The one question every patient should ask their laser eye surgeon – but doesn’t

‘Would you consider having laser eye surgery yourself or would you put your relative through the treatment?’ This is the question that Mr James Ball, consultant ophthalmologist at Custom Vision Clinic, believes everyone should ask!

Patients attending an initial consultation to find out whether they are suitable for laser eye surgery often turn up armed with a list of questions. They often ask how many procedures the consultant has performed, what the complication rates are and how many patients achieve 20/20 vision after treatment. But very few consider whether they’d put a relative through the same process.

How to decide whether or not you should go ahead with the procedure

Mr Ball believes that asking whether you’d be happy to put your relative through the treatment underlines the emotion involved in the decision to have eye surgery. It really brings home just how important that decision is.

Patients naturally feel nervous before their treatment. After all, it is an elective procedure rather than something required due to illness or injury. The gain of having treatment can be huge – particularly for patients who have to rely on the use of glasses or contact lenses a lot of the time, and find that some tasks are inconvenient because of this. We so often hear patients say in their post-operative appointments that they wish they had it done years ago.

Just in case you were wondering, no, Mr Ball has not had laser eye treatment as he has perfect vision. However, he does say that in the future, when he starts to struggle with close-up work and the need arises, he will opt for the PRESBYOND laser treatment, which he performs. He has, on the other hand, treated his brother with ReLEX SMILE, and his brother is very happy with the result.

LIFE IS IN THE DETAILS

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About the author

Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic, St James’s University Hospital, and Nuffield Hospital. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.

MORE USEFUL INFORMATION

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The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Laser Vision Correction Patient Information booklet (PDF). Click here for more information

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