Billed as the ultimate in vision restoration, with tumbling prices, and seemingly endless advancements in technology, laser eye surgery has come under the microscope during a Which? report into the practices of optical stores and clinics. Arguably, the most concerning statistic from the survey, considering the damaging effects on a persons life a botched laser eye procedure could cause, is that 33% of the clinics visited were rated as poor by industry experts.
There are a number of laser surgery options available on the market today to treat refractive error or non-refractive conditions. Possibly the most well known of the surgeries is LASIK, which involves cutting a flap in the cornea and then using a laser to reshape the layers beneath, to improve the patients refractive error. Other variants include corneal burning, blood vessel cauterization and retinal repair.
Statistics at a glance:
- 33% of clinics' consultations rated as poor
- 33% failed to sufficiently highlight surgical risks, complications and future issues
As well as a poor performance at the consulting stage, Which? found that many optical environments featured high pressure sales techniques to promote surgeries. Other areas of concern in the report were the recommendations to purchase expensive accessories that may or may not have been required or applicable, the hiding of fees and the over selling of technologies available in store.
Which? were keen to suggest that laser eye surgery is indeed a revolutionary option for those with vision loss or deterioration, but as with any form of invasive procedure, they carried risks that patients or customers should be made fully aware of before signing up and purchasing.
"Eye surgery" by Rakesh Ahuja, MD - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eye_surgery.jpg#mediaviewer/File:...