Laser Eye Surgery Success Rates

Laser eye surgery works by using a laser beam to reshape the transparent section at the front of the eye, which is known as the cornea. It is one of the most popular surgical procedures carried out in the UK today and is considered by most medical professionals to be a low risk procedure with a high success rates.

According to research carried out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in 2006 it is considered both safe and effective. All surgery carries with it the risk of some complication, and this remains true of laser eye surgery. Complications occur in less than half a per cent of surgeries carried out and many of these can be corrected through further surgery.

Different surgeons have different success rates and you can easily request this information from clinics. When considering success rates it is important to ensure you are comparing statistic of patients with similar prescriptions to your own.

Click here to watch our video interview with our laser eye surgery patient Djalenga.

Benefits Of LASIK

LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is now the most popular form of laser eye correction in the UK, with over 100,000 people a year undergoing the procedure in the UK.

During LASIK, the surgeon reaches the mid-layer of the cornea in a different way in than in LASEK eye surgery. This is done by firstly using the femtosecond laser to create a corneal flap, whereas in LASEK eye surgery the corneal flap is not created. This cornea flap is then replaced after the surgeon has reshaped the storma.

Patients who have a LASIK procedure usually recover slightly faster and are able to return to functional vision within 48 hours of surgery with only a few hours of discomfort and using steroid eye drops afterwards for about a week.

Other benefits of LASIK eye surgery include:

  • Proven effectiveness to correct vision.
  • There is little pain associated with LASIK eye surgery.
  • Further adjustments can be made after LASIK to further correct vision if required.
  • Improvements to vision occur almost immediately following the procedure, and there is a quick recovery time requiring no bandages or stitches.

To establish whether you are a candidate for either surgery, you will need to undergo a complete laser eye surgery consultation from a trained professional.

LASIK Surgery Success Rates

There are two main types of laser eye surgery commonly used in the UK. These are known as LASIK and LASEK. In the LASIK procedure, the ophthalmic surgeon uses a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea. The flap is then lifted and the laser is used to either flatten or steepen the corneal bed depending on the patient's req,uirements. The flap is then closed and forms round the newly shaped cornea. The success rate of LASIK depends upon how severe the eyesight problem is for the individual patient.

For patients with mild to moderate short sightedness 80% of people report improved vision after the procedure. For moderate to strong short sightedness, the amount of patients reporting normal vision afterwards was just under forty per cent.

Benefits Of LASEK

LASEK stands for Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis, and is not to be confused with a similar sounding but different form of corrective laser treatment, LASIK.

laser eye surgery success rates

It is a similar procedure in that it uses laser technology to correct vision, but differs slightly in the way the surgeon reaches the storma (the mid-layer of the cornea) in order to re-shape it. Whilst reshaping the storma with LASEK, the surgeon will keep the outer layers of the cornea (known as the epithelium) away during the procedure. There is no need to create a corneal flap, as there is with LASIK. Once the procedure is completed, the surgeon will replace the epithelium so as to protect the eye whilst it heals. Patients who undergo LASEK eye surgery will also use a special contact lens for three to four days afterwards to help protect the eye further during this healing period, which is generally longer than that associated with LASIK. Patients can expect to recover their functional vision one to two weeks after surgery and to experience discomfort for a few days afterwards. Steroid eye drops will need to be used for several weeks afterwards as well.

One key benefit of LASEK eye surgery is the reduced risk of complications as there is no need for a cornea flap to be made. It is also ideal for those with thinner corneas who want laser vision correction, but are not suitable candidates for LASIK due to the thickness of their corneas. To establish whether you are a candidate for either surgery, you will need to undergo a complete laser eye surgery consultation from a trained professional.

LASEK Surgery Success Rates

LASEK surgery is used for those patients who are not suited to LASIK surgery, either because their cornea is too thin or because it's not the right shape. It can be used to treat; myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. In the procedure, the eyes are anesthetised then a cut known as a pre incision is made in the cornea. An alcohol solution is applied to the eye, and a laser is then directed into the eye to reshape the cornea. A contact lens is then inserted, by the surgeon, to protect the eye during the healing process.

