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Lasik Eye Surgery

LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis). The most common form of laser eye surgery in the UK, LASIK has helped thousands of individuals with long and short-sighted difficulties over the years. It involves taking a flap of tissue from the cornea and reshaping the surface of it using an Excimer laser.

Wavefront-guided LASIK. An updated and more accurate form of LASIK, this involves using a three dimensional computer generated image of the cornea prior to the eye being reshaped with the Excimer. This makes it very much a customised treatment.

What is the difference between LASIK & LASEK

To understand the difference between the two treatments, you first have to understand a bit about the concept of laser eye surgery in general.

Essentially, laser eye surgery refers to the process of reshaping the clear layer of your eye (known as the cornea) with a concentrated beam of light known as a laser. It’s often referred to as ‘surgery’, there are no incisions involved; what you’re really having is laser eye treatment.

There are two laser eye treatment methods: Lasik and Lasek. The main difference between them is how your cornea is opened to allow the laser through.

LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis). The most common form of laser eye surgery in the UK, LASIK has helped thousands of individuals with long and short-sighted difficulties over the years. It involves taking a flap of tissue from the cornea and reshaping the surface of it using an Excimer laser.

Wavefront-guided LASIK. An updated and more accurate form of LASIK, this involves using a three dimensional computer generated image of the cornea prior to the eye being reshaped with the Excimer. This makes it very much a customised treatment.


The surgeon moves the thin layer of cells over the cornea, uses a laser to reshape it, and replaces the laser for it to heal back, usually within a few days.

From Prices (Per Eye)



A microscopic blade creates a flap in the eye surface (cornea), the other reshapes the cornea, and the flap smoothes over naturally.

From Prices (Per Eye)


Laser Eye Costs?

The price of cataract surgery varies from person to person, depending on your prescription and individual requirements. Many treatment providers now offer finance options to spread the cost and make cataract surgery an affordable option for everyone.

Can Laser Eye Surgery Save Me Money?

Laser eye surgery may not be cheap, but it can be cost-effective. This is because the costs of all those eye tests, glasses and contact lenses will add up over your lifetime. So, if you spend around £200 on glasses every three years, £150 on contact lenses (including the cleaning solution) each year, and £20 for your annual eye check up, that makes £175 a year.

Why is Your Vision Blurred?

The prescription of your eye is derived from the power of your cornea (outer clear part of your eye) and the power of the natural lens within your eye. To have 20:20 vision, these 2 components must work together to focus light perfectly on to your retina. If you are long sighted, short sighted or have astigmatism, this is not the case. During laser eye surgery, the aim of the procedure is to alter the shape (and therefore power) of your cornea, to ensure the light entering your eye is focussed perfectly on to your retina, meaning you will no longer need to wear glasses or contact lenses.

Which conditions cannot be treated on the NHS?

Laser eye surgery is widely used to help treat refractive errors such as: Short-sightedness (myopia) Long-sightedness (hyperopia) Astigmatism, where the cornea (front surface of the eye) is not perfectly curved, causing blurred vision
However, these conditions are not available for treatment on the NHS because other successful treatments are available, such as wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Laser Eye Surgery procedure and recovery ?

The actual procedure itself typically only takes about 10 minutes to perform and this is for both eyes. Prior to the surgery you will typically see your surgeon for a quick consultation to check you are happy with everything. The surgeon will also check he/she is happy with all the measurements that have been previously taken in the laser eye surgery consultation. Once you are taken through for the treatment your eyes are anaesthetised (numbed) using eye drops. The drops sting slightly for 10-20 seconds and it really is nothing to worry about. Once your eyes have been anaesthetised your surgeon then has to access the inner layers of your cornea (outer part of your eye).

Suitability for Laser Eye Surgery

Once you have decided you would like to undertake laser eye surgery the next step is to book in for a consultation to check you are suitable. Whilst there is some variation between different clinics, the typical suitability rate is around 85%, meaning 15% of people are likely to be unsuitable for the surgery. As laser eye surgery has improved over the years the prescription range has widened, meaning fewer people are beyond the treatable range. There are however certain general health conditions and eye conditions that may mean you are not a suitable candidate for surgery.

Can I have Free Laser Eye Surgery On the NHS

it’s rare. You are only eligible for free laser eye surgery on the NHS if you suffer from a medical condition that affects your vision, and could lead to partial – or even full – loss of eyesight if left untreated. Qualifying conditions include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and certain corneal deficits. In other words, if you can treat your vision difficulties with cheaper, non-surgical treatments such as glasses and contact lenses, you will not qualify.

What is LASEK?

