How to Choose a Retina Surgeon
When you have to have retina surgery, the surgeon you select can make all the difference in the quality of your results. Retina conditions can be frightening, and you need to get rapid treatment, but you can still take the time to consider which retina surgeon will be best for your needs.
Here are a few tips for finding the right retina surgeon:
Ask for Referrals from Your Regular Eye Doctor
Your regular eye doctor is the best place to go for a referral to a retina surgeon. Eye doctors work together and often know the best specialists in the region. You don’t have to go to the retina surgeon recommended by your eye doctor, but you should consider the recommendation strongly. Professional ties may make an eye doctor choose one good retina surgeon over another good retina surgeon, but because they care for their patients, they are not likely to refer you to a bad retina surgeon.
Ask for Referrals from Friends and Family
Do you know someone who has had a detached retina or undergone treatment for diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration? If so, ask them about their experience with their retina surgeon or doctor. Add their recommendations to your list.
Look for Information Online
You should be able to find out something about any potential retina surgeon online. Most will have a website that will contain at least basic information about the doctor, his practice, and his training and experience. There may also be online reviews to consider. Look at these, but remember to read online reviews with caution—one or two especially bad reviews that are not in keeping with the rest may be plants by competitors. Look for a number of reviews and read many of them to get an overall sense of a doctor’s quality.
Rank Your List and Schedule Consultations
Once you have gathered all the information, make a ranked list of your candidates and schedule a consultation with the top doctor on your list. Depending on cancellation policies and availability, you might schedule a consultation with others as well.
When you go to a consultation, consider how you are being treated by the entire staff, not just the doctor. Talk to patients in the waiting room about their experiences, either before or after you are seen. With a good retina surgeon, people in the waiting room will be happy to talk. Ask people about the condition they came in to have treated and how their results have been. Ask about their satisfaction with the doctor and his staff.
When talking to the doctor, ask again about his training and experience to make sure it corresponds with what you saw on the website. You can bring up hostile reviews and see how the doctor responds. Finally, ask about treatment options for your retina condition. Take down a list and make sure it includes some of the newer options available—to make sure a surgeon is up-to-date—but also ask about when various treatments would be preferred. Not only should a retina surgeon offer several treatment options—he should have the judgment to distinguish between them.
If you are considering retina surgery or treatment of a retina condition, please contact the Eye Surgery Center of Louisiana today for a consultation at one of our New Orleans area locations.