The success rates of LASEK are broadly comparable to those of LASIK; however the healing period can be longer and more patients experience post-surgical pain after LASEK.

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Djalenga Talks About How Successful Her LASEK Laser Eye Surgery Was


Video Transcript

Everything just looks so much clearer, it’s amazing. I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on. I didn’t realize how bad my eyes actually were. Since the surgery I can just see people right down the other side of the street recognize who they are. I can see what bus number it is, I can see train times. It’s brilliant.

What Was the Procedure Like?

The actual procedure was very quick. I went in; I got given eye drops so that I couldn’t feel anything so that my eyes were completely numb. I laid down, got asked if I was okay and definitely alright to go ahead. I couldn’t feel anything on my eyeballs at all because it just didn’t seem like anything was going on, but I could feel when they opened my eye. I didn’t see what it was so they hold your eyes open, put lots drops to make sure that it’s keeping moist I guess for the surgery, and then you look at the red dot. I had Lasek which is the one where they push some of the cells to the side, and then do the laser and you just keep looking at the red dot, and it’s quite weird because you can see there is obviously something when they’re pushing it across. You can’t really see what it is, but they move that across. You don’t feel anything at all you’re just looking at the red light.

Then they laser and you sort of see lots of red, and then it goes back and they put on the bandage contact lens, and that’s it and you don’t feel anything. You’re just looking at the red light. It was like three minutes on each eye, and then you’re done.

How Was Your Recovery?

So after the surgery I went home and they gave me some sleeping tablets because the first 24 hours can be a bit sore so it’s best to sleep through I got told, so I just tried to sleep as much as possible. For a few days I was being helped to put drops in because I wasn’t used to putting eye drops in. I stayed in my bedroom with my tinfoil on my windows to keep it really dark and cool in there. Then by sort of day four I had to go back to get my contact lens, the bandages removed, but it took me about a week to get back to normal.

What Was The First Thing You Noticed With your Improved Eyesight?

The first thing I noticed with my eyes was when I would come out of my bedroom and I spoke to my best friend on the phone and my phone is just by my window in my apartment and I could see – I just suddenly looked out and saw this brick wall that was over the other side of the street, I’ve never noticed before, ever, because it had obviously been this kind of blur. I was talking to my friend and I was going I can see every single brick. It’s actually amazing.

Would You Recommend Laser Eye Surgery To A Friend?

I would definitely recommend laser eye surgery, I think it’s just so quick and so easy, and then you’ve got the rest of your life to just see perfectly in HD. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t get it done.


Benefits Of PRK

PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy, and this procedure is a type of refractive surgery used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

PRK was devised before LASIK, and was in fact the first method of corrective laser eye surgery ever created. Although not as prevalent as it’s more recent counterpart, PRK is still advantageous for use in many cases. During PRK, the cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser, which allows light to enter the eye correctly and be focused onto the retina. Where it differs from LASIK however is that during the process, the whole cornea’s outer layer (epithelial) is removed, as opposed to a small flap being created.

Undergoing PRK can be a beneficial avenue for patients who may not qualify for or might not be suited to LASIK. For example, patients who are at higher risk of sustaining an injury to the eye would benefit from PRK. These might be members of the police or armed forces, or those who engage in contact sports such as boxing or martial arts. PRK is also beneficial to those who have a thin cornea, as there is no need to lose any tissue in the form of creating a corneal flap as is necessary with LASIK.

PRK Surgery Success Rates

The least common type of eye surgery is PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy. PRK involves the laser being beamed directly onto the cornea, once the surface cells have been removed. It is mostly used for patients who are unsuitable for LASIK or LASEK due to corneal thinness or large pupils. As with other forms of eye surgery the success rate will increase for surgeons who have carried out this procedure more frequently.

Twelve months after PRK an average of eighty per cent of treated patients have significantly improved vision. It is important to remember that the eye and eyesight changes as people age so it is possible for eyesight problems to develop in the future after all types of eye surgery.

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