Laser Eye Surgery FAQs

Laser eye surgery is the most popular elective surgery in the UK, and over 30 million procedures have been carried out worldwide.

Even though it’s one of the safest operations, with over 99% of Optimax patients achieving driving standard vision or better, it’s normal to have some concerns before going into the treatment room. Here are some of the questions that people ask most often.

The surgeon administers anaesthetic eye drops prior to the procedure so you should feel no discomfort during the surgery. Some patients report feeling slight pressure, but many people say they feel nothing at all.
As one of the most commonly performed medical procedures in the UK, the surgery has also become one of the safest. It is understandable that you may be worried about laser eye surgery risks, but a recent study carried out by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists revealed that 95% of people were satisfied with the results of their treatment. Furthermore, 99% of Optimax patients achieve driving standard vision or better, so you can rest assured you’re in expert hands.

Unlike some other providers, the price of our laser eye surgery is fixed − regardless of your prescription. Treatment for one eye costs £1,995 and to have both done the fee is £3,990. There are no hidden costs or extra payments, and you can take advantage of interest-free credit for up to 12 months.

Find out more about our laser eye treatment costs here.

A high-tech bladeless laser corrects your prescription by reshaping your cornea. Imperfections in your cornea make you unable to focus properly and therefore trigger the need for glasses or lenses. Laser eye surgery aims to rectify these imperfections, leaving you with clear vision.

A thin layer is lifted away from the eye, allowing the laser to correct the prescription of the layer underneath. The original layer is then put back in place and sometimes protected with a clear bandage lens for a few days. We offer two types of laser eye surgery, known as LASEK and LASIK, and our expert team of optometrists and surgeons will be able to advise you on the most suitable form of treatment, depending on your prescription and lifestyle.

Laser eye surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed surgeries in the UK. Over 99% of Optimax patients achieve driving standard vision or better with this procedure.
The laser will only be on each eye for a matter of seconds, but you should prepare to be in the treatment room for around 20 minutes. You are also likely to be in the clinic on treatment day for up to four hours as you will speak with optometrists, patient advisors, and have post-surgery medication talks.
Laser eye surgery is, in most cases, a permanent correction. However, it will not eliminate age-related changes as most people will still need reading glasses from their early 40s onwards and cataracts can still form in later life.
You won’t be able to blink as the surgeon places an eyelid holder on your eye for the duration of the procedure. Our machines only apply the laser to a still eye, so if you look away, the laser shuts off automatically. This guarantees absolute precision. Most people actually find it much easier than expected to keep their eyes still throughout the procedure.

The minimum age for treatment is 18 but, depending on your prescription and treatment, may actually be older. Our eyes change all the time as we grow and any permanent correction will only work as long as you have a stable prescription. Younger eyes carry higher risk of future prescription change, as they may still be developing.

You can find out more about suitability for laser eye treatment here.

We often treat patients with astigmatism, although it does depend on the degree of it. We only treat patients if we’re sure that the treatment will be a success and that they’ll be pleased with the long-term results. Ultimately, your suitability can only be determined upon consultation, so book yours for free to find out.
Yes, the surgeon will treat both eyes on the same day, unless there’s an important medical reason not to. We offer two types of laser eye surgery – LASIK and LASEK. For LASIK, both eyes have the corneal flap created in succession, and then the laser is applied to each eye in succession. For LASEK, the surgeon removes the epithelium, applies the laser and then repeats the process for the other eye.
It is possible to have laser eye surgery more than once but you will need to be properly assessed before a decision can be made. Our optometrists will check your overall eye health before advising whether you are suitable for retreatment.
You are likely to be more suitable for LASEK treatment if you play a lot of contact sports. This is because with LASIK treatment, a flap is created and lifted before the laser is applied. With LASEK, however, the cells in the eye are removed before applying the laser. This means that they grow back themselves, rather than leaving the flap to heal, therefore creating a stronger join. This is the better option for someone at risk of a blow to the eye as the flap then cannot lift.
You should avoid swimming for one month after undergoing laser eye surgery. This is because water carries bacteria, so refraining from swimming and submerging your head in water minimises the risk of infection while the eye is still healing.
Wavefront guided treatment replaces the “one treatment fits all” outlook with a procedure that is tailored to the precise optics of the eye. The surface of your cornea is measured to detect tiny imperfections which result in distortions to the visual path. Glasses lenses are standard shapes and their optical performance is made to fit the average population as a whole, while the laser improves individual physical and optical characteristics precisely for each eye. Patients who are suitable for Wavefront treatment can achieve better results than wearing glasses or contact lenses, as the process corrects individual aberrations.
Yes, if a patient chooses, or a surgeon recommends, only one eye can be treated.
Our Lifetime Aftercare Guarantee provides patients with one free laser retreatment for distance-only correction. However this was only introduced in 2010 and is not given retrospectively. For patients treated prior to 2010, a laser retreatment for distance-only correction is offered at a reduced price of £395 per eye.
No, we do not treat patients who are either breastfeeding or pregnant. This is because of fluctuating hormone levels which can affect your vision. Once you have finished breastfeeding, we recommend waiting three months before consultation to allow your hormones to settle, and then provide accurate eye scans.
Soft/disposable/toric lenses must be taken out 48 hours prior to the procedure. Extended wear lenses must be removed one week before and hard/gas permeable lenses must be removed three weeks before undergoing treatment.


Don’t just take our word for it...