FAQs

Can I have both eyes done at the same time?

Typically, your Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon will not perform the lens replacement procedure on both eyes at the same time. Each eye will require a separate procedure, although they can both generally be done within a few weeks of each other.

Does laser eye surgery hurt?

Your laser eye surgeon will administer eye drops containing local anaesthetic so the treatment will be painless. Following treatment, LASIK patients may experience a gritty feeling for the first day. LASEK patients may experience this for a few days, and painkillers are provided to minimise discomfort.

Can a cataract spread from one eye to another?

Cataract cannot spread from eye to eye but it does tend to develop in both eyes around the same time, but often asymmetrically.

Does the SMILE procedure hurt?

Numbing drops are administered prior to beginning the procedure so there is no discomfort.

How Does SMILE work?

The one femtosecond laser creates a miniscule incision at the side of the cornea and at the same time a circular disc of tissue inside the cornea which is then removed through the tiny incision. The newly reshaped cornea gives you the desired visual results.

How do I book a free laser eye consultation?

Booking your laser eye consultation is simple. You can call our freephone number on 0808 168 8281 or book online here. Alternatively, you could attend one of our open evenings with an expert laser eye surgeon and have all your questions answered, as well as taking a tour of the hospital.

Can I have both eyes done at once?

Typically, your consultant will not perform the cataract procedure on both eyes at the same time. Each eye will require a separate procedure, although they can both generally be done within a few weeks of each other.

Can I have lens replacement if I’ve had laser eye surgery previously?

Yes, but it may restrict the range of lenses available to you. Your Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon will discuss all your options at a free consultation.

How can I book a free lens replacement consultation?

Booking your consultation is simple. You can call our freephone number on 0800 358 0825 or book online here. Alternatively you could attend one of our open evenings with a consultant surgeon and have all your questions answered and take a tour of the hospital.

Can my cataract come back after it has been removed?

No, once a cataract has been removed it cannot return in the same eye.

How long does laser eye surgery last?

Laser eye surgery can correct most refractive errors depending on your age; however as the natural lens of the eye ages due to presbyopia, most people will naturally need reading glasses at some point.

How long does it take to heal?

It is similar to LASIK, but you may find your vision is blurry for a little longer right after the procedure.  Follow up appointments include the next day and then at intervals lasting for up to 12 months.

How long does the SMILE procedure take?

Because there is only one laser being used, the procedure is faster than other refractive procedures. The whole treatment takes less than 15 minutes with the actual laser utilized for only a fraction of that time.

Do I have to stay overnight after the cataract surgery?

No, the surgery itself only takes a few minutes and the majority of your recovery can be done in the comfort of your own home.

You must arrange for transportation to and from the hospital on the day of surgery as your vision will be slightly blurred. We advise bringing a friend or family member along with you.

How quickly will my vision be restored?

Your sight should return a few hours after the operation although it may be blurry for the first couple of days. Vision normally improves quickly over the next week or two, reaching its optimum at 4-6 weeks.

How long does laser eye surgery take to perform?

Optegra has invested in state-of-the-art advanced laser eye technology to ensure the best possible results for our patients, allowing the patient's experience to be quicker and more comfortable.

We would advise that you allow 2 – 3 hours for the day of surgery; however, the surgery itself usually lasts approximately 15 minutes with the actual laser taking only a few seconds.

I’m under 50, am I suitable for lens surgery?

You are only suitable for lens replacement surgery if you have presbyopia, which usually develops in those over 50 years of age. You can find out more about whether lens replacement surgery is for you here or at a free consultation with a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, who will conduct a detailed eye assessment. 

How quickly will I see the results of laser eye surgery?

Most patients enjoy rapid visual recovery after laser eye surgery, and may notice an improvement in their vision immediately, but in some patients recovery can be slower.

Vision usually improves over the week following the laser eye treatment and is reasonably stable after a month although it can take up to three months for the best visual quality to be achieved.

How can I book a consultation?

Booking your consultation is simple you can call our freephone number on 0800 358 0825 or book online here. Alternatively you could attend one of our open evenings with a consultant surgeon and have all your questions answered and take a tour of the hospital.

What is ReLEx SMILE?

It is a flapless minimally invasive and gentle refractive procedure for correcting higher degrees of myopia with or without astigmatism.

How quickly will my vision be restored?

Your vision will be blurry at first and you may be asked to wear a protective patch. Your sight should return a few hours after the operation and your vision should improve quickly over the next week or two, reaching its optimum at 4-6 weeks.

I’ve got cataracts. Can I still have lens surgery?

