|Lessons In Life
Rule #1: Less is never better. This certainly
pertains to LASIK surgery where a myriad of newer lasers and treatment
options are available to patients that cannot be defrayed by less
cost for the patient.
Rule #2: Watch out for the hired gun. When considering
laser vision correction, it is best not to consider having surgery
done by an itinerant surgeon who comes from another location, performs
the treatment, and leaves while the pre and postoperative care are
left in the hands of others who are sometimes less qualified. Certainly,
we all want, if possible, care from the same doctor through the
entire process from first meeting to final results from any surgery.
Rule #3: Don’t be left twisting in the wind.
Laser vision correction is surgery and complications do occur. As
mentioned above, if an itinerant surgeon performs the procedure,
he may not be available at the time that a complication occurs which
certainly lowers the quality of care and can affect the results.
Rule #4: Be sure you are comparing apples to apples.
Bait and switch is a common technique used by many merchandisers.
It involves quoting a low price for a procedure and then switching
people to a more high quality product which is always more costly.
With laser vision correction, the ads for $299.00 and $499.00 an
eye are usually for the surgery alone and do not include your pre
and postoperative care which is additional along with, the medications
that you use plus follow-up visits, etc. Also, sometimes tier pricing
is used. This is when the quoted lower charge applies only to a
very few patients with very limited need for correction, while those
that need the greater degrees of correction pay more. However, whether
the laser treats one unit of nearsightedness or ten, the time of
evaluation and follow up care are the same. Surgical time to perform
LASIK on a patient with 10 units of nearsightedness vs. one unit
of same is only about 40 seconds! Is this fair? When it is all said
and done, you are spending much more money than what was quoted
originally. We have all seen this happen in other areas and should
be aware of the tactic being used. This should shed some light on
the quality, caring and true motivation of the center making the
Rule #5: Listen to your true friends. Friends
will always be honest. In considering laser vision correction, speak
with as many people as possible who have had the procedure performed.
This not only directs you to the proper surgeon your procedure,
but also creates an excitement for the operation that is nonexistent
in any other form. Certainly, there is literature about laser vision
correction amply available today from the internet to national magazines.
However, when you ask a trusted friend what the procedure was like
for him, it becomes an exciting event and adds emotion to the procedure,
which is lacking imprint. This is also the best way to allay fear
which all experience in considering any surgical option.
Rule #6: Always look for service after the sale.
Again, this implies that the same surgeon who initiates evaluation
and treatment should be totally responsible for your surgery and
postoperative care. Any lesser form of treatment lowers the quality
and increases the risk of the operation.
Rule #7: Look before you leap. In laser vision
correction, procedures can always be done more cheaply in foreign
countries. However, the lasers used may not have full approval of
the FDA for use in the United States and one therefore becomes a
guinea pig for something that has not been proven safe or given
a stamp of approval in the United States. You should realize that
having procedures done in a foreign country alters your rights as
a patient compared to when the procedure is performed in the United
States. Certainly, this can be done safely in most cases abroad,
but you need to balance the advantages and disadvantages as well
as cost in considering where to have your procedure performed.
Rule #8: After life, the only think you have left
is your reputation. In laser vision correction, the reputation of
the surgeon is paramount. The number of years in practice and the
legacy of the individual in El Paso should be one of the marked
considerations in your decision.
Rule #9: When something is too good to be true,
it probably is. This refers again to such tactics as bait and switch,
which offer a low price for surgery and end up costing the same
in the long run. Generally, if it is truly less costly that means
greater risk and less quality care.
Rule #10: The best-equipped and trained army always
wins. Newer, better equipment and a well trained surgeon and staff
who constantly upgrade their education and training over and over
again are certainly going to be more effective than practices who
don’t or can’t keep up with the latest innovations through
Rule #11: Always get a second opinion or again
look before you leap. In considering laser vision correction, your
visit with the surgeon is all important, his body language, his
caring attitude, and his knowledge are all critical in helping you
decide whether the two of you can form a good partnership. Look
around the office. What is the quality of the furnishings and the
quality of the staff? How relaxed do you feel in the environment
that has been created for you and for your surgery? All these are
very important in helping you decide who should perform your laser
Rule #12: Don’t let people treat you like
a herd of cattle or Economics 101. “Lower price and higher
volume equals higher price and lower volume.” Ask yourself
--- If your eyes are being operated on, which would you prefer?
Everybody works for a profit - quality and quantity. Who would you
rather have treat your eyes? One can always intuitively tell the
difference in caring.
Rule #13: Statistics tell the tale. Some practices
have no idea of their statistical results. A capable quality practice
should be able to show you their results statistically over a large
number of cases and over a long period of time. An understanding
of complications and the percentage of time the complications occur
in the hands of the particular surgeon you are considering for your
laser vision correction is most critical.
Rule #14: Leadership and morale are the keys to
team success - Teams always win, individuals don’t.
At Schuster Eye Center, we think these rules apply and place
us in a very good light. We feel strongly that less is never
better. Dr. Schuster will care for you during your preoperative,
operative, and postoperative visits. In short, he will lead
you by the hand through the entire process from beginning to
end, thus you will not be left dangling in the wind at any point
and he can always be reached at any time should questions arise
during the process from initiation to completion of your laser
vision correction follow up. Comparing apples to apples at Schuster
Eye Center is easy because there is one price for the surgical
procedure which includes everything from your preoperative evaluations
to your postoperative medications and care for up to six months.
These same applications usually do not apply in many other centers.
In short, bait and switch tactics are never used at Schuster
Do listen to trusted friends. They will be honest with you
and we can provide names of patients who have had the surgery
in your range if you wish to visit with others outside of your
circle of acquaintances. Certainly, we see complications as
with all surgeries, however service after the sale implies we
will take care of these problems as best we can in every circumstance.
Although the FDA relies on results from scattered centers about
the country and from foreign countries before approval, I do
not feel it is fair for patients to undergo procedures other
than those approved by the FDA without proper counseling. This
is always taken into account with adequate informed consent
at Schuster Eye Center. You will never be a guinea pig for a
new laser, altered protocol or new equipment with us. Such may
not be the case in foreign countries.
When something is too good to be true, it probably is and I
think this speaks for itself. We feel that we have the best
educated, best trained staff, and the best equipment possible
to perform your laser vision correction. However, we feel a
second opinion may always be in order and will recommend other
practices that you may visit in order to seek a better understanding
of what works for you as well as compare charges.
At Schuster Eye Center, although we see many patients, each
one is treated as an individual in every case. We never wish
patients to feel that we are more interested in quantity than
quality of care. And, our statistics to tell the tale. We will
be happy to discuss our statistics with you and show you our
computer printout at any time in order to elay your fears or
answer any questions you may have about laser vision correction.
Lastly, I think that legacy is important. My family has been
involved in ophthalmology for three generations covering more
than last one hundred years. I have been in practice for more
than thirty-four years and began performing the first refractive
surgery - - radial keratotomy, in the early 1980\'s. Thus, I
feel my experience in refractive surgery far surpasses many
others in El Paso. My leadership and the morale of my staff
and the training and education that we all undergo continuously
I think makes us the most successful team possible.
Always, always, we thank you for taking the time to understand
this information. Please feel free to contact us at any point
should you have further questions. It would be an honor to be
allowed to share in your care.