Advice is important when deciding on surgery

personalEYES | 1 Jan 2019

When considering laser eye surgery, the best thing you can do is talk to a laser eye surgeon. Though this might sound obvious, a recent survey report by the American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC) highlighted that many people thinking of having the surgery have not spoken to a surgeon. Though this might not be cause for worry in itself, a high proportion of those same people have not had the procedure due to mistaken beliefs about the dangers of the surgery.

Though the statistics are all from the US and should be read as such, due to the similarities in American and Australian markets, they give a good indication of perceptions here.

Seeing the positive

The survey by ARSC shows that laser eye surgery is the most popular form of elective surgery in the USA, with over 16 million people having undergone the procedure to date. The vast majority of those who have had the procedure reported being extremely happy with the results. In fact, satisfaction increased amongst those who had the procedure completed longer ago. Respondents who had had the surgery over seven years ago were equally or more satisfied than those who had the surgery four years ago.

Looking at the negative

The survey suggests that the demand for laser eye surgery has potential to grow. Over 80% of those who were surveyed and wear eyeglasses or contacts considered undergoing LASIK.

Despite this popularity, the report suggests that there are a range of preconceptions that are holding people back from having the surgery. Only 2% however, had actually consulted a laser eye surgeon.

Many were concerned about the prospect of having to have a second surgery, despite the fact that this happens only in a tiny minority of cases.

Fear of complications also figured highly. This goes against the medical evidence, which has found that complications from LASIK and laser eye surgery generally only occur in less than 1% of cases.

The perceived cost of laser eye surgery was also a problem for many people, with 84% of respondents citing cost concerns as a reason for not having the procedure.

Getting good advice

What’s clear about the concerns raised in this survey, is that almost all of them could be allayed through a consultation with an experienced laser eye surgeon.

Eye surgeons can tell patients whether they are suitable for procedure, as well as explaining the extremely low risk of complications, and the low likelihood of having to have a second procedure.

Additionally, the concern over laser eye surgery cost can is largely unfounded, provided patients take the long view. Laser eye surgery does require a large initial outlay, but it is actually cheaper than having to buy glasses year after year.

With a quick appointment to a surgeon, potential patients would be able to see clearly the benefits of laser eye surgery.