What To Look For When Choosing a LASIK Doctor

LASIK eye surgeon

5 tips on how to find a good LASIK doctor

If you are seriously considering a laser vision correction procedure and don’t have a relationship with a refractive or LASIK doctor (an ophthalmologist specializing in LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures), here are a few suggestions for choosing and having a consultation with a LASIK doctor:

  1. Be comfortable with your LASIK doctor. He or she should be eager to answer all your questions and help you make an informed decision.  That includes a discussion about the risks and benefits of LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures you might be a candidate for. LASIK is a safe and effective procedure but there are limits to what it can achieve.  Be wary of a practice that overpromises on results or dismisses potential risks.
  2. Ask about the doctor’s experience. The more experience a doctor has, the better. A reputable doctor should welcome any inquiries into his training and expertise. It is not uncommon for a highly experienced doctor to have performed more than 25,000 LASIK procedures.
  3. Talk about candidacy.  Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK – in fact, 15-25 percent of patients don’t meet the qualification standards.  Patient selection is essential to a good outcome, so understanding your doctor’s process is important. Certain medical issues, such as diabetes or thin or damaged corneas, may rule out LASIK as a good option for some people. However, there are other vision correction procedures, such as SMILE or PRK, that may be suitable for a given patient’s needs.
  4. Choose professionalism over price. It’s natural to want to get a good deal on LASIK, but this is an investment in the quality of vision and life – prioritize expertise and experience over price. A consultation shouldn’t feel like a sales process, you shouldn’t feel pressured to commit to the procedure right away.  A LASIK consultation should be a thorough evaluation of your eye health and vision to gather all the needed to make a solid recommendation about vision correction. 
  5. Ask about their technology. Not all LASIK surgeons have access to or invest in the most advanced equipment.  Ask your LASIK doctor specifically about the laser vision correction technology they use and why a particular one may be better for the vision correction procedure you need.

How to make the most out of your LASIK eye doctor consultation

To help you prepare for a productive conversation with your LASIK eye doctor, we’ve put together this LASIK patient checklist to help you organize your thoughts and guide you through your consultation.

LASIK Patient Checklist

  1. I have independently researched the LASIK procedure to learn about the procedure.
  2. I have considered whether vision correction surgery is a good option for my vision and lifestyle. 
  3. I have selected a qualified doctor who is a board-certified ophthalmologist who has performed more than 1,000 procedures.

I have selected a LASIK practice that suits me and my needs and has provided me with the support I need to make an informed decision such as:

  1. Providing me with patient references.
  2. Giving me informational materials to read and understand.
  3. Answering my questions.
  4. My choice of a LASIK eye surgeon is determined by my confidence in his skills and qualifications, not by the price of my procedure.

I know I am a good candidate for LASIK because I have:

  1. Shared my complete health history with my surgeon/practice, including a list of my medications and any medical conditions.
  2. My eyeglass/contact lens prescription has been stable for at least 12 months.
  3. Undergone a thorough (upwards of 2-3 hours) evaluation of my vision and eye health that confirmed my physical candidacy for LASIK.
  4. Shared any concerns or questions I have about the procedure and discussed the risks and benefits of the surgery.
  5. Discussed my expectations of the surgery, the post-operative healing process, and the outcome with my surgeon. 
  6. Discussed any real or potential factors that may impact the outcome of my procedure.
  7. Thoroughly reviewed the materials provided to me by my surgeon/practice to help me make an informed decision.

If you can say you have checked each item off the LASIK patient checklist above congratulations on finding the LASIK doctor and practice that is right for you. You are on a good track to making an educated and informed decision about laser vision correction procedures that are right for you.

The Refractive Surgery Council Editorial Advisory Board is comprised of some of the world’s leading refractive surgeons, thought-leaders, and innovators that review and approve our articles, as well as identify and interpret the latest findings in the field of refractive surgery. The Refractive Surgery Council (RSC) Verified Seal means that every article we share meets the highest standards in the field of refractive surgery.

Published September 23, 2021
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