When entrusting your eyesight to a refractive surgeon, it is essential to know their qualifications, training, and other experience that make them the best choice for your vision correction procedure. Your vision is priceless, and the refractive surgeon who is charged with making it even better should feel the same way. In this article, we will discuss important questions to consider when determining what sets some refractive surgeons apart from others.
Clearer vision can be life-changing, and the good news is that it is attainable! We have more options, give clear answers, and will take care of you every step of the way at Tersigni Vision. Visit our office to see for yourself the Tersigni Vision difference. Call now to schedule your consultation and start your journey to visual freedom.
What level of education is needed to become an ophthalmologist who performs refractive surgery?
Both eye doctors and eye surgeons are known as ophthalmologists. They could be Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.) or Doctors of Medicine (M.D.). An eye doctor must typically have four years of pre-medical undergraduate study, 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. The prospective ophthalmologist gains extensive knowledge of eye health, eye conditions, eye disease medications, and vision care treatments throughout this training, in addition to learning how to perform eye surgery. After these 12 years of training, many then enroll in specialized fellowship programs to become experts in various subspecialties, such as retina surgery, glaucoma, or pediatric eye care. In the case of LASIK specialists, they will typically complete a fellowship in corneal and refractive surgery in order to gain more experience before working in this extremely specialized field.
Dr. Tersigni earned his medical degree and a master’s in public health at Tulane University’s School of Medicine in New Orleans after graduating cum laude from the University of Oregon. He completed his internship at the Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, and then went on to the Ira G. Ross Eye Institute in Buffalo, New York, for his ophthalmology residency training. Dr. Tersigni then completed a fellowship in anterior segment and refractive surgery at Chu Vision Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, under the guidance of renowned vision correction specialist Dr. Y. Ralph Chu. He also received training in all available vision correction techniques during his time at this eye clinic.
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What significance do refractive surgeons place on continuing education?
The American Board of Ophthalmology and most state medical boards require its members to complete continuing education courses each year in order to continue to practice. As new technologies and treatments develop for an eye specialist to use, it is important that your surgeon is actively participating in continuing education and staying up to date with the latest advancements in ophthalmology and refractive surgery. Both doctors of Optometry and Opthalmology have continuing education requirements that differ according to their states.
Dr. Tersigni places a high value on continuing education as not only an educator but also a researcher. He continues to expand his knowledge and expertise through continuing medical education courses and takes pride in being a life-long learner.
What further qualifications are important for a refractive surgeon to have?
While many LASIK doctors promote the number of surgeries they have performed as a key factor in selecting them, this should not be the sole basis for your decision to choose them. You may find that many of these high-volume LASIK surgery centers solely perform LASIK eye surgery, which may not be the best option for your unique needs. Refractive surgeons who offer more than just LASIK are able to give a recommendation on what vision correction treatment would be best for your individual vision needs instead of just squeezing you into a LASIK procedure.
In addition, it is equally important to consider the surgeon’s professional qualifications and contributions (such as research, teaching, and training).
Dr. Tersigni is a researcher and educator. He has written and edited articles for many medical and educational publications and websites, in addition to having work published in national journals. Tersigni Vision is also the only vision correction center in Oregon to provide the full portfolio of modern vision correction options.
Why do certain ophthalmologists who do refractive surgery take part in FDA clinical studies?
Surgeons who specialize in laser vision correction, refractive surgery, and cataract surgery who have taken part in FDA clinical studies are a very distinct and exclusive group. Because the vast majority of eye surgeons in the United States do not participate in FDA investigative studies, there is a significant difference between many surgeons. Out of an estimated 13,000 ophthalmologists in the United States, it is believed that as few as 300 and possibly no more than 500 eye doctors have participated in FDA studies as principal or co-investigator.
Manufacturers of lasers, lens implants, surgical tools, and pharmaceuticals, like Alcon, Visx, Bausch & Lomb, Nidek, and Wavelight, invest millions of dollars to get their ophthalmic products FDA-approved. This is in addition to the millions they spend on research, invention, and patenting their products. These manufacturers must be very careful when selecting eye doctors to be clinical investigators for these FDA studies due to the significant investment they make in testing, producing, securing patents, and receiving FDA approval. Simply put, surgeons who participate in FDA clinical studies are trusted by laser manufacturers and other producers of ophthalmic devices, products, and pharmaceuticals because of their training, credentials, and reputation.
