Laser eye surgery equipment.

Is Laser Eye Surgery Safe?

Laser eye surgery has become increasingly popular through the years amongst the younger and the older generation and it’s easy to see why. Not only does laser eye surgery offer people from all walks of life freedom from glasses and contact lenses, but it’s also been proven time and time again that the procedure is incredibly safe. With more than 15,000 people in the UK opting to take the leap and restore their vision to former glory, it’s a very safe process to clearer vision.

In this article, we’ll be exploring how safe laser eye surgery really is, what, if anything could go wrong, the recovery process, and also the costs.

What is laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery refers to a procedure which uses lasers to correct a person’s poor vision. It’s a type of refractive surgery that takes place within the cornea for the correction of Myopia and Hyperopia. Laser eye surgery can also be a complete cure for Astigmatism which frees people from the use of contact lenses or glasses permanently.

The procedure itself is simple. A specialist eye surgeon will use a unique type of cutting laser to precisely change the shape of a patient’s dome-shaped cornea to improve their vision. By reshaping the cornea itself, it ensures that the eye is fixed and there will no longer be a need for solutions like spectacles or lenses.

What are the different types of laser eye surgery?

There are a number of different types of laser eye surgery. After an initial screening, our specialists would explain the most appropriate surgery for you and your eyes – either ReLEx SMILE, Presbyond, LASIK or LASEK, PRK and PTK. All of which have different strengths, weaknesses and risks associated with them. To learn more about each service, visit the dedicated pages on our website using the links above.

How safe is laser eye surgery?

The reason laser eye surgery has gained such popularity throughout the years, now being the most popular elective surgery treatment in the UK. The risks associated with the procedure are very low as the technology is now quite advanced robotic surgery. Expert eye surgeons have performed the procedure around the world over 2 million times with fantastic results for clients and patients from all walks of life.

Inside a laser eye surgery clinic.

What are the risks of laser eye surgery?

Just like any surgical procedure, there are some minor risks involved that patients must be aware of. This helps those considering laser eye surgery to weigh up all their options before making the decision. It’s important to note that complications that result in complete loss of vision are very rare and any risks are minimised when you pick an experienced laser eye clinic.

Here are some side effects certain individuals have reported following the procedure:

Dry eyes

This is typically a temporary issue following surgery but long term dryness can occur if there is an underlying problem that has not been diagnosed and treated adequately before the treatment.

Temporary visual problems

You may experience temporary light sensitivity, glare, double vision or halos and may find it hard to see in low light.

Flap problems

Folding back or removing the flap from the front of your eye during surgery can cause complications, including infection and excess tears. The outermost corneal tissue layer may grow abnormally underneath the flap during the healing process.


Like any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection but it is extremely small with only 1 in 10,000 people developing an infection. The infection risk of laser eye surgery is relative, but other options of correction also have risk too.

In addition, when comparing 4 years of contact lens wear to the risk of laser eye surgery, evidence suggests that laser eye surgery is a more convenient and long term solution to avoid a wide range of eye problems.


This is when your vision slowly changes back to what it was before you had laser eye surgery, however, this is a very uncommon complication. Your chosen laser eye clinic will do extensive tests before you are approved for any form of laser eye surgery to ensure this risk is minimised.

Having said that, for leading clinics, regression isn’t so much of a complication. The best laser eye surgery clinics, such as ourselves, would happily offer free top up treatments in any case of regression.

What is the screening process for laser eye surgery?

In order to achieve brilliant results during laser eye surgery treatments, the screening process for patients is extensive, and unfortunately, not everyone will be a suitable candidate or be offered the laser eye treatment.

Before being considered for laser eye surgery, you will undergo a full eye assessment to determine your suitability for the different procedures available. You will undergo a range of tests with one of the most important things your surgeon will be looking at is the thickness of the cornea. Clinics will usually use ultrasounds & optical scans to detect the thickest and thinnest point of a patient’s cornea to make sure the parameters are normal and safe for surgery.

If it is found that you are not a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery, your specialist eye surgeon will work with you to figure out the best course of treatment if laser eye surgery is not right for you. For many, this is often ICL.

Is laser eye surgery painful?

The most painful part of laser eye surgery for most patients is the anticipation beforehand. We understand that it can be scary to think about a laser changing the actual shape of your eye. However, When having laser eye surgery at a high-quality clinic with a rigorous screening process, that risk becomes immeasurably low. During the procedure itself, most patients report not feeling any pain at all.

Recovery after laser eye surgery

The recovery time following a laser eye surgery procedure by a trained professional is almost instantaneous with most patients being able to get back to work within 48 hours. However, there are certain precautions you must take such as not wearing eye makeup for at least a week following the procedure and avoid washing your face or showering for at least a day.

Your laser eye surgeon will go through the recovery time and process with you in detail and make sure you understand the best course of action to take in order for your eyes to heal as quickly as possible.

Woman holding up glasses.

Thinking about getting laser eye surgery?

We hope this article has answered your burning questions about laser eye surgery but if you’d like to discuss the process and procedure that takes place at My-iClinic, please feel free to get in touch with our team, who are always happy to help.

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