Cataract Today, Refractive Tomorrow: Should Ophthalmologists Offer Both Cataract Surgery and LASIK?

In the United States, nearly 42 percent of the population lives with myopia, and researchers estimate that number will only grow. Many of these people will turn to refractive surgery to correct their visual error – after all, LASIK is the most popular elective procedure in the world. If you’re a cataract surgeon, offering refractive procedures like LASIK sounds like an excellent way to increase your patient base. But is it?

The pros and cons of offering LASIK

Below, we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of adding LASIK to your practice.

Pro: LASIK helps your cataract patients achieve better vision. These days, many patients don’t just want their cataracts removed – they want to see the world with youthful vision. By providing both cataract and refractive services, you can more precisely finetune each patient’s vision, improving their quality of life and overall satisfaction with your services.

Pro: LASIK lets you reach younger patients. Instead of exclusively focusing on patients with ocular disorders (who tend to be older), adding LASIK allows you to target younger patients with healthier vision. By offering refractive services, you can open up an entirely new demographic.

Pro: More patients means more word of mouth. If you offer both cataract surgery and refractive surgery, you may find that your cataract patients are recommending your LASIK services to their children, and that your LASIK patients are recommending your cataract services to their parents. (Keep in mind that word of mouth is responsible for more than 50 percent of all booked appointments!)

Con: Starting LASIK can be expensive. Owning the necessary equipment for LASIK can be expensive. Purchasing lasers, managing storage, and acquiring equipment can all make for serious economic headache.

Con: Starting LASIK can be overwhelming. It’s not only the cost you need to worry about when it comes to offering LASIK – you also need to train staff members, manage patient flow, and acquire the skills necessary to manage the laser. You might also need to dedicate money to marketing or updating your patient education materials.

So what’s the verdict?

Adding refractive services is an excellent way to improve patient satisfaction, broaden your prospective patient pool, and boost your word of mouth referrals. Unfortunately, bringing LASIK to your practice can also be expensive and overwhelming. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

If you’re a cataract surgeon who wishes to begin offering LASIK, Sightpath can help. As a variable access program, Sightpath Medical strives to make LASIK affordable for all ophthalmic surgeons. We bring the supplies directly to your practice, hospital, or ASC, eliminating the cumbersome costs of ownership. Our marketing branch, Sightpath Creative, can update your patient materials, run marketing campaigns, and provide content to your website. We’ll even help get you acclimated to LASIK so that you can start bringing in new patients immediately.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to hear about how Sightpath can bring affordable refractive services to your practice.