Yes, if you already have a cataract or the beginnings of one it will be removed during the procedure. Lens replacement surgery also prevents you from ever needing cataract surgery.

I have reading glasses - can I have laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery may not be suitable for people who need very strong glasses, or whose main problem is dependence on reading glasses. You can learn more about your suitability here.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our laser eye surgeons, as we have other clinical procedures that may be suitable instead. Even if you are not suitable for laser eye surgery, Optegra has other procedures that may help such as lens replacement surgery.

If you are unsure whether you are suitable for laser eye treatments, please call our Patient Advisors on 0808 168 8281 and they will be able to advise you.

What is the difference between LASIK, LASEK and SMILE?

We offer a range of different laser eye treatments including LASIK, LASEK and SMILE.

LASIK is the most popular and well known type of laser eye surgery performed. A laser creates a flap which is gently lifted so that the cornea can be reshaped. This gives patients a rapid visual recovery.

LASEK is suitable for people with less serious eye focusing problems, thin corneas or dry eyes who may not be able to have LASIK. Instead of creating a flap, the fine surface of the cornea is loosened and folded back; the cornea is then reshaped.

SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, and is the least invasive of all the options. No flap is created with SMILE; the cornea is reshaped through a keyhole procedure which means patients can usually benefit from a short recovery period.

What is lens replacement surgery?

Lens replacement surgery is a sophisticated development of cataract surgery, one of the world’s most frequently performed surgical procedure. The natural lens of the eye is permanently replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) and typically takes 20 minutes per eye.

What are the treatment options?

At present, the only corrective treatment for a cataract is surgery. At Optegra we offer both cataract surgery and cataract refractive surgery. Patients may wish to consider cataract refractive surgery if they want to reduce their dependence on glasses. If the cataract is not removed, vision will gradually get worse and can, if severe, lead to blindness if left untreated.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a painless clouding of the lens of your eye. The lens is a clear part of your eye that helps to focus an image on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. A cataract generally develops over a long period of time, causing your eyesight to get progressively worse. Your vision becomes blurred because the cataract acts as if you are looking through frosted glasses which interferes with your sight and at best is inconvenient and at worst can lead to blindness if left untreated.

When can I go back to work?

Patients can usually return to work within 24 hours after LASIK or SMILE treatment and within a few days after LASEK treatment. However, every individual is different and it is important that you take as much time as you need to recover.

Your laser eye surgeon or a member of our team will be on-hand to provide you with any advice or reassurance if you need it.

When can I go back to work?

Providing you do not work in a dusty or smoky environment (which we recommend avoiding for around two weeks after lens replacement surgery), you should be able to go back to work after three days, or whenever your eye feels comfortable again.

Is laser eye surgery right for me?

Every individual is different. You will need to have a consultation with one of our expert laser eye surgeons, who will conduct an in-depth assessment to determine your suitability and select the right laser eye treatment for you.

You can find more information on whether laser eye surgery could be right for you here.

Will I be able to stop wearing glasses or contact lenses?

The lens used in the procedure can focus at different distances, which could give you clearer close up vision but not all patients will be able to stop wearing glasses or contact lenses for all tasks. 

Will I need glasses, contact lenses or reading glasses after cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery replaces the natural lens with a clear permanent artificial lens. Any existing or future long or short-sightedness problems may still exist. However, we offer cataract refractive surgery which uses advanced technology lenses that could correct long or short-sightedness. This surgery could help you eliminate or reduce your dependence on glasses at the same time as removing your cataract.

Will there be any pain?

The operation itself is pain free. You will be awake during the procedure, however we will use a local anaesthetic to numb the eye and the area surrounding it. Afterwards, you may experience itching and mild discomfort, which is normal. These should disappear in just one or two days.

Will I feel any discomfort during the procedure?

The lens replacement surgery procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and is painless. Afterwards, you may experience itching and mild discomfort; this is normal and should disappear in just one or two days.

Is laser eye surgery safe?

It is important to remember that all surgical procedures carry some risks. However, the complication rate in laser eye surgery is under 4% and most complications are minor.

These risks can be minimised by undergoing careful consultation to ensure you receive the right laser eye treatment for you, choosing a laser eye surgeon with a high level of experience and making sure that you comply with any instructions given to you before, after and during the laser procedure.

Our experienced laser eye surgeons are amongst the most well respected and renowned practitioners in their field, as well as being Fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or equivalent organisations.

We also use the most advanced equipment which makes the procedure safer and more accurate, with better results and faster recovery and completely blade-free laser treatments.

Your surgeon will be happy to discuss any concerns with you, and any complications will be carefully managed if they arise.

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