Research your laser eye surgeon

“The problem there, however, is the choice of provider. So the advice to anyone looking at laser eye surgery as an option is ‘choose your surgeon properly’. 

Do your research. This is an eye operation — so it has to be in the right hands — but it’s a really good eye operation.”

"Look for expertise, not price points, and ensure he or she follows the standards set out by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists."

Base your laser eye surgeon choice on recommendation, says Daya. Look for expertise, not price points, and ensure he or she follows the standards set out by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Does the laser eye surgeon work for a credible institution? Are they fellowship trained in laser refractive surgery?

“And make sure that whoever you see is well-versed in all procedures used to correct vision,” says Daya.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists also suggests a patient asks how many procedures the surgeon performs a year; what percentage of cases result in 20/20 vision; and what their complication rate is.

The speedy procedure

During the procedure, an incision is made to create a thin flap on the cornea (the surface of the eye). This is then lifted up and a laser is used to reshape the cornea. When this is accomplished, the flap is repositioned and the eye heals naturally. “It’s a very delicate tissue,” says Daya, "just 0.1 of a millimetre in thickness, so the surgeon has to be adept at handling it.”

Laser eye surgery doesn’t hurt — an- aesthetic drops are used — and patients can usually work and drive the next day. A small percentage of patients will need to revisit their surgeon at a later stage for enhancement treatment.

Is laser eye surgery right for you?

Make sure your surgeon feels that you are a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery; and that, whatever type of vision correction you choose, you will be receiving the best procedure for your eyes. “There’s an art to laser eye surgery,” says Daya.

“A patient needs a good laser eye surgeon who can manage their expectations and accomplish the near and distance vision correction they are looking for.”

Quick facts

Laser refractive surgery has been around for more than two decades — yet some people needing vision correction are still put off by the procedure.

“People will have heard of some patients (post operation) having trouble with ‘dry eye’ and ‘halo’ vision, for example,” says Sheraz Daya, Medical Director of Centre for Sight.

Top Tips

  1. Laser eye surgery is suitable for almost anyone over the age of 21 with a stable, distance prescription (subject to health conditions). For those eligible, it could be more convenient than glasses or lenses; giving the potential freedom to enjoy the experiences and sights of life more spontaneously.
  2. Before considering laser eye surgery, research various providers and seek out those who are transparent about the risks/advantages of the treatment. Check that your surgeon has adequate qualifications, such as certification from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
  3. Once you have chosen a provider, make sure you have an in-depth consultation.
  4. After your treatment you should receive a detailed aftercare programme. Follow this to make your recovery process as smooth as possible.