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Many Options in Vision Corrective Surgery, not just LASIK

Unlike ten years ago, today’s world of LASIK and laser vision correction is filled with options. The San Francisco Bay area offers many choices in providers and services. Many people think that they can choose between glasses, contacts, and LASIK. The truth is that there are now numerous methods and technologies and no single option fits everyone. San Francisco Bay Area residents should consider other options in addition to LASIK if they are itnerested in surgical vision correction.

Is LASIK surgery the best option for everyone? No. Some people are poor candidates for LASIK and other vision correction surgery. The limitations of LASIK surgery are fewer now than ever before but there are always psychological reasons why some people would not make good candidates.

“My optometrist says that glasses are generally the best option.” Glasses are the most conservative option, although there are some groups that advocate no correction at all. Unfortunately, glasses have their own limitations. They need frequent adjustments, can be lost or suffer breakage, and are a physical impediment to many activities. Some people also consider glasses to be less physically attractive.

Is surgery absolutely safe then? No. Contact lenses are not absolutely safe either. Contact lenses can lead to eye infections and result in a constant trauma to the surface of the eye from mechanical irritation and lack of oxygen. Your LASIK surgeon can discuss with you the relative risks of the various surgery options. I would not rule out surgery because there are risks involved. Driving involves risks and yet we continue to drive. It is important that you are informed about the level of risks and the potential for benefit. Most people consider the benefits of surgery to outweigh the potential risks.

What is the first step? Gather information from reliable sources, optometrists and health care professionals are generally a good source. Do not rely upon one person’s opinion to heavily. Vision corrective surgeries are enormously successful. One person’s opinion does not provide a valid sample size.

Find out about the LASIK surgeon’s credentials. Where the doctor went to undergraduate or medical school are not nearly as important as where his/her specialty training occurred. A LASIK surgeon needs to have performed at least a thousand and preferably several thousand procedures.

Is the LASIK surgeon up to date and the newest procedures? If a doctor has fallen behind, then chances are you will not receive the best treatment available. Medical technology advances rapidly. A complacent LASIK surgeon might be performing a surgery that is considered outdated or using technology that is no longer considered to be the best available.

You can always check to see if the LASIK doctor has been sued before. These records are publicly available. A doctor who has performed 10,000 procedures will likely have had a lawsuit brought against him/her. A doctor who has performed 500 procedures may not have performed enough procedures to have had a lawsuit brought against him/her so be aware of the doctor’s level of experience. One or two lawsuits shouldn’t be considered abnormal for an experienced surgeon. A LASIK doctor who has never been sued may be very good, very lucky, or very inexperienced. A LASIK doctor who has been sued is possibly very experienced, very unlucky, or very bad.