A full and comprehensive exam is the ONLY way to know if LASIK will be right for you, but some folks hesitate to take up this offer because they just don’t know what to expect, or fear a sales pitch.

Here’s what to expect from a LASIK Consultation:

  • Step 1 – Your Peace of Mind: An average screening exam takes about 30 minutes and it should be free with no strings attached. The first point of address should be your peace of mind. The screening exam measures just enough characteristics of your eyes to determine that you are highly likely to be a good LASIK candidate or not.

Almost every person considering LASIK has questions about the procedure. So the first goal should be to find out exactly what you’re concerned about and make sure to answer any and every question you have. This is an important point because it tells you immediately if you’re in good hands. No exam or consultation should be rushed, and if it feels this way, you should walk out.

  • Step 2 – The Exam: This step begins by meeting a technician who will review what you’ve provided on the medical history of your eyes and eye health. The exact exams conducted will vary from practice to practice but eventually before surgery must include full corneal mapping of your eyes, refraction measurement, corneal thickness measurement, tear film evaluation and precise plotting of your pupil size. You’ll probably find yourself fascinated by the techniques and technology – and should feel free to ask anything you want to know.
    • Step Three - Reviewing Exam Results: This is when you’ll find out if you’re a good candidate for LASIK. The doctor should explain the test results and whether you’re a good candidate or not. If you are deemed a good candidate for LASIK, the refractive counselor will explain what will happen on the day of the surgery, costs, financing options and post-operative care. The center has done its job of verifying that you’re a candidate – now you need to decide if you will have the procedure.

    The entire purpose of the Consultation is to determine IF you’re a good candidate.

    You can of course schedule your procedure at this time and if you’re approved for LASIK you could go right ahead. But since the doctor’s experience and skill – and how you feel with this doctor and the staff – are the most important aspects of the procedure, here are a few points to consider:

    • Sales pressure: Affordability definitely plays a part in the decision to have LASIK as LASIK is elective surgery and usually not covered by insurance. So this question can and should come up – especially if you’ve responded to a ‘LASIK for $299!’ ad since statistically only about 1% of applicants qualify medically for this low-cost procedure. Normally, the amount of correction needed is so slight that most people wouldn’t even have LASIK for this small amount of correction.

    Find out the facts: low-interest payment options, online instant credit approvals, what is and what isn’t covered in the basic fee – these are all important. But if you feel you are being treated as a number not a person just skip it and find a local independent surgeon who will see you as a patient not another number for the Finance Department.

    You cannot have LASIK on the day of the Consultation due to the need to be out of contacts and glasses for a period before the procedure, so sales pressure shouldn’t be a part of the Consultation experience.

    • Meeting the Doctor: Most private practices will allow you to meet face-to-face with the surgeon who will perform the procedure if you request it. This is often not possible with a national chain as their surgeons usually fly or drive in for the day of surgery only. If it is important to you to meet your surgeon, please request it.
    • The Consultation Should be Free: Since the exam involves some very hi-tech equipment and the skills of several highly trained staff, a similar set of exams from an optometrist would probably cost up to $350 for the same service – but as a LASIK Consultation it should be a complimentary exam because without it you’ll never know – and the doctor will never know – if you’re going to qualify for LASIK.