Laser eye treatment safety & risks

Patient safety & risks Laser eye treatment is one of the simplest and safest surgical treatments currently available. Since the first procedure was performed in 1991, over 22 million laser eye surgery procedures have been taken place worldwide. With constant improvement to the technology and accuracy of the procedure year on year, there has not been a better time to consider laser eye surgery. Sight threatening complications from laser vision correction are extremely rare; nearly all surgery-related problems can be resolved with medical or surgical intervention. However, Advanced Vision Care reduces this laser eye surgery risk even further by adopting extremely strict protocols for patient selection. This means that, although occasionally we may have to disappoint some patients, we can eliminate any unnecessary risk and maintain our exceptional success rates. Choosing an eye clinic and laser eye surgeon is the important decision you have to make and should not be taken lightly. We employ a range of specialist eye surgeons who bring with them a wealth of clinical experience in laser and non laser eye treatments. Thanks to this expertise, when patients are found to be unsuitable for laser eye surgery, we are able to offer a range of non-laser treatments which can correct complex prescriptions without compromising on safety. At Advanced Vision Care we prioritise patient care and pride ourselves on our open and honest advice. Transparency is at the core of our business, from our detailed medical advice to clear pricing structure; we aim for you to feel fully informed at every stage. In fact, we are so transparent that we have the only clear glass laser theatre in the UK, meaning that you can bring your friends or family to watch your laser eye surgery procedure as it happens!

Laser eye surgery safety

Advanced Vision Care is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, a body that regulates standards to meet government requirements. It carries out regular inspections (usually unannounced) and their findings are then made public and available for all to see. Unlike some other clinics, we don’t use experimental technology or surgery – only approved procedures and protocols are used at AVC. The success of our laser eye treatments at AVC is down to our experienced surgical team and investment into some of the most precise and up to date technology available. We house one of the world’s leading lasers, the Technolas z100 laser, which has sophisticated built-in safety features and accuracy that is second to none. A key safety feature of this laser is the advanced iris recognition technology which tracks the position of the eye during treatment. If the eye moves by just a fraction of a millimetre, this tracking device will guide the laser to the eye’s new position instantly to ensure complete accuracy. If the eye moves excessively, the tracking device will automatically shut the laser down so that the treatment cannot continue. 

Following laser eye surgery

After laser eye treatment, the body undergoes a natural healing process which requires time and patience to settle before perfect vision can be enjoyed. The time for this can vary from a couple of days to three months. Potential side effects of the healing process may include slight grittiness, glare/sensitivity around lights and occasionally a little blurriness. To deal with these symptoms, we provide lubricating drops and monitor your progress at regular aftercare appointments for a year after surgery. The eyes can heal at different rates and this cannot be pre-determined. If one eye heals quicker it often temporarily becomes the dominant eye and allows for good binocular (both eyes) vision, which becomes more equal over the following weeks. Most of what you experience will be very normal and we are always here to answer any questions you have. In addition, during the first 24 hours after laser eye surgery, you will have a 24 hour emergency number should you require it.

Laser eye surgery risks

The risk associated with laser eye surgery is minimal and at Advanced Vision Care we do everything we can to reduce this to the absolute smallest it can be. When the US military approved refractive surgery procedures, including LASIK laser eye surgery, it confirmed the very low level of risk connected to this procedure. On the day of your assessment our clinical team will discuss the main risks with you and explain the methods we use to prevent and minimise these risks:

  • Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops are given to all patients to take for one week following laser eye surgery. This reduces the risk of infection significantly.
  • Lubricating drops are issued for 1 month to all patients following laser eye surgery. 
  • Wavefront laser eye surgery minimises the chance of post-surgery glare. During the early healing phase this may be a side effect that you may notice, but be assured that it often needs time to settle.

Despite using the most superior technology and advanced techniques, the risk of needing a retreatment is between 1 and 3% (prescription dependent). It is caused by the eye’s natural healing process, which cannot be pre-determined, and results in one (or both) eyes needing fine tuning to correct residual prescription. It can usually be done 3 months after initial treatment and is done at no extra charge.