Laser Eye Surgery As An Option, Presented By ITV’s This Morning Show

This video was aired before Philip Schofield himself chose to have surgery at the London Vision Clinic

Philip Schofield: Well, here’s a little bit of a leap.  We’re going from sex now to eye sight!  In the UK nearly 70% of the population either wear glasses or contact lenses and for many Laser Eye Surgery can seem an appealing option, but for others the thought of an operation on the eyes is just too much.

Fern Britton: Well in just a minute, we’re going to be joined by Francis Lawrence.  She opted for a new type of Laser Eye Surgery which is done in just 15 minutes.

Philip Schofield: First, though, let’s take a look at how she got on when she went for surgery back in March.

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Fran Lawrence On The Day Of Her Laser Eye Surgery At London Vision Clinic

“My name is Fran Lawrence.  I’m up here today to have Laser Eye Surgery. I’m short sighted and long sighted and I now wear bifocals. The quality of my vision is deteriorating a lot at the moment.  I can’t see a thing when I try to read a book or a newspaper.  I’ve decided to have Laser Eye Surgery because I want to take myself back to my life before I had to start to wear glasses.  I’m feeling very nervous about the operation and very excited and I can’t wait to get it done and see what life feels like after it’s been completed.”

Before The Operation Fran’s Surgeon, Dr Reinstein, Gives Her A Quick Reading Test.

Fran: Wren – that’s a shadow of a bird as white.

Dan Reinstein: OK, how about this up here?

Fran: No chance.

Fran has opted for a form of Laser Eye Surgery called blended Lasik surgery which corrects not only distance vision but also near vision.  The operation lasts about 15 minutes and Fran finds that already she is able to read a smaller font than in the reading test.

After The Operation Fran’s Surgeon, Dr Reinstein, Gives Her Another Quick Reading Test.

Dan Reinstein: Try that.

Fran: How lucky these banks are now.  The tall reeds have gone…

Dan Reinstein: By tomorrow you will reading all the way up to here.

Fran: I can’t believe that, that’s amazing.

“Well, I’ve just come out of the operating theatre.  It didn’t hurt at all, it was very straight forward.  I noticed a huge difference when I was reading the card.  That was really so dramatic just five minutes after the procedure had finished.  At the moment my eyes are still quite blurred, which apparently is going to last the rest of the day.  So, I think the real difference will be tomorrow.  I am going to get my glasses and put them all in the dustbin.”

Francis And Professor Dan Reinstein Reflect On The Laser Eye Procedure On ITV

Fern Britton: And Francis joins us now along with Professor Dan Reinstein.  Francis, how long ago was that operation.

Fran: That was done at the beginning of March.

Fern Britton: The beginning of March and…

Fran: Fantastic!

Fern Britton: You came round…you were not knocked out, but when you sat up you read that bit of script, you could read a better font and from then on how did it improve?

Fran: It just got better and better over the weeks.  It took a week of putting antibiotics into my eyes

Fern Britton: Drops?

Fran: Drops.  And it has just got gradually better.

Fern Britton: Any discomfort?

Fran: None at all.  No.

Philip Schofield: And what about your sight then, what can you see that you couldn’t see before?

Fran: Well, I can read everything.  I could not read a thing before.

Philip Schofield: So moving from distance…so if you’re looking up and then moving down straight away?

Fran: Straight away.

Philip Schofield: No adjusting?

Fran: No adjusting.  No, straight away.  It’s like my eye sight was 25 years ago.

Fern Britton: And this long sight/short sight, that was what you were developing as well, which is what I’m developing with age.

Fran: Exactly.

Fern Britton: So the newspaper is going like that because you can’t read it, but then you look at the car, the instruments and you can’t see those either.

Fran: That’s it, that’s exactly it.

Fern Britton: Well, we all fall into that category.

Read more patient reviews on London Vision Clinic website.

Dan Reinstein Discusses Laser Eye Surgery And Its Impact Long Term

Philip Schofield: So is this long term Dan then.  I have put off having Laser Eye Surgery for a very long time.  I’m short sighted, I wear contact lenses, I wear glasses, then I find out I’m wearing two pairs of glasses because when I’m looking down, if I’m reading in low light, I’ve got glasses everywhere.  I wear sunglasses with prescription lenses, sunglasses without, they’re everywhere, but I still put it off because I’m worried it’s not going to last.

