Does it matter how many LASIK procedures a surgeon has performed?

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You’ve seen LASIK surgeons advertise they’ve done thousands of procedures. Certainly, this matters a lot. The number of procedures does say something for the surgeon’s level of experience. When you apply logic, lots of procedures equal a strong track record and skillful reputation.

How many LASIK procedures a doctor can effectively perform in one day was unheard of just a few years ago. Technology is the obvious culprit. It not only allows surgeons to do more surgeries, it has helped improve safety. In the hands of the right surgeon, on average, the risk of serious complication can be 1% or less.

Dr. Phillips Kirk Labor, Eye Consultants of Texas founder and chief surgeon, says, “It’s vital that I stay abreast of advancing technology so I can tailor treatment to each and every patient for the absolute best result possible,” he said. “However, I’m responsible for a person’s eyesight and wellbeing. It’s my job to never forget that, no matter how advanced the technology gets.”

The biggest question is: what type of reputation does the surgeon have? Is he or she known for “herding” patients through? Does his or her success rate compare to those in top percentage of surgeons in the U.S.? Is the surgeon careful to properly and thoroughly evaluate you to ensure your risks, prepared to recommend against LASIK if you’re not a candidate?

Dr. Labor agrees that these and other factors determine the quality of a LASIK surgeon, which always trumps quantity. “If you compare the size of our practice to the number of surgeries performed, we don’t do as many as others. That’s by choice to properly evaluate each patient before surgery to ensure they’re a candidate, understand their needs, and minimize risk. This can make a tremendous difference in the outcome.”