What is LASIK eye surgery?

LASIK is the most commonly performed type of laser eye surgery. The procedure involves reshaping the tissue beneath a corneal flap to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. The surgery takes between 10-15 minutes for both eyes to be treated, and is pain-free.

  • At Moorfields, you can choose from our world-renowned specialist consultant eye surgeons, who will deliver care throughout your treatment pathway. You will meet your surgeon during your initial consultation, which will take between 1-2 hours.

    During this time, your eyes will be scanned, tested and eye drops may be administered. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your suitability for the procedure, the potential risks and benefits with your surgeon.

    Following your consultation, your surgery will be booked in at a time that suits you.

  • Local anaesthetic drops will numb your eye completely before the procedure. Your surgeon will then use two different types of laser. The first one is a femtosecond laser which creates a thin protective layer in the cornea. It does this by tracing a 3D pattern of small gas bubbles through the corneal tissue. During this part of the procedure, patients may experience between 30-40 seconds of pressure on their eye.

    The surgeon will then lift back this hinged layer and use an excimer laser to reshape the tissue to correct the focus of the eye. The hinged layer is then smoothed back without the need for stitches. The procedure is complete within 10-15 minutes for both eyes and patients typically experience very little discomfort.

  • Following LASIK surgery, you may experience between 4-6 hours of discomfort. Your surgeon will advise you on aftercare and provide you with any take-home medication. You should rest your eyes, which includes limited screen use for the rest of the day. It is important not to rub your eyes. You will be provided with protective goggles to wear overnight for the first week to avoid rubbing them.

    If you are driving to your appointment, you will need to arrange someone else to drive you home. You will not be able to drive until your surgeon confirms your vision meets the legal driving standard in your post-operative consultation.

  • At Moorfields Private, we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality of care to our patients. This includes working with the finest surgeons in the country and using the most advanced refractive laser equipment for our laser eye surgery procedures. We renew this technology every three years to ensure the best accuracy.

    You’ll also be able to choose your own surgeon from our wide choice of consultants, who are working at the top of their profession. Your surgeon will supervise you at every stage of your treatment, delivering a service with complete continuity.

  • The majority of people will find they are suitable for LASIK eye surgery. You will be able to discuss your suitability for LASIK surgery with your specialist consultant surgeon during your first appointment. As a general guide, you should;

    • Be at least 21 years old
    • Have a stable prescription and healthy eyes
    • Be in general good health, and not suffering from conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts or a herpes infection in the eye
    • Not be pregnant or breastfeeding
    • Not be taking certain prescription drugs, such as oral Prednicolone and Accutane

    Your prescription should be;

    • Up to +3 to +4 if you are long-sighted
    • Up to -10 to -11 if you are short-sighted
    • Up to -6D if you have an astigmatism

    If you are not suitable for LASIK surgery, your surgeon will be able to advise you on alternative procedures.

  • LASIK has a high success rate and an excellent safety record. The majority of patients will experience no issues whatsoever.

    As with all surgical procedures though, there are some risks involved, but complications are very rare with laser eye surgery. Fewer than 1 in 5000 patients will require further treatment to replace damaged corneal tissue.

    The chance of experiencing complications increase if you have certain health conditions or eye characteristics, such as dry eyes, irregular corneas or a degenerative disorder. Your surgeon will examine your eyes and discuss your suitability during your initial consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery.

  • LASIK and LASEK both use excimer lasers to reshape part of the cornea to correct long-sightedness, short-sightedness and astigmatism. Both will achieve the same final vision result, but the recovery differs between these two procedures.

    The benefit of LASIK is the shorter healing time than a surface laser treatment like LASEK. This is because, during LASEK surgery, the surgeon needs to remove the surface layer at the front of the eye to reshape the tissue beneath. This is then replaced to allow it to regrow over a period of a week or so during which your vision gradually improves.

    Transepithelial PRK (TransPRK), a newer version of LASEK, is a ‘no-touch’ technique for surface laser treatments in which the laser light is applied directly to the surface of the eye without the need to remove the surface layer manually. Vision recovery after LASEK or TransPRK is slower compared with LASIK, and the first 24 hours can be painful.

    Most people are suitable for LASIK surgery but some may find they are not due to pre-existing conditions or unique characteristics of their eye. LASEK may be recommended for those with pre-existing medical conditions, thinner corneas, or higher prescriptions for short-sightedness. Your surgeon will discuss your options with you during your initial consultation.

  • If you’re considering getting LASIK surgery with Moorfields Private, you may find it to be more affordable than you think. As a guide, costs for both eyes will be around £4,300, including your consultant’s fees. Your initial consultation will be priced from £150 and the full cost of your onward treatment will be confirmed once you and your consultant have agreed on a personalised plan.

    You can find out more by visiting our dedicated laser eye surgery costs page.

We have temporarily postponed our usual New Patient appointments, however we are here to help you and if you would like further information regarding our services please call us.
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LASIK consultants

A picture of Mr Daniel Gore

Mr Daniel Gore

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Julian Stevens

Mr Julian Stevens

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Bruce Allan

Mr Bruce Allan

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor David Gartry

Professor David Gartry

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Mark Wilkins

Mr Mark Wilkins

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Romesh Angunawela

Mr Romesh Angunawela

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Linda Ficker

Miss Linda Ficker

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Vincenzo Maurino

Mr Vincenzo Maurino

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Ms Laura de Benito-Llopis

Ms Laura de Benito-Llopis

Consultant Ophthalmologist

A picture of Mr Martin Watson

Mr Martin Watson

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Alexander Ionides

Mr Alexander Ionides

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon


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Paying for treatment

Private Medical Insurance

If you are covered by private medical insurance, please verify the details with your insurer prior to arrival and if possible, obtain a pre-authorisation number.

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Self pay

You don’t have to be insured to come to Moorfields Private. Many of our patients pay for their own treatment.

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Third party sponsorship

​If a company, employer or other third party agrees to settle your account, they will be required to provide a letter of guarantee along with a deposit.

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