Service, experience are key to future refractive surgery market

April 16, 2005

Washington, DC &#8212 Growing the refractive surgery market relies on educating potential candidates about the benefits of the procedure and allaying irrational conclusions about risks, reported Shareef Mahdavi, MD.

April 17 - Washington, DC - Growing the refractive surgery market relies on educating potential candidates about the benefits of the procedure and allaying irrational conclusions about risks, reported Shareef Mahdavi, MD.

Most physicians can dispel the fears of refractive surgery when the patient presents. However, how can the physician attract more refractive surgery patients? The answer lies with the level of service the physician provides and the positive experience the patient has, explained Dr. Mahdavi, during the refractive/cataract socioeconomic symposium held at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery annual meeting.

"We have treated about 7% to 8% of the eligible population," Dr. Mahdavi said. "The early adopters are really the key segment to long-term growth because unlike the risk-taking innovator, the early adopter values quality and quality in our category means safety."

The early adopter group will have influence on mainstream America, in terms of who in the future will have refractive surgery, he said.

With re-treatments, nine out of 10 patients are satisfied with the procedures and will tell about 3 people about the positive experiences they had. However, one out of every 10 patients not satisfied with the re-treatments will tell at least 10 people about the negative effects of refractive surgery. Therefore, it is so important to handle patients with care and correct the situation.

"Babyboomers are going to be demanding 'Nordstrom-like' service in the future, especially if we are going to be doing more IOL surgeries and are asking for $10,000 per patient," he said.

Physicians need to deliver a service and experience that is so positive that patients spread the word, Dr. Mahdavi said.