Laser Refractive Surgery

What you need to know

Laser refractive surgery, or laser eye surgery, corrects your vision by reshaping the surface of your cornea. The surgery can reduce, or eliminate entirely, your need for glasses or contacts. Laser eye surgery can correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism.

There are two main types of laser refractive surgery – LASIK and PRK. Both are very safe and effective.

  • LASIK eye surgery uses two lasers. The first laser creates a flap in the cornea. This flap is then lifted so the second laser can reshape the cornea underneath. The flap is put back in place and stays there without stitches. Vision normally improves on the day after surgery.
  • PRK, also known as advanced surface laser ablation, uses a brush or laser to remove the surface cells of the cornea. This allows the surgeon to reshape your cornea. At the end of the procedure the surgeon places a contact lens over your eye to protect it while it heals. PRK has similar results to LASIK, but recovery takes longer. Your vision may be quite fuzzy in the days immediately after the surgery – this is quite normal. You will notice a gradual improvement in your vision from week to week, which should stabilise around week six.

Laser eye surgery process and recovery

Before you can have laser eye surgery you will need to come in for a consultation with one of our opthamologists to determine the type of refractive surgery that is best for you. This will depend on a number of factors, such as your prescription, eye health, age and lifestyle. We will examine your eyes, assess your needs and help you decide on the best option for you.

Laser eye surgery itself takes less than a minute, but the whole procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes per eye. LASIK is normally done on both eyes at once. PRK is generally done on one eye at a time, with one to two weeks between procedures.

Most patients can drive the day after LASIK eye surgery. Patients having PRK surgery should be able to drive 3 to 4 days after surgery.

Laser refractive surgery isn’t right for everyone. If you aren’t eligible for laser refractive surgery you may be suitable for other lens-based procedures. Don’t hesitate to come in for a consultation to discuss all the options available to you.

Eye Specialists is the only full-time eye laser surgery provider in the Hunter area and mid-North Coast. Our surgeons have significant training and experience in performing corrective eye surgery and will do everything they can to ensure you get the best results. They all live in the area, making them easily accessible to patients who have questions or concerns before or after the surgery. At Eye Specialists your happiness is our success.

For more information on laser refractive surgery go to the Hunter Laser Vision website.

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RANZCO - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists - The Leaders in Collaborative Eye Care
ANZSRS - Australian and New Zealand Society of Retinal Specialists
ASO - Australian Society of Ophthalmologists
ASRS - American Society of Retina Specialists

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