Laser eye surgery (or laser vision correction) is a medical technique that precisely reshapes certain parts of the eye to correct focusing errors, such as:
The first modern laser eye surgeries were performed in the late 1980s. Since then, the field has broadened to include new techniques and equipment. Taken collectively, the various kinds of laser eye procedures are among the most common of all surgeries performed.
We offer a full range of laser vision treatments for people who don’t want to wear glasses or contact lenses. They include LASIK, and SmartSurfACE laser treatment, and even phakic lens implants, which is a tiny contact lens that is permanently implanted inside your eye.
We now have two lasers to do all-laser LASIK, the femtosecond and excimer laser. Before we had the femtosecond laser to create the first step of the laser procedure, the corneal flap, we used to do it with a blade. It was an automated blade called the microkeratome. So we had the expertise in terms of really being there at the beginning. We have experience clinically, after over 23,000 LASIK procedures. We have the best lasers that are highly technical and precise. The lasers we have now, we didn’t dream of when I started doing LASIK over 20 years ago.
There are several approaches to laser eye surgery. Your ophthalmologist will discuss with you which type of laser procedure that applies to your unique eyesight requirements.
All Laser LASIK – a method that uses two different lasers for creating the corneal flap as well as the reshaping.
Traditional LASIK – a technique that uses an automated microkeratome and the excimer laser for the procedure.
Smartsurface (Transepithelial PRK) – An all laser approach to laser eye surgery (SmartSurfACE™)
Lens or Implant surgery – an effective approach for those over 45, or for those with very high prescriptions or for some who have been previously advised they were unsuitable for Laser Eye Surgery.
When it comes to laser eye surgery, the question of cost is one of the first to come up; and understandably so.
Laser eye surgery costs can vary greatly within Australia. There is so much differing information out there, and it can be hard to get your head around. There can even be a substantial price variance between each eye.
To put it simply, the cost of your surgery will all depend on the surgeon and the type of surgery that you are opting for. At the Binetter Eye Centre, laser eye surgery prices start from $1,500 per eye.
There are many private health insurers that will provide specific rebates and discounts for laser eye procedures, or components of the procedures. Before booking in for surgery, check with your insurer to see what they will cover. The Binetter Eye Centre can also offer a 0% interest payment plan to GEM Visa credit card holders.
Laser eye surgery is a common procedure used to improve vision, but not everyone is a suitable candidate for the treatment.
Before laser eye surgery, it is important to speak to an experienced eye surgeon like Dr Ron Binetter. Dr Ron can help you choose the right kind of surgery for your needs, and explain what results you can realistically expect from the procedure. We wrote a complete guide about requirements for undertaking laser eye surgery which you can read here.
Most of our patients are suitable for laser eye surgery such as Lasik as long as their prescription is stable. If you fill in our online suitability test and provide us with personal details, these will be reviewed by Dr Ron Binetter himself and a reply will be provided within 24 hours.
We understand that you might be a little nervous on the day of your surgery. When you arrive at the Binetter Eye Centre, our friendly receptionists will greet you and you will be offered a mild oral sedative to help calm the nerves. Your surgeon will then do a final consult.
Then, a nurse will take you through to the theatre where you will be prepped for your procedure. Your surgeon will talk you through each step as it is being carried out.
The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, administered as eye drops. From beginning to end, the procedure takes approximately 10 minutes per eye to complete.
Once the surgery is complete, you will need to wait around for a period of time for your surgeon to perform a final check of your eye before you are free to go home, just make sure you have someone who can get you home safely.
There are really three steps. The first is the complete and thorough evaluation of the eye before we do anything. The second is using very experienced staff and very highly technical equipment to perform the treatment. Thirdly, there’s monitoring of the eye after treatment to be sure that everything goes exactly as we anticipate it should.
The wonderful thing about the Lasik procedure is the minimal downtime and the almost immediate results. When I see someone the day after Lasik, it’s almost always the same sentiment, the same impression they have and then there comes that morning when they wake up after the Lasik treatment. Their brain still thinks that they have trouble seeing. They open their eyes and they can see. And for a moment a second or two their brain is saying, “Wait a minute how come I can see? What happened to me?” And then suddenly they wake up enough and they say to themselves, ” Oh, yeah, I had Lasik yesterday.”
Almost every patient wants to know what laser eye surgery is like. What will I see? Will it hurt?
First, laser eye surgery has been around for more than 25 years and more than 45 million procedures have been performed since 1991. Laser eye surgery has an incredible safety and efficacy record, perhaps safer than wearing contact lenses.
Patient satisfaction rates are as high as 98 percent. Second, and many people don’t realise this, the special laser beam we use is cold not hot. No burning here. We also use a mild drop for an anaesthetic.
All of this means that what you will see during the procedure is a bright light and all you’ll feel is pressure on the eye itself. During recovery, you will likely experience eye discomfort and dryness, but, once again, actual pain is rare.
Sudden movements do not affect the procedure. The lasers we use are computer-controlled.
They scan your eye more than 1000 times per second to track and adjust to any movements. And, besides, your eyes are always making tiny movements, called microsaccades, that you cannot consciously control anyway.
Read the FAQs for more answers to common questions about laser surgery.
The effects of Lasik are permanent. What can change, though, are your eyes. There can be a slight shift in your vision. If that happens, we can always fine-tune the vision to get you back to that crisp vision you had right after Lasik. You can develop cataracts with age, and that may change your vision. Obviously, cataract surgery would be the best option. Or there can be a change in vision from ageing of the lens before it becomes hazy. We call this the dysfunctional lens syndrome. The lens just doesn’t work as well as it did when you were younger, and this can alter your vision. If the change in vision is due to the dysfunctioning lens, then we can offer advanced lens implants to correct your vision. All in all, patients who have had Lasik can count on excellent long-term vision.
Serious complications are possible with any surgery, with any procedure, including Lasik. But Lasik is very safe. I have never had a patient in my entire career lose their vision from Lasik. In fact, there’s good evidence that Lasik is safer than wearing contact lenses, in terms of the risk of blindness or serious infection. With contact lenses, every day you put them in, you’re putting germs in your eyes, whereas with Lasik you don’t have to take that risk anymore.