Is laser eye surgery safe?

When you hear the word 'surgery', it's only natural to have some concerns about safety. After all, some kinds of surgery can be very invasive and require long periods of time for recovery. When it comes to laser eye surgery, however, there are a range of innovative treatments available so you can be back to normal in no time. 
While it is true that all forms of surgery carry an element of risk, it’s not the case that all surgeries carry the same amount of risk. Laser eye surgery is much less invasive than many other types of surgery, and healing is very quick. It's one of the most common elective procedures in the world, and the complication rate is very low. 

Read on below to find out everything you need to know about the safety of laser eye surgery. 


Laser eye surgery: the facts

Depending on the type of laser eye treatment you have, surgery usually takes around fifteen minutes for each eye, and while some patients may experience a little discomfort, it is actually a pain-free procedure as your surgeon will administer anaesthetic eye drops. 
Laser eye surgery is one of the most common elective medical procedures in the world, and fewer than 4% of treatments experience any kind of complications. When complications do occur, they are usually minor, and if you choose a laser eye surgery provider with good quality aftercare, any issues which do occur can be quickly remedied. 


Laser eye surgery risks

As with any kind of surgical procedure, there are some risks of laser eye surgery to be aware of, including: 


  • ​Vision not as expected
Everyone responds differently to laser eye surgery, and you may find that after your treatment you still need glasses for some tasks, such as reading small print or driving. Laser eye surgery is not a miracle cure, and it's important to be realistic about your expected outcomes from treatment. If you do find that you're unhappy with the results of your treatment, chat to your surgeon when you go along for your aftercare appointment. In some cases, they may be able to perform a 'top-up' treatment to improve your vision further. 
  • Flap complications
In procedures where a flap is created to reshape the cornea, there can be a chance of complications. Here at Optegra, we offer a variety of innovative, bladeless treatments to help keep these risks to a minimum. Our ReLEx SMILE treatment doesn't involve a flap being created at all, meaning there is no risk of flap complications taking place. 
  • Dry eyes

After your treatment, you may experience dry eyes. Your surgeon will give you eye drops to help you manage this and keep them moist. You will also be asked to return for aftercare appointments at regular intervals so we can check up on how your eyes are healing.
  • Glare or halo effect
In the weeks after treatment, as your eyes adjust you may experience some glare or halo effects in your vision. These will usually diminish in time, and it is very rarely a long-term problem.


Minimising the risks of laser eye surgery

No surgery is completely without risk, so it’s important that you are aware of the potential complications before you go ahead with treatment.
There are several things you can do to minimise the chance of complications taking place. First and foremost, always choose a respected provider. It may be tempting to go abroad for cheap laser eye surgery, but the risks associated with this are just not worth it in the long run.
At Optegra, our world-class surgeons have been highly trained by the NHS and are all Fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or equivalent organisations. We assess each patient’s suitability for laser eye surgery before treatment, checking for any underlying conditions that may cause complications down the line.
Every patient receives a treatment plan that’s individually tailored to them, ensuring they get the best possible care. You will also be assigned your own ophthalmic surgeon who will work with you throughout the entire procedure, so you can rest assured that your surgeon understands your needs.
You can also minimise the risk by following your surgeon's advice before, during and after treatment. For example, avoid using eye make up in the run up to treatment and afterwards,and refrain from using shampoos, conditioners and other products containing chemicals that can get in your eyes after surgery.
If you experience any pain or discomfort after surgery, then tell your surgeon as soon as possible. If it’s out of hours, then use our 24 hour helpline.


Find out more

If you have any more questions about the safety of laser eye surgery, why not come along to one of our open evenings? We hold events regularly at our hospitals and clinics across the UK, and they're a great opportunity to hear from one of our expert opthalmic surgeons and ask any questions you may have. Alternatively, you could book a free one-to-one consultation with one of our surgeons, to find out whether laser eye surgery is right for you. 
We are more than happy to talk through any concerns you may have, and we are confident that once we do, you’ll feel less anxious about treatment. Laser eye surgery is a very safe way of creating long-term solutions to visual problems. At Optegra, your eyes are in very safe hands.


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