Is laser eye surgery safe? | OCL Vision

Are there disadvantages or possible complications with laser eye surgery?

Despite only coming into the mainstream in the 1990s, laser-assisted vision correction is considered one of the safest medical procedures of all, due to the advanced techniques and technology which have significantly minimised the risks. That said, like any surgical procedure, there is always a small element of risk.

Some rare, but possible side-effects of laser eye surgery include:

  • Infection is a possible side-effect of any surgery. However, because laser eye surgery is bladeless, the risk is minimal – in fact, you’re more likely to contract an eye infection from the use of contact lenses
  • Dry eyes. It’s common to experience dry eyes following surgery. This usually clears up within weeks of the procedure
  • Visual complications. Some people experience temporary issues with their vision in the days and weeks following laser eye surgery. This is completely normal and usually settles down when the eye has healed completely. In a small number of cases (less than 1% of our patients), if the cornea has not been reshaped correctly, patients may require a repeat procedure in order to correct vision

allon barsam eye surgeon

We screen patients very thoroughly to ensure that the risk is reduced to the lowest level possible. With modern technology, the risk of laser eye surgery is less than with a lifetime of contact lens wear.

Mr Allon Barsam

Director and founding partner of OCL Vision
Meet Allon

Steps to maximise laser eye surgery safety

As a patient, you may feel passive and helpless in terms of the risks. However, there are steps you can take to improve the likelihood of a safe procedure, free from complications.

  • Choose a skilled and experienced surgeon with a track record of excellent results. Check their statistics to see how many people have required repeat treatment following their initial procedure. Our consultant ophthalmic surgeons have over 100 years of combined eye surgery experience and are each recognised as leading experts in their field, so you’re in safe hands.
  • Do your bit to prepare for laser eye surgery by following any instructions given by your surgeon.
  • Take it easy during recovery; by avoiding swimming and showering in the early days you’ll reduce your risk of infection.

If you’re still concerned about whether laser eye surgery is safe for you, contact us here.


Laser eye surgery: Common questions and fears

It’s normal to feel trepidation about undergoing any form of surgery – but arming yourself with the facts can help reduce your anxiety and provide reassurance. Here are some of the common fears and worries that people often have about laser eye surgery.

  • Can you go blind from laser eye surgery? It’s extremely unlikely. With LASIK surgery, the risk is negligible; there has never been a recorded case of total blindness. For a period of time following the procedure, your eyesight may be blurry, or you may experience glare or other visual symptoms while your eyes heal. These normally improve after a few weeks.
  • Is laser eye surgery painful? Your eyes will be numbed with anaesthetic drops, so you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. Afterwards, you may feel some discomfort; dry eye is a common side-effect during the recovery period, but this can be treated with artificial tears.
  • What if I blink? You might be worried about the prospect of staying absolutely still during surgery. Won’t it ruin the results if you turn your head, move your eyes or blink? Luckily, a hi-tech pupil tracking device means that the laser can adapt to your eye position. If there is a sudden movement or a problem with your position, the laser will stop completely.

Eye close up

Is laser eye surgery safe for diabetics?

It’s possible for people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to successfully have laser eye surgery. However, a couple of things need to be checked to ensure you can safely proceed with laser eye surgery if you have diabetes:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – this is a retinal disorder that can cause the loss of vision; if the patient has this condition, it must be treated first before considering laser eye surgery
  • Unstable blood sugar levels – when blood sugar isn’t stable, the eye prescription becomes harder to determine which is essential for making sure the vision correction is accurate


The high blood sugar associated with diabetes leads to the healing process taking longer, which means recovery time will be longer than usual with laser eye surgery.

Learn more about laser eye surgery

Last updated on December 14th, 2021