LASIK involves cutting a flap in the cornea, lifting the flap and applying the laser treatment underneath, then replacing the flap and allowing the eye to heal. 

LASEK or Advanced Surface Ablation is a less invasive method of laser treatment in which the epithelial cells (surface layer) of the cornea are moved gently to one side, the laser is applied directly to the exposed corneal surface and then the epithelial cells are replaced to form a protective layer whilst the cornea heals.

Who needs it and why?

Patients with a low-to-moderate degree of short-sight, long-sight or astigmatism who want a permanent alternative to spectacles or contact lens. However excimer laser treatment will not correct presbyopia, (an age-related change in vision that usually makes it difficult to focus and requires reading glasses from the mid / late forties onwards).

How long does the treatment / surgery take?

Approximately 30 minutes for both eyes.

Is a general or local anaesthetic required?

Topical - Anaesthetic eye drops are used for this procedure.

Is a stay in hospital required?

No - Outpatient in theatre.

What are the risks and side effects of treatment?

Potential risks and complications include infection, under or over-correction, night vision problems, corneal haze, corneal dryness, corneal ectasia (weakening of the cornea). All of these would be fully explained at an initial outpatient consultation to consider suitability for treatment.

Do I need a referral letter from my GP?


Who can I talk to for further information about my circumstances before I make an appointment to see a consultant?

How do I make an appointment to see a consultant at a Nuffield Health Hospital?

To make an appointment, please contact your nearest Nuffield Health Hospital directly.

What should I expect at the appointment?

A full ophthalmic examination and assessment which will include the use of eyedrops to dilate the pupils.

What type of questions will I be asked?

Details of past ophthalmic history, general medical history, reasons for wanting refractive surgery and expectations of outcome.

What type of questions should I ask?

During the consultation a full explanation will be given of the methods of refractive surgery that might be appropriate for you and the potential risks and complications. You should ask about anything you do not fully understand. We want you to be as well informed as possible so that together we can make the best decisions for you.

Should I take anything with me?

Previous spectacle/contact lens prescriptions from the last two or three years.

Promise is valid for patients paying for themselves. Excludes assisted conception and IVF treatments. Your initial consultation and any necessary tests are paid for separately.

* Not including private patient units at NHS hospitals. Local area defined as within 15 miles of the Nuffield Health hospital. We will match against written quotes only. 

** Where possible, we promise to assist you to receive any follow up advice, treatment or care that is clinically required from your Consultant for as long as you may require it. If a prosthesis is used as part of your treatment this is guaranteed for the manufacturer’s official lifetime of that prosthesis. “Clinically required” indicates where further intervention and/or monitoring of a patient’s condition is deemed necessary as a direct result of surgical intervention.

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