LASIK

THE MAINSTAY LASER EYE SURGERY FOR REFRACTIVE ERRORS

What is LASIK?

LASIK is the acronym for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, a type of refractive laser eye surgery performed by ophthalmologists for correcting myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and most recently, presbyopia.

What eye conditions does LASIK treat?

Myopia (Short-sightedness)

Hyperopia (Long-sightedness)

Astigmatism

Presbyopia (with PRESBYOND ™ blended vision)

Most people know that LASIK laser eye surgery can help them to get rid of their glasses. Now, however, laser eye surgery is not the only option for people who are frustrated by their glasses.

Two structures focus light onto the back of the eye and create a clear image – the cornea and the lens. The cornea is the rigid window at the very front of the eye, and it is the cornea, which is sculpted in laser eye surgery. The lens is suspended inside the eye. For those patients that might have early signs of cataract, we might recommend lens replacement surgery to exchange the refractive lens in the cornea with an artificial lens.

Who is suitable for LASIK?

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How does LASIK work?

Today, most advanced laser eye surgeons perform blade-free LASIK using a femtosecond laser.

Conventional LASIK

The LASIK eye correction surgery begins with anaesthetic drops applied to numb your eye and prevent pain during the procedure. A lid speculum is placed in the eye to hold the lids apart for the procedure, eliminating possibility of blinking. The cornea is marked with water-soluble ink to guide replacement of the flap.

The suction ring is placed on the eye and your vision will go dark for about 20 seconds. A precise flap-making instrument, the microkeratome is used to create a thin flap of the corneal tissue. The eye surgeon raises the epithelium layer of the cornea to expose the portion beneath and is lifted and reflected to the side.

Blade-free femtosecond LASIK or ‘all-laser LASIK’

While conventional LASIK is a safe and effective procedure, many patients prefer the idea of blade-free LASIK. Many clinics market blade-free LASIK as ‘IntraLASIK’. With that said, femtosecond laser manufacturers often claim that femtosecond lasers can reduce complications and improve accuracy of treatments.

At Custom Vision Clinic, blade-free femtosecond LASIK is the standard of care.

Is laser eye surgery safer than contact lens wear?

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Advantages and disadvantages of LASIK

Advantages of LASIK over other procedures

  • Quick healing (driving vision the next day in most cases)
  • Little chance of haze
  • Enhancements can be easier
  • Generally back to work or school within 48 hours
  • Generally able to drive a car within 24 hours

Benefits of LASIK to the laser eye surgery patient

  • Vision correction
  • Minimal healing time
  • Maximum convenience

With LASIK eye surgery the healing process is significantly reduced, in comparison to surface laser eye surgery, patients can typically return to routine work and leisure activities within a couple of days of treatment. In addition, vision correction is virtually instantaneous (the so-called “wow effect”) and both eyes can usually be treated on the same day.

Disadvantages of LASIK against other procedures

LASIK is one of the most successful surgical procedures invented. With that said, it’s not right for everyone. Here are some examples:

  • Patients with thin corneas
  • Patients with chronic dry eyes
  • Patients who engage in contact sports or dangerous work

In the past we might have recommended surface laser eye surgery to people with thin corneas because these procedures are less invasive and leave more corneal tissue intact. Today, however, we offer ReLEx SMILE to these patients, which enables us to perform keyhole laser eye surgery.

For these patients we may recommend lens replacement surgery to remove their natural crystalline lens to exchange it for an artificial lens. This lens can be specifically chosen to correct your refractive error (including astigmatism) or conditions associated with ageing eyes (presbyopia and/or cataract).

Patients with keratoconus or other contra-indicated conditions

For some patients, certain pre-existing eye or other conditions make any type of laser eye surgery an unsafe option. For patients with keratoconus, we might recommend corneal cross-linking or Kerarings  to halt the progression of keratoconus.

Options and alternatives to LASIK

The most common alternative to LASIK is to remain wearing spectacles or contact lenses. Surgical options of laser eye surgery include:

Frequently asked questions about LASIK

Results at a glance

Laser procedures
Cataract procedures
%
Better than the national average of complication rates

My eyesight following the operation is brilliant and better than I thought possible, and this is all down to your excellent surgeon Mr James Ball and not to forget all the very dedicated people around him who make these operations possible.

Keith Garlick

Two of the best decisions I ever made in my life were firstly to have lens exchange and secondly to have Mr James Ball carry out my operation.

Patricia Walton

Within minutes I could tell there was a difference. But now, only a couple of months later, my sight is better than it was seven years ago! I can even read the really tiny print on the car sales ads! If you want that confidence you probably felt when you were younger, this is the ideal solution. Thanks to the treatment, I feel rejuvenated, independent and much younger!

John Hazelgreave

Many thanks for all your care and kindness. To me it appears a miracle that I can see so well. I feel very grateful. It is impossible to fully express my thanks.

Grace C.

May I offer grateful thanks for your expertise in operating on my eyes. It was intimated to me that you were the best, and from the results I am now enjoying, I am convinced that this is correct.

Jean D.

You are truly innovative. Thank you very much for curing the problems I have been having with my reading and near vision.

Sala M.

My work was becoming almost impossible. I had refractive lens exchange to both eyes with multifocal lens implants last July. I can now see better than 20/20 for distance and can read the tiniest print in newspapers - all without glasses! I have started reading for pleasure again, and I feel that my performance both at work and on the golf course has improved.

John

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I felt I was treated as an individual and all my questions were answered. From my experiences – I can highly recommend Mr Ball.

Janet Howden

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About our surgeons

Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic, St James’s University Hospital, and Nuffield Hospital. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.

Mr Jack Gormley | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB ChB (Hons) FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic and York Teaching Hospital, where I lead the Corneal and Refractive service. I have completed over 2,000 surgical and laser eye procedures.