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Should I have laser eye surgery abroad?

Published on 17th March 2016

Obviously, as a high quality independent laser eye surgery clinic based in the UK, we are going to say that ‘No’ you shouldn’t have laser eye treatment abroad; but we say this for good reason.

Why you shouldn't have laser eye surgery abroad

Qualifications / Professional Bodies

If you are thinking about laser eye surgery in another country, it should be pointed out that standards and regulations in terms of healthcare may very well be lower than what you would find in the UK.

In particular it is believed that complications following laser eye surgery are more common in surgeries carried out abroad. This includes epithelial in-growth, under or over-correction, corneal ectasia and dislocation of the flap during LASIK surgery.


Whether you have a complication, complaint or just need reassurance, trying to communicate with a surgical team in a foreign country, whose first language is not English, is likely to cause difficulties.

Cost of Surgery

No doubt the biggest factor for someone considering any surgery abroad is cost, and yes some countries do offer laser eye surgery at a lower price than in the UK. However, although the lower costs may be indicative of a lower cost of living in those particular countries, it may also be demonstrative of the lesser qualifications of the surgeons who will perform the treatment.

Extra Costs

Additional costs to consider when thinking about having laser eye surgery abroad include:

  • Travel expenses
  • Accommodation
  • Loss of earnings (taking time off work)
  • Specialist travel insurance - regular travel insurance is unlikely to cover you should complications arise as a result of your surgery.

So, all things considered, having your laser eye surgery abroad may not be the best option!

Find out more about laser eye surgery at Visualase (in the UK) here.