Understanding & Minimising Risks

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Laser eye surgery is a very straightforward procedure, which has helped millions of people around the world to enjoy better vision. Complications are rare, and here at Optegra we do everything we can to keep the risks of laser eye surgery to a minimum.

What are the risks of laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery is one of the most commonly performed elective surgical procedures in the world. The complication rate is less than 4%, and in the event that complications do occur, in most cases they can be addressed by further treatment.

However, it’s important to remember that all surgical procedures carry some degree of risk, and it’s best to do your research so you’re fully prepared with what to expect. Read on below to find out more about the possible risks of laser eye surgery, and what we do to keep them to a minimum.

  • Vision after surgery is not as expected

Every individual responds differently to laser eye surgery, and you may find that after your eyes have healed, you still have some degree of short-sightedness, long-sightedness or astigmatism. Whilst laser eye surgery will reduce your dependence on glasses, it may not eliminate your need for them altogether, so you may find that you still need glasses for certain specific tasks, such as reading small print or driving.

In some cases, a ‘top-up’ procedure may be possible to improve your vision further. This is something you can discuss with your surgeon during your aftercare, and they will suggest the best options for you.

  • Flap complications

In some laser eye surgery procedures, such as LASIK, a flap is created in the outer layer of the cornea, which is lifted to allow the cornea to be reshaped. In rare cases, there can be complications if this flap does not heal properly.

At Optegra, we offer a range of innovative, bladeless laser eye treatments to help keep the chances of flap complications to a minimum, and we also offer ReLEx SMILE surgery which doesn’t involve a flap being created at all. Modern laser eye treatments are far safer than traditional blade methods, and in the unlikely event that complications do occur, the technology allows for a better resolution.

  • Dry eyes

You may experience dry eyes after laser eye surgery, which could feel slightly itchy or uncomfortable. It’s very important not to rub your eyes at this point, as it could disrupt the healing process.

Your surgeon will give you eye drops to help minimise the discomfort of dry eyes, and once your eyes have started to heal, you should find that the dryness goes back to normal.

  • Glare or halo effect

You may experience some glare or halo effect after having laser eye surgery. These side effects typically reduce significantly within the first month following treatment, and continue to improve over a three month period.

We provide comprehensive aftercare, so if you do experience any side effects of laser eye surgery, your surgeon will be on hand to track your progress and advise on whether you need any further treatment.

The risks for different types of laser eye surgery

The risk of laser eye surgery complications depends partly on the type of surgery you have, as each treatment uses different methods and techniques. Read on below to find out more about the risks of LASIK, LASEK and SMILE laser eye surgery.

LASIK surgery

LASIK is one of the most well-known and established types of laser eye surgery. During the course of a LASIK treatment, a thin flap is created in the outer layer of the cornea. There is therefore a risk of flap complications taking place with a LASIK treatment, as well as dry eyes.

At Optegra, we carry out LASIK surgery using a state-of-the-art femtosecond laser, rather than the traditional method of using a blade, to help ensure the best possible results.

LASEK surgery

LASEK is often offered as an alternative treatment for individuals who are unable to have LASIK surgery. During a LASEK procedure, the fine surface layer of the cornea is gently loosened and folded back, rather than a flap being created. There is therefore no risk of flap complications with a LASEK treatment. The risk of dry eyes after treatment is also lower.

However, recovery from LASEK can be slower than other treatments, and bandage lenses will need to be worn for up to a week. Your eyes may also be uncomfortable for the first few days after treatment.

SMILE surgery

ReLEx SMILE is the latest type of laser eye surgery available. This treatment is minimally invasive and bladeless. No flap is created, so there’s no risk of flap complications and less risk of developing dry eyes. As the treatment is less invasive than other types of laser eye surgery, recovery is quick and discomfort is kept to a minimum. This treatment is also better for the stability of the cornea, which means better results in the long term

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 very 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 the UK’s most trusted eye care provider. 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 all are 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 have a consultation with one of our ophthalmic surgeons. They’ll carry out some diagnostic tests to assess your suitability for laser eye surgery, and they’ll 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 individual 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 you to relax 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 when it comes to 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, as well as further follow-up appointments to check on your progress.

One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of laser eye surgery is to carefully follow the instructions given by your surgeon before, during and after your laser eye treatment. In the period following your surgery, take care not to rub your eyes, and avoid activities which could put them at risk. If you have any concerns at any point, book an appointment with your surgeon, or get in touch on our 24 hour patient phone line.

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