Laser Eye Surgery FAQs

Below you’ll find the answers to the questions we’re most commonly asked about laser eye surgery.

FAQs

Laser Eye Surgery prices at Laser Vision Eye centre range from £1,850 per eye for LASIK and LASEK, £1,950 for SMILE and £2,250 per eye for PRESBYOND.

Laser Vision Correction is not painful. A pressure feeling is typically experienced during the surgery but not pain. After LASIK or SMILE, a slight gritty sensation and sensitivity to light may be noticed only for the first 24-48 hours after the surgery. After LASEK, the gritty sensation and sensitivity to light are more pronounced and typically last 3-5 days; however, with the use of appropriate drops and oral pain relief, the gritty sensation and light sensitivity can be controlled well.

Laser eye procedures don't last long. Generally between 15 to 30 minutes per eye.

Laser eye surgery is very safe. Two large studies with over 500 patients, commissioned in the United States, reported on the symptoms and satisfaction of patients with LASIK. Their key advantage was that on-line questionnaires were conducted in private before and after surgery, without the treating surgeon being present or influencing answers.

Concluding from these studies:

- Driving level vision (6/12 or better) without glasses or contact lenses may be achieved in 99.1 - 100% of eyes

- 6/6 vision, also called 20/20 vision, without glasses or contact lenses may be achieved in 91.7 - 98.3% of eyes

- if 6/6 vision without glasses is not achieved, a top-up laser treatment (called enhancement) may be performed (at no addition cost)

- the % of patients with dry eye symptoms decreased following LASIK in these 2 studies; less than 3% of patients developed new symptoms of severe dry eye.

- the risk of poorer vision than before surgery was 2 in a thousand; however, all eyes achieved driving standards.

As detailed above, other risks include the risk of infection of the cornea; this is approximately 1 in 10000 cases.

Laser Vision Correction is carried out on the surface of or within the cornea, i.e. not inside the eye. As a result, the chances of going blind following laser treatment are negligible. However, poor vision may be caused if an infection were to develop following the procedure; the risk of this occurring is approximately 1 in 10000 cases. Even in this very unlikely event, a corneal transplantation could be performed and restore good vision, usually to driving standards.

Laser Vision Correction is most commonly performed on patients with mild to moderate myopia (near sightedness), hypermetropia (far sightedness) or astigmatism. However, with our expertise and the range of procedures we offer, levels as high as -12 D of myopia or +6 D of hypermetropia can be safely treated. Suitability of such high treatments will depend on a variety of factors that will be assessed for on examination, such as corneal thickness and pupil size. These high treatments may also be combined with collagen cross-linking, a procedure that can improve the long-term outcome.

Your vision will not be compromised, and your eyes will not be damaged if you blink, cough, sneeze or generally move during Laser Vision Correction. The excimer laser tracks the movement of your eyes and stops treating when your eyes are not aligned perfectly. The femtosecond laser ‘holds’ your eye with gentle vacuum; it is thus very difficult for you to blink or move the eyes during laser treatment. Rarely, 1 in several hundred cases, if movement does occur, we may need to modify the planned treatment or complete the surgery on another day; this will not compromise the health of your eyes or your final visual result.

Our consultants at Laser Vision Eye Centre will asses your suitability for laser eye surgery and advise on the best option for you. It is most likely that you will be suitable for laser treatment if you do not have an extremely high prescription (refractive error), thin corneas or an underlying eye condition. Other options, such as an ICL implant or refractive lens exchange, can be explored in such an eventuality.

At each visit, a team of practitioners, such as a nurse and an optometrist, and the surgeon who performed your laser treatment will review you. In exceptional circumstances, such as illness, another surgeon of Laser Vision Eye Centre will review you.

You will typically be reviewed at 1 day, 1-2 weeks, 3 months and 12 months after your Laser Vision Correction.

Laser Vision Correction does not affect the future health of your eyes and does not increase the risk of eye conditions, such as cataract, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration. When cataract does develop naturally later in life and cataract surgery is required, special considerations will be required to calculate the power of the intraocular lens. It is important to keep for future reference a record of your prescriptions and eye scans prior to laser treatment.
You will typically be reviewed at 1 day, 1-2 weeks, 3 months and 12 months after your Laser Vision Correction.

The change in the shape of the cornea and the laser vision correction are permanent. Small changes develop over the first few months until the cornea stabilizes, but good refractive surgeons anticipate them and take them into account when performing the laser treatment. Thereafter, minimal change can develop; this is most usually not related to the refractive surgery and caused by changes in the lens of the eye during the fifth decade of life and beyond.

Laser Vision Correction can be carried out at any age. Indeed, at the Laser Vision Eye Centre we can compensate for presbyopia, i.e. the need for reading glasses, by performing PRESBYOND Laser Vision Correction; this treatment has been developed exclusively by Carl Zeiss. However, with increasing age the status of your lens inside the eye can change and develop early ageing changes - dysfunctional lens syndrome. If these changes are detected, other surgery to laser treatment may be recommended.

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