This year, an estimated 1.5 million Americans will have refractive surgery. No doubt, even more Americans will contemplate having it. Should you have it done? The decision is particularly important because refractive surgery changes the most valued human sense – vision.
Refractive surgery is no longer something just for risk takers, like your neighbors that were the first on the block to buy a cell phone, DVD player, or Palm Pilot. Nor is it just for the rich and famous, refractive surgery is now mainstream. There are seemingly constant advertisements, in print, radio, TV, and the Internet. The media has caught on too.
Not long ago, most media stories were about miraculous results. But now, the media has tempered their earlier reports with stories of surgeries-gone-bad. The result is public confusion. On one hand there are entities heavily promoting refractive surgery – in some cases, over-promising results to increase surgical volume and profits. On the other extreme, there are entities embellishing how refractive surgery has ruined lives, setting forth unrealistic fears.
Refractive surgery is an eye care specialty for reducing Refractive Error and Presbyopia without using glasses or contact lenses. The term, “refractive surgery” refers to several procedures, including LASIK, PRK, Intacs, LTK, AK, RK, and several emerging techniques. You may have heard the term, “laser vision correction”, which is often used in advertising because it doesn’t sound as threatening as “refractive surgery”. “Laser vision correction” refers to LASIK, PRK, and LTK. Today, LASIK is the most widely performed of all refractive surgery procedures. For many patients – but certainly not all – LASIK is the procedure of choice.
Further information on:
TYPES OF REFRACTIVE EYE SURGERY
- Wavefront Guided or Custom LASIK
- Photorefractive Keratectomy ( PRK )
- Corneal Rings
- Laser Thermal Keratoplasty ( LTK )
- Astigmatic Keratotomy ( AK )
- Radial Keratotomy ( RK )
- Presbyopia Surgery
Things you should know before you consider Refractive Surgery.
The risks you should know concerning Refractive Surgery.
Eye conditions that refractive surgery can help (Refractive Error).
Presbyopia – loss of near vision.
Refractive surgery is not a single event but a process that begins with a careful preoperative evaluation and ends with regular postoperative care. In fact, the pre and postoperative exams are more important than the surgery for maximizing the likelihood of a success.
Links to Centers with reputations for quality work.
Paul Kremer, M.D.
Refractive surgeon and corneal specialist.
Northwest Eye Center
10330 Meridian Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98133
Restore Vision Center
1300 S. W. 7th Street, Suite 105
Renton, WA 98055
An important note from Dr. Thompson:
See: Risks of Refractive Surgery. Remember surgery is surgery and all surgery has risks. This is not meant to discourage you but these are facts you should know if you plan to have surgery preformed. This office is extensively involved in refractive surgery and would be happy to meet with you and discuss your case. I have personally had refractive surgery. But, just because these risks were acceptable to me does not mean they will be acceptable to you. I strongly recommend you educate yourself prior to surgery and then consult a knowledgeable eye care provider to further guide you through the procedure and follow-up. Pre and post operative care is critical in maximizing your chance of a good outcome.
Our office policy is to educate our refractive surgery patients well enough that they have realistic expectations and know the risks before they commit to the surgery, we believe in informed consent. Once the decision is made, it is our goal to get that person to the best surgeon for the amount of money they want to spend.