A surgeon who tracks his own results can give you a better result and can also better educate you about what result you can expect if you choose him or her as your surgeon. Statistics and percentages are useful to patients who want to know what kind of vision they can realistically expect after surgery. But these statistics can also be confusing or misleading. For example, when a surgeon talks about the percentage of LASIK patients who achieved 20/20 vision, this might include all patients. Or it might be limited to those patients who had only the initial LASIK procedure (no enhancements). Meanwhile, other surgeons prefer to use 20/40 as the baseline. Since patients will find inconsistencies from center to center on how this information is presented, it is crucial to pay attention to what the numbers are really telling you.
The Statistics to Know
What are the important statistics for you as a patient to know, and how you can interpret outcomes? You likely want to know your chances of achieving at least 20/40 vision. This is a key number, because 20/40 vision is required to drive legally without eyeglasses or contact lenses. You will also want to know your chances of achieving optimal 20/20 vision.
All of the above numbers will vary according to the surgeon you choose and your prescription. For example, patients with higher degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism are more likely to need an enhancement procedure.