There are different types of laser eye surgery
There are three main types of laser eye surgery, LASEK, LASIK and Smile. LASEK involves removing the epitheral layer to perform the surgery, which then grows back within a few hours. Recovery for LASEK is longer than LASIK, as LASIK involves cutting a small flap on the surface of the cornea, reshaping the cornea with a laser and then folding the flat back over.
Smile surgery is the least invasive of the three. A small incision is created inside the cornea, eliminating the need for a flap and increasing recovery time.
It is extremely safe
The chances of going blind through laser eye surgery is in the region of 1 in 5 million and there is only 0.1% chance of getting a minor vision complication which makes laser eye surgery one of the safest clinical procedures.
It’s a quick procedure
It only takes a minute to treat each eye and a day to recover. Most people are able to drive and go back to work the next day.
It doesn’t hurt
LASIK surgery is performed whilst the patient is awake so there is a common misconception that the procedure is painful. Some people experience slight discomfort when the surgeon is creating the flap and reshaping the cornea, but the patient will generally feel very little sensation throughout the rest of the treatment. Contrary to popular belief the lasers used in this surgery are actually cold, so they cannot burn your eyes or the skin surrounding them.
The cost of laser eye surgery is dependent on the type of surgery chosen and can vary from clinic to clinic. On average the cost of laser eye surgery in the UK ranges from from £595 right up to £2,300 per eye. However, the majority of clinics offer finance options with 0% interest to help manage the payment.
Due to cost demands, some people decide to have laser eye surgery abroad. For example in Turkey or Hungary, patients could save between 20-50%. Whilst prices may be cheaper it’s vital to consider the quality of the surgery. Patients who are considering laser eye surgery abroad should carefully research the clinic, the surgeon and any additional costs such as aftercare and accommodation.
20/20 vision may not last forever
Whilst laser eye surgery can give you 20/20 vision there still might be a chance that you’ll need glasses in the future. This is because your eyes are continuously developing, so if you had laser eye surgery when you were 21 there might be a chance that you will need glasses when you’re older.
Laser eye surgery is 28 years old
Whilst the technology for laser eye surgery began in 1970, the first human laser vision correction surgery happened in 1988 to a woman who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, which resulted in a growing black spot on her eye.
It’s not available for everyone
In the UK, the minimum age restriction to undergo laser eye surgery is 21 and there is no upper limit. Your eye prescription must have stabilised for at least a year. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Whilst 98% of people can be treated with laser eye surgery, patients suffering from diabetes or glaucoma and other eye conditions will need to see an eye specialist first.
Content written by Shreena Patel, Brand Manager, Clinic Compare