In our very first Facebook LIVE! video, we get up close and personal with laser vision correction expert Dr. Eric Mandel. Watch the video below as Dr. Mandel discusses what makes a patient a good candidate for LASIK or PRK laser vision correction. He also talks about why he may choose one procedure over another for some patients.
Don’t have time to watch the video? Prefer to read the transcript instead? No problem! We’ve got you covered. See below for the video transcription.
If you have any questions about LASIK or PRK laser vision correction that we can answer for you, feel free to contact us toll-free at 888-866-3681, or on our local number 212-734-0111. You can also schedule a free comprehensive consultation with Dr. Mandel personally online or by calling us at the above numbers.
Dr. Mandel is a Harvard-trained micro-surgeon and corneal specialist who is the only exclusive laser vision correction surgeon in the New York Metro Area recognized as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical for 16 consecutive years.
Kim: Hi and thanks for joining us here at Mandel vision for our very first, uncensored, Mandel Vision Facebook LIVE! Session. My name is Kim Procci. I’m the Clinical Administrator here and I am very happy to introduce you to one of the true pioneers of laser vision correction, Dr. Eric Mandel.
Dr. Mandel: Hi.
Kim: Hello. And, hello to all of our viewers.
Dr. Mandel, having performed laser vision correction for the past 30 plus years, how do you determine who is a good laser vision correction candidate?
Dr. Mandel: So, that’s a fantastic question that we can begin with. First of all, my patients are overall, the vast majority are very, very happy. So, how do I get to very happy patients? I spend a lot of time with my patients, usually around 2 hours for a completely free evaluation. If you’ve been told in 5 minutes that you’re a candidate, you should think twice, it takes a long time both in examination and in time with the doctor to educate you to know that you are a good candidate. So, what do I do? First thing is I’m going to examine you. I want to make sure your eyes are healthy. I want to know that the shape of your eye is a normal shape. I want to know the thickness of your cornea? Is it a normal shape? And, one of the things I’m doing with you while you’re there is I’m going to be showing all of the tests and explaining at whatever level that you’re coming, either well-educated (on laser vision correction) or not, that you understand why I have decided that you’re candidate or not a candidate.
So, that time that you’re going to be there: You want to dedicate that time for your only pair of eyes that you are going to be educated correctly. So, to get great outcomes, we have to turn away a good amount of patients. I turn away over 20% of my patients. I don’t want to turn people away if they’re good candidates, but the truth of the matter is: many people are not optimal candidates for this procedure. So, what else do we do? The shape of the eye, topography. We do tomography, a fancy word for knowing how thick your cornea is, how it thickens in different places…You want to make sure that the cornea is stable. We want to be operating on a cornea that is one that is perfectly bio-mechanically normal. So, how do we know that? We look to the micron at weaknesses in the eye. Think of your cornea as a dam and make believe the dam is made out of bricks. Say some of those bricks are loose. I want to know that beforehand and I have machines, one is called a Pentacam, or tomography, that can look for these little weaknesses. We’ll look and see that you have an eye that is good, that you’re not in the 20% that I turn away. We’re going to also make sure that both of your eyes work together. We’re going to discuss what happens with you in the future, talking about what happens in reading glasses in the future, what’s going to happen today, how quickly you can be able to see.
So, in order to get good results, that’s okay. We don’t want to get good results. We want to get superb results. To get superb results, we’re going to have to turn away a certain percentage of people. Just this morning, I turned away three people this morning who were not good candidates. The majority people who came in this morning were not good candidates. They were disappointed, but incredibly relieved to know that in the time I took with they were not a good candidate. And, I know two of those three probably would have been accepted someplace else that didn’t have all of our screening tests. And, so, that is really important that you put it in the time that you’re going to have your only pair of eyes fixed, you want to make sure that you’ve done all of your due diligence. Most of our patients come here by referrals from people we’ve already done, but I want you to go and do your due diligence first and educate yourself about the procedure, about the doctor who you’re considering, and he or she should answer all your questions. Write down all of your questions to know that you’re a good candidate. You’re going to be nervous no matter what. It’s normal. Somebody’s going to be fixing your eyes. But, also realize that at the end you’re going to feel confident. If you don’t feel confident, that is not a good thing. I want, when you leave here, to feel confident, to know what to expect and that is how we begin to get are very very very good outcomes.
