More and more cataract surgeons are equipping their practices to perform FLACS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump on the bandwagon now.
Almost 60 percent of cataract surgeons have no current plans to implement FLACS, say consultants Michael Malley and Cory Pickett. The considerable money and time involved in the initial investment is just one reason to sit out for a while. Over time, equipment prices will come down and patient demand may increase.
For example, if you’re adept at doing cataract surgeries quickly and well, a femtosecond laser may not pay off for you as it might a slower, less experienced cataract surgeon. Lack of market demand in your area may be another reason to forgo FLACS.
According to journal article authors John Bartlett and Kevin Miller, you are most likely to benefit financially from FLACS if your practice currently has:
- High volume and efficiency
- Average or lower-than-average premium lens usage rates
- Ability to lower overhead by sharing the laser among multiple surgeons
- An affluent patient base
What’s “high volume?” Use this FLACS stat to measure:
Two surgeons can handle up to 6-8 cases per hour if one surgeon performs the procedure’s femto portion and the other surgeon performs lens removal, according to a 2013 article in The Journal of Cataract Refractive Surgery.