How Regulated Is The Industry
Laser Eye Surgery is a relatively recent treatment which, since its arrival around 20 years ago, has quickly shot up to become the most popular elective surgery in the world.
Today, more than 100,000 Brits have Laser Eye Surgery each year. It’s success rate and high demand has done a plethora of good for the industry, especially in helping to promote more investment in the development of treatment performance and safety. But it has also meant there has been a huge surge in high street providers offering the treatment.
As the treatment continues to grow in popularity, the industry remains to be largely unregulated; A problem not only for the reputation of the industry as a whole, but more importantly for the patients subjected to substandard levels of care.
With more and more people seeking help from private clinics after receiving bad advice or treatment elsewhere, surgeons are appealing for the rules and regulations of Laser Eye Surgery to be tightened up.
At the moment across private hospitals, high street chains, and independent clinics, the standard of care can differ greatly.
Last year, the consumer group Which? investigated just how much of a difference there is among providers. In their final report, it was revealed that one in three initial consultations by clinics was of poor quality, with several clinics not properly explaining the risks involved in the surgery.
It’s an unfortunate truth that, due to the need to attract huge volumes of patients, some high street providers resort to high-pressure sales tactics to bring in business and boost their sales. It was therefore unsurprising to see at the bottom of their list some of the country’s largest high street chains.
At the heart of the issue is the fact that, despite the term ‘Laser Eye Surgery’, there’s no requirement for the procedure to be performed by a surgeon or someone with specialist training. The person conducting the surgery must be a registered doctor, but many laser eye surgeons agree this isn’t enough.
Choosing The Right Clinic
In the future, we may see a register of practitioners which patients can use to find a suitably qualified and experienced surgeon. But as of the moment, it’s pretty much down to the individual to do their research and find a clinic and surgeon that best suits their needs.
The first and arguably most important part of Laser Eye Surgery is the initial consultation. This is where the patient’s condition is diagnosed, personal treatment plan is drawn up, and risks surrounding the surgery assessed.
Here the Which? report can provide us with some more useful information. Their findings showed that when it comes to initial consultations, independent clinics, smaller chains, and hospital-based providers come out on top, with high street providers falling far behind.
Let’s Take A Look At A Few More Questions You Should Ask When In The Process Of Vetting A Clinic:
- Does the surgeon have formal refractive surgery training?
- What are the results for patients with a similar prescription to me?
- How much time will you spend with me after the surgery?
- Are there any hidden costs?
You have to take time and due diligence in the research phase, but once you find the right clinic and surgeon, you can have much more peace of mind that everything from there on out will run smoothly.
If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, find out more about our results, or learn the qualifications of our surgeons, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.