Questions to Ask When Choosing a Laser Eye Surgery Clinic
When you make the decision to get Laser Eye Surgery, it can often come with a bunch of other decisions to make, too – the most important being: Which Laser Eye Surgery clinic should I choose?
Luckily, we’ve put together some questions that you should always ask before deciding which clinic to go with. These are all questions you can ask one of our friendly consultants, who will be more than happy to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision…
How experienced is my surgeon?
All laser eye surgeons in the UK must be registered as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC). It is also recommended that laser eye surgeons seek independent training from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists – though this is not a legal requirement.
Unfortunately, this means that standards can vary within the industry; however, there are a few things you can ask to make sure your surgeon is experienced, including whether they have had formal refractive surgery training; or have experience in the specific procedure you are interested in (for example, LASIK, ReLEx SMILE, PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision, etc).
It is also a good idea to ask what range of prescriptions your chosen clinic can safely treat. Different treatment options may be required, depending on your prescription.
Finally, be wary of basing your decision on the advertised complication or re-treatment rates: the data may be skewed because surgeons who only treat simpler cases will generally have lower re-treatment rates – and what one surgeon or clinic officially classes as a ‘complication’ may be quite different to another.
How much time will you spend with me before and after my Laser Eye Surgery?
Pre-operative appointment lengths vary between clinics. At London Vision Clinic, we spend around 3.5 hours with each patient at their Initial Screening and Ophthalmic Exam appointments, followed by a 30 minute Surgeon Consultation appointment on a separate day. This is much longer than at many other clinics, allowing us to be thorough and accurate in our evaluation of each patient.
In terms of follow-up, we recommend that patients are followed for 1 year post-operatively. This period accounts for the time needed for patients’ eyes to settle fully and to check whether they have received the desired outcome, or whether more can be done for them.
When will I see my surgeon?
At some Laser Eye Surgery clinics, patients do not meet their surgeon until the day of surgery. At London Vision Clinic, we believe it is essential that the patient is allowed to get to know their surgeon – the person ultimately responsible for their outcome. We would recommend that you choose a clinic which offers a one-on-one appointment with your surgeon on a separate day from your surgery so that you have an opportunity to have any remaining questions answered (such as those listed above!).
Can I see your results for patients with a similar prescription to mine?
A high-quality Laser Eye Surgery clinic will publish its results in clearly-labelled detail so that prospective patients can examine the results that are relevant to them. Ideally, the clinic will have published its results in a scientific journal (known as the peer-reviewed literature).
What percentage of patients are charged your advertised price? Are there any hidden ‘extras’?
As a general rule, you should be wary about choosing a Laser Eye Surgery clinic based on a cheap offer as it is possible that you will not be eligible for the advertised price. Some clinics are known to ‘up-sell’, advertising a low price that may only be applicable to a small percentage of patients.
It is also important to check what is included in this treatment fee; for example, whether you will need to pay extra for eye drops and aftercare (costs that can quickly add up!).
Above all, you should question why Laser Eye Surgery is being offered at a discount price. In all likelihood, something is being cut along the way to keep costs down. While this might be fine in some cases, it is important to remember that the technology and expertise required for world-class Laser Eye Surgery do not come cheap. Is it worth bargain-hunting when it comes to something as precious as your vision?
Laser Eye Treatment Fees start from £5,900 for both eyes. Very complex treatments may cost more.