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  • Refractive Surgeons: You’re Getting a Second Chance—Don’t Blow It

    Stephen G. Slade, MD, has some advice for refractive surgeons dealing with a decline in LASIK patient volume. The Millennial generation is now approaching the same age as the first wave of LASIK patients.

    “So we’re going to get another chance,” said Dr. Slade, speaking during Refractive Surgery Subspecialty Day. “It’s important that we don’t blow it.”

    “We commoditized it, we cheapened it,” Dr. Slade said of the earlier days of LASIK surgery, showing a slide with ads offering “LASIK for $499” and “LASIK for Free*.”

    But he’s hopeful. He has been performing small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE), the minimally invasive, flapless procedure approved by the U.S. FDA last month. He believes SMILE will complement LASIK, not replace it. “It gives us more options. It gives us a chance to grow the whole field.”

    Houston-native Dr. Slade summed up his feelings on the matter with a local bumper sticker: “Lord, please grant me one more oil boom, I promise I won’t piss it away.”—Susanne Medeiros

    Financial disclosure. Dr. Slade: Alcon Laboratories, Inc.: C; Bausch+Lomb: C; Glaukos Corporation: C,O; ReVision Optics: C,O; Zeiss: C.

    Disclosure key. C = Consultant/Advisor; E = Employee; L = Speakers bureau; O = Equity owner; P = Patents/Royalty; S = Grant support.