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Subject:  Re: LBYM - LASIK Eye Surgery - $995 or less Date:  12/13/2000  11:17 AM
Author:  terrynor Number:  26866 of 876043

I participated in an newspaper investigation on Lasik eye centers. A reporter friend recruited me. When I looked at surgery last year I was told by my surgeon that I probably should not have the surgery since I have a rather high correction (~-9.5) with a moderately thin cornea. Specifically, he said there would not be enough cornea left to do a "touch up" if the first operation did not prove satisfactory. My doc said, "I would be one of the best to do the surgery if you want it, but I recommend against it." I asked if he would allow his son to have the surgery under the same conditions (a friend from high school), my doc said "never."

I visited seven surgery centers in the Denver metro area with fees ranging from $700 to $1500 per eye. My eye exam/screening was conducted by a "technician" in all cases. In all 7 cases I was informed that I was a marginal patient. Two said they did not recommend the procedure for me and would strongly recommend against it. Three said my thin cornea was a problem and recommended I not have the surgery, but they would do it if I wanted. The final two surgeons said there was a risk but minimized it and recommended the surgery saying I probably won't need a "touch up." (Never mind there would be little to touch up.)

Although all the surgery centers identified the risk, they differed in their interpretation. (BTW: The cheapest clinic was one of the "no way" group.)

My recommendations:
- You have a pair of eyes, be sure to get a pair of opinions unless you have a reason to trust your practictioner.
- If the doctor identifies any additional risk such as a thin cornea, diabetes, etc., listen carefully to the recommendations. Research the risk. My personal advice would be to forget about surgery. The risk of complications is just not worth it!
- Price does not necessarily equal quality. (I wish I had noted the type of car driven by each doctor!)

Be careful out there!

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