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I’m nervous – can I be sedated for laser eye surgery?

Written by Mr Daniel Gore, Director of Refractive Surgery

19 November 2021

During your consultation at Moorfields Private, your surgeon will discuss with you what happens.

You won’t feel any pain

Anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eyes so that no pain is felt during the procedure. Advances in laser technology mean that treatments are now very quick – the excimer laser that reshapes the cornea typically takes less than 15 seconds in LASIK and under a minute in TransPRK or LASEK.

During this time you’ll be asked to look at a flashing light above you. You won’t feel any pain, and your surgeon will talk you through the treatment, telling you what to expect at each stage.

Eye tracking ensures the laser is perfectly aligned

There is no burning – the laser is non-thermal, but the molecules blown off the eye surface during optical reshaping of the eye smell a bit like burning hair.
As well as the clip to help keep your eyelids open during the treatment, the laser tracks your eye movements to ensure the treatment is perfectly aligned. This means that you don’t need to worry about blinking or small eye movements. If you were to suddenly look away, sneeze or cough, the laser will automatically stop and the treatment resumed once your eyes are straight again.

A sedative can be taken if you’re really nervous

If you’re still really nervous at the thought of laser eye surgery, a sedative in the form of a tablet can be given to help you stay relaxed. This takes about 20 minutes to take effect and you can decide on the day if you wish to have this. If you have sedation for your treatment, we recommend someone accompanies you during your journey home.

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.

Further information

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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