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Laser Eye Surgery UK Everything You Need To Know

Updated on January 3, 2016

Laser Eye Surgery

About sixteen years ago I had laser surgery to correct my vision. I remember that at the time I had to wait until I was 21 before being able to have the surgery. I would like to know how things have changed since then. How has laser eye surgery progressed in all these years?

To answer my questions, I contacted Tim Harwood an optometrist and specialist in laser eye surgery, who kindly answered all my questions about laser eye surgery. Tim qualified as an Optometrist in 2002 with an honours degree at the University of Manchester and has since worked in the private sector in both the UK and Australia. Tim has also received training in laser corrective surgery and intra-ocular lens implantation due to high consumer interest in this growing field.

Human Eye

Human eye
Human eye | Source

Hello Tim, about 16 years ago, I had to wait until I was 21 before I could have corrective eye surgery. Has that changed?

What are the requirements nowadays for having laser eye surgery?

TH: Hi. The requirements for laser eye surgery have not changed dramatically over the past few years. The minimum age for surgery is 18 years old; although very few people at this age will actually have laser eye surgery. What is by far the most important criteria is that your eye prescription is stable. At 18 years old, most people’s eyes are changing and hence they are likely to be unsuitable. If however you are aged 18 and have had the same prescription for the past 2-3 years then in theory you would be suitable for laser eye surgery.

16 years after my corrective laser eye surgery I still enjoy very good vision. Should I expect to have a decline in my vision in the following years?

TH: Most people only have to have laser eye surgery once and if your vision hasn’t changed 16 years after surgery, it is unlikely to change now. As you reach your mid forties however, you are likely to need glasses for reading. This is the same regardless of whether you have had laser eye surgery or not. It is a fact of life! The laser re-treatment rate is about 8%. This means that out of 100 laser eye surgery procedures, 8 people will need to have a second treatment. Most of the clinics will do this re-treatment for free providing you are suitable.

How much can I expect to pay for laser eye surgery?

TH: This varies widely from one clinic to another. The average cost of laser eye surgery is probably about £1100 per eye. If you are having wavefront and/or Intralase this is likely to be higher.

Laser eye surgery in the uk

Where is the best place in the UK to go for laser eye surgery?

TH: This is difficult to say as a lot of it is dependent on the surgeon. Most of the clinics use similar levels of equipment and most have comparable laser eye surgery results. You should choose the clinic you feel most comfortable with. It is your eye sight after all!

Wavefront customized visual correction.

Wavefront Customized Visual Correction: The Quest for Super Vision II
Wavefront Customized Visual Correction: The Quest for Super Vision II

This book continues to be the standard reference for the most current information available on wavefront customized visual correction. Both the scientist and laser surgeon will find this text a useful addition to their library and a large step in the pursuit of super vision.


I have heard about Wavefront surgery, to improve the results of laser eye surgery. What is that?

TH: Wavefront is the most accurate form of laser eye surgery and can be used in conjunction with both Lasik and Lasek. A wavescan takes many precise measurements right across the surface of your cornea (this is the part of your eye that is lasered during surgery.) These measurements take into account all the tiny imperfections on the surface of your eye and this information is then used when the laser is applied. This therefore gives a more accurate result and means people having wavefront have a higher chance of achieving 20/20 vision. As well as this, people having wavefront will have better night vision following surgery compared with those having standard Lasik

Who is unsuitable for laser eye surgery and what are their options to correct their vision?

TH: There are many reasons why people may be unsuitable for laser eye surgery and there are too many to mention here. There are other surgical procedures that offer an alternative and the most common ones are implantable contact lenses and refractive lens exchange.

Tim Harwood Bsc (Hons) Founder and Managing Director of

If anyone has any more questions about laser eye surgery where can they contact you?

TH: I would be extremely happy to answer any more questions on laser eye surgery or any aspects of vision correction. I would be happy to answer these question either through this hub otherwise you can visit Treatmentsaver.

There is also a laser eye surgery forum where you can ask questions to both the general public and Treatmentsaver experts.


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    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      James: absolutely right!

      michael: I think it is worth it. I had it done and I would do it again as it was 100% successful.

    • michael ely profile image

      michael ely 7 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Princessa, This is something i have sometimes thought of getting done. A good informative Hub. Michael.

    • profile image

      James 7 years ago

      Laser eye surgery results should be the focus of your surgery. Don't skimp on the costs! Your eyes and vision are worth the extra money!

      Just a word for the wise!



    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      jayb23: thanks for taking the time to read it.

      Russell: Thanks for sharing your cataracat surgery experience. It is really amazing what doctors can do now in only a few minutes, a few minutes that have a big impact in your everyday quality of life

      vocalcoach: thanks for sharing eye laser surgery experience. Like you, I think that having eye laser surgery was one of the best things I've done for myself!

      Lilly: You are more than welcome. I am so happy with my laser eye surgery, that I just want to spread the word to anyone that might need it and feels hesitant to take the plunge.

      ftclick: Like Dr. Harwood says, that would happen anyway. Declining vision with age is natural for everyone, whether they had laser eye surgery or not.

      D. Virtual.Doctor: That is very good news, considering the success rates, the decrease in surgery risks and the recovery time.

    • D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 7 years ago from Europe

      thanks for the awareness. Laser eye surgery will soon become a mainstream in medical treatment procedures. Thanks for sharing..

    • ftclick profile image

      ftclick 7 years ago

      Yes, what about declining vision as you age, especially from heavy computer usage.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Thank you for this informative Hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I am a senior and had laser eye surgery to remove cataracts 4 yrs ago. It was very successful and I was able to put my glasses away (except for very small print). I just love it. Being a professional pianist, I always had to have a special rx for reading music and it just never worked well. Then I aneeded another pair for distance and yet another for up close. What a hassel. After eye surgery, it was liberating to not have to have 3 pairs of glasses with me all the time, not to mention sun glasses as well. Best thing I have ever done for myself.

    • Russell-D profile image

      Russell-D 7 years ago from Southern Ca.

      I just had cataracat surgery. In 20 minutes, they lifted out the old, poor seeing eye and dropped in a brand new lens that makes everyting clear. In photographer's terms, I went from what used to be a 20 mm to 220 mm and replaced it with a 30mm to 90mm lens that now makes the other eye -- which was the good eye -- less sharp. Glasses will adjust that shortly. . I recommend the surgery I had as an easy fix for those who need to the process. David Russell

    • jayb23 profile image

      jayb23 7 years ago from India

      Very informative hub.Thanks for sharing this hub princessa. I have bookmarked it