Questions to ask before your laser eye surgery

12 August 2021

Author: Kate Green

questions to ask your surgeon

Feeling comfortable before your laser eye surgery


It’s crucial that you feel comfortable with your decision to proceed with laser eye surgery. At Optimax, we want you to feel relaxed and confident about your choice, which is why we provide you with the opportunity to ask us questions at every stage of your journey.


First, you’ll visit us for your initial consultation where we conduct a range of scans and examinations to confirm that you’re suitable for treatment. You can read more about what each of these scans are for here. Following the scans, you’ll sit down with the optometrist to discuss your suitability, visual requirements, and lifestyle factors. This is an opportunity for you to ask an expert anything you need to know. Plenty of our Optimax team members have had laser eye surgery themselves and so can provide you with their first-hand experiences.


After your consultation, if you decide to proceed with treatment, your next appointment will be a surgeon assessment where you will meet your surgeon and speak with them about your expectations. Again, this is the perfect opportunity to ask them any further questions and also to give you peace of mind. Our patients tell us that meeting their surgeon before treatment day has a huge calming effect and helps them know what to expect. It’s also nice to see a familiar, friendly face once you’re in the treatment room!


Frequently asked questions about laser eye surgery


At Optimax, we have been providing laser eye surgery since 1991 and are the UK’s longest-established vision correction specialists. This means we’ve heard pretty much every question from patients over the years. You can head to our FAQs page to read our full list of questions, but here are a few of the ones we get asked the most by prospective patients:


How does laser eye surgery work?

Laser eye surgery works by lifting a thin layer of the front of your eye away, and then applying the laser to the exposed part of the eye. The thin layer is then gently replaced and is sometimes protected with a clear bandage lens for 3-5 days while it heals. At Optimax, we offer two types of laser eye surgery, LASIK and LASEK, and our expert team of surgeons of optometrists will advise you on which is most suitable for you.


How long does laser eye surgery take?

You will likely be in the treatment room for around 20 minutes on surgery day, but the actual laser will only be applied to your eye for a matter of seconds. You should prepare to be in the clinic on surgery day for around 4 hours as you will have medical checks, speak to patient advisors, and have medication talks and examinations both pre- and post-surgery.


How long does laser eye surgery last?

For most patients, laser eye surgery is permanent. If your prescription is unstable and changes over the coming years, you might find that your corrected vision isn’t as sharp as it was straight after surgery. This is why we recommend that your prescription has been stable for at least a year before coming to us for treatment. Laser eye surgery cannot prevent age-related changes as most people will begin to rely on reading glasses from their early 40s, and cataracts can still form later in life following laser treatment.


What if I blink or move my eye during the procedure?

This is perhaps once of the most common questions we get asked and, thankfully, there’s a very easy answer! The surgeon will place an eyelid holder on your eye to prevent you from blinking for the few minutes that you’re on the operating bed. Further to this, the laser machine will only apply the laser to a still eye, so if you look away, the laser shuts off immediately. It is only once you look back that the laser automatically starts again, guaranteeing absolutely precision. Even if you’re expecting to find it difficult to keep your eyes still during the treatment, rest assured that most of our patients actually find it easy!


Can I have laser eye surgery with astigmatism?

Yes! We regularly treat patients who have astigmatism. It does depend on the degree of it but generally we can treat patients with astigmatism up to +/- 6. We will only treat you if we think that it will be a successful surgery and that you’ll be satisfied with your long-term results. So, if your astigmatism is of a nature where we aren’t entirely satisfied to go ahead to surgery, we won’t put you forward for treatment. We will determine your suitability at a consultation, which you can book for free online. (We require a £10 refundable deposit to hold the appointment, which is returned to you once you attend.)


Can you treat both eyes at once?

Yes, for laser eye surgery, your surgeon will treat both of your eyes in the same sitting, one directly after the other. If you would like to wait after having your first eye treated to see the effects of surgery and your visual outcome over the next few weeks or months, before returning to have your second eye completed, that is also an option.


If you have any further questions which aren’t covered above or on our FAQ page, please give us a call on 0800 093 1110, or email us on Our customer advisers will be able to provide you with any information you need and to answer any questions you might have.

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