Laser eye surgery faqs

Am I a good LASIK/LASEK candidate?

People who want to minimize their dependence on glasses or contact lenses are good candidates for LASIK, LASEK or phakic lens implants. Lifestyle, hobbies and the amount of correction needed are all factors that may determine the suitability. The ideal candidate is normally over 23 years of age, not pregnant and free of any eye disease. He/she should not have had any change of prescription in the last one year and have a refractive error within the suitable range. He/she must also be willing to accept potential risks, complications and side effects.

How is it done?

LASIK is performed under drops anesthesia in an outpatient surgical suite using a small eyelid holder to keep the eyelids open. A suction ring is applied and a laser flap created for the laser treatment. Drops are then instilled and the recovery then takes place over a number of days. LASEK is performed using an alcohol solution to remove the surface layer of the eye (epithelium) and the laser directly applied to the surface of the cornea. A bandage contact lens is then applied for comfort in the first postoperative days.

What happens before surgery?

Mr. Kheterpal and his team will perform a thorough eye examination and measurements to check for any abnormalities and determine suitability for treatment and may recommend conditions accordingly taking into account your visual needs, you eye examination and your expectations and requirements.

Are there any complications or side effects?

LASIK and LASEK like any surgery have risks and complications that should be carefully considered. Occasionally, there can be undercorrection and overcorrection. Most complications can be treated without any loss of vision. Permanent vision loss is very rare. There is a chance although very small that your vision may not be as good after surgery as before even with glasses or contact lenses.

What are the side effects of LASIK or LASEK?

Initially, temporary side effects may include discomfort, hazy or blurry vision, halos, star bursts, red patches on the eye, scratches, dryness, glare, light sensitivity. These usually settle.

Are there any permanent side effects?

Permanent side effects are rare. The majority of people do very well. Very rarely, there can be loss of vision, change in prescription and long term dryness.

What would my vision be like after LASIK/LASEK?

It is important than anyone considering LASIK or LASEK has realistic expectations. This laser allows people to perform most of their everyday tasks without corrective lenses, however, people looking for perfect vision without glasses and contacts run the risk of being disappointed. Undercorrection or over correction can occur even with the best calculations of treatment and may require an enhancement procedure.

Can LASIK or LASEK correct Presbyopia?

LASIK and LASEK cannot correct presbyopia, the age related loss of close up focusing power. With or without laser surgery almost everyone who has excellent distance vision will need reading glasses by the time they get to be 40 or 50. Some people choose this to be corrected with glasses or contact lenses and sometimes mono vision is used which is one eye distance sighted and the other eye near sighted.

After laser, are there any activities I should avoid doing?

You should avoid rubbing your eyes, keeping soap and shampoo away, not swimming for one month and avoid contact sports for two weeks.

When can I apply eye makeup?

Usually, two weeks after surgery.

When can I drive or work?

After LASIK, we usually recommend three or four days rest and after LASEK usually one week.

How long does the surgery take?

Both LASIK and LASEK are performed as an outpatient procedure, normally taking less than half an hour, although the whole process may take up to half a day in the surgical outpatient centre.

What is the process of assessment and treatment?

The initial consultation and tests may take up to two hours depending on the treatment requested and complexity. If you are found to be suitable for surgery and you have considered the potential benefits and risks and choose to go ahead then laser surgery, either LASIK or LASEK, is usually carried out in our partner centre at Optegra in Guildford.