Laser Eye Surgery

Who’s had it done? Any recommendations? I’m short-sighted, which I believe can be more straightforward. In fact my right eye had improved by 0.75 on my last eye test.

Oh, asking for a friend obvs.

My wife had it done about 5 years ago. Said it was the best thing she’s ever bought.

Mrs FP had a few years ago after wearing glasses or contacts all her life. Changed her world. IIRC, it was approx £3k and it was done here. They were great both pre and post op, very attentive follow up.


Think my wife paid a lot less than that but may have had some corporate discount. Had it carried out on Harley Street

Yeah that’s the sort of outlay I was envisaging (is that a pun?). I think I might be able to get a bit of discount through work, plus maybe some post COVID deals :crossed_fingers:

This could be life changing in more than one way for me, as it will potentially open some professional doors.

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Sounds good. Word of warning for us active types, you have be very still for a couple of days afterwards. Mrs FP basically lay on the bed for three days.

It seems like yours are @jorgan but you have to make sure your eyes are settled I believe. As in, they’re not still deteriorating, as you’ll just be in the same position in a few years, just 3k lighter.

My wife started to look at it, but her eyes seem to be dropping by 0.25-0.5 or so every year for years now.

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Had it 2012. If I remember could cycle couple days later, run after a week but no swimming for minimum two weeks. Eyes been perfect since and hopefully stay that way for a long time. I was 23 at the time with a -1.75 and -2.5 I think

My prescription has been pretty stable for about 20 years, and if anything has improved slightly. Wrists feel a bit weaker though.

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I had mine done in 2005 after 20 years of wearing contacts throughout active service (desert, jungle, arctic, high altitude etc and triathlon/ultras etc. I was about -6.0 each eye. I didn’t want the cut and shut (LASIK) as the advice was that the flap never regains full strength so there is some risk of damage if you do activities which may result in impact to the eyes e.g. contact sports, watersports. I had epi-lasek where they peel back the outer surface layer and then burn off the front of the cornea. I did not have any of the fancy (and expensive) extras they seem to offer such as surface-mapping etc. There are a lot of statistics available for eye types and correction results so go for a free consultation with several companies and then find out what the probabilities of successful outcome are based on your corneal thickness and prescription, and the surgeon and machine to be used. keep asking for more information and further consultations until you are happy. If they are just trying to get your money and book you in after a few minutes with an unqualified bimbo then probably best to steer clear. Your susceptibility to scarring/tissue healing ability is also known to be a factor in outcome so if you have kown healing issues then maybe not for you. I ended up with slightly better (1-2 lines lower on the eye chart) than 20/20 and this has not deteriorated much so far, although my long-sightedness has started to kick in at age 54 and a few hard face-plants/ramp impacts wakeboarding have caused the odd floater in the eyes, but I have had extensive check-ups and am told this is just age-related. I was offered asymmetric correction at the time of laser surgery, and a free trial for a few weeks using contact lenses to simulate the outcome, but I didn’t find the vision very satisfactory and opted just for regular correction. This asymmetric correction is where they correct each eye slightly differently either side of optimum, so as age-related long-sight develops one eye will be coming towards optimum as the other drifts away so you should have a longer period not requiring reading glasses than is otherwise likely.
The pain of Epi-lasek took me by surprise, and I have a high pain threshold, but it passed after about a week. I would advise to take as many painkillers as they prescribe if you go this route. It also took about 2 weeks before I could see straight enough to drive again, and about a month to settle to close to final outcome. Lasik has fairly instant and much less painful results as they cut a flap in the surface of the eye and burn off cells much deeper before replacing the flap.
I had worn extended-wear soft contacts for about 20 years prior to laser without much problem but long term wear does typically cause some issues such as a reduction in blood-vessels/oxygen to the surface of the eye and corneal thinning. It is hard for me to know if the very occasional feeling of dry eyes I get now is due to that, or normal to everyone, or specifically due to lasering. Night vision is a bit of an issue - laser correction only corrects the very centre of the lens, so as your iris opens up in low light, your vision is a little out of focus.
All said, if I had the option of going back and doing it again I would in an instant as the freedom from contacts has been great and with minimal vision problems. For anyone else I would say again it depends on your corneal thickness measurements, current prescription, and the ability of your consultant to demonstrate that the actual surgeon and machine performing the procedure can statistically demonstrate a high likelihood of success in your particular case. then balance that risk against how great is your need to be glasses/lens free and what possible options are available in the event of a poor initial outcome or any future problems. If your corneal thickness is lower than average then you do not have much left to work with in the future if there is a problem.
If it all goes well on the day then you go back once for a check and never need to see the surgeon again, as was my outcome. However, plan for the worst - getting it done far away from home because it is cheaper may not be great if you then need lots of followup. To a large part it is a numbers game, so the surgeon and machine which have performed a large volume of corrections is likely to be able to repeat results consistently.


Thanks Tony, really informative :+1:

I’ll avoid the cheap gag

How short sighted is your “friend” Jorgan?

