Laser Surgery Assessments

Our Optometrists frequently co-manage eye conditions, together with Eye Surgeons across New Zealand. This means we work collaboratively with your surgeon to manage your care pre and post operatively.


Laser Surgery

During laser surgery the cornea is re-shaped using a special laser. This procedure removes tissue from or manipulates the shape of your cornea to adjust your focus.

Laser in-situ keratomileusis or LASIK, is internationally the most popular and frequently performed laser vision procedure. LASIK may be used to treat short sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism.

Most modern procedures now use a Femtosecond laser to create a flap from the topmost surface of your cornea. An excimer laser is then used to remodel the cornea, after which the flap is replaced and the eye heals. Most patients have clear vision very quickly and heal very rapidly.

If you have an active and athletic lifestyle, or a thinner than normal cornea your surgeon may recommend an alternative laser procedure:

PRK or (Photorefractive Keratectomy) or

LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)

In these procedures no corneal flap is created, and instead the superficial layer is altered. An Excimer laser then remodels corneal tissue. Because no flap is created these procedures may carry slightly more pain and a longer recovery period than LASIK. Visual outcomes after recovery are generally very positive.


Can Laser Surgery Help with reading vision as well as in distance?

Yes. Blended vision is a useful approach for those with an age-related reduction in the clarity of near-work. 

In blended or social vision laser surgery, the dominant eye is corrected for distanced vision, while the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision. Though the premise sounds a little strange, many patients cope well. Blended vision allows a good focus for most general visual tasks. For detailed tasks such as very fine near work or driving at night, glasses are often beneficial.

Laser blended vision is a permanent procedure. Many surgeons recommend you trial a blended approach in a temporary manner first. This is commonly achieved with contact lenses. Patients who enjoy this approach with contact lenses tend to tolerate laser vision correction well. 



Am I a good candidate?

Most adults are candidates for Laser Vision Correction. In some age groups, other procedures may carry a stronger recommendation. This includes those with trouble at both distance and near, and also those developing early cataracts.

To be a considered for Laser Surgery you generally need to:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have a steady prescription. I.e. your prescription has been stable or has only had small changes over the past 1-2 years.
  • Have a healthy cornea and have no underlying dystrophy or degeneration.

You may be less suitable for Laser Vision if you have:

  • An eye condition such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts.
  • A breastfeeding child or are pregnant.
  • A very thin cornea.
  • A very high prescription or level of astigmatism.

Those who do not meet these criteria may still achieve vision correction. Alternative procedures are implantable contact lenses or refractive lens exchange.

If you would like more information, or to ask a question about Laser Surgery you contact an Optometrist by clicking here.