The Key to a Successful LASIK Surgery: Looking for the Right Surgeon

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

People suffering with vision problems have finally found cure to their condition. As medical science advances, various surgical and non-surgical treatments have been introduced. From the conventional eyeglasses and artificial contact lenses, a long-term resolution has been introduced: LASIK surgery.

The success of this procedure has been overwhelming with notably high satisfaction rate at more than 90 percent. Patients and practitioners alike attest to the efficacy of this procedure. Furthermore, the success ratings continue to spike up as the process is redefined with evolving technology.

How do We See?

A human eye is composed of tissues and muscles that function similar to a camera. Light plays a significant role in the way a person sees. Objects appear clearer if the light that enters into the eye is focused onto the retina. The light’s focal point also affects how one sees near or far objects.

The eyes have two lenses: the cornea and the lens. The Cornea is located in the front of the Pupil, while the Lens is located behind. These lenses are responsible for focusing the images.

Hence, if a person’s cornea is very flat, it leads to a condition known as hyperopia or farsightedness. Conversely, if one’s cornea is too steep, he cannot see objects from afar. This condition is referred to as hyperopia or nearsightedness. Meanwhile, astigmatism occurs when the cornea has an irregular shape.

A Closer Look at LASIK

In order to correct the optical anomaly, the cornea must be properly shaped. In LASIK surgery, reshaping the cornea is done by removing corneal tissue through the use of highly specialized laser.

The surgeon uses computer to ensure accuracy and avoid hitting other critical parts of the eye by mistake. The excimer lasers are focused on the tissues that need removal or ablating until the desired shape is achieved.

This refractive eye surgery is generally painless and requires only topical anesthetic drops. Although some patients may feel a sense of discomfort or pressure as the laser sends off pulses of light throughout the operation, the pain level is quite negligible.

The operation is performed separately for each eye and often lasts for a few minutes only. After the procedure, the Corneal flap is repositioned to serve as natural bandage. Unlike other surgeries, this does not require stitches or bandages. Therefore, the eyes can recover faster.

Choosing a Surgeon

The success of a procedure depends entirely on the one performing it. A competent surgeon increases the chances of a successful operation. On the other hand, an unskilled practitioner exposes his patients to the risks of under-treatment or over-treatment.

Hence, every patient must choose their surgeons carefully. Here are some tips on finding the right surgeon for your LASIK Surgery.

1. Gather names.

Find out who are the respectable ophthalmologists in your area. Collect as many names as you possibly can. Your friends can be a good source of referrals, especially those who underwent surgery before. If you know of a good eye doctor practicing far from your area, you can also ask him for any recommendations. They have their own network and he might know someone skilled nearby.

2. Check for certification.

Validate the professional’s credentials with the state licensing board. The surgeon must be certified to practice LASIK surgery. This specialty requires specific training as well as continuing education. Not all ophthalmologists can perform surgery.

3. Be curious.

Asking questions does not only grant you a better understanding of the process, but it also allows you to evaluate the surgeon’s expertise on the matter. Asking the right questions can help you determine if the professional indeed knows his trade.

How many procedures have he done before?

Choose a surgeon who is experienced enough. Although experience is not an absolute qualification, practitioners become more comfortable and confident after performing a number of operations. Their experiences also help them assess the situation better and reduce the risks of under- or over-treatment.  

How will the surgery go?

There is no need to be very technical when asking this question. A qualified surgeon would be able to explain the process to his patient in a layman’s term. This proves that he is indeed familiar with the procedure.

What is their rejection rate?

Not everyone is a good candidate for this process for various reasons. Programs with high screening standards typically reject 10 percent from their prospective patients.

What are the other alternatives?

It is wise to consider other options in case the results of the pre-surgical consultations suggest that you are not an ideal candidate for this operation.

4. Know the limitations.

LASIK surgery is primarily for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It does not guarantee a 20/20 vision. Moreover, some patients still had to wear eyeglasses upon reaching middle age.

5. Understand the risks.

There are risks associated to this process. It is very important that you are aware of the risks to decide if this procedure is right for you. Slight discomfort is natural and to be expected after an operation.

6. Undergo pre-surgical assessments.

There are certain anatomical factors and conditions that could affect the result of the surgery. Undergoing consultations, tests and diagnosis is vital for evaluating if you are eligible to go through the operation. The initial checkups also allow the practitioner to examine your condition and prepare for the surgery.

7. Be mindful of the post-surgical care.

You should have the same amount of vigor in following the doctor’s prescription after the surgery as you had before and during the operation. This speeds up the recovery process and avoids the risks of developing complications.

The Ultimate Tip

The eyes are among the most important parts of our body. It functions every day for as long as one is awake. Ironically, only a few know how to take good care of their eyes.

Although LASIK surgery offers lifetime solution, degeneration may still occur that could affect your vision. Luckily, there are simple tips and tricks that could help you maintain good eyesight, such as eating vitamin-A rich foods, not straining your eyes, getting enough rest and the like. More importantly, do not forget to visit an eye doctor regularly. 

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