My “friend” is about -1.0 in each eye which is just enough to survive without glasses 90% of the time, but just enough to be a PITA when you are walking down the street and don’t recognise someone on the other side, or are open water tri and can’t quite make out the buoy without stopping and screwing up your eyes.

“He” weighed it up but the occasional horror story put him off. Like a friend once said: “Looking into the sun through a telescope - a mistake you only make twice”. But people like tonystark, -6.0 , I can see how that would be game changing.

Much better than Tony’s were, but definitely not as good as 1.0. If they were 1.0 I doubt my friend would need to look at this option tbh. More puns. Could theoretically drive to the local shops without glasses, but Barnard Castle would probably not end well.

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@TonyStark has gone into detail so i won’t…

Similarly I had years of service and tri with soft lenses and then disposable which were a godsend…i have lost lenses all over the world. When stationed in Cyprus, i nearly sold everything to have surgery on Floks, but thankfully I didn’t as it didn’t work out for some and all (I believe) were kicked out soon after. My eyesight was a real limiter in the military (I had to cheat around the eye tests for my role several times) and losing a lens in tri made the race at best uncomfortable. (I nearly always packed spare lenses in transition).

I had lens replacement surgery about 3 years ago now. My eyes were -5.75/-6.5 and i had been waiting for 10 or so years for them to settle. it cost around £7.5k*, was no more than an inconvenience - two days in a shabby london hotel plus follow up appointments - not painful and with almost instant results. I too have better than 20:20 (2 lines) with just some tiredness and difficulty reading newsprint or smaller in poor light conditions.

I used to carry 3 pairs of glasses and multiple spare lenses everyday and do not miss that. i can also look at an athlete, then look at the data or image and back at an athlete without any faff and with quick refocus.

Night driving was a slight issue for a while - you get halos around lights, but i had the op done in the summer.

A game changer…

*Pay back in about 10 - 12 years…

Edited to add - i was waiting for the eyes to settle as i had been advised when i looked into lazer surgery years before…i could have had lens replacement at any time one the technology was there…

had this done in 2002 …both me and the wife with ‘eye clinic’ who are no longer about …she had an interest free deal and they ended up never taking the money :slight_smile:

best money we (half) spent … swimming, skiing, motorcycle helmets etc all made a world of difference

ONLY issue i had was reacting to the chemical preservatives in the eye drops they gave me which was really bad for a few days.

That’s interesting, so did it settle @explorerJC ? My wife has a stigmatism ( i think it’s called - rugby ball eyes) so hers are really bad in the dark as it is. Which is just great all winter driving over the back roads home from work! Just wondering if that would be a limiter for her, as she hates the faff of lenses etc as i’m sure everyone does. Hopefully hers are finally starting to settle, as that’s something i’d be really keen to work out financially.

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The thing about lens replacement was that the eyes didn’t have to settle first…I just had to wait for the technology and the spare money.

My eyes were never good in the dark anyway and are still not perfect for driving in the rain at night…but it did improve. That said, i hadn’t driven at night for 10 or so weeks until last week and I found it tough first time back out. i guess it will improve again with getting used to it…

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Note: my info is based on my research around 2005, and I haven’t bothered to look at it much since. I only paid about £1000 at the time with Optimax as epi-lasek used older much more established machines. All the marketing was pushing the newer machines and price for lasik at the time was typically £2.2k plus another £1.5k of selectable options.

Statistically, if you are between -0.5 and -2.5 then results are excellent. Anything more than that and the risk of less than perfect correction increases. Around -6.5 and higher then do some serious consideration on how you would feel if you only end up corrected to a point where you still need to wear glasses and contact lens wearability may be affected.

Never lost a single contact in 20 years of swimming etc. but did have a couple of instances where they took a bit of recovery from somewhere almost behind the eyeball.

One benefit of contacts (and glasses) is that many are UV blocking so good at high altitude and for skiing/watersports where you are unable/don’t want to wear shades at times.

I never lied/signed a declaration that my eyesight was below par, and it was accurately recorded in my med records, but I did get through all the pre-selection only to go through lots of shite and then be kicked off selection (Op Turkey*) at the milling phase when some not so eagle-eyed doctor noticed the ‘NOT FIT TO BOX’ written in large marker pen diagonally across a page which was a residual from another eagle-eyed doctor before my 3rd bout in Regimental champs early in my career (not sure why you had to be able to see to box and first 2 fights went just fine. Don’t seem to be any rules in full contact karate/kick boxing competition in Civvy Street).

  • Name (slightly) changed to protect the not-so-innocent :wink:
    ** Surprised they haven’t be sued yet as apart from physical requirements, pre-selection criteria also specified 'no blacks, asians, orientals etc, no Irish, no midgets or beanpoles, no gingers and quite a few other characteristics.

i took mine out for milling, obviously, but had to wear them for days at a time on OPs and patrols which i am sure was worse. i was caught out on R2I…