Beware of Discount Laser Centers
Discount laser centers can be found in nearly every major metropolitan area. If you choose to have your LASIK performed at one of these centers, make sure you are getting the very best care before, during, and after the procedure. Get all your questions answered. Make sure the center will see you in a timely fashion in the unexpected event of an emergency. Make sure your center does not abandon you once they've collected your money and performed the surgery.
Characteristics of discount laser centers may include:
- A huge waiting room. These clinics perform a high volume of surgery where patients move through an "assembly line."
- Charge your credit card before your first appointment. (In some states, this practice is illegal.)
- Surgeons who are independent contractors or “hired guns” rather than employees.
- Minimal patient-doctor relationship. Patients may see a different doctor each visit and may not have all their needs and concerns understood.
- Patients don’t have the option of meeting their LASIK surgeon prior to the procedure.
- Advertise price heavily on the radio, television, and in newspapers.
- Claim their low price is the result of eliminating expensive "referral fees."
- Charge extra for LASIK enhancement procedures or other professional services related to the original surgery.
The Bottom Line
Your refractive surgery experience can differ greatly from place to place. Success depends on the pre- and post-operative care and the surgery itself. Unlike a pair of bad eyeglasses or contact lenses, you can't "throw away" bad refractive surgery. For the best experience and the greatest opportunity for a successful outcome, choose the best refractive surgery care, not the lowest price.