Is the operation painful?
The operation takes only four or five minutes per eye and is carried out with anaesthetic eye drops that numb the eyes, eliminating the possibility of pain.
During the first four hours after the operation you might experience some discomfort – a slight soreness and sensitivity to light – but that will disappear on its own.
Are all lasers the same?
In ophthalmology, technology progresses very quickly and only those clinics that have the capacity to reinvest in new equipment are able to keep up to date. At Vista Laser, we use the MEL 80 Laser by Zeiss, to carry out customised treatments based on wavefront technology and topography. In addition, we have a femtosecond laser which allows us to carry out the whole procedure with lasers without the need to use scalpels or blades of any kind. These lasers have received approval from both the American FDA and the European Union.
What advantages does the All-laser LASIK procedure offer?
Because of its precision and safety, the surgical procedure that is most common for the correction of refractive defects is LASIK. This involves lifting a thin flap of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to apply the laser to the intermediate layer below. Traditionally, this flap was created using an instrument called a microkeratome which works by making the cut with a surgical blade. Nowadays, with the All-laser LASIK technique, also known as dual laser with femtosecond laser, this blade has been substituted by a laser which can create a flap without cutting. The precision of the laser in terms of the size, shape and thickness of the flap along with the fact that the risks associated with using a blade are eliminated, make this the best quality treatment which improves accuracy and safety as well as making recovery times shorter.
What is wavefront guided customised laser surgery?
Wavefront guided laser technology is the most important advance in the field of vision correction.
Glasses and contact lenses apply only one degree of correction over the whole eye. However, eyes are not completely uniform and if we divide the eye into 20 different areas it can be seen that the degree of correction necessary for each one differs slightly. With our Zeiss aberrometer we measure 1452 different points of the eye and adjust the treatment accordingly. The result is vision that is often better than that obtained by wearing glasses.
Can long-sightedness caused by ageing be operated on?
Long-sightedness caused by ageing or presbyopia is often mistakenly confused with hyperopia, but is a quite different condition. It consists of a loss of ability to focus clearly on things close to the eye, for example when reading. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 50. Patients who have their myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism operated on, but also have presbyopia will continue to need glasses for activities like reading if they opt for the standard laser treatment.
Currently, thanks to advances in techniques for the selective correction of ocular aberrations, it is now possible to reshape the curvature of the cornea to correct myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism at the same time as increasing the cornea’s asphericity to overcome the lack of focus in near vision which occurs as a result of presbyopia. This is achieved by increasing the eye’s depth of field.
This technique, which in a single operation can simultaneously correct both long and short distance vision, is known as PresbyLASIK and offers a further option in the field of laser surgery.
Will it take long to get back to my normal way of life after the operation?
One of the advantages of the LASIK technique using a femtosecond laser rather than a scalpel or blade is that you will regain your sight very quickly and can return to your normal way of life almost immediately.
It is important to rest during the first four hours after the operation because you will experience a gritty feeling in your eyes and light may bother you. Afterwards, patients recuperate quickly and in most cases they are able to return to work the day after the operation.
You will recover 100% of your vision within a few days and your sight will have stabilised completely after five months.
Will I have to take any special precautions with my eyes after the operation?
At Vista Laser we carry out a meticulous follow up after the operation and we will tell you exactly what you have to do. You will need to follow a course of medication for several days and take precautions like ensuring that you do not get water in your eyes. To avoid the danger of your eyes being hit, you will not be able to play contact sports for a while either.
What if I blink during the operation?
It is impossible to blink during the operation because we use an instrument to gently separate the eyelids which prevents you from closing your eyes even if you want to.
The surgeon will continually moisten your eyes with artificial tears so you will not experience any discomfort.
What if I move during the operation?
You should not move your eyes during the operation; this is why we ask patients to concentrate their sight on the laser’s green light. During the 30 seconds when the laser is being applied the position of the eye is monitored 250 times a second to ensure that it is in the correct position and the treatment is administered properly. Even the slightest movement is detected and the laser is adjusted accordingly within thousandths of a second.
If my sight is not completely corrected after the operation, is it possible to have a second operation to enhance my vision?
In some cases – less than 5% – there is still a slight residual refractive error that can be corrected in a second operation which is usually carried out three months later.
What risks are involved?
There are risks in refractive surgery with a laser, just as there are with any other operation. Your ophthalmologist will give you detailed information of any risks once your individual case has been examined. In any case, since the operation is not invasive (in other words we do not open or touch the inside of the eye) the risk of provoking serious visual problems is almost non-existent. Minor problems that may arise are usually treated with a course of medication.
Might I still need to wear glasses after the operation?
Once your doctor considers that you have completely recovered, the refractive error that has been eliminated by the laser will not return. The curvature of the cornea is modified by actually removing cells from its intermediate layer so this structural change is irreversible.
We also need to make sure that the patient’s visual problem is stable in order to ensure that post-operative alterations do not affect the results.
However, by making a contract for Vista Laser’s “Lifetime Guarantee” even if any refractive error reoccurs, we are obliged to correct it without any charge being made to the patient. See conditions.
What is Vista Laser’s Lifetime Guarantee?
This is a written contract freely entered into by both parties in which Vista Laser guarantees that patients who have undergone laser surgery to correct myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism are entitled to repeat the treatment without any further charge if a refractive error of at least 0.75 dioptres returns at any time in the future.
The full details of this offer are available at reception in our clinics.