Prevalence of laser vision correction in ophthalmologists who perform refractive surgery

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2015 Sep;41(9):1826-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2015.10.027.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of laser corneal refractive surgery (laser vision correction [LVC]) among ophthalmologists who perform these procedures and to assess the willingness of these ophthalmologists to recommend LVC to immediate family members.

Setting: Online survey with results analyzed at Surgivision Consultants, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

Design: Prospective randomized questionnaire study.

Methods: The 22-question Global Survey on Refractive Surgery in Refractive Surgeons was sent by e-mail to 250 ophthalmologists randomly selected from a database of 2441 ophthalmologists known to have performed LVC at some point in the past decade. Responses were solicited by e-mail, with subsequent telephone reminders to nonresponders.

Results: Responses were received from 248 (99.2%) of 250 queried individuals, of which 232 (92.8%) met the protocol criteria of currently working as refractive surgeons. Of the 232 subjects, 161 (69.4%) reported that they had refractive errors potentially amenable to treatment with LVC, not including presbyopia. Of the 161 ophthalmologists with treatable refractive errors, 54 (33.5%) reported they were not candidates for LVC for a variety of reasons and 107 (66.5%) reported they were candidates for LVC. Of the LVC candidates, 62.6% reported that they had an LVC procedure in their own eyes. Of the overall 232 subjects, more than 90% recommend LVC for adult members of their immediate family.

Conclusions: Ophthalmologists who perform LVC were significantly more likely than the general population to have LVC in their own eyes. The prevalence of refractive errors was significantly higher among ophthalmologists performing refractive surgery than in the general population.

Financial disclosure: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Astigmatism / surgery
  • Corneal Surgery, Laser / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperopia / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / surgery
  • Ophthalmology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Acuity