Advances in laser eye surgery techniques mean that for most patients, the days of having to lie in a darkened room with sunglasses on while they recover are thankfully a thing of the past. The first type of laser eye surgery, introduced in the 1970s, was called Radial Keratotomy (RK), but infection risks, lengthy recovery times and advances in technology soon meant that more modern techniques succeeded it.
James Ball, the consultant ophthalmologist at Custom Vision Clinic, prefers where possible to use LASIK and ReLEx SMILE™ on his patients.
Both of these procedures are minimally invasive and have a much quicker recovery time than you might think, enabling patients to return quickly to everyday activities.
Patients can return to non-contact exercise such as the gym, jogging or golf the very next day. Swimmers can go back to the pool just one week after treatment, and patients can travel on aeroplanes a couple of days after laser eye surgery.
LASIK and ReLEx SMILE™ patients are the ones who benefit from the “Wow” factor – these are the people who wake up the next day and their vision is vastly improved, the bedside clock is no longer blurry, the trees in the distance are in focus, and everything seems to be in high definition.
The recovery time for LASIK and ReLEx SMILE™ is also much faster, with patients experiencing only a few hours of grittiness after surgery, but by the next morning this has subsided. It also means that laser patients do not need to take much time off work to recover; Custom Vision Clinic tends to treat patients in the evening, which means they can do a full day’s work on the day of their surgery, then go home to bed after treatment.
Once a patient has had their post-operative check at the clinic the next day, and we have confirmed that their vision reaches the required standard for driving, they can return to their busy lives immediately.
We ask patients to attend follow-up appointments a month after their treatment, then three and six months after that. This is so that we can check that everything has healed in the way we would expect and that the patient is entirely happy with their treatment.