ZocdocAnswersCan my optometrist help me with LASIK eye surgery?

Question

Can my optometrist help me with LASIK eye surgery?

I have been going to the same eye doctor for many years, and I trust him with my vision care. I have been wearing glasses and contacts for several decades of my life, and I have recently decided that I want to look into getting LASIK eye surgery so that I don't have to wear glasses or contacts any longer. It would be ideal to have the surgery performed by the same eye doctor who has been caring for me for years. However, I also want to ensure that the most skilled and experienced eye doctor performs this procedure for me. Can my regular optometrist provide this procedure for me, and if not, what should I look for in a reputable LASIK eye surgeon?

Answer

All of these are excellent questions, and it is certainly an exciting thing to be looking into the option of not having to use contacts or glasses anymore. It can be a somewhat scary and daunting proposition as well, however, because of the fact that you only have a single set of eyes, and you want to trust them to only the best. While your optometrist has proven to provide excellent care over the years, he or she will not be able to directly help you with your surgery, i.e., he or she will not be able to perform the surgery. This can only be performed by an ophthalmologist, specifically, one who has trained extensively in this technique. The difference comes down to training, with an ophthalmologist trained more extensively through the rigors of medical school and residency. An optometrist is prepared to address the routine changes in vision and refer as needed to an ophthalmologist when there are other concerns. Your optometrist will likely be able to recommend someone who consistently has excellent results, as could other friends you may know. Fellowship training after ophthalmology residency and board certification are generally a good indication of physician training.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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