Experience and surgical skill
Dr. Rutzen is a leading laser vision correction surgeon and instructor, having trained with pioneers in the field and performed early research studies on the excimer laser to treat focusing errors.
He received his medical degree in 1986 from Cornell University, where he received honors in research for early work in refractive surgery. This was followed by an internship at Harvard University’s Mt Auburn Hospital, ophthalmology residency at Tufts University, and two fellowships in corneal conditions and refractive surgery.
More recently, Dr. Rutzen was recognized in Baltimore Magazine’s “Top Docs” issue as one of Baltimore’s leading ophthalmologists. He is a nationally recognized authority in the field, and serves as a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is also one of a select group of eight ophthalmologists on the American Academy of Ophthalmology panel that writes the Preferred Practice Pattern guidelines for refractive surgery. This authoritative and thoroughly-researched document provides guidelines for the use of other ophthalmologists. Please see Dr. Rutzen’s extensive resume for additional details.
Dr. Rutzen has been performing LASIK and other vision correction surgeries since 1996. More than just an experienced surgeon, Dr. Rutzen teaches laser vision correction to residents, fellows, and other ophthalmologists. He has also written LASIK treatment software used to calculate laser vision correction treatment parameters.
You can benefit from his experience and expertise in every step of the process: in the preoperative assessment, surgery, and postoperative care.
You see Dr. Rutzen before, during, and after your surgery.
At other LASIK centers, the preoperative care and postoperative care are often performed by other staff, not the LASIK surgeon. At these other centers, you might meet the surgeon for the first time on the day of surgery.
In contrast, Dr. Rutzen personally performs your preoperative evaluation and postoperative care. Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK surgery. You want Dr. Rutzen to use his expertise and experience to help you assess your chances of success and to explain any personal conditions that might increase your postoperative risk of a complication. Of course, Dr. Rutzen is the person to perform your surgery with meticulous attention to detail and adept surgical skill. During your postoperative visits as well, you want Dr. Rutzen to evaluate your progress to help assure the best possible result.
No cost screening visit.
If you are considering laser vision correction, call for a no cost screening visit. At this appointment, you will have the opportunity to speak one-to-one with Dr. Rutzen and discuss your individual situation. This will help you to understand if you are a good candidate for surgery, and if so, which option would be best for you. This screening includes a reading of your eyeglass prescription or a computerized measurement of your focusing status.
Comprehensive LASIK evaluation.
If you are ready to know with certainty if you are a good candidate, call for acomprehensive LASIK evaluation. This extensive evaluation takes about 2-3 hours and includes refraction, computerized mapping of your corneal surface, and a complete dilated eye examination.
Our patients who have visited other centers tell us that this is the most thorough examination they have ever had. You need this detailed evaluation to know if you are truly a good candidate for LASIK and if you have any conditions such as dryness, allergies, glaucoma or other conditions that warrant extra care or consideration before undergoing surgery.
If you wear soft contact lenses, they should be out for at least 10 days prior to the comprehensive LASIK evaluation. If you wear rigid contact lenses, they should be out for at least 4 weeks.
Some insurance companies cover LASIK, but most do not. We encourage you to verify the details with your insurance provider. If your insurance has a LASIK benefit, call us to see if we participate.
Flexible spending accounts
Many employers or insurance providers offer Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Spending Accounts (HSAs), or other forms of health reimbursement to help pay for medical expenses. These accounts let you set aside pre-tax dollars for procedures such as LASIK. Ask your employer or insurance provider about using these plans for LASIK surgery.
Patient financing is available with a choice of payment options to make LASIK surgery affordable for almost everyone. With a quick and easy application, you can select a payment plan that works for you. Extended payment plans are available for 24-, 36-, 48-, or 60-month terms with no prepayment penalty. If you are eligible, payments as low as $114 per month are available. When applying for financing, you usually have a decision in a matter of minutes.
While LASIK can be considered elective and not covered, it may be tax deductible depending on your filing status. Please consult your accountant.
Many patients choose to pay for their procedure using a personal credit card. This may be a good option for you, especially if you have a card with a low interest rate or points or other rewards.
1. Find a doctor by getting a recommendation from your current eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) or from your primary care physician. Ask what they know about Dr. Rutzen and other LASIK surgeons you are considering.
2. Choose the LASIK surgeon, not the laser center. Find out who will perform your surgery, and who will perform the preoperative and postoperative care.
3. Choose an ophthalmologist who is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. The certification process includes completing an accredited residency training program in ophthalmology, possessing an unrestricted license to practice medicine, passing rigorous written and oral examinations, completing continuing medical education, and completing a chart review of office records. Dr. Rutzen is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
4. Choose a LASIK surgeon who has had fellowship training in refractive surgery. After completion of ophthalmology residency training, some ophthalmologists become specialists by completing a Fellowship in Refractive Surgery. Dr. Rutzen completed 2 fellowships and is a specialist in refractive surgery and cornea.
5. Beware of advertisements for low cost surgery. Discount surgery is as good as a discount parachute. The savings are not worth the risk of receiving less than expert care.
6. If you feel like you are getting a hard sell, go elsewhere. You should be comfortable talking with the surgeon and his staff. They should take the time to answer your personal questions. Dr. Rutzen encourages you to visit our office for a no-cost screening as well as to visit other prospective LASIK surgeons.
7. Expect to see well after LASIK, but don’t expect to see perfectly. Although the technology is very precise, each patient heals slightly differently. The best surgeon in the world can’t guarantee 20/20 vision. Beware of any doctor who promises 20/20 vision. Dr. Rutzen will honestly discuss your individual chances of excellent results and potential risks so that you can make an informed decision about surgery.
- State-of-the art equipment
- Meticulous sterility and safety procedures
- Convenient location
- Free parking
- Easy and prompt scheduling
- Convenient extended hours
- Friendly, knowledgeable, professional staff
- Available financing