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Can I have laser eye surgery if I’m a diabetic?

Written by Professor David Gartry, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

3 June 2021
  • You’ll need to take into account your specific circumstances.
  • Careful examination of the lenses in your eyes for any evidence of cataracts is required.
  • The risk of infection, which is extremely rare in laser eye surgery, is very slightly greater in diabetics

Yes – but your laser eye surgeon will take into account the type of diabetes you have, how successful its management has been, and how long you have been diabetic. Particular attention will be paid to the stability of your spectacle prescription, as this can change with fluctuations in your blood sugar. In other words, poor diabetic control can affect the accuracy of your treatment.

Careful examination of the natural lenses in your eyes for any evidence of cataract, which can occur early in diabetics, and your retinas for any signs of damage to the blood vessels at ‘the back of the eye’, will be carried out. Skin layer healing can be slowed down in diabetes.

Any concerns about the healing of the specialised layer of skin at the front of the eye (corneal epithelium), might lead your surgeon to advise LASIK rather than a surface laser treatment like LASEK or TransPRK. This is because surface treatments are more reliant on healing than LASIK in which the corneal epithelium is kept intact using a thin protective flap.

The risk of infection, which is extremely rare in laser eye surgery, is very slightly greater in diabetics. This can usually be treated successfully with timely diagnosis and tailored antibiotics.

Moorfields Private Eye Hospital and Covid-19: Keeping our patients and staff safe

We know some patients are feeling anxious about coming in for their appointments at the moment, but we want to reassure you with the measures we have put in place to help protect you. Moorfields Private is in a unique position as Moorfields Eye Hospital has been open for emergencies and sight saving eye care throughout the entire covid-19 pandemic. This experience has given Moorfields Private a wealth of knowledge around how best to protect patients and staff in these challenging times, while continuing to deliver world-leading eye care.

Further information about our safety measures can be found here.

For further information about Moorfields Private Eye Hospital’s services contact our New Patient Team on:

Freephone: 0800 3283 421

Email: moorfieldsprivate.enquiries@nhs.net

Website: www.moorfields-private.co.uk

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