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From Kitsapsun.com, a report on lasik surgery:

Worldwide, an estimated 15 million people to date have undergone laser surgery to correct their vision, according to Market Scope LLC, a Missouri company that researches ophthalmic surgical markets.

Kitsap County ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Kremer alone has performed about 5,000 such surgeries since introducing the procedures to this region a decade ago. The rising number of people with happy tales of throwing away their glasses or contact lenses after laser eye surgery brings still more to the operating table. "I had been contemplating this probably for the last two years, but was a little bit of a chicken," said Tidball, a 44-year-old financial adviser in Poulsbo. "As I heard more and more success stories, I decided to go ahead."

Along with success stories, the increasing number of procedures brings tales of failure, disappointment and in rare instances catastrophe. For although laser vision-correction surgery no longer is brand new, its history is but a blink of an eye in the annals of eye surgery.

The first corneal transplant, for example, was performed in 1905, according to Dr. Tueng Shen, director of the University of Washington Refractive Surgery Center; the first reported successful lens implant for cataracts, 1947. Laser vision correction became widely available only about 10 years ago, and continues to be refined and adjusted.

Here's a Dec. 28, 2007 report on lasik surgery:

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Laser surgery effectively and safely corrects severe myopia for at least a decade, new research suggests. People with myopia, which is caused by excessive curving of the eye's lens or cornea, are commonly referred to as nearsighted. According to the American Optometric Association, almost one in three Americans suffers from some degree of nearsightedness.

Laser surgery has been used to correct myopia since the early 1990s, although the long-term effects of the surgeries have not been documented. Writing in the January issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers from the Miguel Hernandez University in Alicante, Spain, and the Ankara University School of Medicine in Turkey described the results of a 10-year study of 196 myopic eyes that received LASIK surgery. The researchers gathered data from 118 patients, who originally needed 10 diopter corrections to achieve 20/20 vision. A diopter is a measure of the curve of a lens, and a 10-diopter correction indicates severe nearsightedness. The patients were evaluated 10 years after their surgeries.

After treatment, most patients showed at least some vision improvement, with 40 percent avoiding the use of glasses completely. After a decade, 61 percent of eyes operated on were within two diopters. Only 1 percent of eyes developed corneal ectasia, a weakening of the cornea that is a possible side effect of LASIK surgery. Almost one in three (27 percent) patients had to be retreated during the 10 years, the researchers said. "This study has allowed us to demonstrate that, in spite of the prejudices about the limits of LASIK technique, the results regarding predictability, efficacy and safety for high myopic patients are very good in the long term," lead investigator Jorge L. Ali said in a prepared statement.

From CBS3:

In health, are you tired of wearing glasses or contacts? LASIK surgery is not your only option. Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl has details on a new way to see clearly. Kathy Welsch loves spending time reading to her kids. It's easier than ever now that she's seeing clearly. "I can see everything better than perfect," said Kathy. Not long ago, that wasn't the case. Like millions of people, Kathy needed glasses or contacts to see anything at all. She has not seen on her own since 4th grade. After years of thinking about it, she decided to undergo vision correction surgery. She planned to get LASIK but wasn't a candidate because her corneas were too thin. So she turned to a new alternative, a lens that's implanted into her eye.

Lasik surgery is big business. Here's a press release:

Fast Track Marketing implements LASIK Workshops that gives a LASIK practice the insight and skills to do their own successful marketing.

Boulder, Colorado (PRWEB) December 20, 2007 -- Fast Track Marketing implements LASIK Workshops that gives a LASIK practice the insight and skills to do their own successful marketing.

Doug Sims, President and CEO of Fast Track Marketing, states, "LASIK Marketing and advertising has changed in the past two years. There are new rules in place that, if used, can make the difference in expansion and profitability. And there are reasons why the old rules don't work for this size of business."

Doug Sims further states, "The technology that you will learn in this marketing workshop has been used successfully in practices across the country resulting in new patient leads up by at least 500 percent while advertising costs being decreased by 50 percent in the first 6 months, in some cases. Many marketing and advertising firms do not want these facts known or used; otherwise, they would see their profits walking out the door. The test of any successful marketing campaign is not the money or commission a firm makes but the increase in business for their client." A LASIK practice can now learn and implement these methods themselves. It takes hard work and a willingness to learn, plus two days of time. Even in a difficult economy the principles work. The result of implementing the tools and techniques learned in this workshop is increased LASIK procedures and higher profits.

Here are some of the topics Fast Track LASIK conferences cover:

* How to gear Marketing for a LASIK practice and not a Fortune 500 Company

* Learn how to write effective print ads, direct mail pieces, radio ads, etc.

* How to determine your ad budgets and tracking system that will fuel growth over time with what specific results to track to do so

* Identify the "Two Kinds of Prospects" and why you need to approach each one differently

* Learn how to develop and implement effective follow-up systems

Conferences are delivered around the country in major cities on a regular basis. They are not a sit back and snooze affair. They are "roll up your sleeves, get involved, hands on" workshops. For more information visit our website at: http://www.lasikconferences.com