Benefits and Risks of Refractive Surgery

• Over 98% of patients in the range treated by us are able to see to driving standard or better without glasses after one treatment. Results are similar for LASIK and LASEK.

• Enhancement treatment (re-treatment) is highly effective in correcting significant residual short- or long-sight, above ±1.00D). Re-treatment is carried out in approximately 3% of cases. There is no additional charge for re-treatments carried out within a year of primary treatment (the need for any re-treatment can normally be determined within 3 months of surgery).

• Common side effects, such as mild dryness or light scatter during night driving, normally resolve within 6-9 months of treatment.

• Realistic expectations are important. Laser eye surgery is highly effective in reducing spectacle dependence. At a minimum, you should expect to be able to play sport and socialise without glasses after treatment, but some patients may still prefer to wear thin glasses for selected distance vision tasks.

• Increasing reliance on reading glasses for near vision is normal from around the age of 45 (the age-related condition known as presbyopia) for anyone with good uncorrected distance vision. Laser refractive surgery is not an effective treatment for presbyopia.

• Vision should otherwise remain stable and good permanently after treatment. Your risk for developing other eye problems will not however decreases. Natural variations in distance vision can occur at any age. These are usually small, but can be large enough to warrant further treatment in a small percentage of patients (less than 2% in the first 5 years after treatment).

• The overall complication rate for IntraLASIK and TRANEPITHELIAL LASEK is very small. Most problems are minor, and almost all complications can be corrected safely without affecting the final visual result. Additional consultations and treatments may be required. There is no charge for any additional treatment required for the correction of complications.

• Far fewer than 1 in 1000 patients are left with significant scarring or corneal irregularity requiring further corneal surgery or hard contact lens wear for visual rehabilitation. This level of risk is similar to the cumulative risk of corneal scarring resulting from infection in 5-10 years of contact lens wear.

• Most complications occur within 1 month of IntraLASIK or LASEK. The risk of long-term loss of corneal shape stability (keratectasia) after IntraLASIK has recently been estimated at less than 1 in 1000 in a systematic review of the medical literature commissioned by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). Current patient selection strategies further reduce this risk. The risk for keratectasia after LASEK is negligible.

• The benefits of refractive surgery are primarily functional. It is not just a cosmetic procedure. Freedom from glasses and contact lenses will enable you to enjoy sport and physical exercise, and to pursue a healthy active lifestyle. Refractive surgery is provided free to military personnel in the US NAVY and the US army does now allow all kind of personnel to undergo refractive surgery given the obvious benefit in situations such as combat. 1 in 3 refractive surgeons who were previous spectacle wearers have already had laser eye surgery performed on them.

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