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Laser Eye Surgery

What is Laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery, or laser vision correction, involves using lasers to reshape the front surface (cornea) of your eyes so that you can focus better. It can correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism.

Who can have Laser eye surgery?

Most people over the age of 18 should be able to have Laser eye surgery. Ideally however, your eye prescription should have stayed more or less the same for approximately two years. Those individuals with particularly bad eyes who tend to need a high spectacle prescription or individuals of an older age may suit lens replacement surgery better, an alternative to Laser eye surgery.
It is extremely important to note that, not everyone is suitable for Laser eye surgery. If you are not suitable for the surgery and the surgeon proceeds with the operation, there is a high risk that you can experience serious complications, even a possible loss of vision and so pre-operative assessments are vital.

Popularity

15,000 British people choose laser eye surgery as an alternative to wearing glasses every year.

What does the procedure involve?

There are 3 main types of Laser eye surgery
LASIK
This is done with two lasers, one to open up a thin flap in the surface of the cornea and another to reshape the cornea underneath. The protective flap is then smoothed back over and stays in place without stitches. This is best suited for those individuals who suffer from short-sightedness.
LASEK
Involves lasering the surface of the cornea under the epithelium. The laser is programmed for your individual prescription.
SMILE
The surgeon reshapes your Cornea through a small hole which will then self-seal.
The Surgeon will advise which alternative will be the most suitable procedure as everyone’s eyes differ in many ways.

Risks

It must be highlighted that complications occur in less than 5% of cases.
Around 1 in 10 individuals who undergo laser eye surgery may require further surgery to get the best vision, though there is no additional cost for this.
There can be a very small possibility of:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double/distorted vision
  • Halos in vision
  • Gritty discomfort – usually fixes itself in 3-6 months.
  • Red marks on the eye – usually fade in 1 month.
  • Under correction – if the laser removes too little tissue from your eye, you won’t get the clearer vision results you were hoping for. You may need another LASIK procedure within a year to remove more tissue.
  • Overcorrection – It is possible that the laser will remove too much tissue from your eye. This complication can be harder to fix than under correction.
  • Vision loss – There are of course very rare complications such as Vascular Occlusion (blindness) which can occur in less than 1 in 1 million cases.

Severe complications such as Vascular occlusion are usually result of an inexperienced surgeon or the lack of thoroughness of preoperative testing.

Health

Your health is crucial when it comes to Laser eye surgery. Individuals with certain additional health problems may be unsuitable for surgery as the outcome and success is much harder to predict. Doctors may not recommend laser eye surgery if you have the following conditions:

  • Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • A weakened immune system caused by immunosuppressive medications or HIV
  • Persistent dry eyes
  • Unstable vision due to medications, hormonal changes, pregnancy, breast-feeding or age.
  • Keratitis, uveitis, herpes simplex affecting the eye area, glaucoma, cataracts, eye injuries or lid disorders.

If you need any advice contact our Specialist Team on 0800 088 6004.