The Ultimate Guide to Laser Eye Surgery

Part 1

This is part one and covers some of the initial questions you might have about laser eye surgery.

It’s a wonderful world.
We’ll help you see it that way.

You’re considering laser eye surgery, it’s a big decision and you have many questions. You’ve come to the right place! On this page, we’ll take you through all of the major aspects of laser eye surgery to help you decide whether the treatment is right for you, including the different types of surgery and whether you might be a suitable candidate.

Laser eye surgery can change your life. Over 99% of our patients who have undergone laser vision correction go on to recommend us to their family and friends† – so you can be confident you’ll be in good hands with us.

1. What is laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery is a simple procedure that takes anything from a matter of seconds to just a few minutes.

A cool beam advanced laser makes subtle adjustments to the shape of the surface of your eye (the cornea), correcting its tiny imperfections and making your vision clearer and sharper.

2. Am I suitable?

In the UK, you are eligible to attend a laser eye surgery consultation from the age of 18. An Optometrist will determine your suitability for surgery at your consultation, depending on the health of your eyes, your prescription and some other factors.

Take our free self test quiz!  

3. Are there different types of laser eye surgery?

The two best-known and most popular types of laser eye surgery are LASIK and LASEK (also referred to as PRK). Both types can be enhanced by iDesign, a highly advanced innovation which takes over 1,200 measurements from your eye to create a personalised ‘map'. This allows your treatment to be tailored specifically to you to achieve the best results.

Eye Close to Machine


LASIK is our most popular type of laser eye surgery and offers benefits including a fast recovery and excellent visual outcomes.

What is LASIK?
Eye closeup


LASEK is an alternative treatment to LASIK and is effective for some of those patients who aren't suitable for LASIK surgery.

What is LASEK?


iDesign is an innovative system which produces a highly detailed 3D map of the eye and enhances your treatment to achieve the best possible results.


4. FAQs

Read more of our FAQs at

  • Does laser eye surgery hurt?

    The short answer is: For the overwhelming majority of patients, no

    Due to the anaesthetic drops which are applied before the procedure, laser eye surgery itself is generally pain-free, but following the treatment patients may feel some discomfort in the early stages of healing. The level of discomfort you experience depends upon the type of surgery you've undergone, but any pain will be short lived, and you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of improved vision within a matter of days.
  • How long does laser eye surgery take?

    The short answer is: From a few seconds to two minutes

    You'll be in the theatre for around ten minutes, although the length of time that the laser is applied to your eye ranges from just a few seconds to two minutes, depending upon the complexity of your prescription.
  • How quickly will I see the results of laser eye surgery?

    The short answer is: It varies, but your results could be instant

    Most patients notice a significant improvement to their vision within 24 hours of surgery. You'll see a vast improvement by the end of your recovery period, which depends upon a number of factors including the type of treatment you've undergone.

We have more 5 star Trustpilot reviews than all other national eye surgery providers combined.ˇ

'I’ve been impressed with the care I’ve received'

“I’ve been impressed with the care and the results following laser eye surgery with Optical Express. The before and after care has been great, with friendly and professional staff at each point.”

'Highly recommend'

“Wonderful, friendly and helpful staff. Highly recommend, the York branch. The female member of staff was very professional, approachable and happy to help.”

'Absolutely fantastic'

“So happy with the results. Staff were amazing. Nothing was too much trouble, very friendly. Will definitely be recomending to family and friends.”

‘I’m so very glad I had the surgery.'

“Laser eye surgery was the best thing I ever had done, even though I was very nervous and scared of the unknown. After talking with the surgeon who explained every thing and put my mind at rest, and all the staff involved were very kind and reassuring. I’m so very glad I had the surgery.”