The one question every patient should ask their laser eye surgeon – but doesn’t
‘Would you consider having laser eye surgery yourself or would you put your relative through the treatment?’ This is the question that Mr James Ball, consultant ophthalmologist at Custom Vision Clinic, believes everyone should ask!
Patients attending an initial consultation to find out whether they are suitable for laser eye surgery often turn up armed with a list of questions. They often ask how many procedures the consultant has performed, what the complication rates are and how many patients achieve 20/20 vision after treatment. But very few consider whether they’d put a relative through the same process.
How to decide whether or not you should go ahead with the procedure
Mr Ball believes that asking whether you’d be happy to put your relative through the treatment underlines the emotion involved in the decision to have eye surgery. It really brings home just how important that decision is.
Patients naturally feel nervous before their treatment. After all, it is an elective procedure rather than something required due to illness or injury. The gain of having treatment can be huge – particularly for patients who have to rely on the use of glasses or contact lenses a lot of the time, and find that some tasks are inconvenient because of this. We so often hear patients say in their post-operative appointments that they wish they had it done years ago.
Just in case you were wondering, no, Mr Ball has not had laser eye treatment as he has perfect vision. However, he does say that in the future, when he starts to struggle with close-up work and the need arises, he will opt for the PRESBYOND laser treatment, which he performs. He has, on the other hand, treated his brother with ReLEX SMILE, and his brother is very happy with the result.
About the author
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.
MORE USEFUL INFORMATION
Read more about laser eye surgery
New refractive surgery guidelines from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, together with patient information on Laser Vision Correction, Phakic Intraocular Lens Implantation, Refractive Lens Exchange and a Checklist for patients will be published in April 2017. Click here for more information
Take this checklist to your consultation with your refractive surgeon performing the procedure. Discuss each item with your surgeon to help you make the decision that is right for you before having
refractive surgery. Click here for more information
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Laser Vision Correction Patient Information booklet (PDF). Click here for more information
SMILE corrects myopia and astigmatism, or a combination of both refractive errors with only a very small incision at the corneal surface. This high-precision procedure is the latest development in the refractive laser treatments. Includes videos, treatment steps, and questions and answers.
Click here for more information
LASIK treats refractive errors by folding away the top layer of the eye and re-shaping tissue underneath. If a femtosecond laser is used, this type of procedure is called Femto-LASIK. Includes videos, treatment steps and questions and answers. Click here for more information
PRK/LASEK procedures remove a thin cell layer from the top of the eye so the laser can reshape the underlying cornea. This surgery may be an option for those who are not eligible for LASIK or those who look for the most economic option for refractive laser surgery. Includes videos, treatment steps, and questions and answers. Click here for more information