Better safety awareness, industry-wide standards important for field of refractive surgery

October 28, 2022 5:13 pm

CHICAGO — Looking at accidents when they occur, analyzing and understanding them, and incorporating them into system designs are key for improving the refractive surgery field, according to a speaker here.

Kezirian said that refractive errors are attacks on vision that put people at a disadvantage from birth and require ongoing investment. In the developing world and low-income countries, there are only 3.76 ophthalmologists per 1 million people and one refractive surgeon per 3 million people compared with 7.62 ophthalmologists per 1 million people and two refractive surgeons per 3 million people in high-income countries.

“You may say that refractive surgery is expensive, and certainly the cost for us to do it is expensive, but it’s less expensive even for the patients over time when compared to wearing glasses or contact lenses, which require constant reinvestment,” he said.

Lack of awareness regarding refractive surgery is an obstacle. Kezirian said that the improvement of the public perception of the safety of airlines can be used as a model for communicating the benefits of refractive surgery. The World College of Refractive Surgery & Visual Sciences is working toward creating standards throughout the entire industry.

“This is not a cosmetic procedure for rich people,” he said. “This is a functional procedure for occupational fitness, safety, cost savings and empowerment.”