Laser eye surgery

* Please note: this page is only informational. Vision Express do not offer laser eye surgery as a service. We do perform eye tests which will be needed to judge whether you are suitable for a laser eye surgery procedure.

Most commonly, this form or surgery is used to correct myopia, hypermetropia (short and long sightedness) and mild astigmatisms. Different methods may be recommended for those with high prescriptions or presbyopia. Surgery is only recommended when the prescription is stable- for this reason most surgeons have a minimum age limit of 21 years of age (although some will conduct surgery from 18 years olds onwards).

Since laser eye surgery is regarded as non-essential, the treatment is not usually available via the NHS and must typically gained through private means.

Laser eye surgery procedure

The most common form of corrective laser eye surgery is the LASIK procedure (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis).

The surgery is painless, a lid speculum is used to keep the eyelids from closing whilst numbing drops are administered to each eye ball. The doctor may prescribe further medication to relax the patient.

The surgical process involves using a small knife – otherwise known as a microkeratome - to cut a circular flap in the cornea. This exposes the cornea allowing the excimer lasers to reshape it, so light will focus on the optimal part of the retina resulting in improved vision.

For those suffering from myopia (short sightedness), the doctor will look to flatten the cornea, whilst the cornea of those with hypermetropia (long sightedness) will be steepened. Correcting astigmatisms involves reshaping the cornea back into its normal shape.

Once the lasers have reshaped the cornea, the circular flap is put back in place. The whole process should take approximately five minutes for each eye.

Frequently asked questions

Those who do not feel comfortable wearing glasses or contact lenses and would rather go without are well suited for LASIK surgery, since the procedure will usually correct your vision without the need for visual aids.  However complete freedom from glasses can not be guaranteed.