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Can I have laser eye surgery if I’m diabetic?

Yes. In many cases, with good management, being diabetic doesn’t need to stop you from living a normal life. Many people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have successfully undergone laser vision correction.

Things that need to be checked before laser eye surgery if you’re diabetic

Before getting the go-ahead, however, you’ll need to have a check-up to ensure that you are medically fit to undergo laser eye surgery procedures like LASIK. With diabetes, there are two extra factors to check:

  • Stable sugar levels. Alongside all the usual contraindications, your surgeon will need to know that your diabetes is well-controlled. Without stable blood sugars, it’s difficult to measure your refractive errors accurately, which is vital if your laser treatment is to last a lifetime.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This is a serious condition affecting the blood vessels supplying the retina, which can lead to sight loss. If you have damage caused by diabetic retinopathy, this must be treated before you are considered for laser eye surgery*.

*If you would like to speak with our retinal specialists or if you have diabetic retinopathy to be treated, get in touch here.

How diabetes could affect your recovery

One consequence of having diabetes is that surgery carries extra risk. Laser eye surgery is a relatively low-risk procedure to start with, but before opting for the procedure, it’s important to consider how diabetes could affect your recovery.

A longer healing time

If you have diabetes, you may have noticed that cuts and scrapes take longer to heal. That’s because higher-than-normal blood sugar affects your body’s ability to repair itself. This doesn’t immediately rule out laser treatment as a possibility, but you’ll need to factor in a longer recovery time after a laser eye procedure like LASIK.

Expertise of the surgeons

With the above factors in mind, with the right level of expertise and technology, laser eye surgery is possible for those with diabetes. Our consultants at OCL are some of the best in the country holding substantive NHS consultant positions, with over 30,000 completed surgeries between them.

We’ve also spared no expense in providing the world’s best eye surgery technology.

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If you need more information about laser eye surgery or potential diabetic retinal problems, we’re available to discuss your specific questions and situation on 0203 369 2020, or by filling in our contact form.

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Next steps

Many patients with diabetes have excellent outcomes from laser eye surgery. If you would like to be considered, make an appointment with your GP to confirm that your blood sugar levels are stable, before getting in touch about having laser eye surgery.

In some cases, health concerns, diabetic retinopathy or unstable sugar levels may mean you are not currently a suitable candidate for this type of procedure. If so, there may be alternative forms of treatment open to you; speak to a surgeon with expertise in diabetes to plan the right vision correction plan for you. Our consultants Mr Chien Wong and Mr Lorenzo Motta both specialise in retinal conditions including diabetic retinal problems.

laser eye surgery and diabetes

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