Eye Laser

Prepare to start fresh with our life changing eye laser treatments.

Eye Laser

Eye laser surgery is the most effective and safe method to remove your glasses or contact lenses. Laser has been used worldwide since the early 1980s and it is the treatment of choice for those who would like to live spectacle-free.

At Saint James Eye Clinic we offer a wide range of procedures using excimer laser combined with femtosecond laser. We offer the latest laser surgery techniques, which are all bladeless and painless. Precision and accuracy are the main features of these advanced laser treatments, and the results are predictable in most cases.

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Types of Treatments

SMILE

A femto laser procedure without a flap to get rid of glasses or contact lenses.

FemtoLASIK

A laser procedure to eliminate glasses or contact lenses.

Laser Blended Vision

A laser procedure to minimise dependency reading glasses and distance glasses.

Surface Ablation

An excimer laser procedure suitable for people with a thin cornea.

Eligibility

You may be eligible* for eye laser treatment if:

  • You are over 18 years old.
  • Myopic from -1.0D up to -10.0D.
  • Hyperopic from +1.0D up to +4.0D.
  • Astigmatic from +2.5D up to -4.0D.
  • Have not had significant change in refraction for one year prior to the procedure date
  • Your eyes no longer tolerate wearing contact lenses.
  • You want to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses.

* This list is intended to serve only as guidance and is not a substitute for a professional eye examination.

Contraindications

If you have any of the following conditions, then laser treatment might not be the best option for you.

  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Wound recovery problems, keloid susceptibility
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Cataract/Glaucoma
  • Pregnancy planned within six months
  • Nursing mothers
  • Keratoconus (irregular shaped cornea)
  • Previous herpes infection in the eye
  • Severe dry eye syndrome

Our team of eye experts is available to discuss suitable alternatives offered at our clinic.

Before the Operation

At the pre-laser assessment, you will be asked about:

  • General health and fitness
  • Medical problems
  • Chronic conditions
  • Ocular problems
  • Diabetes
  • Your current medication
  • If you are pregnant
  • Allergies
  • Smoking

A major step towards the road to surgery is the detailed, comprehensive eligibility test. Our team of experts will determine the diopters to be treated and consider whether you are a suitable candidate or not, and if so, will indicate which treatment modalities best suit your requirements in order to achieve the best possible outcome which is that of perfect vision without glasses or contact lenses. 

The test consists of various diagnostic examinations and is completely painless.

Important notes before the test

  • Do not wear your contact lenses before the test (soft lenses for 7 days minimum, hard lenses for 1 month).
  • Do not put on any make-up.
  • Remember that if you have a previous ophthalmological evidence or a prescription for glasses, bring them to the test.
  • The whole examination takes about 1.5 hours.
  • To ascertain the refraction and examine the fundus correctly, dilating eye drops are instilled, resulting in a slightly blurred vision after the test, so please avoid driving immediately following the examination.
  • Bring with you any medication that you are taking.

On the Day of the Operation

You can continue to take most prescribed medication as normal, including up to and on the day of your operation. If you are taking blood thinning agents, please inform your surgeon. If you have a cough or heavy cold on the day of the surgery, your operation might need to be postponed.

  • Please bring any medication you are taking with you to the clinic on the day of your operation so that the surgeon and nurses can check them out.
  • Do not wear any make-up.
  • Do not wear any perfume.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Bring a long sleeved cardigan.

In the clinic

You will be seen by your eye surgeon. Your eye surgeon will check and mark the eye that is being operated on and discuss the operation with you. You will be asked to sign a consent form and your forehead may be marked on the side of the eye to be operated on.

What happens next?

You may be asked to put on a hospital disposable gown. You will keep your own clothes on and you should wear comfortable clothing that is loose around the neck

Depending on the type of operation you are having the nurses may give you some eye drops. It is sensible to use the toilet before you go to the laser suite, so that you can lie still comfortably

The recovery area nurse will accompany you to the laser suite.

  • Safety Checks – Nurses will ask you some questions to check who you are, and what operation you are having. They will check again with you which eye is being operated on and check your consent form.  This is done to be in line with the latest guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, namely the Safe Surgery Checklist.

Can I have something to calm me down?

Our doctors and nurses are very used to helping people relax. Sedatives can sometimes make you very sleepy and slow your breathing during the operation. Please discuss your wishes with your eye surgeon.

What happens in the laser suite?

You will be made comfortable on the operating table and the nurse will then instil more eye drops which numb the eye. Your eye will be cleansed by a betadine solution to ensure there are no harmful microorganisms on the surrounding skin. You will not be allowed to touch your eye area after this.

The Operation

The nurse will check that you are lying comfortably on the laser swivel table and that your head is supported. You will then be swiveled underneath the Femtosecond laser, in case of FemtoLasik or SMILE and you will feel some pressure from the device. The femtosecond laser takes only a few seconds to create a flap or a lenticule cut for SMILE.

You will be swiveled back underneath the Excimer Laser, where the shaping of the cornea will occur in case of FemtoLASIK, Presbyond Laser Blended Vision, or Surface ablation. You will hear the noise of the laser machine and smell burning

Can I speak during the operation?

It is best not to speak during the laser procedure, however if you want to say something, you will be asked to move your hand gently and the eye surgeon will stop operating so that you can speak.

Will I see anything?

You will usually be able to see bright lights and you may see some movements during the operation. This varies from person to person. You will not be able to see any detail.

What if I blink or move?

A small clip keeps your eyelids open so you do not need to worry about blinking. The laser has a tracking device that allows the laser to follow the movements of the eye with precision.

After the Operation

A nurse will escort you back to the recovery area. Your eye may be covered with a transparent eye shield until the following day to protect it and stop you from rubbing it whilst asleep. You will be discharged home after some time. Before you go, the recovery nurse will give you written instructions about recovering from your surgery, for example what activities to avoid. The nurse will tell you about any medication you need to take and will show you how to put the eye drops if you are unsure. You will be asked to come back to the clinic for further follow up appointments.

Will I be in pain?

You may feel some discomfort and pain after surface ablation when the anesthetic wears off and a mild painkiller such as paracetamol may be required. Our nurses and doctors will advise you on this before your discharge. For this reason, it is good if you can have someone to help you at home and stay with you for the first night following the surgery. In case of FemtoLASIK, SMILE and Presbyond, there will be no pain.

When can I drive?

You will need to ask your surgeon how long you should wait before driving, as it varies from person to person. However after Femto procedures visual recovery is very fast and you might be able to see well after 24 hours.

Do I need to take special care?

You will receive individual instructions about the care of your eye, but you should think about the following:

  • Avoid rubbing the eye. If you are a restless sleeper, wear an eye shield so you can’t rub your eye without knowing when asleep.
  • Contact us if you notice worsening of your symptoms, for example if your vision gets worse, if you develop new symptoms or if the eye becomes painful.
  • Avoid very heavy lifting, strenuous exercise and swimming until you get the all clear from your doctor.
  • Take care in windy weather in case you get something in your eye. Sunglasses can give some extra protection from dust and grit.

Where can I get more information?

If you want to ask any further questions about your surgery, please contact us via phone or email.

Safety during the Operation

Safety features are important and our machines are backed up by technical online support, system alerts and energy tests before procedures.

You will be asked questions about your health status during various stages that lead to your surgery day.

On surgery day, you will be asked to identify yourself many times, this goes in line with the latest World Health Organisation and Royal College of Ophthalmologists recommendation for safety in the operating theatre.

Ready to correct your vision?