Our Patients…Celebrities, Boomers and people just like you…an inside look told by Dr. Paul Dougherty
Vision correction via refractive surgery is always elective, meaning it’s the patient’s personal choice rather than being dictated by an urgent medical need. This is why insurance typically does not pay for these vision correction procedures unless a patient has visually significant cataracts. Patients from seventeen to one hundred years of age can have refractive surgery, as long as their glasses prescription is stable.
The reasons for opting for refractive surgery are many and varied. Some patients just dislike or are intolerant of their glasses and/or contacts. Many people have surgery because they do not like how they look in glasses, and/or glasses interfere with their job, or with leisure activities such as sports or swimming. Contact lens intolerance due to dry eyes or allergies is a challenge for some. In fact, the lack of humidity in regions of the United States such as Arizona and California (where my primary offices are located) is a contributing factor to the early popularity of refractive surgery in these regions. However, LASIK surgery and other vision correction surgeries eventually caught on in other regions with greater humidity and a less “outdoor-oriented” lifestyle as well. Other patients who often come in for surgery include police officers, firefighters, or people who want to be hired for jobs where there is a visual requirement. Lastly, some patients simply don’t like the hassle of glasses or contacts.
As the baby boomers age, many elect to have surgery for reading (“monovision” LASIK). Eventually, almost all will develop cataracts and choose
IOL implantation. Both of these age-related situations are becoming more common in my practice.
On the younger end of the spectrum, I am doing vision correction for more and more actors from Hollywood. You can view a list of celebrities patients here.
In addition, all of my friends or family members who were candidates for surgery have come to me for procedures, including my attorney brother and my mother.