Dan Reinstein: No, no, the surgery is permanent.  What we do is a permanent change to the eye.  What may happen over time, and we’re talking decades, is that there could be slight shifts in the prescription, but the thing is it could be super easy to go and adjust that.  Just like you might have a pair of glasses from ten years ago where you don’t see quite so well through, but you can still see through them.

Philip Schofield: So you would eventually…the chances are you would have to go back and have your eyes operated on again?

Dan Reinstein: No.  Like I’m saying.  Say, for example, someone like me.  I’ve never worn glasses, OK.  And my vision is not exactly the same as it was 20 years ago, but I’m still not wearing glasses.  So, what I’m saying is the effect that we produce with the laser is permanent.  What might shift is your eye slightly, but again it’s so easy to go and adjust it and the risk is very, very narrow.

Fern Britton: What about the scar tissue because any operation is going to produce a bit of scar tissue isn’t it.  So, if you went back even if it was 20 years, 30 later, you are creating a bit more scar tissue.

Dan Reinstein Talks About The Laser Technology Involved In Laser Eye Surgery

Dan Reinstein: This is the wonderful thing about the cornea, the transparent window at the front of the eye, it doesn’t scar with this laser and that was the big step that was made almost 30 years ago, literally it was discovered that this laser which was used for etching computer chips by IBM actually could be used on corneal tissue.  It removes tissue so you can sculpt the cornea, but the tissue didn’t scar and that was the magical moment which was then tagged onto a procedure called Keratomileusis which was started in the fifties where they were reshaping the eye but on a lathe, basically manually, and they put the laser together with the Keratomileusis procedure and they produced this procedure called Lasik, with a K, which is basically the Laser Eye Surgery of which there have now been 30 million done around the world.

Philip Schofield: And this is blended now, so that’s short sighted and long sighted.  This is the new development which has won you the optometrist’s Oscar, the peers in your field have voted you number one.  Is there a downside?  Are there risks?  Does it work for everyone?

Dan Reinstein: It’s like with any surgery, it is surgery.  So there are potential downsides, but the point is that these are minimised by proper training, accreditation and equipment and proper follow up after surgery and obviously excluding the right people before.

How London Vision Clinic Are Unique

Philip Schofield: So, if you’re going to have it done, you’ve got to make sure you go to someone who is…obviously no one is allowed to do this and not be trained in the equipment that they’re using I would assume.

Dan Reinstein: Well that’s the thing.  There’s a range of amount of training that someone might do and then get started with this and that varies a lot.  So, for people watching that is one of the things…you want to do your research carefully when you’re choosing a surgeon to have Laser Eye Surgery.  But you mentioned that the difference between what has come, you know, the 30 million that have been done which is basically to correct distance vision.  The difference now is that we’ve developed a way, and this is ten years in the making and we finished five years ago, in working out a way of correcting both distance and near simultaneously, and that is a massive breakthrough because it is a big problem, it affects 100% of humans.  There isn’t a person who escapes it.  If you never worse glasses before, you will start needing reading glasses to see how much salt you’re putting on your food and if you do wear glasses, you will start to need to either take them off or put bifocals on or varifocals or contact lenses – as you said one pair of glasses in every room of the house.

Philip Schofield: We will put all the details on our website, I mean it sounds extraordinary

Possible Risks Of Laser Eye Surgery

Fern Britton: We just have to legally say, and you will understand this, that patient’s eye’s can feel very dry and uncomfortable for the first couple of days.  For some patient’s the dryness can last for months.  In very rare cases, if the patient’s eye condition is incorrectly diagnosed, which is why you are saying do your research, the patient might develop permanent debilitating visual symptoms such as glare, halos or double vision after the operation and the effects of this surgery could wear off over time, so patients could possibly have to have surgery again or acquire the use of glasses or contacts five to ten years down the line.  We have to say that because that is the legal requirement.

Dan Reinstein: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Fern Britton: No.  Well, Dr Dan, that’s very interesting and if you want to find out anymore information on Laser Eye Surgery of this particular type, you can go and have a look at our website at itv.com/thismorning.  Thank you all very much indeed.

Philip Schofield: He’s nearly got me, maybe one step closer.

Dan Reinstein: Can we do it on this show?

Philip Schofield: Do it on this show!

Philip Schofield: That’s a challenge.

Dr. Chris Steele: Philip, I would be after you as well.

Philip Schofield: Really!  We’ll see.

London Vision Clinic Featured On ITV’s This Morning Show

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