General Refractive Surgery Info
LASIK stands for Laser In-situ Keratomileusis. It is a procedure that consists of creating a flap on the cornea and then using the excimer laser, reshaping the surface of the cornea and the flap is replaced.
PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy. It is also a procedure that uses the excimer laser to reshape the cornea but does not require a flap to be created.
LASIK/PRK CONSULTATION: an appointment for a perspective patient to come to our office and find out if he/she is a candidate and if a refractive procedure is in their best interest. The patient does not have to discontinue contact lens use before this appointment if they do not choose to.
At this appointment a Corneal Topography (a mapping of the surface of the cornea), and Pachymetry (a measurement of corneal thickness) will be performed by the LASIK Coordinator. We will review the patient’s lifestyle, such as work, hobbies, and postoperative expectations. The post operative risks and benefits for each individual patient is reviewed and a short video is shown explaining what the procedure is and what makes a patient a candidate for LASIK. Nearsighted, farsighted and astigmatism are also explained. The patient should expect to be at the office for at least 1 hour for this appointment.
LASIK/PRK EVALUATION: an appointment for a patient who has already been through a LASIK Consultation and has decided to have the LASIK procedure. (Our office requires a patient to attend a LASIK Consultation before having a LASIK Evaluation). The patient must be out of soft contact lenses for at least 7 days and Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP’S) for 4-6 weeks on average prior to this appointment.
During the appointment, the patient will have a complete eye exam including a cycloplegic dilation. This dilation differs from the usual dilation a patient will experience in a “typical examination.” The effects of the dilation such as light sensitivity, and difficulty reading, are longer lasting and will typically take 12-24 hours to dissipate. The surgery, a one-day and one-week postoperative appointment are scheduled and pre and postoperative instructions are reviewed with the patient by the LASIK coordinator. The patient should expect to be at the office for at least 1 hour for this appointment.
MR/CR or Manifest Refraction and Cyclo Refraction: This is basically a LASIK evaluation for a patient that who postoperative and may need a retreatment. It will require a full hour appointment. These appointments should not be listed as a refraction or post op or anything other then a MR/CR.
Topography: A patient who has an irregular topography (usually due to contact lens wear) may need to return to the office for several topographies before having a LASIK Evaluation. A LASIK Evaluation cannot be performed until a “normal” topography has resulted. The patient should expect to be at the office for 15-30 minutes for this appointment.
LASIK Inquiry by telephone:
DO a little detective work. If the patient has been seen before you may want to check the exam to see if they are in just reading glasses or if they need the correction all the time.
You may also ask the patient “Do you wear glasses to drive or just to read” The people who wear glasses to read only should be forwarded to me prior to making an appointment. They are usually NOT candidates and should NOT be scheduled.
Typically, if they wear contacts they are okay for a consultation.
All phone calls relating to the LASIK or refractive procedure from a “new patient” should have a new patient account created in your database. This is very important in the tracking and continued follow up of a prospective patient.
When creating a “new patient account” careful to include address, home phone and day phone. Please be as precise as possible in tracking the patients “how found” or your tracking system. The average person will not mind giving this information if you approach it respectfully.
EXAMPLE: Dr. Surgeon is our LASIK Surgeon. I would be happy to arrange a FREE, No Obligation LASIK consultation with Dr. Surgeon and his LASIK coordinator to assist you in finding out whether you are a good candidate for LASIK. May I first obtain some information before scheduling a convenient appointment time for you?
EXAMPLE for HOW FOUND: May I ask how you were referred to our practice?
Again, please be as precise as possible in this field: for instance, a “previous patient” is only used when you are unable to classify the patient as anything else.
You would then complete the information in patient account.
If a patient refuses to schedule an appointment for a LASIK Consultation, you can then ask if they would like us to mail information to the patient for review. You then will begin the information in the patient account. This is important again for tracking for follow up later both by phone and/or mail by the Coordinator.
If a patient insists they are only calling to “get the price of our LASIK procedure,”it is preferable that you refer these callers to the Coordinator. If you must discuss fees, you can explain to them due to many discount programs we participate in, the fee may range from $1,600.00 – $2,450.00 per eye. If you feel uncomfortable with this, or you feel the patient is not cooperative, you may forward the call to the LASIK coordinator.
If you are leaving a message for the LASIK Coordinator to call the patient, you must still create a patient account for the patient. Even if you are unable to get an address, you must still attempt to politely get a DAY and a HOME phone. You MUST also complete the HOW FOUND field.
It is uncommon for a patient to become uncooperative with the request of this information if you ask respectfully.
All refractive procedures are elective and these patients are typically well educated in refractive surgery and are looking for a practice and physician that have excellent credentials and a helpful, caring, well-educated staff. If they are treated as though it is an imposition for them to call or come to our practice, they will choose another.