Facts and Fiction
Laser Eye Surgery is proven to be one of the safest vision correction options for patients. It's a simple process performed under local anaesthetic to over 35 million people every year.
Here are some of the more commonly asked questions our patients come to us with. Our clinical team is available by phone on 0330 123 2020
to help answer any further questions you may have.
How successful are vision correction treatments at AccuVision?
Giving our patients the very best outcome from their treatments is the foundation of our ongoing success. Despite the fact that many of our patients have been refused treatment elsewhere due to extreme prescriptions or challenging eye conditions, over 99% of our patients are able to drive without their glasses within days of their treatment. We treat each patient as an individual and will discuss with you what can be achieved in your own particular case. Learn more about our outcomes here
How much does it cost?
Everyone's eyes are different, and therefore every treatment plan is different. Our eye surgery treatment plans extend to –14.00 and above +6.00 and we are competitively priced with the market. If you wish to understand how much vision correction treatments may cost you, start your journey with a conversation with our clinical team - we will be pleased to offer a quotation for anticipated fees. Please contact us on 0330 123 2020
to discuss further.
Does Laser Eye Surgery hurt?
Laser Eye Surgery treatment is virtually painless. With techniques and technologies that have been perfected over many decades, often the procedure itself takes only a couple of minutes per eye and there is very little discomfort. Despite this, the AccuVision team (most of whom have undergone treatment themselves) understand how worried and anxious you can be when having anything done to your eyes. We will talk you through each step of the process and guide you through to ensure the journey is as smooth as possible. In the post operative period, you may experience some of the following symptoms: watering eyes, “chopping onions” sensation, some mild stinging and light sensitivity. Depending on your type of treatment, this may last 4 to 6 hours (for example with LASIK
) or may vary within the first 24 to 48 hours (some types of surface treatment). Your Ophthalmologist will prescribe you any appropriate medication to manage your symptoms and help with recovery in the post operative period.
How long does it take to recover from Laser Eye Surgery?
Visual rehabilitation after treatment is rapid. Immediately after surgery you can see straight away, but the vision can seem a bit misty. Most people achieve good, functional vision the day after surgery and find that their eyes feel fairly normal 24 hours later. However, your sight will improve even further as the weeks go on, and the final healing process can vary a little for each patient. Depending on the type of treatment you have and your visual profile, healing times can vary. This is discussed in detail in your consultation so you know exactly what to expect and can arrange to have enough time to rest and recover.
Can both eyes be corrected at the same time?
The increased safety and predictability of our treatments means we usually treat both eyes at the same time. This also means adapting to your new vision is a smoother process. On rare occasions we may suggest treating one eye at a time.
Will I require multiple Laser Eye Surgery treatments?
In the vast majority of cases (over 98%) a single laser treatment is sufficient. In a tiny percentage of cases, a further enhancement (second) treatment may be needed for optimum vision, at no extra cost within a year of your initial surgery. Our results show that over the years, between only 1.7 and most recently 0.3% of AccuVision patients require an enhancement compared with the industry standard of 5-15%.
Do I need to bring anyone with me to the consultation?
We suggest you bring someone if you have driven to your consultation, as the drops we use in your initial screening may temporarily affect your vision for a short while. Also, some patients find it helpful to have someone with them during the consultation.
I have been told that I am unsuitable for Laser Eye Surgery by another clinic, should I still come for a consultation at AccuVision?
Yes! We specialise in treating patients with complex vision problems, many of whom have been turned away from other clinics due to high prescriptions, or have been steered towards more invasive procedures such as intra ocular lens implants which may not be necessary.
Do the results from eye surgery last?
No-one can guarantee the outcome of any surgical procedure or its longevity. Detailed assessments and treatment planning ensures the best possible outcome for each of our patients, but nature will inevitably take its course. Laser vision treatment improves vision, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses and contact lenses. Over time, vision can change and in some cases this may mean needing top up spectacles, contact lenses or further vision correction surgery.
What happens when I get older?
In our 40's and beyond, the fine auto-focusing mechanism of the lens doesn't function as well as when we are younger. For almost all of us, this means reading glasses or if we wear spectacles for distance work already, can mean varifocals or bifocals. Vision correction treatments that incorporate Monovision and Blended Vision can be used to alleviate the dependence on reading glasses and keep you as spectacle independent as possible. Having treated patients for many decades, we do often see some of our patients return to us for help with this, having had their myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism corrected already when they were younger. The impact of the ageing process will be discussed at your consultation, so you have a clear idea of any anticipated future changes as they would apply to you.
If my vision changes later in life, can I have Laser Eye Surgery again?
Should you experience changes in your vision, our specialists will re-examine your eyes and determine the most suitable vision solution for you. In most cases, an enhancement (second treatment) may be an appropriate solution to changes that appear later.
Are there any risks with Laser Eye Surgery?
All surgery, no matter how routine, can carry some risks. Your consultation with the clinical team will aim to identify what risks may pertain to you and these will be discussed in detail to help you make the right decision about whether surgery is the best option for you. While permanent, sight threatening risks are very rare, some complications may arise which need appropriate medical attention and management in the post operative period to ensure you get the best possible outcome. Risk profiles for corneal laser refractive surgery are often different to more invasive, intra-ocular procedures and the benefits and risks of all your options will be discussed in more detail. If you decide to proceed with treatment, the AccuVision team will give you appropriate guidance on how to prepare, what to do before and after surgery and how to ensure you get the best outcome possible. You can also read more about this here
Does Laser Eye Surgery cause dry eye?
