Laser eye surgery (LASIK) is a form of treatment for short-sight, long-sight and astigmatism.
This is done by reshaping the cornea (the transparent front part of the eye) using the excimer laser.
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 while the cornea heals.
Who needs laser eye surgery and why?
Patients with a low-moderate degree of short-sight, long-sight or astigmatism who want a permanent alternative to spectacles or contact lens wear. 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.
Is a stay in hospital required?
No the procedure is done as an 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?
This varies by hospital/consultant – please call your local hospital to check if they require a referral letter.
Who can I talk to for further information about my circumstances before I make an appointment to see a consultant?
Please contact one of the hospitals for specific enquiries.
How do I make an appointment to see a consultant at a Nuffield Health Hospital?
To make an appointment, 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 (eye health) 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.
Should I take anything with me?
Previous spectacle/contact lens prescriptions from the last two or three years.
Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG
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