Laser Eye Surgery | For Lifelong Vision Correction
As we get older, our eyes naturally experience age-related changes that may impair our vision. Laser eye surgery has been a recognised vision correction procedure for almost 40 years and has undergone improvements to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
Our laser eye surgery (or refractive surgery) can help correct eyesight problems for almost every patient and provides a life-long alternative to wearing glasses and contact lenses.
Our ophthalmic surgeons at The McIndoe Centre provide the highest standards of patient care and specialise in life-long vision correction and astigmatisms.
How does laser eye surgery work?
Laser eye surgery and implantable lenses can help to correct eyesight problems and offer an alternative to wearing glasses or contact lenses. The procedure uses laser to target and reshape the front surface (cornea) of your eyes, allowing for improved vision. Laser eye surgery is predominantly used to correct short and long-sightedness as well as astigmatism.
The advantages that come with laser eye surgery
Vision problems can be a real issue, especially if your eyesight is getting worse over time.
Some of the benefits of surgery include:
- Restoring vision
- Alleviating the need to wear glasses or daily contact lenses
- Restoring confidence
Is laser eye surgery safe?
Laser eye surgery was accepted by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and deemed safe and effective to use. However, like with any other surgery, it is strongly advised you research and understand the benefits and risks of the surgery before proceeding.
Is laser eye surgery permanent?
How long your laser eye treatment lasts for depends on the type of treatment you choose to undergo. However most treatments offer lifelong results.
For example, LASIK surgery permanently restores your vision, and PRK surgery sees 90% of patients attain 20/20 vision just one year after their surgery. Speaking with your consultant will help identify which treatment better suits your requirements.
Am I eligible for laser eye surgery?
Appropriate candidates for laser eye surgery are those who are over 18, have had stable vision for a few years, and have no history or findings of any significant eye problems or suffer with active corneal disease.
Laser eye surgery can treat patients who are short-sighted, long-sighted and those who suffer with astigmatism.
You may find that you are more suited to implantable lenses (a laser-free alternative) if you have a high spectacle prescription.
Your treatment options
During laser eye surgery, a laser is used to reshape the cornea and the surface of the eye.
Different techniques, either LASIK or LASEK/PRK, will be used depending on your specific eyesight issue. Laser eye surgery can be used to treat long sight, short sight or astigmatism.
LASIK surgery is the most common type of laser eye surgery. It involves cutting across the cornea and raising a flap of tissue which is then reshaped using the laser before the flap is replaced.
PRK is mainly used for correcting low prescriptions as the cornea is reshaped without the need to cut out the tissue flap. LASEK is similar to PRK but varies as the surface layer of the cornea is retained as a flap, which is thought to prevent complications and speed healing.
Implantable lenses are a laser-free alternative to correcting vision problems. The Visian implantable contact lens is designed to sit behind the pupil and can also correct short sight, long sight, and astigmatism.
Depending on the type of treatment you require, surgery should take less than an hour
Specific complications include:
- Dry eyes
- Experiencing glare or halo effects when driving at night
- Loss of vision
Wearing glasses and contact lenses
It is important to note that LASIK will not correct the need for reading glasses (for those in their mid-forties). You can still wear contact lenses after laser eye surgery and you can also choose to wear glasses after laser eye surgery (reading glasses). However, there are some surgical options that can help with this and will be discussed during your consultation.
Why might you need laser eye surgery and implantable lenses
If you have eyesight problems and want to avoid wearing glasses or daily contact lenses, laser eye surgery or Visian implantable contact lenses can help to improve your vision.
Laser eye surgery recovery
Recovering from your laser eye surgery procedure is a relatively short process regardless of what treatment you choose.
Most people can return to work several days after their procedure, although a follow-up appointment is often recommended 24 - 48 hours after surgery to ensure the eye is healing correctly. You will need someone to come and collect you from the hospital as you will not be fit to drive.
You should be able to notice your results within 24 hours and the recovery period is often swift, meaning you can return to normal activities in just a few days.
Laser eye surgery risks
As with any procedure, there are associated risks the patient must be made aware of. Side effects are rare but you may experience the following:
- Mild, gritty sensation - dry eyes are the most common side effect but artificial tears can be prescribed to help lubricate the eyes. If you do experience any discomfort, your eyes should feel comfortable again in three to six months (average).
- Visual disturbances - some patients report glare from certain lights, mainly oncoming lights when driving. Treatment is not usually required as it resolves itself, but can be provided if required.
- Red dots or marks on your eye - these will fade within one month (if not less).
Any side effects following laser eye surgery either resolve on their own or can be rectified using simple treatments and ailments. If you do have any questions or concerns post-surgery, your consultant will always be on-hand to offer advice and aftercare solutions.
Your laser eye surgery cost
Treatment costs will vary depending on the type of procedure that you choose (LASIK or LASEK/PRK). Each patient will have different requirements, which is also factored into the overall cost.
You will be able to discuss the price of your surgery during your consultation and identify which treatment is most appropriate for you.
Our full price options will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.