Can you tell us about LASIK and PRK, the two laser vision correction procedures that we perform here, or that YOU perform here at Mandel Vision?
Dr. Mandel: So, one of the things is that it’s a matter of semantics. People don’t know that there are different procedures to fix (their eyes) and some are safe, some are safer, but they’re not (both) for everybody. So, one of the most important educational things I do in the time I spend is to to talk about what two major procedures are there are. And, I literally do 50/50. (50% LASIK and 50% PRK) And, why one may be better than the other for somebody. So, here are the two procedures. So, one of them is called PRK and the other is called LASIK. A lot of people say LASIK and what they really mean is laser vision correction that encompasses both. But, it’s the same laser fixes you, but in two different places on your eye. So, what happens is: here’s your cornea. This is the place to fix your eye, to change the shape, to change the way light rays are coming through your eye to uniquely fix you. (your eyes) I will be getting custom wave print numbers, custom view numbers on you, on your unique visual aberration and I get them on the day of the procedure, which is unusual. I will hand-pick them and hand-design them. So, not only will I spend two hours with you, examining you, to know you’re a candidate, but, even on the day of the procedure we’re doing other tests and (to obtain) what numbers I actually fix you with. This is all part of the extra time (we take) to get optimal results. So, what are the two procedures? PRK and LASIK. In LASIK, we make a laser flap. We then correct your prescription with the excimer laser underneath (the flap) to fix your unique visual aberration, then we put the flap back down. That’s the one (in which) you see the quickest. Ninety percent of my patients go to work, workout and drive the next day. PRK is the slower procedure. We don’t make, there’s no flap, no cut, no laser-cut, incredibly precise laser-cut which is with the IntraLase laser to make the flap. We just use the excimer laser which fixes your prescription on the top (of the cornea). But, if we do that on the top, it’s a slower healing process. I say to my patients: “You’ll love me slower” because you get about 80% of your vision initially and then the last 20% (of your vision) over (the following) weeks and months, because when we laser on the top, we create an abrasion, we put a Band-Aid contact lens on your eye a regular contact with no prescription, and then we let the skin, the epithelium heal, then the contact lens comes off. You go to work the next day, but you increase the font size on your computer and smartphone for the first four to six weeks, (use) steroid drops for a few months as opposed to a week or two with LASIK. On day 3 with PRK you want to miss work because then the nerves (in your cornea) wake up and you’re a little uncomfortable. And, with PRK, I usually tell people to avoid driving for a few weeks. I do PRK on people who work on computers ten hours a day and they go back to work, and people in all different professions. But, you’re going to, as I say, “love me a little slower”. And, who would who are those people who I’m going to do the PRK for and who are the people I’m going to do LASIK for? Well, in LASIK you need a certain thickness, a certain shape (of the cornea). If, in the screening test, I’m not sure which of the procedures may be best for you, I may lean to the safer procedure. Or, a lot of time millennials, and I’m sure a lot of people watching this (video) are millennials, they just don’t kind of like the idea of making a laser flap. They choose the slower procedure called PRK.
So, PRK is slower. If I have a question on some of the screening tests, I lean to PRK and here, I do 50% LASIK and 50% PRK. This is not one that’s so unusual. Sometimes I will only offer one (of the procedures) to a patient and sometimes the patient will choose, if they’re a candidate for both, they’ll choose PRK. And, remember 20% of you, you’re going to feel a little sad, but I’m going to turn you away and it’s going to take awhile for me to know that you are or are not a good candidate. And, I want to make sure when you come here, I answer every one of your questions.
Kim: Alright. Thank you so much Dr. Mandel, and thank you to all of our Facebook fans for joining us today. Remember, if you’d like to meet with Dr. Mandel personally to find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK or PRK, you can either book online by visiting our website at mandelvision.com or you can call us here at the office and we’ll be happy to help you with it personally at 212-734-0111. Thanks, so much!
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