LASEK stands for Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy. It’s a better choice if you have a thin cornea or a medical condition that makes laser eye surgery more challenging to complete. During the surgery only one laser will be used to correct your vision— rather than the two that are used in LASIK. An alcohol solution is put on to the surface of your eye and an ultra-thin sheet applied. This alcohol solution loosens the thin layer of cells on your eye’s surface called the epithelium. After the laser has reshaped your cornea, a special protective contact lens will be put on your eye to increase your comfort whilst it heals. This lens is normally taken off after about four days. Like LASIK, both eyes can be treated on the same day. A lot of patients can see an immediate improvement in their vision, but it may take a number of days for your vision to settle. The recovery process can take slightly longer— usually a couple of weeks.

What is LASIK?

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. It’s been performed for over 20 years and it’s helped to improve the vision of millions of people in that time. Believe it or not, the treatment is considered so effective that NASA has even approved it for use on their astronauts. During LASIK treatment, the first laser will create a very thin protective flap on the clear layer of your eye (your cornea). This protective flap will then be lifted, and the second laser will then be used to correct your vision. Both eyes are usually treated on the same day. The recovery process is fairly quick and you should be able to drive and return to work within 24 hours of the treatment. Many people notice an immediate improvement in their vision but for others it may take a few weeks for their vision to settle properly.

“I saved £300 on my laser eye surgery at Optical Express when I booked through Right Clinic and now I never have to wear glasses again. Thank You!"
Jayne Blake
"After comparing all the clinics I decided to just go for it! I booked my consultation through Right Clinic and got a better price than if I'd gone direct."
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Lasik eye surgery is a type of laser eye surgery and accounts for over 90% of all procedures that are carried out. The other main type of laser eye surgery is Lasek, which is generally only considered if you are not suitable for Lasik, as the recovery period is considerably longer and more painful. You can read more about Lasek by clicking this link.

Lasik is an extremely safe, accurate and in most cases painless procedure and has been around a lot longer than most people realise. The first-ever Lasik procedure was actually carried out over 20 years ago and since then the procedure has improved both in terms of accuracy and safety.

The aim of laser eye surgery is to reshape the surface of your cornea (outer part of your eye) to eliminate the prescription in your glasses/contact lenses. Depending on whether you are long-sighted, short-sighted or have astigmatism, the laser reshapes the eye in a certain way. The following explains this:

The way in which the laser reshapes the surface of your eye is exactly the same for both Lasik and Lasek; it is just where the laser is applied that is different. Lasek is considered a surface treatment as the laser is applied to the outer surface of the cornea, whereas during Lasik the inner layers of the cornea are lasered.

Lasik Procedure:

Understanding exactly what happens during the Lasik procedure is vitally important in deciding whether or not to go ahead and have the surgery.

People hear all sorts of things about what to expect during the Lasik procedure and more often than not, what they have heard is not true. For example, one of the biggest reasons that people decide against having Lasik eye surgery is the thought of having an injection in your eye. There are however no injections involved at all in the procedure. Your eyes are anaesthetised using eye drops, which at worst result in mild stinging of the eyes for about 20 seconds.

What To Expect On The Day of Surgery:

What can I expect during the Lasik recovery?

This following describes the typical recovery following Lasik, although there is always variation in the speed at which people’s eyes heal.

What are the potential Lasik complications?

Lasik is an extremely safe procedure with a complication rate of only about 1 in 1000 procedures. Lasik has been performed for over 20 years and over this time the procedure has become safer and more accurate as the lasers have evolved.
However, there are still risks involved with the procedure and you need to be fully informed about them prior to agreeing to surgery. When considering the risks of the procedure, they can be separated into the general laser eye surgery risks and those that are specific to Lasik.
The reason Lasik has its own specific complications is due to the creation of the flap during the procedure. Put simply, the flap is a thin layer of the cornea that is separated from the surface of the eye to allow the surgeon to access the inner layers of the cornea which are to be lasered during the procedure. No flap is created during Lasek and hence the complications below are only relevant to Lasik.
Possible Lasik Complications:
Although there are risks as seen above, the Lasik procedure is considered to be an extremely safe procedure. Complications of the flap are now becoming less and less common especially with the development of bladeless Lasik, which uses a laser to create the flap (femtosecond laser) as opposed to a mechanical blade during standard Lasik.
More and more clinics are using bladeless Lasik as standard and hence flap complications are reducing. An example of bladeless Lasik is Intralase and it gives a more accurate and safer creation of the flap. You can read about Intralase and other femtosecond lasers at the following link: Bladeless Lasik explained.

Prescription Parameters: Lasik Eye Surgery:

This is only a rough guide to Lasik parameters as they vary widely from company to company, surgeon to surgeon and depends on the individual being treated.

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