Congratulations! You are taking the next—and very important step—in your LASIK experience: Getting a LASIK consultation with a qualified ophthalmologist specializing in refractive surgery. Your consultation with a refractive surgeon should be balanced, detailed, and personalized to you and your vision. The American Refractive Surgery Council offers this advice about what to expect when you meet with a surgeon.
The LASIK consultation will last approximately 2-3 hours, during which time you will have your vision, eyes, and overall health thoroughly evaluated to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery.
Go to the appointment prepared with questions about the LASIK procedure and the surgeon’s qualifications. Expect to discuss the following with your surgeon:
- Your full health history. There are medical conditions, such as diabetes, that may make LASIK and other laser vision correction options not a good choice. Also, certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can affect the healing process.
- The outcome you can expect given your specific vision and circumstances. The ophthalmologist should answer all of your questions and help you understand the risks and benefits of LASIK.
- Any post-surgery enhancements and factors for deciding to do a retreatment.
Ask your surgeon any questions you have about LASIK and how it fits with your specific vision considerations. He or she should work with you to determine if you are a good candidate and set realistic expectations. A reputable practice will make sure that you receive all the materials you need to make a decision. Be sure to read and understand them thoroughly, including the informed consent.
You may decide to consult with more than one surgeon in order to find one who meets your needs. You should trust your physician and have a good rapport.
Your LASIK consultation shouldn’t feel like a sales process. Don’t be pressured by special offers or coupons. Getting a great deal should not be the deciding factor for any surgical procedure. An especially low price may not reflect your total costs, as some services may be extra. Ask for a written estimate that tells you exactly what is included – and what isn’t.
The prospect of LASIK is exciting and the decision to have LASIK is an important one. Following these steps will help you make the right decision for your vision.