There are so many different lasers out there with such great names as “restore” or “repair” that the prospective patient can become overwhelmed. Where is the best place to start? I would suggest that healthy skepticism is the most important first step. Common sense suggests that if there was one treatment that was really great, all doctors would be flocking to offer it, which is not the case.
Here is a fact to fuel your skepticism. In order for these devices to get FDA approval, they do not have to be tested on patients; they only need to prove that they are similar to other devices that are already FDA approved. You can be one of the first hundred patients that the device is being used on without even knowing it and your doctor does not have to disclose this. I once spent $150,000 on a laser and I knew in the back of my mind that I needed to do four procedures a month to cover the lease. Expensive devices can create a conflict of interest for the doctor.
What is a patient to do? Ask Questions
How many of the procedure has the doctor done?
How satisfied are the patients?
What happens if I am dissatisfied with the result (charges for second procedures)?
Can you show me before and after pictures of a patient who is in the same condition and had the proposed treatment by the doctor (after all you are paying the doctor for their skill and experience)?
What are the potential complications (every procedure has potential complications – if the doctor says there are none you should run)?
These can be hard to ask but it is much better to protect yourself up front than deal with a complication that you never dreamed could happen.