At the Binetter Eye Centre our aim is to help you make an informed decision about laser vision surgery and your eyes. Our objective is to ensure that you know as much about the procedure as possible.
Our surgeon is very careful in deciding which potential patients are good candidates for laser vision correction and he will discuss with you your expectations from the procedure.
Our surgeon and staff have changed the lives of thousands of patients since introducing the LASIK procedure.
You may be a perfect candidate for LASIK. However, you also may be one of the ten percent of our potential patients who is not suitable.
Serious complications are possible with any surgery, with any procedure, including Lasik. But Lasik is very safe. I have never had a patient in my entire career lose their vision from Lasik. In fact, there’s good evidence that Lasik is safer than wearing contact lenses, in terms of the risk of blindness or serious infection. With contact lenses, every day you put them in, you’re putting germs in your eyes, whereas with Lasik you don’t have to take that risk anymore.
The effects of Lasik are permanent. What can change, though, are your eyes. There can be a slight shift in your vision. If that happens, we can always fine-tune the vision to get you back to that crisp vision you had right after Lasik. You can develop cataracts with age, and that may change your vision. Obviously, cataract surgery would be the best option. Or there can be a change in vision from ageing of the lens before it becomes hazy. We call this the dysfunctional lens syndrome. The lens just doesn’t work as well as it did when you were younger, and this can alter your vision. If the change in vision is due to the dysfunctioning lens, then we can offer advanced lens implants to correct your vision. All in all, patients who have had Lasik can count on excellent long-term vision.
Lasik is painless. The eye is numb for the procedure, but you may feel some pressure when the flap is being created. The procedure is quick, taking perhaps 10 minutes for each eye. And typically right after the procedure, you can look up and see the clock on the wall and tell the time. That’s exciting for most people.
The most common side effects of Lasik are three things. First, I may make your vision good, but not quite perfect. Now that’s still good but it can be a disappointment. In that case, we usually recommend what we call a re-treatment, which means another laser procedure about three to six months later, to just refine the vision and make it right.
The second possible side effect of Lasik is relatively common, is you may notice glare around lights at night. That means if you look at a headlight or streetlight, you will see a little glow of light around it. That can be an annoyance while you’re driving but for most people, it’s really a non-issue.
The third most common side effect of Lasik is you may notice that your eyes feel drier after the surgery. That typically goes away in about six months or less but not always. If it persists, it can be treated with eye drops and some other treatments.
For most people after Lasik, it is so much more comfortable than their contact lenses that a little bit of dryness is not a bother.
Vision after Lasik is usually amazing. Most people see incredibly clearly. Many, more clearly than they ever saw with glasses or contacts but not everyone. We don’t always get everyone to perfect vision on the first procedure. If we don’t get you perfect vision on the first procedure, we can do what we call an enhancement, that means coming back later and lifting the flap we made before and doing a little more laser treatment then putting it back down. It’s a very straightforward procedure, a small adjustment. For those few people that aren’t quite good enough, it lets us get them to great vision.
After Lasik, we ask you to keep your eyes closed for about four hours. That’s when most of the healing of the flap occurs. After four hours you’ll probably see quite well but not yet crisp. The next morning when you wake up, usually that’s when it’s really impressive. You’ll be able to go back to work the first day and drive.
Most of our patients achieve 20/20 vision or even better than 20/20. However if the patient has a complex prescription, the use of corrective lenses will be dramatically reduced. Mild reading glasses may still be required for reading, night driving or working at a computer.
Leading LASIK surgeons around the world now regard LASIK as a permanent correction to the cornea. 25 years of investigative trials have demonstrated that vision remains stable after LASIK. However, over the age of 45, all people will start to have difficulty with close up vision due to the natural ageing process which occurs in the lens of the eye. This usually results in the need for reading glasses. Occasionally some people may experience very late regression years after the procedure.
• Eye drops will also need to be purchased on the day of the procedure at a cost of $50
You are unable to claim the costs from most private health funds or Medicare. However some Healthfunds such as Medibank, Bupa & Defence Health have ultimate cover, We recommend you check with your Healthfund to see if you qualify. You may also be able to claim some of the costs back through personal income tax. You would need to discuss this with your accountant.
The laser treatment itself is painless. There are no needles. Instead, anaesthetic eye drops are used to numb the surface of the eye both before and during surgery. Some people may feel discomfort from the lid speculum used to keep the eyelids open. Sometimes, prior to the laser re-shaping of your cornea, a moderate feeling of pressure may cause brief discomfort. After the procedure your eyes may feel gritty or irritable for several hours. This usually resolves with sleep. 1% to 2% of patients require a mild analgesic such as Panadol to relieve more prolonged discomfort.
LASIK surgery requires approximately 20-30 minutes for both eyes to be treated, although the actual laser re-shaping of your cornea often takes less than 20 seconds depending on your prescription. You will be at the clinic for about 2-3 hours in total.
Most people can return to work the next day as 90% of visual recovery will occur within the first 24 hours. Minor fluctuations in vision can persist for several weeks.
Most patients are able to drive the following day.
There are risks with having laser vision correction. The chances of having a complication is about 1-2% and usually minor, such as having dry eyes and needing to use lubricating drops. The risk of a potentially serious risk such as getting an infection are approx 1:10,000
Presbyopia is a natural ageing process which affects the lens of the eye in everyone in the mid 40’s – 50’s. This results in most people in this age group requiring reading glasses. It’s possible that some people might need to wear a small prescription for certain activities after the surgery.
Yes, laser surgery may help you. Monovision is an alternative to reading glasses.
Your surgeon will discuss this with you during your consultation, but the vast majority of patients can have both eyes treated on the same day.
Results vary from patient to patient. Most patients have functional vision the next day. Full visual results are realised for most within 4-6 weeks. While SmartSurface achieves the same results as LASIK, the process is longer, therefore the visual recovery can be longer, vision is often not stabilised for up to 6 weeks
We do not perform laser eye surgery on women who are pregnant as vision is often not stable during pregnancy and the medications used during laser eye surgery may cross the placenta.