I would like to laud your article "Take a Closer Look" (Nov. 8). Public education about Lasik is a very effective means to ensure that patients are informed about the safety issues of the procedure. Lasik is a procedure, not merely a product that you can use a coupon to get a good deal. Lasik, however, is being marketed as if it were a product, making it challenging for patients to understand that it is a procedure dependent on two factors: the surgeon and equipment.
Surgical skill is difficult for patients to assess, especially in the current marketing climate of Lasik. However, this skill largely determines successful outcomes with very low complication rates. How the surgeon learned Lasik is very important. The different expertise level of surgeons, for example, could mean mild to no halos at night postoperatively versus such significant glare that driving at night is impossible.
Patients need to evaluate their potential surgeons carefully. Ultimately, patients should feel that the surgeon and staff have the ability to make them happy.
--BRIAN S. BOXER
Director, UCLA Laser
Jules Stein Eye Institute