[Skip to content]

Private Healthcare UK
Search our Site

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.


How does laser eye surgery work?

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


Any operation that corrects the focusing of the eye is called refractive surgery. Laser eye surgery is simply a form of refractive surgery that uses a beam of ultraviolet light to reshape your cornea – the transparent, curved window at the front of the eye. Adjusting the curve of your cornea allows light to be focused correctly on the retina at the back.


Refractive surgery is the world’s most common elective surgical procedure. The most popular method is LASIK, which is carried out on more than 95% of patients. The surgeon uses either a femtosecond laser or a mechanical device called a microkeratome to create a very thin corneal flap, about a tenth of a millimetre thick. They lift this corneal flap back on a hinge and the laser sculpts the bed of the cornea. It can flatten the cornea to correct short-sightedness, make it steeper for long-sightedness, and create better symmetry to correct astigmatism. When the surgeon puts the corneal flap back, it takes on this new shape.


With LASIK, the healing process is surprisingly short. In the vast majority of patients, the skin of the cornea (the epithelium) automatically seals the corneal flap within hours of surgery, so no stitches

are needed. Most patients feel little or no discomfort as their eyes heal. People notice significant vision improvement immediately – the ‘wow’ effect. The rapid visual recovery time means most patients can

return to work the next day.


Lasers are also used to correct vision without the creation of a flap. These surface procedures

(known as PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) or LASEK (laser sub-epithelial keratomileusis) or Epi-LASIK (epithelial laser in-situ keratomileusis)) are performed starting from the surface of the cornea once the epithelium (surface skin) of the cornea has been removed to expose the area to be treated.


To the patient, the main difference between LASIK and surface procedures (PRK, LASEK, Epi-LASIK) is the healing time. After a surface procedure, a patient’s eyes will heal and vision will stabilise in approximately 5-7 days.

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.