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Dr. Shofner Shares Top Factors To Review When Considering A LASIK Retreatment Plan

by Dr. Shofner
Mon, Jul 22nd 2013 12:00 pm
Nashville, TN

Most patients achieve 20/20 vision or better with CustomVue (also referred to as "3D Custom") LASIK. For LASIK/PRK procedures, Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center and most reputable surgeons include timely follow-up exams and touch ups within the first year of LASIK surgery. "Patients should make sure that one year of follow up exams and a touch up during the first year, if needed, is included with the cost of LASIK surgery," says Dr. Shofner.    

Over time, eyes can change and affect overall vision quality. Although there are no precise statistics, many LASIK surgeons have found that after five years or more following LASIK surgery, less than 20% of LASIK patients require an additional touch up to maintain quality vision. For this reason, vision centers may offer a retreatment plan (a.k.a. "touch up" or "enhancement plan") for LASIK patients who still want reassurance that an affordable touch up is available if needed after the first year of surgery.

Retreatment Plan Research
Many LASIK surgery centers charge for LASIK retreatments, even during the first year following surgery. "Retreatments during the first year should be included in the cost of LASIK", says Dr. Shofner. Retreatment plans, which are paid at the time of the original surgery, cover the cost of any touch ups after the first year can be very costly; up to $1,000 per eye ($2,000 per patient) or more. Some patients purchase these plans even though the odds of ever using it is low. LASIK surgery sales personnel may push these plans to generate money for the surgery center. Patients should weigh the actual cost of the plan taking the following top factors into consideration:

Patient's Age. Eyes can change over time, even after LASIK, and young people have a slightly greater chance needing a touch up at some point. LASIK can be performed for people as young as 18 years old, but the eyes need to be stable with no change in vision for at least one year prior to LASIK Surgery.

Doctor Plans. If the plan is offered by an independent local surgeon, it's important to learn what happens if that surgeon stops performing LASIK surgery or if the LASIK surgery center closes. Those terms should be addressed within the contract.

Corporate Plans. If the plan is offered by a national LASIK company, the plan might only be applicable at specified laser surgery centers. Inquire what happens if the clinic closes? If the retreatment can take place at another surgery center location, ensure this option is documented in the contract.

Cost of Plans. The cost of the plan should reflect the terms of the contact regarding the type of local or national retreatment plan being offered. If the plan is restricted or limited, the price should be lower than a plan offering minimal restrictions.

After carefully considering the above factors, each patient should discuss any questions or concerns with a trusted LASIK surgeon. A retreatment, if necessary is not a difficult procedure, especially if the surgeon can simply lift the original "flap" to treat the eye with the laser. "A retreatment is no more risky than the original procedure and is actually much safer than wearing contact lenses overnight," says Dr. Shofner.

20/20 LASIK Guarantees
Be careful of advertisements for 20/20 Guarantees for LASIK surgery. The Federal Trade Commission states, "As for promises of 20/20 vision — no doctor can make that guarantee." Further, the US Food and Drug Administration states: "Be wary of eye centers that advertise, 20/20 vision or your money back or package deals. There are never any guarantees in medicine."

About Shofner Vision Center
At Shofner Vision Center, we offer "No Fear, No Pressure" LASIK and Cataract surgery. Our staff is trained to provide the best medical eye services possible, not in sales. We specialize in LASIK/PRK Procedures including 3D Custom LASIK, Cataract Vision Correction Surgery, Dry Eye Treatment and Comprehensive Eye Exams. Dr. Shofner also offers a sensible, affordable LASIK retreatment plan for those patients who still want the comfort of knowing that a reasonable touch up is available if needed after the first year post LASIK surgery. Dr. Stewart Shofner, one of the most prominent eye surgeons in the country, has performed more than 30,000 LASIK/PRK vision correction surgeries and 10,000 ocular surgeries in Middle Tennessee.

Our reputation for excellence makes us one of the most affordable eye care practices in the Nashville area. Contact Shofner Vision Center for your complimentary LASIK evaluation to determine if LASIK vision correction surgery is appropriate for you. If you are experiencing a change in your vision, such as problem seeing up close or cloudy vision, contact Shofner Vision Center to schedule an appointment to start seeing better again.

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