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How to choose an eye surgeon or eye clinic

Summary

How to choose an eye surgeon or eye clinic

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The importance of choosing the right surgeon or clinic

Your eyesight is a precious thing, so it is crucial that you take the time to find the right surgeon and the right clinic to perform any surgery or other treatment you need for eye conditions or to improve your vision.

There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing an eye surgeon or eye clinic, including:

  • The expertise of the surgeon.
  • The experience of the surgeon.
  • The facilities of the clinic.
  • The price of the surgery.
  • The ‘feel’ of the clinic.
  • The availability of your procedure.

Finding an eye clinic or surgeon

If you are seeking eye surgery for a medical condition, then your ophthalmologist, GP or optician will be able to recommend a choice of good quality local surgeons. You can then check out their credentials and reputation online, or better still, in person.

If you are seeking laser eye surgery to correct your vision, then you should ask your colleagues, friends and family for their experience. Laser eye surgery is very popular, and chances are you will know someone who has had the treatment. You can also get feedback on local laser eye clinics through online forums.

Choosing the right surgeon

There are a large number of private eye surgeons available in the UK, all with differing levels of experience and expertise. However there are certain minimum standards you should expect. Your surgeon should be:

  • Fully qualified as a medical doctor and be registered with the General Medical Council.
  • Have undergone the requisite ophthalmic specialist training required by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
  • Be a member of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

You should look for a surgeon who has experience of your specific operation, and who can demonstrate a successful track record with the procedure, both through statistics on surgical outcomes and complications, and through anecdotal evidence from patient testimonials. 

A good quality surgeon should want to meet you in person before your surgery, to discuss the procedure and answer any of your questions. If this step is delegated to junior staff, you should look elsewhere.

It is important to remember that large laser eye surgery groups will have a wide variety of surgeons working for them, so you need to establish exactly who will be performing your surgery, and not just trust the reputation of the group.

Choosing the right clinic

Most eye surgery is conducted under local anaesthetic, so you need to choose a clinic that puts you at your ease. You should go along to the clinic, meet the team and see the facilities before you make your choice. 

Eye surgery is a rapidly developing field, and so you should check that your chosen clinic has the latest equipment and practices the most up to date techniques. You also need to check that they can fit you in for your surgery at a time that suits you.

While surgical expertise is vital, your own peace of mind is just as important, so you should trust your gut feeling. If you are not happy with how a clinic feels, or if you feel that you are being ‘sold’ the clinic, then you should move on to the next on your list.

Price issues in eye surgery

As with most things, you will get what you pay for when it comes to eye surgery.  That said, on straightforward procedures, any competent surgeon can produce results that are every bit as good as the very best. Other factors may then impact on your decision. Finding a good surgeon with more modest premises locally may be better than travelling a long distance for the same service with a nicer waiting room and a better coffee machine, for example.

Nonetheless, you should choose the best you can afford; there is no point in taking risks with your eyesight just to save a few pounds. If your case is somewhat unusual or your surgery is not straightforward, specialist clinics in larger cities, particularly central London may be your best option.

For more routine procedures should be particularly wary of special offers when it comes to laser eye surgery. All too often, the attractive headline price only covers the simplest of operations, and your actual surgery could well cost more. You should also check what is included when comparing prices, as some prices will cover complications and post-op corrections, while others will only cover the initial surgery, with everything else charged extra. Make sure you are comparing like for like.

Moorfields Private

Interested in getting private eye surgery?

Download our free 48 page PDF guide

Sponsored by Moorfields Private Eye Hospital

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How to choose an eye surgeon or eye clinic
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Moorfields Private is the London-based private division of the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, with a reputation as a centre of excellence for providing ophthalmic care to private patients from the UK and across the world.

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