Sierra Tower Bldg.
1700 Curie,
Suite 2400
El Paso, TX 79902
(915) 533-3461
VSP Vision Care
Care Credit
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 proposal.

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 continuing education.

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 vision correction.

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 Eye Center.

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.