It may be possible that you will experience some symptoms of dryness immediately post operatively. The techniques we employ surgically and in your post-operative care minimise the incidence, severity and longevity of these symptoms, as well as their impact on your vision. Some patients may be more prone to certain symptoms than others and you will be given detailed descriptions on what to expect while you are healing.
Do you provide aftercare?
All treatment packages at AccuVision include relevant post-operative aftercare and no hidden extras. There is a general schedule of aftercare we recommend, which forms the routine that most patients follow. The clinical team is always available to patients in case of unplanned or emergency advice or care being necessary and we will guide you through this process. We understand that having any procedure to your eyes is daunting and naturally, we are critical of any small changes or symptoms we notice after surgery. Your direct access to the team involved in your care throughout your journey helps you trust that you are always in safe hands
Will I still need glasses after Laser Eye Surgery?
Appropriate counselling is an important aspect of your care. Going through your expectations in detail before making any decisions will help ensure you are pleased with the outcome. No vision correction surgery can “guarantee” an outcome, or that you will never need glasses again. The AccuVision team do not believe in misleading sales guarantees with lengthy small print. To find out what is achievable for you, speak to our specialists and attend a consultation. It’s always worth investing some time in a second opinion, even if you have been elsewhere already.
If I am found to be unsuitable for Laser Eye Surgery do I have other options available?
Our highly skilled team can advise on and perform a number of non-laser vision treatments, if you are unsuitable for laser treatment. Your Consultant will guide you through understanding your options, based on your detailed consultation. There is no pressure to book anything at any stage.
Part of AccuVision's process is to understand your motivation for laser vision correction, your expectations and requirements. We have treated many people who trust us with not only their vision but their future professional success where quality of vision is critical to their careers. This insight into our patients’ needs is key to consistently exceeding expectations.
What is 'all laser' eye surgery?
In some cases, 'all laser' (no flap) or Trans-Epithelial surface treatment is suitable. This doesn’t require a flap to be created, and the laser is first used to remove the epithelium. The second stage is exactly the same as other treatments, where the laser corrects the prescription. The Trans-epithelial Surface Laser treatment uses the same laser to deliver both parts of the treatment, unlike an Intralase procedure. No flap is created on the front of the eye. A bandage contact lens is used to protect the eye while it recovers. This treatment plan is popular with armed forces personnel and those patients who play contact sports as the risk of flap complication through impact to the eye is eliminated. It is also used for more complex cases where LASIK
has been performed in the past or where corneal thickness may limit the types of treatment possible. While the initial visual recovery can be a little slower than LASIK
, it is many ways a “conservative” treatment plan for many patients from the long term point of view. Ultimately, the visual end result targeted is the same.
Is it better to have a flap created by a laser or microkeratome?
Flap creation in LASIK
can be done either with a precise microkeratome or femtosecond laser. Intralase™ is a procedure involving the use of a laser to carry out the initial part of flap creation. A femtosecond laser is used to create a layer of separation in the tissues of the cornea. The surgeon then has to manually lift the flap, regardless of how it is created. An excimer laser is then used in both options to complete the corrective treatment. Being a clinic that has invested in both of these types of technology, we have found that there are a number of advantages to using a mechanical microkeratome over a laser-created flap, particularly in experienced hands.
- Comfort With mechanical a microkeratome the LASIK treatment is one continuous process, with no need to move the patient from one laser machine to the next.
- Speed of process The mechanical microkeratome is also faster at producing the flap, so there is less drying of the eye, which can affect the accuracy of the laser procedure. When using a mechanical microkeratome suction is engaged for only 10-15 seconds rather than the longer periods of up to 100 seconds or more required for laser treatment; less time under this suction further reduces the very small risk of a severe vascular event of the retina or optic nerve.
- Low risk procedure When using a specialised mechanical microkeratome, there is no need to perform a manual dissection of the flap, which carries a risk of flap tears. When trying to create thinner flaps with femtosecond lasers comparable with mechanical processes, there are also risks such as bubble break-through and other flap complications.
- The manufacturers of femtosecond laser technologies widely disseminate marketing information, claiming it can reduce complications and even increase surgical accuracy. However, very few peer-reviewed studies back this up in any way. Most studies conclude that there is little to choose between them. Some clinics require additional payment for Femtosecond laser, which may be a motivating factor in recommending its use to you.
Do you have a question we haven’t answered?
Every aspect of your surgical journey and care is equally important. If you have some questions that aren’t listed here, or want more details, please set up a call to discuss these with our experienced eye specialists.
Book a consultation
A consultation can be arranged for you with one of our specialist Optometrists.
All your questions about your vision will be answered. You will then be in a position to decide for yourself if Laser Eye Surgery is right for you.
This information is for general information purposes and cannot be used as medical advice. If you wish to discuss any aspects of your surgery or care in more detail this must be done with your treating Ophthalmologist.