Laser eye surgery

Laser treatment and vision correction for active people of all ages

How does laser eye surgery work?

Laser eye surgery (laser sight correction) involves precise reshaping of the cornea to very accurately correct short sight (myopia), long sight (hyperopia), and astigmatism. At Moorfields Private we offer LASIK, SMILE and surface laser treatments (PRK, LASEK, and TransPRK).

video transcript


I actually tried several clinics before coming to Moorfields I faced some difficulties there because of my cornea. Unfortunately it makes it more difficult to do the surgery so I either had refusals in the past from other clinics or I just felt myself uncomfortable. But when I came to Moorfields Private, it was completely different.

At Moorfields Private you can receive vision correction from a world leader in eye care and as a specialist centre we are able to offer surgery to patients with complex eye care needs who can't be treated elsewhere by choosing Moorfields Private you will be treated by our expert teams our.

Consultants are internationally renowned our 12 vision correction surgeons between them perform over 2,400 procedures every year our vision correction team includes our specialist highly skilled nursing staff who provide expert care to our patients our experts will assess your eyes talk to you about your lifestyle and vision needs recommend the right procedure and oversee every aspect of your treatment

There are three types of vision correction: laser eye surgery, refractive lens exchange where the lens is replaced, and implantable contact lenses. These procedures are performed using the most advanced refractive laser techniques and high-tech equipment which is regularly updated to provide high accuracy, reduced operation time and better results for our patients. Plus a five-year guarantee offers you peace of mind.

And to make vision correction more affordable we offer zero percent finance options to split the cost over three nine or ten months.

We also frequently review complex cases from other providers if you have been treated elsewhere and need a second opinion our experts can provide a thorough review.

I felt that my life had truly changed once I had the laser eye surgery I was able to see the world and everything around me completely differently and they really enjoy it

Our profits are reinvested into our NHS services and research programs for the benefit of all patients.

To find out how we can help you and to book an appointment call us on 0800-328-3421 or find us online.


Who is suitable for laser eye surgery?

At your first appointment, your specialist consultant surgeon will discuss the most appropriate laser treatment for your eyes to suit your individual needs.

However, the following is a useful guide to general suitability:

  • You should be at least 18 years old and your eyes must be healthy and your prescription stable.
  • You should not be pregnant or nursing, as these conditions might change the measured refraction of the eye. You should wait for three months after breastfeeding to come for a consultation.
  • You should not be taking certain prescription drugs, which your consultant surgeon will discuss with you.
  • You should be in good general health. Laser eye surgery may not be recommended for patients with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, herpes infections of the eye, or cataracts. You should discuss this with your surgeon.
  • If you’re long-sighted (can’t see things close up), your prescription should be up to +3 to +4.If you’re short-sighted (can’t see things in the distance), your prescription should be up to -10 to -11.
  • If you have astigmatism (poor near and distance vision), your prescription should be up to -6D.

Frequently asked questions about laser eye surgery

What are the different types of laser eye surgery?

All modern laser eye surgery procedures produce similar visual results.

Your specialist consultant surgeon will discuss each of the procedures in more detail with you at your first consultation, when they will advise which will best suit your individual needs.


This is the most commonly performed laser eye treatment. For LASIK surgery, two different types of laser are used. First, a femtosecond laser creates a thin protective layer by tracing a 3D pattern of tiny gas bubbles through the corneal tissue. This hinged layer is lifted back by the surgeon before an excimer laser reshapes the cornea to correct focus. The protective flap is then replaced to complete the procedure.

After approximately 3-6 hours, the surface cell layer heals around the edge of the flap and sight begins to improve. By the day after surgery, most people are able to see well enough to work and drive a car.


Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is a relatively new type of laser eye surgery to correct a refractive error such as near-sightedness (myopia) and/or astigmatism. The procedure is performed just beneath the corneal surface and unlike LASIK, there is no need to create a flap on the cornea. Instead, the surgeon operates through a keyhole which self-seals afterwards.

