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20|20 vision with Laser Eye Surgery or your money back* Find out more

Laser eye surgery is the most frequently performed elective procedure in the world.

This is where a cool beam of light from an excimer laser gently reshapes the outer window of your eye, known as the cornea. This procedure improves unaided vision and could give you freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Laser eye surgery has enhanced the lives of millions of people as over 24 million procedures have been carried out worldwide [Marketscope 2014].

Many of the questions that are posed to our surgeons and optometrists are related to the risks and possible complications of laser eye surgery. And rightly so – our eyes are precious and we want you to understand the procedure fully so you can make an informed decision whether to proceed. While we routinely see it enhancing and improving the lives of the people we treat, we often hear from patients who are afraid or have reservations because they have seen sensational news articles. Let’s dispel some of the common misunderstanding about the treatment and give you important information to allow you to make your own decision. A good starting point is to book a no-cost appointment with one of our expert laser consultants where you will have the opportunity ask questions and discuss your options. 

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Potential risks of Laser Eye Surgery?

Dry Eye

Dry eyes are a relatively common condition in the population, especially older individuals, regardless of undergoing laser eye surgery. Your optometrist will assess the dryness of your eyes and determine if you meet our standards, which not all patients do, in order to proceed with surgery.
 
Despite meeting the standards, a feeling of dry eye can occur after the procedure and is the most common side effect. If it were to occur, the dryness is usually short lived and resolves within the first several months after surgery. It is managed with eye drops or artificial tears/gels which are provided at no cost to you during the first twelve months post operatively. However, in rare cases the dryness may persist and require long-term treatment.
 

Visual disturbances

Some people may notice visual symptoms after surgery, such as glare, rings around lights and hazy vision. These are usually mild and resolve soon after surgery. However, it is possible that they might not go away completely or be so noticeable as to impair daily activities.

A signature advantage of our iDesign Advanced CustomVue technology is that it provides a significant improvement over standard treatment in the quality of night-time vision.
 

Loss of vision

It is important to appreciate that no one has ever gone blind from laser eye surgery in the UK. But in very rare instances, patients may lose some lines of best corrected vision. This means if a person were able to read the 20/20 line with their glasses before the procedure, they may not be able to read the 20/20 line with glasses or contacts after the procedure.
 
This loss of best corrected vision can be due to scarring or irregularities on the surface of the eye. There is also the remote possibility of infection or other rare occurrences that could cause loss of vision or even the need for a corneal transplant. However to provide some perspective, many people now believe that the risks of laser eye surgery are less than wearing contact lenses.
 
To help minimize these very rare risks, it is important to attend follow-up appointments to monitor progress and take all medicines as directed.
 
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Laser Eye Surgery at Optical Express
Optical Express offers iLASIK and LASEK treatment with Wavefront treatment powered by iDesign, the industry’s most advanced, high-definition measurement device for wavefront treatment. This technology is available exclusively in the UK at Optical Express and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
 
  • Duration of surgery: 10-12 mins
  • Risk of complication: 0.60%
  • 99.1% Achieve 20/20*

As the technology behind laser eye surgery has evolved, patient safety and final outcomes have improved to a point where experts now consider it safe and effective. Although this can vary between providers and individual surgeons, the complication rate for laser eye surgery is less than 1.0%. Most complications can be successfully treated or will naturally resolve within the early post-operative time period.

We are proud of our 99.1%, 20/20 success rate* but as with any medical procedure there are risks which should be considered and outcomes cannot be guaranteed.
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Our Treatments
There are two forms of laser eye surgery - LASIK and LASEK, which are both highly effective to correct low, moderate and high prescriptions. Both treatments can be enhanced with Wavefront - advanced and customised technology that maps and assesses the distinct characteristic of your eyes more precisely than standard treatment.
 
  • LASIK (Laser-Assisted-In-Situ-Keratomileusis) eye surgery comprises two computer-guided, cool lasers. The first creates a protective layer to allow your surgeon access to the inner layers of the cornea, the second to correct your vision.

  • LASEK (Laser-Assisted-Epithelial-Keratomileusis) is similar, however only one laser is used to correct your vision without the need for a protective flap.

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*20/20 - Over 99% of patients achieved 20/20 vision or better
Based on a study of 336,381 Optical Express patients with the most common prescription ranges we treat, September 2014.