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Lasik

Tomorrow I’m going to make a trek to Renton to give a visit to Clearly Lasik for an evaluation. This place was recommended to me by one of my wife’s friends, though I did a bit of research before deciding on this place. I checked out the place my Optomitrist recommended and the two places my vision plan has contracts with.

What amazes me is when I talked with the various places, what I heard was that many people don’t do their research. They just “want it done” and don’t ask too many questions. I dunno, but my eyes are kind of important to me and I want to make sure the right people are operating on them. It also helps that my wife was around to drill the importance of doing this into my head. :)

One of the places I didn’t end up choosing, Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute, actually had quite a bit of information on the various things that can go wrong with Lasik and what the typical percentages were. It didn’t seem particularly biased towards them–after all I chose a different place to go. Even so, I wanted to compare the different places.

Here is the questions I asked. They may not be the best questions, but they were the criteria I used. Maybe they’ll help you out, or not.

  • # of Lasik surgeons and optomistrists at the site you are visiting.
    • How long have they been doing Lasik? Lasik was FDA approved in 1996. Extra credit for experience with RK or PRK.
      • Number of Lasik surgeries performed. Make sure you can get a breakdown of Lasik surgeries versus other kinds of surgeries.
        • What is the complication rate (i.e. percentage of patients who have a problem of some kind)?
          • Percentage of clients with 20/40 or better with 1 treatment (20/40 is the magic point where you don’t need “corrective lenses” put on your drivers license). You may also want to ask about 20/30 or 20/20. If you can get numbers down to your prescription range, even better.
            • Retreatment percentage, i.e. percentage of patients who come back and ask for a “touch-up.”
              • What technology is used? Wavefront seems to be the hot thing right now and will pick up and help fix more problems in the eye.
                • Cost (an obvious one)
                  • Will my health/vision insurance cover some part of this?
                    • The series of events from evaluation to post-op visits.
                    The bottom line for me was: experience. Dr. King and Mockovak have 50,000 Lasik surgeries between them. The others didn’t even come close.

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