What To Ask at Your Consult Appointment
You should get answers to all of your questions at your consult appointment. At this first appointment, you are learning about the surgeon and the practice, and they are learning about you. An informed patient makes the best health care decisions, so make sure that you understand the process, and
PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS! Take full advantage of the time with the doctor, so that you will have a clear understanding of the procedure and outcomes. Following is a list of questions that you can take with you to your appointment.
1. How many procedures have you done?
This is an important question, but once you get past a few hundred the answer isn’t so critical. In other words the surgeon who does 2000 will likely get just as good as results as one who has done 20,000.
2. How does your success rate compare to the national average? And how do you measure it?
Everyone assumes 20/20 is a success. But more important than the size of the letters you read on the chart, is the time you spend out of glasses in the “real world”
Be sure to discuss your vision “requirements” that you expect for years to come. Not seeing “20/20” may keep you from reading glasses in your 40’s.
3. Do you perform procedures at your own center, or do you need to travel elsewhere?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. The more important aspect is why you own your center, or why you travel elsewhere. It is also appropriate to ask why the doctor chooses a particular facility..
4. Has the surgery center had any problems with infections?
This is fairly obvious. But if if the answer is affirmative, the more important question is if yes, what have they done to correct it and have those measures been effective.
5. If a complication does occur, are there extra charges for treatment?
This answer is self explanatory, and just allows you to compare “apples to apples” when comparing fees.
6. What if I need an enhancement, is there an extra charge?
Again allows for a better comparison of fees. One doctor may have a fee of $2000 per eye and doesn’t charge for enhancement, while another charges $1600 per eye and $500 enhancement. Paying the $2000 to start may afford you the difficulty in any decisions for further treatment in the future.
7. Does this enhancement charge have a time limit?
While some patients recognize the need for an enhancement within months after surgery, what if you need an enhancement in a year, 2 years or 5 years from your original surgery?
8. Do you have any financing options available for payment?
LASIK is not covered by most insurances, so Again financial planning.
You need to be confident that you have chosen the right surgeon and the right practice. So if you are not happy with answers to your questions, consult another surgeon. If you’re considering a surgeon who doesn’t perform a particular procedure you’re interested in, ask for an explanation of why, beyond “I don’t do that.”
Seek a second opinion. You to should feel completely confident that you have chosen the right doctor and the right team to do your LASIK. A good surgeon encourages patients to do their research, so they know they have made the best choice for them.
Make sure all your questions are answered far in advance of even the examination and surgical planning exam. The goals should be set and the main concern is the procedure itself. The day of the surgery isn’t the time for reassessing the the surgical plan.
Also, consider a surgeon who is closer to home. Most surgeons require a number of pre-operative tests, which may require two or three office visits in addition to your surgery date. Your surgeon will also want to see you post-operatively, so you may be making a number of visits following your surgery. If you do have a rare complication that requires additional post op visits, having your trusted surgeon nearby will be more convenient for follow-up care.