The Procedure - Laser Eye Surgery Guide

Which is the best procedure for me?

This will be decided on during the consultation between you and the surgeon.

The surgeon will measure your eyes and from this can advise you about suitable treatment options. Other factors include your lifestyle, speed of recovery, your attitude to pain (this tends to be minimal) and cost. The latest procedures which include Wavefront or ‘Intralase’ technology use the most advanced lasers but as you can imagine, are more expensive.

As a rough guide, LASIK is limited to those patients if their prescription is around -10 dioptres (short sight); Epi-LASEK to patients whose prescription shows less than -8 dioptres (short sight).

For long sight, treatment is restricted to patients with a prescription of no more than +4 dioptres.

If the surgeon finds that you are outside the treatment range for laser vision surgery then he or she will recommend an alternative. One such alternative is ICL’s or Implantable Contact Lenses.

What is the actual procedure?

This depends on which procedure you have chosen. Visit each of our individual laser eye surgery options (FAQS) to find out more about each procedure.

In general, the surgery involves the surgeon making a small incision in the surface layer over the cornea (the clear ‘window’ at the front of your eye) called the ‘epithelium’. This creates a small flap which is then lifted to allow the laser to reshape the cornea. This reshaping can improve long or short sightedness.

Surgeons usually operate on one eye and then, depending on the outcome, will arrange a further session to operate on the other eye.

Does it hurt?

No. You will be given local anaesthetic eye drops beforehand which will numb the eye and so prevent any pain. You may experience some discomfort or pain after the procedure but you will be given painkillers to deal with this.

Some patients experience a sensation during the procedure but not a painful one.

How long does it take?

This depends on the type of procedure but in general, it will take around 20 minutes or so. You will rest for a couple of hours after surgery in a special recovery room.

Do I have to stay overnight in the clinic?

No. Once you have had your treatment followed by a short rest you are then free to return home. The clinic will advise you about when to return for your follow up check up. They will also advise you about when you can return to work.

What type of medication will I need to take after surgery?

You will be given painkillers to ease any pain or discomfort after surgery. You will also be given antibiotic, steroid (anti-inflammatory) eye drops and artificial tears to reduce any discomfort or dry eyes.

The eye drops will need to be used for a week following surgery. The artificial tears – medicine which helps to lubricate the eyes may have to be used for up to 6 months following surgery.