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Laser Eye Surgery
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Laser Surgery

Laser eye surgery, or laser refractive surgery, is a popular procedure for vision correction. In 2016, around 15,000 cases were carried out in the UK.
Laser eye surgery uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea (the transparent layer covering the front of the eye).

The most common use for laser eye surgery is myopia (short-sightedness). But the technique is equally safe and effective for long-sightedness and mild astigmatism. The surgery suits people who want a permanent alternative to contact lens or glasses wearing.
Your ophthalmologist will always take time to discuss the most suitable treatment for you. There are occasionally times when an alternative procedure, such as lens replacement surgery is more appropriate than laser eye surgery.

For instance, correcting reading prescriptions (presbyopia), high prescriptions and some older patients may have a better result from lens replacement surgery.
Laser Vision Scotland believes strongly in the recommendations of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) that doctors carrying out this surgery should always be registered ophthalmologists and have additional specialist training in laser refractive surgery. At Laser Vision Scotland, laser eye surgery will always be carried out by an experienced Consultant Ophthalmologist.

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Patient Journey


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At your initial consultation we encourage you to spend time with your surgeon and talk through all your test results. LASEK is a safer procedure than LASIK but is associated with more discomfort in the first few days after treatment.

Because of the improved safety profile Laser Vision Scotland recommends LASEK laser eye surgery in most cases. Following your initial assessment you will confirm a date for treatment. Both eyes are normally treated at the same time.

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Pre-treatment care:

At your initial consultation we will carry out extensive tests to ensure we know your exact prescription. We encourage you to spend time with your surgeon and talk through all your test results. Ask as many questions as you would like to ask and feel free to bring along a notepad with any queries or concerns you’d like to run through. Following your initial assessment and if you decide to proceed with laser eye surgery treatment, we can confirm a date with you. Both eyes are normally treated at the same time but if you would prefer to have each eye treated separately, please feel free to discuss this with your consultant.

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On the day of treatment you will sign some forms. Your consultant will meet you prior to your procedure for final checks and to give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. A member of our clinical support team will take you down to our state of the art laser suite and will stay with you throughout your treatment.

Laser treatment takes 10 minutes per eye with laser itself lasting 10 seconds. It is painless. During treatment, you will see a bright colours in front of your eyes, there is no pain at all. Most of our patients remark on how quick and relaxing the procedure is.

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Following treatment you will see better straightaway though vision is blurred to some extent. You will have contact lenses in each eye and these will be kept in full time for a few days then removed by us. The contact lenses keep the eyes more comfortable. Expect some pain in the first 24-48 hours. This is normal, the eyes will be light sensitive, slightly red and watery during the first few days of healing. During the first week vision can markedly fluctuate while new cells grow across the eye surface.

You should leave out your contact lenses for 2 days prior to laser to minimize the risk of infection. At your first appointment you will be given a bottle of antibiotics. Take these drops home and store them in the fridge. Set a reminder to use them one drop in each eye four times daily for one week prior to laser. Put them in your eyes on the morning of the procedure then discard them.

It is important that you do not use any makeup, facial products, perfume or aftershave on the day of laser. If you think you will be very anxious ask your GP to prescribe a single dose of a sleeping tablet, and take this before leaving home. Please only take a small dose; we prefer that you are awake and co-operative for laser.

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LASEK (laser assisted epithelial keratomileusis) laser eye surgery is the safest of all the laser vision correction procedures.

It is suitable for treating mild to moderate levels of short sight and mild levels of long sight. During LASEK an excimer laser is used to gently reshape the surface of your cornea without the need to create a flap. It is a one-step procedure with the laser itself lasting typically between 5 and 20 seconds.

After treatment you will see more clearly straight away and will need to wear a contact lens for approximately 5 days. LASEK is safer than LASIK, but during the first week the eyes tend to be more uncomfortable and the vision slightly more blurred during healing. At Laser Vision Scotland we recommend LASEK for most patients due to its enhanced safety profile.


LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is a commonly performed type of laser eye surgery for improving vision.
lasik surgery

The procedure is performed on the surface of the eye and involves the creation of a very precise corneal flap, under which the surface is gently reshaped to correct focusing before replacing the flap.

Recovery from LASIK is quite fast and with minimal discomfort. More than 15 million LASIK procedures have now been carried out over a 30-year period. LASIK is suitable for most ages and results are long lasting. Typically patients are young adults between 20 and 40 years who are short sighted.

At your initial LASIK assessment spend time with your surgeon discussing your expectations and any concerns or anxieties you may have. Please also take time to visit the laser suite so that you are familiar with the department and the laser before the day of treatment. On the day you will be asked to sign a consent form, and have anaesthetic drops in each eye.

Laser treatment takes around 15 minutes per eye, with actual laser itself lasting around 30 seconds in two separate steps. It is painless. If you think you will be very nervous on the day, ask your GP to prescribe a single dose of a sleeping tablet to be taken 2 hours before your arrival. Below is a typical example of what you will see during laser treatment.

Following treatment you will see quite well straight away. Although you cannot feel it you will have contact lenses in both eyes will be removed several days later. You can return home within 30 minutes of treatment and should expect some discomfort for the first couple of days, which will normally be mild. You will be provided with a list of how long you should refrain from your normal activities.

You will be given antibiotic drops to use 4 times daily for one week prior to laser treatment. You should take your drops home at your initial assessment and store them in a fridge.

Set a reminder to start using these drops one week prior to treatment. Please also leave your contact lenses out on the day of your procedure, and on the day before, to minimize infection risk. On the day of laser you should have no makeup, no facial products and no perfumes/aftershaves.

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