8 March 2015 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates): Laser eye surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed. In the UK, it is estimated that 15,000 people undergo laser eye surgery every year. It is quick, effective and life-changing for people who are able to stop wearing glasses and contact lenses, after surgery. In fact, it is now so safe, accessible and affordable that patients may not be aware of the need to understand the type of surgery and the options, the experience of the doctor performing the procedure, the expected quality of the results, and any possible side effects.
In the UAE, prospective candidates for laser surgery need to be better informed, if they are to get the best possible results, according to Doctor Mark Wilkins, Consultant Corneal Surgeon and Corneal Service Director, Moorfields Eye Hospital (London), who also leads the Corneal Service in Dubai.
How to choose the right laser corrective surgery
Patients plan to have refractive eye surgery only once in their lives and so they should make sure that they are getting the right treatment to get as close as possible to the desired result.
Alllaser vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. There are two main types of surgery – LASIK and LASEK/PRK. Prospective patients need to be clear on what procedure would best suit their needs, give them the desired outcome and improved vision. They need to be sure that they are working with the right procedure, and the best technology in expert hands, before committing. Every patient should beassessed thoroughly with a comprehensive eye examination and a review of medical history to ensure they are appropriate candidates for the surgery.
“Laser eye correction is safe and complications are rare, as long as you are in expert hands,” says Doctor Mark Wilkins, Consultant Corneal Surgeon and Corneal Service Director, Moorfields Eye Hospital (London). “All laser surgeons should be trained, qualified and experienced in the selected procedure.
“Doctors must ensure that they help patients fully understand what improvements they can expect in their vision and whether they may still need to use reading glasses, for example. It is essential to agree the optimum outcome for the patient, based on age, vision, and lifestyle requirements (such as sports, working environment, need to read, or driving at night). The resulting vision for the patient should be an improvement on pre-treatment eyesight with glasses or contact lenses.”
The patient perspective
Asma, a 23 year-old journalist in Dubai who underwent laser surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, says: “I have been wanting to have corrective surgery since I was 16 but I was waiting for the right time. I did my own extensive research and looked at differentoptions. Moorfields recommended the PRK procedure because my cornea was notthick enough for a LASIK operation. I knew that it was a new type of operation and I read about the side effects and the results on the internet. The consultation process was very important because the doctor explained everything I needed to know to make a decision and was very open about the possible side effects and recovery process. I would recommend anyone who is tired of wearing glasses to consider corrective surgery. It changed my life.”
Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai uses the most advanced technology for laser refractive surgery for vision correction, providing improved performance for patients in terms of speed, precision, safety and comfort, and often allowing faster visual recovery. Moorfields is among the first private hospitals in the Middle East to invest in the Schwind Amaris 750S – the leading technology for laser treatment.
Dr Wilkins concludes: “Corrective eye surgery is a science and an art – the results are literally in the eye of the beholder. In order for patients to avoid problems and get the results they are expecting they should have a very clear understanding of the procedure and what outcomes to expect through discussions with a doctor experienced in the procedure.”
Moorfields is currently offering patients (minimum age 21) a free initial assessment and savings of up to AED3,000 on vision correction surgery – subject to terms, and the treatment administered – until 31st March 2015.