The surgery is minimally invasive and supports better corneal stability, as the entire upper layers of the cornea stay virtually unaffected throughout the procedure. The corneal nerves are less affected in the procedure reducing the risk of dry eye problems.

Surface laser treatment (LASEK and TransPRK)

Surface laser treatments are performed directly beneath the clear skin layer of the cornea (the corneal epithelium), which is removed by the laser (TransPRK) or the surgeon (LASEK) before laser reshaping to correct vision. Visual recovery is slower than for LASIK eye surgery because it takes the skin layer a few days to grow back and a few weeks to smooth off optically. Surface laser treatments are often the best option for patients with thinner corneas.

Once the surface cell layer has healed, the vision starts to improve and typically reaches the driving standard in 1-4 weeks after TransPRK or LASEK eye surgery, depending on the prescription treated. Most patients require a week off work after surgery.


Is laser eye surgery safe?

Serious complications following laser eye surgery are rare and Moorfields Private has an excellent safety record. Less than 1 in 5000 patients require further surgery to replace damaged tissue in the cornea - the clear window at the front of the eye.

Despite these advances, all surgery carries a small risk of complications. Most problems can be fixed and it is important to note that wearing contact lenses – the main alternative to laser vision correction for most patients – is also not free of risk, with approximately 1 in 3000 contact lens wearers developing a serious corneal infection every year.

Your surgeon will discuss any risks with you before you decide to go ahead with the surgery.


How long does laser eye surgery last?

Normally, laser eye surgery will leave you with life-long freedom from glasses and contact lenses. However, natural changes in your prescription can occur throughout your lifetime. There are a number of repeat treatment options for patients in any age group who experience changes in their vision following laser eye surgery. Your surgeon will discuss these with you during your consultation.


Does laser eye surgery hurt?

For all types of laser eye surgery, local anaesthetic drops are used to completely numb the patient’s eye. Patients may experience around 30-40 seconds of pressure on their eye during LASIK or SMILE surgery, when the LASIK flap or SMILE lenticule is being created. They may also experience around 4-6 hours of mild discomfort following the surgery.

If you are nervous about the procedure, you can request to take a sedative tablet.


How long does laser eye surgery take to perform?

Laser eye surgery is typically a quick procedure, taking around 10-15 minutes for both eyes.


How long does it take to recover from laser eye surgery?

It takes around 3-6 hours for the surface cell layer on the eye to start healing and for sight to begin improving following LASIK eye surgery. Most people are able to drive and return to work the day after their surgery. This is very similar after SMILE although due to lack of a corneal flap in SMILE, sport can be resumed even quicker.

LASEK and TransPRK surgeries have a longer recovery time, with patients taking around 1-4 weeks for their vision to return to driving standard after the procedure. Most people require a week to recover before returning to work from this type of surgery.


What are the next steps?

The only way to know which vision correction treatment is the right option for you is by booking an appointment with one of our specialist consultant eye surgeons. Here are the next steps to take towards better vision:

  • Contact our New Patient Team on freephone: 0800 328 3421 to book an initial consultation with one of our consultants for laser eye surgery in London.
  • The first appointment will take around 1-2 hours. In that time, you will have scans, an eye test and eye drops. You will then spend some time with your chosen consultant eye surgeon to discuss the results of your tests and the type of procedure that suits you best
  • .After you’ve met with your consultant and been assessed, we will book the surgery.
  • Surgery takes around 10-15 minutes for both eyes.
  • One to three days later, you will have a follow-up appointment to check how your eyes are recovering.
  • You will return three months later for a final check-up.


How much does laser eye surgery cost?

Initial consultation


The initial consultation fee is £195. The full cost of your onward treatment will be confirmed once you have agreed your personalised plan with your consultant.



The package price for the laser eye surgery is £4,995 for both eyes, which includes post-operative eye drops to take home on the day of surgery, one follow up appointment, and our 5 year commitment.

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Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm excluding bank holidays for general enquiries or to book an appointment.

0800 328 3421

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