Laser Eye Surgery Myths: Debunked

With the internet and the media producing an abundance of information on the subject, it is no surprise there is much confusion surrounding Laser Eye Surgery.

Since its inception in 1987, Laser Eye Surgery has now become the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the world, with over 35 million patients treated. With such widespread adoption comes the occasional unfounded story, or more appropriately named ‘myth’. As one of the world’s leading Laser Eye Surgery clinics, we at London Vision Clinic have taken it upon ourselves to dispel some of these myths for good.

In-Surgery Myths

With help from our very own Professor Reinstein, we quickly dispel four common myths concerning the period which our patients feel the most anxiety about: the procedure.

The laser is hot. No: the laser process is cold.

You can smell your eye burning. No: The smell is pure carbon atoms generated by the laser.

Laser Eye Surgery hurts. No: you barely feel a thing–there is NO pain.

Laser Eye Surgery cannot correct high glasses prescriptions. Current day technology allows for the correction of all common refractive errors including long and short-sightedness, along with astigmatism, and now, the need for reading glasses (presbyopia).

London Vision Clinic was home to the UK’s first Artemis Insight 100, the world’s most accurate corneal scanner. We’ve been using the Artemis Insight 100 to successfully treat patients with very high prescriptions for many years.

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Post-Op Myths

The results aren’t permanent. The changes made during the procedure are permanent. However, due to our natural ageing process, over time your vision may deteriorate slightly. These minor shifts generally occur from the age of 50, and are on average half a dioptre every decade. They are to expected in a healthy human but, if they are a concern for you, can even be corrected with follow-up surgery.

You can go blind from Laser Eye Surgery. Essentially, no. Technically there is an exceedingly small risk of blindness with laser eye surgery but it is lower than the risk of wearing monthly contact lenses for one year, so a risk that everyone seems to accept as perfectly reasonable. The fact is Laser Eye Surgery is an increasingly safe procedure. And with greater advancements in technology, such as the introduction of LASIK and ReLEx SMILE surgery, the fear of going blind is a thing of the past.

Long-term side-effects and complications of Laser Eye Surgery are unknown. With nearly 30 years of regular use in practice by experts all over the world, a significant body of knowledge has accumulated and no long-term side effects have ever been reported. Side-effects that do occur are generally mild at worst, appear shortly after surgery, and are resolved quickly. Significant complications are rare.

If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, or need some more help separating fact from fiction, give us a call on 020 7224 1005, or leave us a comment below.

Laser Eye Surgery Myths: Debunked

  1. james 01/03/2016 at 06:21

    is it real that loong-term side-effects are not unknown? then, how about cornea? after the procedure, its power or elasticity won’t hurt? i mean caused by reducing cells, reshaping the cornea.
    plus, I heard that follow-up is limited 20yrs, then we dont have to wait more years like 30,40,50 for sure? let me know about it doctor.

    • Bethany Kingsley 13/03/2016 at 17:43

      Hi James,

      Long term side effects are known within the laser eye surgery. The long term results are out and they are looking good. With the many procedures offered these days the corneal strength can be minimally affected, e.g with the ReLEx SMILE procedure.
      I am not sure where you got the information regarding follow ups need to be 20 years? Could you clarify what you mean. Please call the clinic on 0207 224 1005 of you would like more information or conversely email us on

      London Vision Clinic

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