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What does Lasik eye surgery involve, how much does it cost, and what are the risks of the procedure?

The eyesight correction procedure known as Lasik stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. As its name suggests, the procedure used lasers to change your cornea to a more desirable shape, and therefore improve your vision. This type of laser treatment has become the most popular eyesight correction procedure in the UK.

Procedure
The Lasik operation is relatively simple, and typically takes less than ten minutes. After numbing eye drops are administered, your eye surgeon will use a laser to create a flap on your eye in order to access the cornea. He will then use a different laser to change the shape of your cornea in a predetermined manner. Once this is done, the flap is folded back down to act as a natural bandage. After a few minutes, you will be allowed to sit up, and look around with your new eyes. More details on the Lasik operation.

Risks and side effects
The level of risk involved in a Lasik operation will vary from patient to patient. An older person with acute vision problems may be more prone to complications than a younger patient with relatively normal eyesight. Serious complications are rare but a loss of vision is possible in some cases. More common side effects include glare, eye dryness, and problems seeing at night. More information on the possible side effects.

Differences to Lasek
It's easy to confuse Lasik and Lasek eye treatment but they are two different types of surgical procedure. Lasik creates a flap in the eye in order for the laser to access the cornea. Lasek, on the other hand, involves loosening the top layer of the cornea and moving it completely to one side. This may only be a small difference but it does implications on the risks, recovery and levels of pain of the treatment. More details on the differences between Lasek and Lasik.

Cost of treatment
Lasik eye operations cost a little more than standard eyesight correction treatment. Prices vary from clinic to clinic, but on average the procedure costs in the region of 900 to 1500 per eye. The cost of treatment aboard can be a little cheaper but probably not enough to tempt most people. More information on the cost of treatment.

Choosing a surgeon
When choosing a lasik eye doctor or surgeon, it's important to do as much research s you can. Use the internet to help identify the best eye specialists in your local area. Make appointments with at least three clinics, and don't be afraid to ask questions. More details on choosing a lasik eye doctor.

Clinics
You can have Lasik at a number of eye clinics and private hospitals throughout the UK. Standards of care and treatment and generally very high with some centres amongst the best in Europe. More information on the laser vision clinics.

Recommended eye clinics in the UK

Belfast | Birmingham | Bristol | Cardiff | Glasgow | Leicester | Liverpool | London | Manchester | Newcastle




Common Eyesight Questions

What questions should I ask my lasik eye surgeon?

What are the possible side effects after a laser eye operation?

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