Laser eye surgery is a treatment for long and short sightedness and astigmatism. It has been used successfully in the UK since 1991. Over 20 million people worldwide have under gone treatment.

The procedure is carried out by a Consultant Ophthalmologist  [eye surgeon] using a laser. It corrects abnormalities in the shape of the cornea. The cornea, along with the lens, focus images on the retina [back of the eye]. There a number of treatment alternatives.

Am I Suitable?

Treatment is not suitable for everyone. You should consult with an eye surgeon.

The Consultation

Your surgeon will test your eyes and check your medical history. If you are unsuitable for treatment, your doctor may recommend alternatives such as implantable contact lenses or multi-focal implants.

Questions to ask your eye surgeon:

  • Am I suitable for treatment?
  • What are the different procedures you carry out?
  • What are the improvements in vision I can expect?
  • How long will they last?
  • What are the risks?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Do you use a laser or knife to make the initial cuts?

Doctor Checking Patient's Eyes

Doctor Checking Patient's Eyes

The Procedure

Surgery is performed as a daycase.

Drops are placed in the eye.

A local anaesthetic is used. This is sometimes used in combination with sedation via an injection in the back of the hand.

Lasik – a flap is made in the cornea with a microkeratome. The shape of the cornea is then corrected using a laser. This is the most common type of laser eye

Intra Lasik – a flap is made in the cornea with a laser. The shape of the cornea is then corrected using a second type of laser eye surgery performed.

PRK [Photorefractive Keratectomy] – the forerunner of the recent advances is now only used in exceptional circumstances.


Your vision will recover within 24 hours.

There is minimal if any discomfort.

You can return to work in 2-3 days.

You may start driving after 2-7 days.

Laser Eye Surgery Risks

Occur in less than 5% of patients.

Complications reported include:

  • dry eyes in the first few months
  • glare when night driving
  • instability in the shape of the eye [rare]

Laser Eye Surgery Costs

From £395 per eye.

Laser Eye Surgery Results

Results vary between centres. Be sure to ask your surgeon. Having said that, over 99% of patients reach driving standard vision or better.


This treatment is safe and relatively inexpensive. After the procedure you may no longer need to wear glasses or contact lenses. Unfortunately, not everyone is a suitable candidate for surgery.

Further Reading

Laser Eye Surgery Manchester [a guide for patients to help choose the best surgeon]

Laser Eye Surgery UK [let our team help you find the right surgeon for you]

Eye Surgeon [Tips For Choosing]

Laser Eyes Surgery [Will It Work For You?]

Lasik Eye Surgeons [Finding The Best For Your Sight]

Laser Eye Surgery Risks [Is It Safe?]