A clear look into the types of laser eye surgery in London

There’s only so long you can handle the hassle of glasses or contacts before you’re fed up. For that reason, people across the UK have turned to laser eye surgery.

Laser eye surgery is known to be simple and minimally invasive with little recovery time. That doesn’t mean you should take the decision lightly, though.

For starters, you need to know if you’re getting the right type of surgery. Take a look at these top types of laser eye surgery in London.

Types of laser eye surgery in London

All laser eye surgery has the same general idea. A surgeon uses a laser to reshape your cornea, improving your vision. There are multiple ways a surgeon can do this, though.


LASIK is the most well-known laser eye surgery today. The name is an acronym a medical description of the procedure.

During a LASIK surgery, your surgeon uses one laser to cut away a flap on the surface of your eye, giving us access to your cornea. Then we use a second laser to reshape the cornea. At the end of the procedure, the flap goes back to its original position to heal.


While LASIK is better-known, LASEK actually appeared first. Both of these surgeries are still used today in different circumstances.

The two procedures are similar, but with LASEK, the corneal flap is removed and it’s replaced at the end of the surgery. In LASIK, the flap stays attached on one side.

This makes LASEK more invasive than LASIK. However, LASEK is better for patients with corneas too thin to make the LASIK flap work effectively.


First came LASEK, and LASIK later appeared as a less invasive option. SMILE, a newer surgery, is an even less invasive version of LASIK.

During a SMILE surgery, we use a smaller incision. The full incision in LASIK is 22 millimetres long, while the SMILE incision is around 4 millimetres long.


The first three surgeries above are similar other than the incisions they use. PRESBYOND uses the same incision and process as LASIK, but it adjusts the eyes in a different way.

In a PRESBYOND surgery, we adjust one eye to function well for close-up vision and adjust the other eye to see farther distances. This is similar to the monovision approach of giving patients one contact lens for near vision and the other for far vision.

PRESBYOND is a common approach for patients who are nearsighted but who are now needing reading glasses as they get older.

Is laser eye surgery even an option for me?

Before you dive too far into your options, it’s important to know if you’re a laser eye surgery candidate at all. It depends on your vision, your eye health, your history, and other factors.

To get an idea of whether you’re a candidate start with our laser eye surgery quiz.

Choosing the best laser eye surgery for you

When it comes down to it, choosing a laser eye surgery in London is a decision you need to make with your surgeon. Our team can counsel you about the best options for you based on your needs, goals, and eye health.

To get started, schedule a consultation with us today.

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About the author

Mr Alex J. Shortt | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB BCh MSc PhD FRCOphth PGDipCatRef

I’m Alex Shortt, a highly trained academic researcher and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon based in London’s famous Harley Street medical district. I trained and worked as a consultant for 14 years at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. I specialise in advanced technologies for correcting vision, including cataract surgery, implantable contact lenses and laser vision correction.