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What are the risks of laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery London

If you are looking for a laser eye clinic in London, then the London Vision Clinic should be on your shortlist.


That may seem like a strong statement, but the London Vision Clinic emphasises that, in expert hands, laser eye surgery can be an extremely safe, life enhancing experience.


More than 100,000 laser eye surgery procedures will be done in the UK this year. Read the guide to Laser Eye Surgery to help make the right choice for your eyesight.

Contact London Vision Clinic

LASIK is generally considered to be safe, but – as with all surgical procedures – there are some

risks to consider. Fewer than 3 per cent of LASIK procedures result in any complications. The chance of having a serious complication is much less than 1 per cent generally and probably less than 0.3 per cent with an expert surgeon.


Less than one in 6,000 patients will develop free or loose caps. If the microkeratome device creates a free cap instead of a flap it is simply laid back in place after the laser has reshaped the bed of your cornea.


In about one in 1,000 cases, the flap is too short, thin, or uneven. If this occurs, the flap is put back in

place to heal. The surgeon will not use a laser on your eye but you can try surgery again in a few months.


Wrinkles in the flap (striations) occur in about one in every thousand patients. Striations can cause astigmatism. The most likely causes are either rubbing your eyes before they are fully healed, or the surgeon not lining up the flap properly when it is replaced. If the wrinkles are causing astigmatism, a second procedure can be done to lift and smooth out the flap. If they are not causing any problems they can be left untreated.


In about three in every 1,000 cases, patients develop astigmatism after surgery. Contact lenses can

usually correct this form of astigmatism (glasses will not). People who have very high prescriptions

have a higher risk of this complication. Astigmatism can happen even if the surgery is perfect, but

your risk is increased if you have an inexperienced surgeon or one who does not use the best equipment.


Most patients experience some temporary dryness after treatment. In certain people, the condition is long-lasting. Eye drops can provide relief. Up to 5 per cent of patients have persistent dry eye symptoms.


Glare and halos are probably the most common and most feared side-effect of laser eye surgery.

These are visual disturbances (see ‘Glossary’ for more information). In fact, most patients experience some level of glare and halos at first, but they generally go away over a period of a few weeks to a few months. Those who do have lasting effects usually only experience symptoms at night, and most say they are not debilitating.

Get a quote

Get a quote for laser eye treatment

If you are looking for a quote for laser eye surgery, or want more information about treatment in your local area, you can complete the Laser Eye Surgery Enquiry Form. Your enquiry will be forwarded to a maximum of three clinics or providers of laser eye treatment who partner with the Private Healthcare UK web site.