How to choose an ophthalmologist?
You have decided that you no longer want to go through life wearing contact lenses or glasses.
Finding the right ophthalmic surgeon and refractive centre is no small matter. Proper preparation is essential. We advise you not to rush into decisions and give you some tips to help you choose an ophthalmic surgeon.
First of all, the following objective parameters can assist you in selecting a surgeon.
- Has the surgeon been specially trained in corneal and refractive surgery?
- How much experience does he have?
- Is he involved in scientific research and has his work (treatment results) been published?
- Does he actively take part in international conferences (continued education)?
- Does he get invited as a speaker or moderator at conferences?
- Does he take part in live surgeries?
- Is he committed to training young surgeons?
- Is your surgeon known for being able to provide treatment or retreatment in complex cases?
- In other words, is your surgeon an expert in the field?
- To find out, try googling the surgeon on the internet.
Once you are confident you have found an expert surgeon with extensive experience and an impeccable reputation, we advise you to make an appointment for an initial, non-binding examination.
A preliminary examination will confirm whether or not you are a suitable candidate. Often there will be several alternatives to solve your problem. It is essential that during an initial examination, the surgeon examines you personally. You should receive detailed information about the treatment, such as the indications, the procedure, expected results, any side effects, and possible complications.
What if the result is not perfect (although the surgeon can never promise perfection)? A good surgeon is patient focused and will take the time to answer all your questions.
During your visit to the centre, you can find out more about the equipment used. Firstly, information on the equipment used in the preliminary examination (topography, measuring the corneal thickness, etc.) for mapping your eye and to determine whether you are a good candidate for refractive surgery. Secondly, information on the lasers that will be used for your treatment. What does the infrastructure look like? Does the centre have the very latest equipment and offer the most innovative technology? A final parameter that you can check on the spot is the quality mark. Is the centre ISO certified?
Word of mouth guides most patients. Check with family, friends and acquaintances about their experiences. You can also search the internet for testimonials. Finally, you can ask your GP or optician to whom they would refer you.
To conclude, we recommend that you do not fixate on the price of the operation but that you check what quality you will get for that price. What does the price include? What result can the surgeon guarantee? What are the safeguards if the result is not as expected? Will any retreatments be free of charge? How available is the surgeon for postoperative questions and concerns?
We are convinced that when you take all these parameters into account, you can make a calm decision. The important thing is that you feel confident and fully support your decision.