In many states, only
optometrists—can do this surgery, and many
ophthalmologists do not perform surgery on a regular basis. Doctors who are
affiliated with a medical school or major eye clinic may have better access to
the latest procedures and technology.
If you are thinking about having surgery:
Consider getting an independent second opinion by
talking to an ophthalmologist who would not be doing the refractive surgery
itself but could evaluate you as a candidate for surgery and recommend a
Look for an eye surgeon who has taken several courses in
the procedure (not just a single course) and who has done at least 25 to 30
procedures. Ask what the success rate has been in these procedures. And ask how
satisfied the patients were with the results.
Choose an eye surgeon
who will personally handle your care and follow-up after
Ask about your risk of halo or glare.
whether you can look through lenses that will duplicate the amount of
undercorrection the surgeon expects you will still have after
Ask whether you will be able to wear contact lenses to
correct the remaining undercorrection. Some people are not able to wear contact
lenses after surgery.
Ask whether the price of the surgery will
cover a repeat procedure if the first procedure undercorrects or overcorrects
In the case of radial keratotomy (RK), ask whether the
surgeon plans to wait at least 6 weeks before operating on the second eye. That
way, any unexpected results in the first eye will be less likely to be repeated
in the second eye.
In the case of LASIK or photorefractive
keratectomy (PRK), talk with your doctor the risks and benefits of
correcting both eyes on the same day compared with doing one eye at a
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.