Planning Your Treatment

What happens on the day of surgery?

The surgery itself is relatively brief (under 20 minutes required to treat both eyes, with the laser itself taking just a few seconds per eye), but some waiting time prior to surgery is usual, and further time is required for postoperative checks and to go through your aftercare instructions. Most patients spend just over 2 hours in hospital.

The surgery itself is not painful. You will feel touching around the eye, cold fluid on the eye’s surface, and gentle pressure on the eye at various stages during the surgery, but anaesthetic drops administered prior to surgery are highly effective in minimising any discomfort.

Do I need to prepare for treatment?

Yes. If you are a contact lens wearer, leave your contact lenses out prior to your treatment day for 1-2 days (remember it is at the time of your first assessment that you need to remove them for longer – see before)

Remove all traces of eye make-up, perfume and aftershave. You will not be allowed to wear eye make-up for one week afterwards – you can, however, have your eyelashes tinted before surgery if you wish.

Do I need to take time off work?

Office-based work is usually but not always no problem from 48 hours after LASIK. For outdoor occupations, professional drivers and patients having LASEK, work can normally be resumed after one week. Treatment are performed on the following days:

TUESDAY PM AND THURSDAY PM at the LASER SUITE of Moorfields Eye Hospital

How straightforward is the procedure?

We will talk you through the procedure and most patients comment that it is surprisingly easy – much easier than a trip to the dentist’s, for example.

What if I blink during surgery?

Adhesive drapes are used to tape the eyelashes out of the way and a gentle eyelid retainer is used to keep the lids open. Blinking is no problem. At the appropriate times, you will be asked to look up at a flashing fixation light – as if you are staring at a star on the horizon. The eye we are not operating on will be covered. You simply need to look up at the fixation light with both eyes open.

You can help the surgery to proceed quickly and accurately by gazing directly up at the flashing fixation light throughout the procedure, but involuntary eye movement is no problem. The wavefront optimised excimer laser systems we use incorporate sophisticated eye-tracking mechanisms that follow eye movements during treatment. Any movement outside the safe range will cause the laser to stop automatically. Mr Maurino will be looking at your eyes through an operating microscope throughout, and can override the laser’s automatic cut-out to stop and start the treatment as often as necessary.

What happens immediately after surgery?

After the surgery, it is like looking through a watery fog – soft focus. You are able to see enough to walk around without assistance, but the vision is not clear. Relatively clear vision normally returns within just a few hours of IntraLASIK treatment (you can typically see at driving standard after 24-48 hours). Blurred vision is normal for up to 2 weeks after surface laser treatments (LASEK).

Having scheduled your appointment for surgery you will be given comprehensive instructions on preparation and aftercare appropriate to your chosen procedure.

How many follow-up appointments do I need?

Patients are normally reviewed a minimum of twice after IntraLASIK (at 1 day and 1-3 months after surgery), and 3-4 times after LASEK (at 3 day, 1 week and 1-6 months after treatment), with additional review appointments as required. Liaison with a referring ophthalmologist is usually possible for overseas patients or patients leaving far from London. The minimum advisable time in the UK for patients coming for treatment from overseas is 1 week.