• Should I opt for Blade-Free surgery?
No. At FOCUS we ONLY use a femtosecond laser for LASIK flap creation (the Ziemer LDV). All leading surgeons worldwide only now use femtosecond lasers due to their safety, accuracy and speed. If you are thinking about this procedure, ask the clinic if they use a microkeratome (blade) to perform some of their treatments. This is an old and out of date way of performing surgery and should be avoided.
• How much should I pay for treatment?
For our treatment fees, please visit the costs and finance page. Overall, for quality surgery with an expert surgeon your fees will be around £4000.
The cost of vision correction varies among practices, based on technology, surgeon experience and what the clinic includes in the fee. We are not the least expensive providers because we never sacrifice safety to save you money.
We have invested heavily in advanced lasers and technology and our diagnostic equipment provides an incredible level of detail on your eyes and vision. This investment is extremely important to surgical results and our patients tell us they can see the difference, literally! We encourage you to visit other laser clinics and compare. If the clinic you visit offers you surgery ‘from £395 an eye’ then ask if they use a Microkeratome to create the LASIK flap – this is a blade. Also check if wavefront optics are included in the price.
It’s only natural to want to get the best price, but remember quality, surgical skill and service are extremely important when it comes to medical care. Quantity and quality rarely come together. After all, your vision is one of your most important assets. The best way to find out exactly what your price will be is to come in for an examination and consultation. After a comprehensive evaluation to determine what procedure you are a candidate for, and what degree of correction you need, we will be able to give you a specific price.
• What is 20/20 vision?
In the United Kingdom, the standard placement of the eye chart is on a wall that’s 20 feet away from your eyes. Since many eye doctors’ rooms aren’t 20 feet long, in a smaller room the eye chart may hang behind the patient chair, using mirrors to make it appear in front of you at a simulated distance of 20 feet.
So if you can read the letters on the ’20′ line (which is the green shaded line at the lower end of the chart) from 20 feet away – then you have 20/20 eyesight.
However, most people are able to see better than 20/20. See under our results for more information.
According to the American Optometric Association, “20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet.”
The driving standard is 20/40 where the chart letters are twice as big as those on the ’20′ line. If you have to stand at 20 feet away to be able read this bigger letters, when your normal sight friend can still pick them out from 40ft away, then you have 20/40 vision (the red back coloured line on this chart)
• Is 20/20 perfect vision?
According to the American Optometric Association, “20/20 does not necessarily mean perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance. There are other important vision skills, including peripheral awareness or side vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability and color vision that contribute to your overall visual ability.”
It is possible to see better than 20/20, which are usually the last 2 rows on the chart (lines are below the shaded green area). These are called 20/16 and 20/12.
In fact, the majority of people under 50 can read down to 20/16, as long as any necessary glasses prescription is fully corrected. It is still possible to have optical problems, even though the 20/20 chart letters can be read in normal lighting, e.g. night vision issues, ghosting or shadows around letters.
So 20/20 is really just a moderately good vision benchmark similar to, say, 70 MPH on a speedometer being a measure of high speed. A few cars cannot reach 70 MPH, but most can go faster. Likewise, 20/20 is not a final speed and the phrase ’20/20 vision’ does not mean perfect sight.
• So what is perfect vision?
20/12 is very close to the functional limit of vision for humans. Once vision reaches 20/16 and 20/12 levels, then the optics of an eye have to be very good or excellent. High quality optics negate imperfections, such as ghosting or blur and people will experience sharp or very sharp vision.
In practical terms, 20/12 is the closest to ‘perfect vision’ when measured using a standard letter test chart. All surgeons should be aiming for better than 20/20 wherever possible.
• Will I have 20/20 vision following laser vision correction?
The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. However we cannot, nor can any clinic, guarantee you will have 20/20 vision as a result, although that is the most common outcome our patients, confirmed from our own results audit.
Our commitment to a 100% success rate for 20/20 and better has taken us to new levels of excellence in clinical outcomes. And while this does not guarantee your individual success, our results from the past 3 years will give you a high degree of confidence that you will attain very clear unaided vision. These results are now undergoing a rigorous independent clinic audit and preparation for publication in a peer-review journal.
Our commitment to you is that we will not perform treatment on you or anyone we feel does not have an excellent possibility of achieving independence from glasses and contacts. Our team is risk-averse, meaning that we do not take chances ourselves or on your behalf.
The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their results and can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses after vision correction. For typical short sight, 99.7% of patients can see better than 20/20 following their laser vision correction. See here for more about our results.
• Is the procedure safe?
Safety is fully dependent on who the surgeon is and what clinical setting are they working in. It is similar to safety for driving – is driving safe? It depends mainly on the driver, the car they are in, and the environment where they are driving. For example, if a surgeon is under pressure and operating on 20+ patients a day, that is very different from having much more time and treating 6 patients a day.
There are always possible risks with any technique and we encourage you to discuss these with us. Please note that treatments are available for almost all complications that affect your vision (but not all). Serious complications with LASIK or PRK are actually rare if the patient is well selected. The chance of having a complication, including various minor ones, from LASIK has been documented in previous clinical studies to be less than one percent, and based on procedures which used less sophisticated technology than we have available today. All options have some risk, e.g. it has been shown that there is a higher risk of infection from wearing contact lenses long-term than from LASIK.
Many of the risks and complications associated with this procedure can be reduced or eliminated through careful patient selection and thorough pre-operative testing using the latest diagnostic technology. That is why FOCUS has invested so heavily in screening technology.
After laser eye treatment, you may experience some visual side effects. These are usually mild and most often diminish over a few days to a few weeks. But there is a slight chance that some of these side effects won’t go away completely, such as feelings of dryness, glare and haloes. If after a thorough examination we decide you are a good candidate for vision correction, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.