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      Laser eye surgery risks are infrequent. The surgery itself is a very straightforward procedure that has helped millions of people worldwide enjoy better vision. At Optegra, we do everything we can to minimise the risks of laser eye surgery.

      Success rates for laser eye surgery are incredibly high. Retreatment is rare and will usually occur three to six months after the first procedure to achieve maximum vision improvement.

      Retreatment can be influenced by surgery type and your prescription; we will let you know your individual risk at your initial virtual consultation.

      Optegra’s world-renowned consultants and surgeons will contact you regularly after the procedure to ensure the treatment has achieved the expected results. The success rate for follow-up procedures is also extremely high.


      What Are The Risks Of Laser Eye Surgery?

      While laser eye surgery is one of the safest elective procedures in the world, like any form of surgery, it has a slight degree of risk. The following are the main risks associated with the treatment:

      Laser eye surgery, such as LASIK, PRK, and SMILE, is generally considered safe and effective, but as with any surgical procedure, it carries certain risks and potential complications. Understanding these risks is important for anyone considering the surgery. Here are the main risks associated with laser eye surgery:


      Visual Disturbances and Night Vision Issues: Patients may experience glare, halos, double vision, or starbursts around lights, especially at night. These usually improve within a few weeks or months.

      Dry Eyes: One of the more common side effects, dry eyes, can be uncomfortable and temporarily affect vision. This condition usually resolves within several weeks to a few months.

      Under Corrections, Overcorrections, or Astigmatism: If too little or too much tissue is removed from the eye, or if tissue removal is uneven, it can lead to less-than-optimal vision correction. Additional surgery may be prescribed to correct these issues.

      Flap Complications (Specific to LASIK): Problems with the corneal flap created during LASIK can lead to complications such as abnormal healing, infections, or visual aberrations.

      Regression: Over time, some patients may experience a gradual return of their original refractive error, particularly those with high prescriptions before surgery.

      Infection and Inflammation: While rare, there’s a risk of infection or inflammation after surgery, which can usually be treated effectively with medication.

      Keratitis: This is an inflammation of the cornea that can occur after surgery and is usually treatable with medications.

      While these rare risks are present, our surgeons have carried out tens of thousands of procedures each year, which means you’re always in the best possible hands.


      Can Laser Eye Surgery Cause Blindness?

      The fear of blindness is a common concern among those considering laser eye surgery, but it’s important to understand that the risk of blindness from procedures like LASIK, LASEK, or SMILE is extremely low, almost to the point of being negligible. Several factors contribute to the very minimal risk of blindness from these surgeries:

      Advanced Technology and Precision: Modern laser eye surgery uses advanced, precise technology. The lasers have sophisticated tracking systems that follow eye movements, ensuring accurate and targeted cornea treatment. This precision greatly reduces the risk of complications.

      Surface Procedure: These surgeries primarily involve the surface layers of the cornea. The deeper layers of the eye, where more severe complications could potentially lead to blindness, are not affected by the laser.

      Sterile Conditions and Procedural Safety: Laser eye surgeries are performed in sterile, controlled environments, drastically reducing the risk of infection, a potential cause of serious complications.

      Extensive Pre-Operative Assessment: Before surgery, patients undergo a comprehensive eye examination. This assessment ensures that only suitable candidates (those without high-risk factors such as extremely thin corneas or pre-existing eye conditions that could complicate surgery) proceed with the procedure.

      Experienced Surgeons: At Optegra, the procedure is typically performed by our skilled, NHS-trained consultants. Their expertise significantly reduces the risk of complications.

      Track Record and Studies: The history and data of laser eye surgery show an extremely low incidence of serious complications. According to numerous studies and clinical data, the risk of blindness has never been reported.

      Post-Operative Care: Patients receive detailed care instructions and follow-up appointments to monitor healing after surgery. This immediate and ongoing attention helps in the early identification and management of any potential complications.

      Potential Laser Eye Surgery Side Effects

      While laser eye surgery has potential side effects, most are temporary and not a cause for concern. The most common include:

      • Dry Eyes – One of the most common side effects following laser eye surgery. The procedure can temporarily affect nerve endings in the cornea, reducing tear production. This condition usually resolves within a few weeks to months and can be managed effectively with lubricating eye drops.
      • Glare, Halos, and Starbursts.
      • Fluctuating Vision: It’s normal for vision to fluctuate during the first few weeks as the eye heals. This is not a cause for concern and usually stabilises.
      • Mild Discomfort or Sensitivity: Patients might experience mild discomfort, itching, or light sensitivity post-surgery in the first few days. This is typically a normal part of the healing process.
      • Eye Infections: While rare, there is a small risk of eye infections following laser eye surgery. However, these are usually preventable with proper post-operative care and hygiene. If an infection does occur, it can often be treated effectively with antibiotic eye drops.

      These side effects are normal, and our patients can discuss them with our consultants at any time should they have any concerns.

      A Sense of Trust

      I was at first apprehensive. When I went to Optegra there was that sense of trust from the first visit

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      How To Keep Laser Eye Surgery Risks To A Minimum

      The risk of laser eye surgery complications can be reduced by choosing a high-quality laser eye surgery provider with the best laser eye surgeons, facilities, and equipment.

      Here at Optegra, we do everything we can to maximise laser eye surgery safety, and it’s easy to see why we’re a top-rated eye hospital. When you choose to have a laser eye treatment with us, you can rest assured that we’ll provide:

      World-class laser eye surgeons

      Our experienced laser eye surgeons are all NHS-trained and fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or equivalent bodies. Our consultants are experts in their field, and between them, they’ve carried out thousands of successful laser eye treatments.

      Personalised treatment

      Before going ahead with treatment, you’ll consult with one of our ophthalmic surgeons. They’ll carry out some diagnostic tests to assess your suitability for laser eye surgery and put together a personalised treatment plan to help you get the best possible results from your surgery. You’ll see the same surgeon right the way through, from your initial consultation to your surgery and aftercare, so you can rest assured that you’re being treated by someone who understands your needs.

      The best facilities and technology

      Our eye hospitals and clinics are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including top-of-the-range diagnostic equipment, the latest laser eye technology, and comfortable recovery suites for relaxing after your treatment. The better the technology, the more accurate the results you’ll get from your laser eye surgery, and we pride ourselves on offering the latest laser eye surgery techniques.

      High quality aftercare

      The weeks and months after your laser eye surgery are vital for getting great results, and here at Optegra, we provide comprehensive laser eye surgery aftercare to ensure that everything goes smoothly. You’ll have your first aftercare appointment the day after your surgery and further follow-up appointments to check on your progress.


      Is Laser Eye Surgery Safe in the Long Term?

      Laser eye surgery is safe long-term. The only permanent outcome consistently reported from laser eye surgery is improved vision. In terms of some health benchmarks, such as the chances of eye infection, contact lenses are far more likely to cause this than laser eye surgery.

      You’re in Safe Hands with Our Laser Eye Surgeons

      At Optegra, we are true vision correction experts. Our dedicated eye hospitals and clinics, located nationwide, are perfectly equipped with the latest technology to ensure excellent outcomes. Our consultants are NHS-trained and true specialists in their field.

      If you’re considering laser eye surgery, why not book a free virtual consultation with us to learn more?

      By Author: Amir Hamid

      Mr. Amir Hamid is our Medical Director for Vision Correction and an expert refractive surgeon, based in London.


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