Laser Eye Surgery Questions and Answers

8 November 2019

Laser eye surgery is a safe, effective and in many instances life changing procedure. At Optegra, we’ve helped relieve literally thousands of people from the shackles of glasses / contact lenses so they can live a life with clear and vibrant vision.

However, as the procedure is still surgery, it is imperative to understand the procedure and do your own due diligence before deciding to proceed. As the laser eye surgery industry offers many providers – from five star dedicated eye hospitals like Optegra, to bargain basement clinics – it’s crucial to pick the right provider to enjoy the best possible experience and outcomes.

Before proceeding, to find out more about your suitability for laser eye surgery and to have your questions answered 1 on 1, Optegra offer a free consultation about laser eye surgery. To book a date that suits, simply fill the form out below:

Here are some of the most common questions laser eye surgery patients have about the procedure, outcomes and risks.

Is Laser Eye Surgery Painful?

During the short procedure, anaesthethic drops are used so there is no pain felt. Following the procedure, for LASIK and SMILE there is may be some discomfort for a very short while, but this can be managed through medication.

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser eye surgery is among the safest and most common elective surgical procedures carried out in the world. The procedure can help correct the vision of those suffering from long sight, short sight, astigmatism and wavefront abnormalities (which causes issues such as night vision disturbances).

In essence, the procedure works by reshaping the eye cornea. Different laser procedures and techniques are used short sight (myopia) and long sight (hyperopia). This makes the diagnosis of the patient beforehand extremely important. With Optegra, those who are looking for laser eye surgery can have their suitability assessed via a comprehensive and rigorous consultations with one of our experts.

What Is The Difference Between LASEK, LASIK & SMILE?

Laser eye surgery has been available for several decades. There are now 3 generations of techniques that have evolved over this time. Generation 1, LASEK (PRK) involves removing the superficial front layer of the cornea, allowing the laser to reshape the underlying layer. A contact lens is placed on the eye (to act as a bandage) for 3-5 days in which time the front layer of the cornea grows back and the contact lens can then be removed. This technique can be quite uncomfortable for the patient during the first 1-2 days and visual recovery can take 5-7 days. Therefore, it is only used nowadays if patients are not able to have LASIK or SMILE.

Second generation laser techniques (LASIK) involves the creation of a protective flap on the front layer of the cornea, which allows the laser to be applied to the underlying the layer. The flap is then placed back and the cornea will heal naturally. This procedure offers very fast recovery in terms of vision and comfort, which can be a short as a few hours.

The third generation of laser eye surgery known as SMILE is also available. Optegra is one of only a small cohort of clinics in the country that offer this procedure. SMILE offers significant advantages over LASEK and LASIK. This is the most advanced version of laser vision correction, which involves no flap creation at all. Instead the cornea is reshaped through a keyhole technique. Visual recovery is comparable to LASIK and research has shown SMILE results in increased strength of the cornea post-surgery, lower levels of dry eye, as well as more stable healing, which is particularly advantageous for those with higher prescriptions.

Most laser eye surgery providers do not have the technology or experience required to offer SMILE laser eye surgery. Hence they do not offer it or discuss it as an option with patients. At Optegra, we have invested heavily in making this SMILE available to our patients and if interested you can discuss this option at your free laser eye surgery consultation.

What Type Of Patients Benefit The Most From SMILE Laser Eye Surgery?

SMILE is the most advanced laser eye surgery available in the world. The treatment is best suited for treating myopia (short sightedness), where the patient can see OK close up, however have problems with distance vision. SMILE can also treat deeper and more complex prescriptions than other laser options, with less risk of complications.

A free consultation at Optegra Eye Healthcare can help you determine your suitability for SMILE versus other treatment choices.

Are There Any Risks With Having Laser Eye Surgery?

As with any type of surgery, there are some small risks associated with vision correction. While the vast majority of procedures are executed with no complications, in some cases there are small issues that are relatively easy to correct. The most common of these are dryness or inflammation of the cornea. In the rare instances where the result isn’t as desired, patients may require a further laser correction to get the desired outcomes.

How Long Does The Laser Eye Surgery Procedure Take?

Laser eye surgery is a fairly quick and pain free procedure. The surgery typically lasts between 10 to 15 minutes, and the laser is only used for a fraction of this time. It is important to remember that the time spent in the hospital is likely to be 2 to 3 hours – because the patient is checked thoroughly before and following the procedure.

Does Laser Eye Surgery Permanently Cure Poor Vision Or Does It Wear Off?

Effectively, laser eye surgery is a permanent cure for poor eyesight. However, as a person gets older and reaches the age of about 45+, a condition called presbyopia occurs. With presbyopia, near vision gradually moves further away. Even after laser eye surgery, presbyopia may still set in and the patient may need to undergo further treatment for correction, or opt to wear reading glasses.

The laser eye surgery itself will correct vision and in most cases is permanent, until the patient develops age generated presbyopia.

Your surgeon will discuss this in depth at your free consultation at Optegra.

What Should Potential Patients Look For In An Eye Surgeon?

Not all laser eye surgeons are the same, much in the way not all laser eye clinics are. It is imperative to choose the best possible surgeon, operating from the best possible facilities.

Patients will want to ensure their surgeon has the best possible refractive surgery training, and ideally have carried out many successful surgeries.

At Optegra, our NHS trained surgeons are Fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or equivalent organisations, so you can be sure that you’re in expert hands. Of equal importance, our surgeons operate out of our five star dedicated eye hospitals – which have independently been awarded “UK’s Top Rated” eye provider for the last 2 years running.

Got a question about laser eye surgery? Ask on our enquiry form.


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