How to Pick Your LASIK Surgeon

How to Pick Your LASIK Surgeon

Deals on lawn mowers are good. But deals on surgical vision correction?

Pilots and astronauts who’ve had LASIK vision correction surgery now gain flight approval from the FAA and NASA. It’s that good. But it’s still eye surgery and not everyone holds the same abilities and credentials. So be smart when shopping for a surgeon to perform your LASIK surgery.

What is it? LASIK is a two-step procedure. First the surgeon cuts a flap in the eye and then sculpts the cornea to correct your eyesight.

Go for all lasers. Find a place that uses lasers for both steps. “Using the laser to cut that flap is a much more precise technology,” says Price Kloess, MD, a board-certified corneal specialist with Alabama Vision Center. “The need for future enhancements with all-laser LASIK surgery falls to 2% to 3% of cases. When a blade is used, that can be as high as 25%.”

Ask about add-on fees. The average LASIK surgery costs $2,300 per eye. If a place offers half off the price you’re finding at other clinics, beware. “Always ask what additional costs might occur,” warns Dr. Kloess. Cut-rate clinics add fees for things that really shouldn’t cost more, like the exams or if your lens prescription falls out of a certain range.

Go to a corneal specialist. “After their medical residency, corneal specialists spend at least one extra year training just on the cornea,” says Dr. Kloess who’s performed more than 15,000 LASIK surgeries. “So if you end up with something other than a great outcome, than a corneal specialist is the most equipped to take care of it.”

Guarantees. Ask if the clinic requires or offers a lifetime guarantee. “There’s no such thing as a guarantee,” warns Dr. Kloess who’s performed more than 15,000 LASIK surgeries. But only a small percent of LASIK patients need touch-ups in the future, and your corneal specialist typically charges a couple hundred dollars for that. So why buy a $500 guarantee with such a small chance of needing to use it if the procedure’s done by capable hands?

Buy local. “You only have one pair of eyes, so pick a place where the surgeon’s successfully performed LASIK on at least 2,000 patients and lives in town. It only makes sense,” says Dr. Kloess.

by Jane Ehrhardt

To read more about Dr. Price Kloess, click here.
For more on Alabama Vision Center in Birmingham, click here.

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