Did you know that over 25,000 refractive laser surgeries have been performed at the Mater Private since 1992?
We offer the most up to date bladeless LASIK and transepithelial PRK
Laser eye surgery has transformed the lives of over 30 million people worldwide. It is designed to give perfect vision in the place of spectacles and/or contact lens. Since it was first developed in the 1980's, laser technology has advanced significantly and laser eye surgery is now one of the most technologically advanced procedures performed. Laser eye surgery is now safer, more accurate and more predictable than ever before.
The key to safety is centred on the ability to screen for patients who should not have laser eye surgery, either due to corneal weakness or insufficient corneal thickness. The current generation of eye scanners which screen patients are some of the most sophisticated devices used in medicine and allow the structure of the cornea and optics of the eye to be evaluated in unprecedented detail. This information guides the surgeon to offer precise bespoke treatments.
Laser eye surgery is the treatment of choice in the US army, with over 100,000 military personal treated by the US military. Visual results are considered excellent.
Laser eye surgery has been performed at Mater Private Hospital for over 20 years ( www.materprivate.ie/eye-centre/eye-laser/laser-eye-surgery) and the latest laser technology is used by Mr. Guerin. Laser eye surgery has evolved beyond the quest for simple 20/20 vision. Your visual demands and requirements are different and depend on your job, the sports you love, your hobbies and your age. Your laser eye surgery will be bespoke and tailored to your individual demands to give you the laser vision correction that suits you.
If you wish to learn whether you are suitable for eye laser surgery, Mr Guerin will be happy to discuss the options that suit you best at an assessment at the Mater Eye Laser Suite.
What to do if you are interested in finding out more about laser eye surgery
Contact the Eye Laser Suite at the Mater Private Hospital. We will be happy to talk to you and tell you more.
If you then wish to see if you are suitable, make an appointment for an assessment with Mr Guerin. These start from 7 30 am so people can still go directly to work afterwards. This assessment will take approximately 1 hour and includes a full eye examination by Mr Guerin, including dilation of your pupil and scanning of your eye. Mr Guerin will advise you whether you are suitable for laser surgery or any alternatives. The proposed options will be discussed with you in detail.
The surgery can take place at any time in the following few weeks at your convenience and you will be followed up for 1 year afterwards without being charged for any of these visits.
Types of laser eye surgery to get rid of glasses/contact lenses
There are 2 main types of laser eye surgery to get rid of glasses/contact lenses; 1) LASIK and 2) LASEK/PRK
1) LASIK was first performed in 1992 and has become the commonest type of laser eye surgery performed worldwide. The success of LASIK is due to its excellent visual results, rapid visual recovery and minimal discomfort after surgery.
LASIK first involves making a very thin flap in the front of the cornea ( see diagram below). The flap is carefully lifted and excimer laser is then used to precisely reshape the underlying cornea to focus light precisely into the eye and the flap is then gently replaced.
When LASIK was first developed the flap was made using a special blade called a
microkeratome. Since 2003 however, another type of laser called a femtosecond laser
has been used to create the flap. The femtosecond laser allows the surgeon to very
accurately choose the exact position andthickness of the flap to within 1/1000 of a
millimetre. The risk of complications is also reducedwhen using a laser rather than a
blade. The femtosecond laser used by Mr Guerin is the newest generation of Ziemer
femtosecond laser (see right).
2) LASEK/PRK is another type of laser eye surgery performed and is suitable for shortsighted eyes with or without astigmatism. It does not involve cutting a flap in the cornea. Laser is applied to the cornea to remove the outer layer of cells and continues to reshapre the cornea. Recovery time is longer for surface laser treatments (LASEK and PRK) but they have safety advantages for patients with thinner corneas. For patients found to have a relatively thin cornea at their initial consultation, surface laser treatments such as PRK, or variations such as LASEK, are often the safest options.
In LASEK, an anti-scarring drug, mitomycin C, is often applied to the corneal surface to reduce haze (loss of corneal clarity) and regression (corneal shape changes during healing which can dilute the effect of treatment). A bandage contact lens is then applied to protect the operated area for a few days whilst the skin layer heals. Eye drops are used to minimize discomfort, but approximately 5-7 days, in which the eyes are relatively sore, light sensitive and watery is normal. Vision returns over the next few weeks whilst the new skin layer remodels. Although the recovery is slower after LASEK than after LASIK, final visual results are normally equally good.
Risks of surgery
Laser vision correction is a surgical procedure and like any type of surgery there is a small risk of complications. Some patients experience dryness of their eyes, reduced night vision, glare and infection after surgery. These symptoms are usually temporary. The risk of losing your sight due to laser eye surgery is very, very small. The risk of having a reduction of best corrected vision after LASIK is less than 1/1000, which is a low risk for a surgical procedure and no more than the cumulative risk of wearing contact lenses for a few years. Thorough pre-operative screening and examination of your eyes will reduce the risk of potential complications. You can also reduce these risks by choosing a consultant surgeon that is trained in corneal surgery and that has been appropriately trained to perform vision correction surgery, and who uses the most cutting edge technology. Your eye surgeon should discuss these risks with you and also alternatives to laser eye surgery at your initial consultation.
Certain patients may not be suitable for LASIK. If you practice full contact martial arts, boxing or are in the police or military, or have thin corneas you may be better suited to a surface laser eye surgery such as LASEK.
Do tell your doctor if you have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, keratoconus or are pregnant.
What options are available if you are unsuitable for laser eye surgery?
Some patients have levels of short sight (myopia) or long sight (hyperopia) that are beyond the range of safe correction by laser eye surgery. Paradoxically these are the people that are troubled the most by their glasses prescription and with wearing glasses or contact lenses. In others the thickness of their corneas may be insufficient to safely allow full correction of their glasses prescription. Safety should be your number one priority when considering any sort of surgery.
If you do have a higher prescription (approximately greater than +4.0 Dioptres of long sight or -8.0 dioptres of short sight) you should ask your surgeon what alternatives to laser eye surgery may be available. There are now a number of excellent alternatives to laser eye surgery including phakic intraocular lenses