Page 32 - The UK Guide to Laser Eye Surgery
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32 Safety considerations of laser eye surgery
 How is safety measured?
Measures of safety take into account
any risk of ‘compromise’ to your vision. Visual compromise is defined as blurring, doubling or other distortion that cannot be corrected by glasses to achieve the same level of vision you had before surgery with glasses (your CDVA). This is different from a situation in which vision is improved after surgery but there is some blurring, which can be corrected with glasses. In
this case the vision is not compromised,
it is simply not fully focused (and can be corrected by glasses or, more usually, by a simple enhancement procedure).
In terms of measuring the extent of visual compromise, the standard method is to measure blurring by the number of lines on the eye chart that the patient is no longer able to read. For example, if before surgery you were able to see the 20/16 line with glasses, and after surgery your vision - even with glasses - is 20/25, this would be classified as a loss of two lines of CDVA.
The 2006 NICE report looked at the results of studies published in medical journals and found that, on average, less than 1% of LASIK patients lost more than two lines of best corrected vision after laser eye surgery. However, for expert surgeons, the likelihood of an eye losing two lines of best corrected vision is even less. The level of risk varies slightly depending on your prescription, but on average the risk of
an eye losing two lines of best corrected vision is around 1 in 1,000. For those with higher prescriptions, the risk may be higher, and this will be indicated at your screening appointment if it applies to you.
The best way to ensure that your treatment is as safe as possible is to
have treatment with an expert surgeon, who chooses to operate with the best technology and insists upon very thorough testing before surgery and regular follow- up appointments after surgery.

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