4 Experts Give Advice on Laser Eye Surgery

“I worked in a high-volume LASIK chain, and there was always pressure to do the surgery on people who shouldn’t have it. Wearing contacts distorts the shape of the cornea, and some patients need to be out of them for a few weeks before you do the procedure. But if you tell them to hold off that long, they might not come back. So we’d be pressured to do the surgery sooner.”

— Ophthalmologist in New York City

“Any place that requires a deposit before you’ve been examined or doesn’t let you speak to the surgeon in advance — those are bad signs. You want a doctor who’s accessible in case of problems and who’s willing to say you’re not a good candidate for LASIK. Of course, sometimes patients go somewhere else and get the procedure done anyway.”

— Eric Donnenfeld, MD, clinical professor of ophthalmology at New York University

“Those places that advertise $399 an eye? Suddenly there’s an extra fee because you have astigmatism or because you want custom LASIK. It ends up costing almost as much as a place that doesn’t do such aggressive marketing.”

— Brian Bonanni, MD

“If you’re over 60 and considering LASIK, wait until you develop a cataract. Then we can fix your vision as part of the cataract surgery, and your insurance will be more likely to pay for it.”

— Robert Noecker, MD

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