LASIK & PRK
Can change your life
Laser Eye Surgery is one of the wonders of modern medicine ...
Millions of people around the world have benefited from this miraculous surgery
Want to know if this is for you?
We offer FREE suitability assessments
What is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction is surgery in which a computer controlled laser is used to reshape the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) in a predetermined manner. This corrects the refractive error thereby changing the focus of the eye and improving the vision. It is used to correct myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism.The two most common types of laser eye surgery are called LASIK and PRK.
In the LASIK procedure a thin flap is first created (using an instrument called a microkeratome) on the surface of the cornea. This flap is lifted and the cornea beneath is reshaped using a cool beam of laser light. The amount of tissue removed is calculated according to your pre-operative refraction (glasses prescription).The flap is then replaced in its original position and it adheres within minutes.
The healing process after LASIK is quick and patients can return to work and leisure activities within a few days.
The PRK procedure is similar. No flap is created but instead the surface layer (the epithelium) is gently removed and then the cornea beneath is reshaped by the laser beam as in LASIK. After the surgery is done a contact lens is placed on the eye for a few days to aid healing and reduce discomfort. The epithelium regenerates over a few days. PRK is more uncomfortable than LASIK and the recovery does take longer.
The procedure that is most suitable for your eyes will be chosen for you. PRK is used for people with thin or steeply shaped corneas, or those who have jobs or interests that may cause impact to the eyes (eg boxing, martial arts). Although the vision takes longer to recover in PRK, the end results is the same as with LASIK.
Are You a Candidate?
Refractive surgery can be performed on most people who wear glasses or contact lenses for distance vision. It cannot be done to do away with reading glasses which become necessary after the age of 40-45 years of age.
You may be suitable for surgery if:
You are at least 18 years of age (but less than 60 years)
Have a stable prescription (prescription should not have changed by more than 0.5 diopters over the last year or two)
Have reasonable expectations - your prescription can be reduced to close to zero but there may be a small prescription
Are in good health - good candidates should not have uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune or collagen vascular disease. You should not be on any medication or have any condition which renders you immunocompromised. Inform the doctor if you suffer from keloid scarring, claustrophobia or psychological problems You should not be taking isotretinoin (Roaccutane) or related drugs used for acne, or amiodarone for heart problems.
Have healthy eyes - no history (or close family history) of keratoconus, glaucoma, cataracts or retinal disease, herpes eye infections or a severe dry eye syndrome. You should make the doctor aware if you have any history of a lazy eye, or a squint
You are not pregnant, and are not breast feeding - wait 3 months after you finish breastfeeding or two menstrual cycles
Your prescription must be within certain limits -myopia up to -9.00, hyperopia up to +2.50, astigmatism up to -5.00
We recommend that you take advantage of the free suitability assessment that we offer. This lets you know where you stand regarding refractive surgery. The primary objective of this assessment is to determine whether you are a candidate for laser vision correction, and if so, which procedure is most appropriate for you.
Learning everything you can about your options is the key to making an informed decision. We will help you understand what results you can reasonably expect given your particular prescription and circumstances.
Benefits of LASIK
If you had a choice, would you really want to wear glasses or contacts? There are many reasons why you may want to have
refractive surgery. Speak to people who have had refractive surgery and see what they think. In a survey of patients that have had LASIK, 97% said they would recommend the procedure to their friends.
Freedom from corrective eye-wear
After successfully undergoing LASIK eye surgery, one of the benefits patients are most excited about is their new-found freedom from glasses and contact lenses. In most cases, patients enjoy visual acuity that is better than they have ever known, and they are no longer dependent on glasses and contacts. For many LASIK patients, gone are the days of worrying over broken glasses or lost contacts, packing cumbersome cleaning and storing solutions when going on holiday, or paying for costly replacements. With refractive eye surgery, patients not only enjoy clear vision, but also enjoy a life free from the daily hassles and expenses of glasses and contact lenses.
Sports & travel
Patients who have undergone successful LASIK eye surgery find that travel becomes much more enjoyable and convenient. Furthermore, such activities as swimming, cycling, sky-diving, and even spending a day at the beach become more pleasurable without the worries and hassles associated with corrective eye-wear.
Patients also find that they have a broadened array of career choices available to them. Some fields, especially in the police force and firefighting, require participants to display excellent vision that is not dependent upon such refractive solutions such as glasses or contact lenses. After undergoing LASIK, patients who were not formerly suitable candidates for such occupations find themselves considering these new career options. LASIK is approved in the US for fighter pilots and astronauts.
Some people just can’t tolerate contact lenses, and LASIK just gives them another option.
More self confidence
Perhaps the most life changing of the many LASIK benefits is the heightened self-confidence many patients attain. After LASIK surgery, patients no longer feel as though their faces are hidden by glasses. They just feel they look better. Furthermore, many patients find that the ability to see more clearly than ever before helps them to be more outgoing socially. For instance, patients who were formerly disoriented while trying to navigate in a darkened environment with poor vision now feel more at ease in dimly lit clubs and restaurants. Increased self-confidence not only enhances their social lives, but can also lead to a more satisfying love life and a dramatically enhanced professional life.
While the surgery requires a relatively large once off payment, have you thought about how much you spend on your contacts or glasses over a lifetime? Refractive eye surgery may in fact be the cheaper option in the long run.
Refractive surgery aims to reduce or eliminate a person’s dependence on corrective lenses. In most patients the surgery will remove the need for glasses or contact lenses. Most people who undergo this type of surgery are happy they did it. In one survey of patients who have had LASIK, 97% said they would recommend the procedure to their friends.
There are limitations to what we can do. How well and how quickly your vision improves depends on various factors including how your cornea heals and the severity of your prescription.
Most patients do achieve 20/20 (or 6/6) vision or are within 1 or 2 lines of this on the eye chart. In order to drive without glasses you need a visual acuity of 6/12 which is 3 lines above the 6/6 line.
Understanding the procedure and having realistic expectations will help you make the right decision about refractive eye surgery.