These companies specifically choose eye doctors who are highly qualified, experienced in the techniques used in FDA studies, and familiar with the stringent examination and follow-up requirements of FDA studies. The laser, refractive, and cataract surgeons chosen by these businesses are reputable experts in their fields who uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.
Surgeons with expertise in laser vision correction, refractive surgery, and cataract surgery are often called upon to lead or assist in FDA clinical studies as principal investigators or co-investigators. These test locations may be private laser clinics or institutions with affiliations to prestigious universities or hospitals. Many of these surgeons will be invited to speak on behalf of the companies when the FDA reviews the data before approving the laser eye surgery that is the subject of the study.
Dr. Tersigni has participated in ten FDA trials conducted in the United States, including ones involving corneal treatments, investigational therapeutic medications, and advanced technology lens implants.
Is it vital to have the most up-to-date technology when having refractive surgery?
Not every LASIK surgeon has access to or makes investments in cutting-edge technology. Inquire specifically about the laser vision correction technology that your LASIK surgeon uses and why one type may be preferable for the procedure you desire.
Data provided by the technology used during initial eye examinations help doctors decide whether a patient is a candidate for refractive surgery. The diagnostic technology helps the doctor determine which procedure would probably be the best short- and long-term option for that patient in addition to assisting with the patient’s candidacy determination.
The diagnostic technology used by LASIK facilities varies. The analysis of the cornea is crucial for LASIK. Make certain that the LASIK provider you are thinking about uses the most recent technology for all LASIK evaluations.
It is also important to ask what technology is used for the creation of the corneal flap during the LASIK procedure. When LASIK first became popular, the corneal flap was made using an automated tool called a microkeratome, which used a blade to cut the patient’s cornea.
Modern microkeratomes don’t use blades; instead, they create the corneal flap using a femtosecond laser. Almost all LASIK surgeons concur that cutting the corneal flap using a blade is less precise and riskier than creating it with a laser. Patients should look for doctors who use this cutting-edge method of corneal flap technology.
Also crucial to LASIK is the excimer laser technology that will be utilized to reshape the patient’s cornea, effectively eliminating the need for eyeglasses. This is where most of the action takes place in establishing the patient’s visual result after surgery. Modern lasers have improved eye-tracking capabilities. The laser treatments can then be precisely targeted where the surgeon needs them, and patients no longer have to worry about accidentally moving during the procedure.
Much less time is needed for treatment thanks to faster lasers. As a result, patients can typically wake up the day after LASIK therapy with 20/20 or greater vision, and the recuperation period is significantly shorter. It is important to ask about the technology a potential LASIK surgeon will be using.
Dr. Tersigni uses the most advanced technology available for all refractive surgery procedures performed at Tersigni Vision. From your comprehensive eye examination to your procedure, you can be assured the technology used at Tersigni Vision is the most cutting-edge and advanced in refractive surgery.
Why is it important for a refractive surgeon to be a member of professional organizations like the American Academy of Ophthalmology?
Members of professional societies for vision and general eye care are more likely to be informed of recent developments in refractive and cataract surgery, such as LASIK and other refractive eye treatments. The official publications of these organizations are included as part of membership, and member surgeons are entitled to discounted attendance at the national annual meetings of these societies. One of the greatest methods for surgeons to stay current with the most recent developments in the ever-evolving area of refractive and cataract eye surgery is attending these meetings and reading these journals.
Dr. Tersigni is a member of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, a global organization comprised of the top vision correction surgeons from around the world, as well as the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Clearer vision is just a phone call away. Come meet Dr. Tersigni in our Portland, Oregon, location and see what makes Tersigni Vision different. Call to schedule your appointment and learn more about all that we have to offer. We look forward to meeting you soon and helping you achieve freedom from contact lenses or glasses.