Refractive surgery

Excimer laser vision correction is an exciting development in Ophthalmology that has revolutionised the management of refractive errors. We perform this surgery from Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

Excimer laser vision correction is an increasingly safe and accurate method of correcting myopia (short sight), hypermetropia (long sight), and astigmatism, as well as a variety of corneal scarring disorders.

However, not all refractive errors are suitable for laser surgery. When that’s the case, we’re able to able to perform several equally effective micro-surgery solutions, such as Refractive Lens Exchange and Phakic Implants.

All of these procedures allow the comprehensive refractive surgeon to offer treatment for a wide range of refractive errors. Our surgeons will ensure that you are offered the most appropriate treatment option to correct your spectacle prescription.

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Some of the potential benefits of refractive surgery include:

  • Less dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
  • Freedom from the visual limitations associated with glasses or contact lenses.
  • Occupational reasons – some jobs (e.g. police) require the employee to reach a certain standard of vision without glasses or contact lenses. It is important to check with the relevant authorities to make sure that refractive surgery is accepted as an alternative.
  • Enjoyment of sports such as swimming, football, tennis and skiing without the burden of glasses or contact lenses.
  • Not having to worry about glasses or contact lenses being broken or lost.

To be suitable for refractive surgery your prescription should be stable, i.e. it should not have changed significantly in the past two to three years. This generally means that patients have to be at least 21 years old.

Patients should have realistic expectations about the anticipated outcomes. If you have a low or moderate degree of refractive error you should expect very good results. If you have higher degrees of refractive error may still need a reduced correction for some activities.

Patients should have no significant eye disease.

You will need to undergo a consultation that will include a thorough eye examination. This involves an examination of the health of your eyes and an assessment of your suitability for surgery. You will be examined by the consultant who will perform your surgery and will have the opportunity to discuss any questions you may have.

If an individual has signs suggestive of early cataract development, then it may be more appropriate to perform a lens exchange and intraocular implant regardless of the refractive error.

See Refractive Lens Exchange for details on this procedure.

Astigmatic Keratotomy (corneal incisions) may be used to treat Astigmatism.