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LASIK Treatments Still To Reach Common Man

December 11, 2005 at 5:33 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
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LASIK Treatments Still To Reach Common Man
Even after a decade of its institution, Lasik, the eye surgery that corrects vision be means of Laser, remains out of reach of common man. An average procedure costs somewhere between $3,000 to $5,000 and not many people can afford it.

Moreover, there are still question marks over the efficacy of the treatment as well as its rage of safety. It is estimated that over 18 percent of the people require a second Lasik treatment sometime after they have undergone their first procedure. Chicago refractive surgeon Dr. Colman Kraff is of the opinion that many clinics are into aggressive advertising to lure potential patients, "A lot of it is trying to market to the patient to scare them a little bit into having one procedure over another," he said. His comments find favor with Dave Harmon, president of Market Scope, a company that monitors the industry. He said than an average patient who chooses to undergo the procedure is roughly aged 39 and has an annual income of $88,000. "Their education level is significantly higher than average," Harmon said. "Very few people in their 20s have it done. Very few people in their 50s have it done."

The Food and Drug Administration's approval to the new "blade-free" wavefront-guided Lasik means that more and more people, who are tired of remembering where they kept their glasses are opting for this procedure. However, there are certain complications including the risk of developing an infection and eyesight that is worse than before if any instrument happens to scratch the cornea. "You hire an experienced surgeon and he'll use the device that gives him or her the best results," said Dr. Robert Maloney, clinical professor of ophthalmology at the UCLA. He advises that patients should confirm that the doctor is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has performed at least a 1,000 procedures. "I'd be cautious about going to places that advertise a lot. It's very expensive to advertise and they may have to do a lot of surgery to pay for it and push the limits on candidacy," he concluded.

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