The Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA) announced today the publication of a new study showing that nearly two thirds (62.6 percent) of refractive surgeons who were candidates for refractive surgery have had their vision corrected. Over 91 percent of all refractive surgeons recommend refractive surgery for their immediate family members.
“Technical advances have made refractive surgery not only safe, but extremely accurate. The fact that the people who know the most about refractive surgery are having the surgery performed on themselves and their families speaks volumes about the benefits of this procedure,” says Guy M. Kezirian, MD, MBA, FACS, Founder of the Refractive Surgery Alliance and lead author of the study.
The study was published today in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (Elsevier, BV) the official publication of the American and European Societies of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. The article is based on a prospective, protocol driven study that randomly sampled 250 known refractive surgeons using an online questionnaire. Of those sampled, 249/250 (99.6 percent) participated.
“Prospective surveys that define the study population before they present the questions are scientifically valid because they eliminate response bias. This approach is far more valuable than using results from people who were motivated to respond to a poll. The high response rate makes this study extremely reliable,” says Greg Parkhurst, MD, FACS incoming RSA President and study co-author.
The study reports that refractive surgeons are more than 4 times more likely to have refractive surgery than the general population. “Many patients just don’t know about refractive surgery,” says Jason P. Brinton, MD, one of the study’s authors. Brinton suggests, “There is a need for public education about the benefits. Several recent studies have shown that refractive surgery generally provides better vision than glasses or contact lenses, is much safer than contact lenses and is far cheaper over time. We need to get the word out.”
The RSA frames refractive surgery as a human right. “Refractive errors limit safety, lifestyle, and occupational fitness. People who wear glasses are at a competitive disadvantage,” according to Richard A. Norden, MD, FACS, RSA Advisor and study co-author. “The technology is so good and the economics are so compelling that every suitable candidate should have their vision corrected.”