Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today April, 2006

Good—The Enemy of Great


Why refractive surgeons must adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement.

By Shareef Mahdavi



Excerpt: This past fiscal quarter, the refractive surgery industry in the US reached a milestone: 10 million eyes have now undergone laser vision correction since the first excimer lasers received FDA approval 1 decade ago. That's 5 million Americans who are ambassadors for LASIK as well as for the new generation of refractive procedures available to surgeons and their patients.

That's good, but it's not great.

I'm not sure whether the 10-million mark is a tremendous accomplishment or a mild disappointment. My columns over the past 5 years have explored why market adoption for LASIK and other refractive surgeries hasn't been higher, stronger, or faster. On the one hand, LASIK is now the single most commonly performed elective procedure in the country, far outpacing procedures performed by plastic surgeons. On the other hand, LASIK's adoption should be much higher given its high success rate (90% achieving a UCVA of 20/20), the immediacy of visual improvement (the "WOW" factor), and the emotional impact on peoples' lives ("It's a miracle!").


Read the entire article at