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Mr David Allamby
MD, FRCOphth, FRCS
Tired of having to wear prescription glasses or fiddle with contact lenses every morning?
Are you suffering from eye strain or blurred vision? Or do you find it difficult to read?
Considered laser eye surgery in the past but still aren't sure if it's the right procedure for you?
Laser eye surgery, also known as laser vision correction, is a procedure that uses lasers to reshape the cornea of the eye so that individuals with poor eyesight are able to focus better.
Laser eye surgery may help with several eye conditions, including:
In many cases, laser eye surgery may help to drastically improve your vision, removing your reliance on glasses and contact lenses completely.
Whether you struggle reading, have blurred vision, wear glasses or contact lenses, or have other vision problems, if suitable, laser eye surgery can help to reduce these issues, if not completely rectify them.
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To get a better idea of how we can help you, and also the different types of services we offer, book a consultation now.
LASIK eye surgery (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is the most widely used laser eye surgery used to correct short-sight, long-sight, astigmatism, and presbyopia (the need for reading glasses).
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a treatment designed and developed to help restore distance and reading vision in those individuals who are over 50. It is an alternative treatment to LASIK Blended Vision.
The Implantable Contact Lens is an alternative treatment for those individuals who are not suitable candidates for laser eye surgery because of a high, or extreme, prescription.
Most clinics charge £2000 to £2500 per eye for laser eye surgery, so expect to pay between £4-5000 for the complete treatment.
Prices advertising exceedingly low prices, e.g. “From £595...” are not usually genuine, limited to tiny prescriptions and using an older technology. Many of our patients who enquired at other centres found that even clinics advertising very low prices often charge more than £4,000 when modern technology is used for typical prescriptions.
Remember that LASIK is not a commodity; it is precision microsurgery on your eyes.
You are not buying LASIK surgery on its own but rather a complete treatment package. This must include a comprehensive assessment, meeting your surgeon on a day before your eye surgery is to happen (some clinics only do a phone call), and long-lasting aftercare.
At Focus, we include a 10-Year Guarantee for free re-treatment (should it be needed and available for our short-sighted treatment patients) during the first decade after your surgery. Most clinics only include 12 months of free re-treatment.
We also include our Lifetime Aftercare, where if you think your treatment is wearing off, you can return any time without charge, even many years later. Many clinics will charge you for attending after the initial period.Your LASIK fee is for a package of care so make sure you compare like-for-like when looking at laser providers. Just comparing the quoted surgery price may leave you paying more later on.
The effects of laser eye surgery are generally permanent, but in a small percentage of cases, retreatment or enhancement may be required. The number of patients who were originally treated for short-sightedness and who have returned to us for a boost is around 1% over the years.
At Focus Clinic, we offer a 10-year free re-treatment guarantee, which means that if you do require an enhancement up to 10 years later, we will provide this completely free of charge. This is for patients who were short-sighted, with or without astigmatism.
Most clinics only offer 12 months of re-treatment without incurring further fees, which can be as much as the original amount paid.
Please note that long-sighted prescriptions, including the need for reading glasses, are age-related. Hence they will progress as the patient gets older. These treatments are not included in the 10-year guarantee but will get our Focus Lifetime Aftercare, where they can return at any time for an opinion and assessment if the treatment appears to be waning (which it will as the years go by).
Laser eye surgery has been around for more than 30 years and is now a very evolved procedure with consistent and excellent results.
How laser eye surgery works to correct the focus of your eyes is well-understood. Indeed, the principles have been applied to the cornea with alternative surgical approaches since the 1930s. The excimer laser will reshape the curvature across your cornea and move the point where light comes into focus at the back of your eye.
For short-sightedness (the most common laser eye treatment), where the image is incorrectly focused in front of the retina, the cornea must be made slightly less curved, i.e. flatter. This flattening moves the point where rays of light converge backwards so that it now happens at the level of the retina. The focused light is detected by the retina, resulting in you seeing something as a clear, sharp image.
To make this a permanent effect, the laser needs to remove tissue from the central collagen area, known as the stroma. This is achieved by creating a thin superficial flap using a femtosecond laser in the LASIK procedure or removing the top layer of skin cells in PRK or LASEK surgery.
For the past 3 years, 100% of Focus patients with typical short-sighted (myopic) prescriptions have achieved 20/20 vision with a single treatment. We do not know of any other clinic that has achieved this success rate.
We published our results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and you can see the research paper here.
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 a very clear level of unaided vision.
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 take them 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.
You should look at the total package for your vision correction. LASIK or lens replacement surgery is not a commodity but rather precision microsurgery on your eyes. Pay what it costs to get a premium provider - because it’s your eyes.
Look at what the aftercare includes. Is there a free re-treatment period? Can you return later without being charged?
(We offer a unique 10-year free re-treatment guarantee for our short-sighted laser procedures. Most clinics offer just 12 months and then will charge you again.)
You should look for excellent reviews and an extremely high proportion of 5-star ratings. The most common review sites in the UK are Trustpilot and Google.
You can click here to see all the UK’s eye care clinics on Trustpilot.
Choosing the right surgeon to perform your laser eye surgery is also a key part of your choice. It can be a difficult decision and one that you should not base solely on price. Often, those clinics that charge lower prices have to turn over a large number of patients, meaning that the care you get could be substandard.
Again, follow the reviews and see how actual patients rated their clinic and their surgeon.
Laser eye surgery is extremely safe when performed on patients who are good candidates for vision correction. It has been around now for more than 30 years and has evolved into a stable and safe procedure. In fact, it is one of the safest surgical procedures in the world. As with any surgical procedure, there will always be a degree of risk, but this is very minimal.
To make sure you are suitable, any clinic should follow an extensive suitability screening process. At Focus, we conduct what we believe to be the most in-depth assessment possible.
Not everyone is suitable for laser eye surgery. However, in well-selected candidates, it is a highly safe and predictable procedure performed more than 50 million times across the world.
People who may not be suitable for laser eye surgery may be people over the age of 65 or younger than 18, those with a pre-existing eye disease or immune disorder, or those people with very high refractive errors.The easiest way to confirm your suitability is to visit us for a free consultation.
On your treatment day, expect to be with us for around two hours. However, the surgery itself only takes around 10 minutes for both eyes!
Why will you be there for two hours then? The rest of the time is used to ensure the safest possible treatment for you and your eyes.
Your eyes will be re-scanned, so we have the latest data. You will meet your surgeon again to confirm the health of your eyes and re-measure your prescription (especially important if you have been using contact lenses previously).
The scans will assess thousands of data points with remarkable accuracy. We only use the latest scanners, such as the Osiris-T wavefront aberrometer with a resolution of 45,000 points, higher than any other device.
The goal: 100% accuracy for your surgery.
Afterwards, you will spend 10-20 minutes in our patient recovery room or lounge, where you can relax, drink tea and eat biscuits while your eyes adjust after surgery.
Most patients will have better vision straight after LASIK surgery and excellent 20/20 vision or better just 4-24 hours later. With other laser procedures, it will take longer to get great vision: lenticule extraction (e.g. CLEAR, SMILE) takes 1-7 days to recover, and PRK/LASEK takes 4-10 days.
The end results of each type of procedure are very similar, but LASIK offers the fastest recovery.