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Dr Stephen Doyle explains the safety aspects of refractive laser eye surgery.

Published on 2nd February 2017 by Dr Stephen Doyle

Visualase ophthalmologist Dr Stephen Doyle is no stranger to being asked numerous questions in patient consultations, and one of the most common questions he gets asked is about the safety of refractive laser eye surgery.

Dr Doyle says: ‘’No surgery is totally safe but neither is wearing contact lenses!  For example, I have only had one infection of any note in more than 20,000 eyes that I have lasered, whereas I have seen lots of infections in contact lens wearers, some of them with serious visual consequences. So, at least on this score, having laser surgery is safer than wearing contact lenses.”

However, Dr Doyle does recognise that having laser eye surgery can be a daunting prospect. “It is a scary procedure - after all, it's your eyes and not your big toe we are operating on. I sometimes tell people that it is like being in an aeroplane, which is statistically safer than your car drive to the airport. Having said this, it doesn't feel like it emotionally!

As we are operating on essentially healthy patients rather than those with cataracts for example,  it is a different paradigm for us surgeons. Hence why we all tend to be very careful and our first motto is ‘to do no harm’”.

In the end, the decision whether to go ahead and have laser eye surgery is yours. Our job is to do our best to explain at your consultation all the pros and cons of surgery and let you decide what is best for you.

If you would like to arrange a consultation with either of our highly qualified surgeons - Dr Doyle or Mr Manoj - please contact us.  

All eye surgical procedures carry a level of risk including not obtaining the desired outcome, through to varying levels of visual loss. Your eye surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits, including ones specific to your circumstances, at the time of your pre-operative consultation.