What’s the best outcome with laser surgery?
It wasn’t too long ago that doctors would only perform surgery as a last resort; a plan Z after all other options had been exhausted. The side effects not being some pain and fatigue, and maybe a lack of appetite, but infection, loss of limbs, and often death.
If you lived in the early 18th century, there was also the added horror of sitting under the knife without the modern miracle of anaesthesia.
A recently discovered medical journal from 1712 documents some of the gruesome details of fully-conscious surgery. On leg amputation, the instructions state: “Cut quick with a crooked knife before covering the stump with the remaining skin.”
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It even suggests the best times of the year to perform surgery: “Either Spring or Autumn… In the Spring, the blood is revived with greater heat whilst in the Autumn blood is calm.”
Thankfully, times have changed, and medicine has come a long, long way in the past century. It’s now possible to pop in for a quick surgical treatment one afternoon and be back at work the next day.
Since we learned how to manage pain and the spread of infection, severe complications have been significantly reduced and are rarely something patients or surgeons need to worry about. Therefore, for many years the focus has been directed toward driving improvements in screening, performance, safety, and comfort.
As a minimally-invasive surgery introduced at the end of the 19th century, Laser Eye Surgery has been doing this ever since it’s inception. So what started off as a relatively safe and effective procedure, is now one of the most successful elective procedures in the world.
What is your best outcome with Laser Eye Surgery?
Much like in the market of other products and services, the quality of Laser Eye Surgery varies greatly depending on where you go. This is due to the lack of regulations in the Laser Eye Surgery industry, and the fact that there is no requirement for the procedure to be performed by a surgeon or someone with specialist training. In other words, anyone who is a qualified doctor can practice Laser Eye Surgery.
It’s important to understand this as it means one clinic’s results may be very different from the next. Consider this with the difference in technology, standard of screening and safety tests, quality of surgeons, and individual prescriptions, and it’s pretty hard to say what your best outcome will be.
We can, however, provide a general idea based on published results for the most popular treatment: LASIK. For instance, today it’s clear the chances of seeing 20/20 after LASIK surgery is extremely high. Many clinics report results that show 95 percent of their LASIK patients achieve 20/20 vision.
Even though 20/20 is the minimum required standard to become a fighter pilot, some patients achieve an even higher visual acuity. Results from our clinic show that 97 percent of our short-sighted patients see 20/20 or better after surgery (which includes patients who see 20/16 or better, and patients who see 20/12.5 or better). 20/12.5 vision means you can see at 20 feet what a person with normal can only see at 12.5 feet.
Remember, each clinic’s results will vary according to your refractive error, their technology, and their surgeon’s expertise. But broadly speaking, if you have a common refractive error and are treated at a high-quality clinic by a high-quality surgeon, 20/16 or 20/12.5 is every bit within your reach.
If you’d like to find out what results you can expect from our clinic, ask us in the comments below or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005 and book a consultation.