08 am

At the FDA: USAEyes Competence Opinon Relative to Expectations (CORE) patient survey.

Size and scope issues are undecided. We are seeking additional funding now. Ideally, more than 50 doctors.

There are certainly some surgeons who do not provide the results reflected in the USAEyes CORE patient survey. That is why we exist...to help people avoid the worst Lasik doctors.

I doubt that the majority of people who decide to have Lasik visit us first, but we are very highly ranked (Google "Lasik") and we get a lot of visitors.
Glenn Hagele
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USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Postby DryEye » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:57 am

It looks like you did a great deal of work and will take the time to look it over
Your site should be mentioned on all the informed consents out there along with the FDA site
The information one can gather here truly allows someone to make an "informed" decision.
Knowledge and Wisdom.....
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Postby LasikExpert » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:59 am

Mark20 wrote:Was the banning thought raised by the FDA or a presenter(s)?


There was one civilian patient representative appointed to the panel. This person has a long, long history of condemning just about everything about Lasik. It was this representative that raised the issue. No other member of the panel agreed to any degree.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Postby kugs10 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:57 pm

bikereyes wrote:I ended up having the Wavefront bladless LASIK with DR MW. It has been 6 days and I am really surprised and pleased with the results so far, although it is too early to say I'm on the clear free from post op complications. I can see 20/25 for now, but the doc said that It should improve with healing. To me, this is already fine! I can see just as sharp as when I was wearing my glasses. The bad part is that I am experiencing a little bit of dry eye mostly on my right eye. I had dry eyes before the surgery as well, so this was expected. The doctor decided to put the silicone plugs on both eyes and on both eye lids (top and bottom) before the surgery ..so my tears have no drainage!! between my natural tears and all the prescription drops I have to use every other hour, my eyes are constantly wet.. like I am crying all the time! Doc said that is better for healing vs having dry eyes. I also have the halos at night and during the day, but only for certain types of lights.. in example a certain type of car headlight. My wife had it 2 days after me and she has the halos as well and no dry eyes! I am looking forward to a complete recovery with no complications. I've looked into the FDA public hearings held in April of 2008 and Lasik has been devastating for some. I hope me and my wife are the lucky ones!


Congrats on your LASIK! Dr. MW is one of the best refractive surgeons in the country, in my opinion. I am a board certified ophthalmologist currently practicing in Nebraska and I have decided to move to Nashville to spend a year learning from him. The FDA hearings illustrated the importance of choosing the right surgeon. Dr. W is one of the few surgeons in the world who specializes in LASIK complications, so he has the experience needed to avoid complications in his own patients.

Note: Post edited to remove name of surgern.
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