Laser Eye Surgery FAQs
Choosing to have laser eye treatment can be a life enhancing decision. But with several different treatment techniques available, including LASIK and Wavefront, and hundreds of different laser eye clinics in the UK to choose from, most prospective patients have a lot of questions. We’ve gathered together a list of the most common questions and answers about laser eye surgery to help you with your decision-making process.
What are the risks of laser eye surgery?
Laser eye operations are inherently safe, with thousands of procedures carried out every year in the UK. However, like any form of surgery, success cannot be guaranteed and not every patient achieves full vision correction. Before committing to laser eye surgery, it is important that patients acknowledge the potential drawbacks, which include:
- Further treatment is sometimes required to achieve perfect vision.
- Results are not always permanent.
- Dry eye symptoms have been reported in some patients, post-operatively.
Find out more in our guide to laser eye surgery risks
How do I know if I am suitable for laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery suitability varies from patient to patient. Although many people are eligible to have life-changing refractive laser treatment, a reputable laser eye clinic should first provide a full consultation to assess each individual’s suitability. It is estimated that around 20% of patients are deemed unsuitable for further treatment at consultation stage. Factors which determine suitability normally include:
- Age - most clinics will only treat patients over 21 years of age, after the eyes have stopped developing;
- Pre-existing eye conditions - patients with blepharitis, glaucoma, thin corneas, lazy eyes or optic nerve damage may not be suitable;
- Pregnant women cannot have laser eye treatment;
- People in certain occupations, such as the police and armed forces, may be restricted as to whether they can have laser eye treatment - although this is constantly under review.
See our guide for more information about laser eye surgery suitability
How much does laser eye surgery cost?
There’s no such thing as cheap laser eye surgery, and it goes without saying that quality of treatment should be your primary concern when it comes to your eyesight. However, the cost of laser eye treatment does vary widely depending on the clinic, the level of vision correction required, and the type of treatment used. Consider the following as a rough guide to the cost of treatment:
- LASEK is available from around £400 per eye;
- LASIK Wavefront surgery can cost anywhere from £1,200 to £2,500 per eye;
- Intraocular lenses range from £1,300 to £3,000 per eye.
Prices, and the exact form of treatment vary between clinics, so the full cost of having laser eye treatment is likely to become clear after a patient has been properly assessed at a consultation. Our guide to laser eye surgery costs has more information on this topic.
How do I find a good laser eye surgeon?
You should ask the clinic how many procedures the surgeon due to perform your operation, carries out. The Royal College of Opthalmologists recommends choosing a laser eye doctor who carries out at least 500 procedures per year. It is worth noting that the only legal requirement for doctors performing laser eye surgery is that they must be registered with the General Medical Council. A good barometer of surgical quality is to check whether the doctor has been certified by the Royal College of Opthalmologists. Some clinics including Ultralase, only use eye specialists who have completed the Royal College’s Certificate in Laser Refractive Surgery.
How can I find a laser eye clinic?
To find out more about laser eye surgery and clinics local to you, simply fill in our contact form to the right. If you are ready to find out whether you are suitable for treatment, you can opt for a FREE consultation with a top laser eye clinic. We can also send you a free DVD and Information Pack which will help you learn more about laser eye procedures - with no obligation to you. As a bonus, when you fill in your details you will also be entered into a draw to WIN FREE laser eye surgery.
Please note that we treat your personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will only pass your details onto trusted and reputable laser eye clinics, and will not sell data to other third party companies.