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They should also insist on talking to the surgeon before the procedure.Such was the concern about the lack of regulation that ten years ago the Royal College of Ophthalmologists issued guidelines spelling out what skills and experience a surgeon should have and laying down rules for making sure patients are properly informed before giving consent.
It insisted, however, it was 'stringent in our patient selections to exclude those who are unlikely to achieve a satisfactory result'.The big three High Street operators say the vast majority of their customers are delighted with their results, but in the absence of independent figures, the evidence they offer is, by definition, selective.For instance, Optimax claims on its website that 99.83 per cent of 4,219 patients who underwent laser eye surgery 'achieved driving standard vision or better and 95.99 per cent achieved 20/20 vision or better'.Romesh Angunawela, a consultant ophthalmologist based at Moorfields, says that as well as checking the credentials of the doctor who will be doing the surgery, patients should be wary of deals offering laser surgery from as little as £395 per eye.There is, he says, a reason it's cheap - either the 'from' price applies only to prescriptions so low that the surgery is hardly necessary in the first place or the procedure won't be carried out using the very latest advanced equipment, such as super-accurate 'wavefront' guided technology, which takes account of small aberrations in the eye.BUT Mr Angunawela says there is nothing 'extra' about such technology, which is vital to ensure the best results.
Without it, though a patient's vision might have improved, it won't be as good as it could have been.The problem, he says, is that on the High Street, laser eye surgery has become the victim of 'an unhappy marriage between big business and medicine', with the hard-sell tactics 'terribly unprofessional and serving only to trivialise the surgery'.A major concern, says Professor Gartry, is just who is doing the surgery - the very least that people should be doing is finding out who the surgeon is and their qualifications.research any test before deciding whether to use it or not. For more information on prenatal testing, see the FAQs available from info on the Internet. Testing decisions vary greatly depending on family history, medical condition, parental beliefs, etc.That's because you can take off a dirty pair of glasses or contact lenses, but you can't just change your eyes once they're damaged.''I am increasingly alarmed at the Government dragging its feet over the introduction of proper, basic regulation of eye surgery,' says Mr Mc Donnell.