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Top 10 Myths About Laser Eye Surgery

We get it, the idea of laser eye surgery can be daunting. There are so many questions surrounding the procedure and when you look online, it’s hard to know what’s the truth and what is a lie. Well, we’re here to help.

Here are the top 10 myths about laser eye surgery.

1. Everyone is a candidate for laser eye surgery


A pre-op consultation will truly determine whether or not someone is suitable for laser eye surgery. During your consultation, your consultant will look at the thickness of your corneas, the shape of your eye, how stable your prescription is and your overall health.

If your corneas are too thin, your consultant will not go ahead with the procedure. This is because the laser removes some of the cornea so, if your corneas are already thin, extreme damage can be caused. If you don’t have a stable prescription it is unlikely you will be suitable for laser eye surgery. Your prescription will need to have been stable for at least 2 years to be able to get the best result from the procedure. Finally, your consultant will want to make sure you are in good health. If you have poor health problems, this can increase the risk of a poor outcome after surgery due to how your body can tolerate the surgery and how it can heal.

2. Laser eye surgery is painful

The biggest myth out of them all!

Laser eye surgery is painless. The only time you may feel some discomfort is during the healing stage. During and after the procedure, anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye ensuring that you feel absolutely nothing! Most patients find that the discomfort they feel after the procedure can be relieved with paracetamol or ibuprofen.

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3. Laser eye surgery can cause blindness


There have been no confirmed cases of a patient becoming blind whilst having laser eye surgery. Serious complications have occurred but these are extremely rare. Despite how rare they are, your consultant will still review all the potential risks surrounding your potential surgery and advise whether or not it is the best option for you.

4. You’ll be glasses-free, forever

Regardless of whether or not you have laser eye surgery, normal vision does change over time and as you age. This is called Presbyopia. This occurs when the mechanism in your eye fails to focus and gets stuck in fixed focus for distance. This is because of the loss of elasticity of the natural lens that occurs with ageing. The changes made to your cornea during the surgery are permanent. However, if changes occur it may mean that you will require reading glasses or require glasses when driving at night to help with glares. To keep on top of this, it is strongly recommended that you have regular checks with your optometrist. Additionally, it is wise to discuss what changes you can expect to happen once you have had the surgery.

5. All outcomes are the same despite the surgeon

Now, this is a really important one.

The most important part of your decision-making journey is choosing the right surgeon who you know and trust has the right skills. You need to spend time researching surgeons in your area that have performed the surgery, how long they have been performing and how the outcomes have been. Look at reviews on websites such as Trustpilot or even Facebook. It is important to do this so that you do have the best possible outcome without any complications.

6. The cheapest price for the procedure will have the same outcomes as the most expensive

Not only a myth but it is also dangerous.

Another element in your decision-making journey is choosing the right price.

For example, you go to the shop and buy a watch for £10 – this watch ends up falling apart whereas one that costs £60-£100 lasts you for years. If you wouldn’t choose the cheaper option for a watch, why would you choose the cheaper option for something as precious as your eyes? You must ask yourself why is it so cheap? Because the chances are that they are missing out important pre and post-operative care that could have a detrimental impact on your eyes. If pricing is a concern, find a practice that offers a finance option. For example, here at My iClinic, we offer 0% finance for patients who are considering undergoing SMILE or Presbyond. This way, patients can get the best treatment available without having a major impact on their finances.

In addition to the quality of care, you need to consider the different laser types. For example, here at My-iClinic we have the lastest Visumax and MEL90 lasers by Zeiss. It is important to make sure the the technology being used is up to date in order to achieve optimal results.

7. Laser eye surgery can impact whether or not you can have cataract surgery in the future

A myth.

Laser eye surgery does not prevent you from having cataract surgery in the future. Laser eye surgery focuses on your cornea rather than your lens as a cataract operation would.

8. If laser eye surgery goes wrong nothing can be done to correct it

Again, a myth.

It’s extremely unlikely that your results will be not as expected. If this is the case, our surgeon will carry out further treatment that is deemed necessary to help you achieve the vision that you wanted. If your surgeon is telling something different, insinuating that nothing can be done then be sure to get a second opinion.

9. Laser eye surgery is just for short-sightedness

This is not the case.

There are options to help correct short-sightedness AND long-sightedness as well as astigmatism. Here at My iClinic we offer SMILE, Presbyond and Lasik so there is bound to be an option for you. We will always select the best solution suitable for your eyes.

10. Laser eye surgery is a long procedure


Take SMILE for example.

SMILE takes 27 seconds per eye.

27 seconds!

The longest part of your laser eye surgery journey is your pre-operative consultation. We know the idea of being under a laser, not sure of what is going to happen can be daunting but, that is one of the great benefits of SMILE, it’s a quick and simple procedure that can change your life for the better.

We hope that this blog has helped relieve your fears and answered questions you had about laser eye surgery.

About the experts

Mr John Bolger | Consultant Ophthalmologist / Clinic Director


John Bolger is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinic Director at My-iClinic. He specialises in ophthalmology, laser refractive surgery (SMILE, Presbyond, LASIK, PRK, PTK), refractive lens exchange (RLE), cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment and macular degeneration.

Over the course of his career, John Bolger has carried out over 35,000 cataract operations, 20 of which were for eye surgeons. He has also taught over 1500 young ophthalmologists worldwide as they begin their surgical careers.

Bolger has observed and played a part in the evolution of modern ophthalmology. He was one of the first surgeons to introduce microincision cataract surgery to the UK; he witnessed the advent of the femtosecond laser that is used in SMILE procedures and is seeing huge progress in the treatment of glaucoma and wet macular degeneration.

Remaining at the forefront of these advancements ensures that he is always providing his patients with the very best and latest treatments, whatever their condition.

In his free time, John Bolger enjoys flying helicopters, playing classical guitar, baking bread and pastries, and making fresh pasta.