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Types of Eye Doctors for Laser Vision Correction & LASIK Eye Surgery

Reviewed by Brad Spagnolo, M.D.

It is important to understand the different types of LASIK eye doctors who provide your care when having Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction. There are typically two types of LASIK doctors who may be involved in your care.

Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists are eye doctors who specialize in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system and also the prevention of eye disease and injury. They can be either Doctors of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.). Ophthalmologists are eye physicians and eye surgeons. LASIK surgeons are eye doctors who are Ophthalmologists and actually perform Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction such as LASIK. Typically, LASIK eye doctors who perform the actual surgery must have completed four years of pre-medical undergraduate education, four years of medical school, one year of internship and three or more years of specialized medical and surgical training in eye care as a resident in Ophthalmology. Many then attend specialized fellowship training in order to become specialists in diseases and surgery of the cornea, diseases and surgery of the retina or refractive surgery so they can become LASIK specialists.Ophthalmologists are licensed by a state regulatory board to diagnose, treat and manage conditions affecting the eye and visual system including vision disorders, eye examinations, medical and surgical eye care, diagnosis and treatment of disease and visual complications that are caused by other systemic health conditions such as diabetes.

Optometrists

Optometrists are eye doctors who are trained to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage vision and some eye health problems due to diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system. They are Doctors of Optometry (O.D.). Typically, LASIK eye doctors who are Optometrists have completed four years of pre-optometric undergraduate education, four years of  optomtery schooland in addition, some optometrists may have completed a one-year optional residency in a specialized area. Optometrists who are LASIK doctors usually have additional training in hospital settings, Ophthalmology clinics or LASIK Eye Centers.

Proper LASIK Eye Surgery entails three critical phases of care for each and every patient. These include a Pre-Treatment Examination & Consultation that can be provided by a LASIK doctor who is either an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist, the LASIK Surgery Procedure that can only be performed by a LASIK eye doctor who is an Ophthalmologist and thus an eye physician and eye surgeon and the Post-Treatment Follow-up Examinations that can be performed by a LASIK doctor who is either an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist. In many practices and Laser Eye Centers, the LASIK doctors work together as a team in order to most efficiently and effectively provide your care. In these situations it is important to verify if you should you experience any side effects or complications, the LASIK doctor who was the LASIK surgeon responsible for providing your LASIK surgery will be able to see you promptly and without additional cost.


©2011 The Medical Management Services Group

updated 5/3/11