LASEK eye surgery

The same results and safety as LASIK, with a broader suitability

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Use this time wisely. Start your journey towards self-reliant vision today

LASEK is an excellent alternative that enables you to be free from the limitations and risks associated with glasses and contact lenses

Who can LASEK help?

Can you see yourself below?

YOU’RE 20 TO 39

You’re frustrated with blurred or double vision, haziness, glare, halos around bright lights, squinting, headaches, or eye strain. You find glasses a hassle or worry about contact lens dangers. If that describes you, I can help you see better without the need for glasses and contact lenses.

YOU’RE 40 TO 49

You have been frustrated with your glasses or contact lenses all your life. Or, you have just begun to become annoyed with your new need for reading glasses. If that’s you, I can help you see clearly without either.

Live a richer life without glasses or contact lenses

LASEK is an ideal solution if you have thin corneas and are unsuitable for LASIK eye surgery or have no access to SMILE


Imagine seeing the world without the need for glasses or contact lenses. You’ll have a freedom that some patients call “life-changing”.


Most patients say they wish they’d done it sooner. You may feel more confident and will certainly experience more convenience.


Awaken ready to face the world free from spectacles. Take a shower without the blurriness. Work and exercise without glasses or the dryness of contact lenses. Avoid the everyday chance of contact lens infection. Fall asleep, without worrying about leaving your lenses in.


Whether we like it or not, other people rate people based on appearances. Glasses can be a appendage that needlessly divides us. Ditch their limiting nature and live glasses-free.


Glasses have been the tired solution for vision problems since the 1200s. Vision correction options today have evolved significantly, yet many people are confused by the jargon or unclear explanations about what you can do. Leave the past behind and allow me to guide you on the journey towards a life free from the hassle of spectacles and contacts.

Affiliations and memberships

I am proud to be associated with these organisations as a member or consultant

Vision correction enables you to experience a richer life without spectacles or contacts

Take one of the first steps and find out if you are suitable

Supplementary information about LASEK eye surgery

In my expert hands, you certainly don’t need to know all of the information I’ve included in the toggles below. If you’d like to know how it all works, however, open them and learn more.

LASEK (laser assisted epithelial keratomileusis) is a type of laser eye surgery, often used as an alternative treatment for those who are not suitable for LASIK eye surgery. This treatment involves the fine surface layer of the cornea being loosened and folded back, instead of a flap being created and removed, as is the case with LASIK treatment. An Excimer laser is then used to reshape the surface of the cornea, thus correcting the eye’s refractive error.

LASIK and SMILE are laser eye treatments preferred by most surgeons and patients because visual recovery is slower with LASEK and bandage lenses need to be worn for up to a week. The eye can also be uncomfortable for a few days after treatment with LASEK. However, not everyone is suitable for LASIK and not all clinics have access to ReLEx SMILE.

When we are assessing someone for laser eye surgery, we need to make sure that they have a stable prescription, a healthy eye and they have a cornea that is the correct shape and strength to withstand the effects of surgery. So, the types of conditions that stop people from having laser eye surgery are divided up into eye conditions where people have either severe dry eye or any other abnormality of the shape of the cornea such as keratoconus. Typically, we also avoid doing laser eye surgery on patients who are on certain systemic medicines, that is tablets or injections which could include a substance that could be deposited in the cornea or which could prevent the healing of the cornea. The last group of reasons that we have for not wanting to do laser eye surgery on patients is systemic conditions, including bodily diseases such as diabetes or conditions where the collagen in the body is abnormal, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfan syndrome.

We assess the suitability of someone for laser eye surgery in three steps.

The first step is to have a series of very sophisticated scans which examine the health of the eye but in particular focus on the cornea to see whether the cornea is sufficiently thick, is a suitable shape and sufficiently strong to withstand the effects of laser eye surgery.

The second step is then for you to see one of our Optometrists, who is a specialist in prescribing glasses. We will check your glasses prescription, ensure that the glasses you are wearing or the contact lenses you are wearing are at the correct prescription and that there has been no change that could affect the outcome of laser eye surgery.

The third step is for you to see me, the Consultant Ophthalmologist, who ultimately is responsible for your care and for performing the surgery on you. I will discuss with you your scans, ensure that it is safe for you to have laser eye surgery and help you decide which form of laser eye surgery is the correct form for you. In some cases, laser eye surgery will not be suitable for you, and in that case, we have other alternatives, such as lens implant surgery, which I will discuss with you.

LASEK was the first generation of laser eye surgery and remains an excellent treatment for short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism.

The Benefits of LASEK eye surgery are:

  • Great alternative to LASIK treatment
  • Results are proven and comparable to LASIK
  • Less chance of dry eye
  • Lower risk of flap complications
  • Sporting activities may be resumed sooner than with LASIK, as there is no flap to heal.

However, LASEK has been superseded by ReLEx SMILE in almost all respects. In my practice, I choose to perform ReLEx SMILE over LASEK because ReLEx SMILE has a faster recovery and is pain-free whilst having all of the above advantages of LASEK.

As well as LASEK eye surgery, I also offer other laser eye treatments, including:

As a highly experienced ophthalmic surgeon, I will carry out an in-depth assessment to determine whether you should have LASEK, LASIK or ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery. I personally carry out the treatment and aftercare. Your plan will be 100 percent tailored to your individual needs ensuring the best possible results.

What happens during LASIK eye surgery:

  • Local anaesthetic eye drops are applied to both eyes.
  • A mild ethanol solution is applied to the cornea’s protective outer layer. This softens the layer and creates a thin epithelial layer, which the surgeon then moves to one side.
  • The Excimer laser is applied to the eye, correcting the refractive error by reshaping the cornea.

The eyes are covered with bandage lenses, which are clear, soft contact lenses. This protects the epithelial cells while they grow back to cover the cornea. The bandage will stay in place for up to a week, depending on how quickly the eye heals.

According to Optegra outcomes data analysing 1926 patients from January 2013 to 30 September 2017:

  • 100% achieved driving standard or better without glasses
  • 98.2% achieved 20/20 or better without glasses.

According to Optegra patient satisfaction data analysing 452 respondents to post-treatment questionnaires during December 2017:

  • 99% said their treatment was successful
  • 92% said their treatment was comfortable
  • 99% said they were satisfied with the results
  • 99% said they would recommend the treatment to family and friends.

Take the first step

Find out if your eyes are suitable for vision correction

Book a free screening now or get us to give you a call back to answer questions

How it works

Enjoy a life free from glasses and contact lenses in 3 easy steps




Talk to us


Book an appointment or give us a call on 020 3808 7758 and we’ll help guide you towards a free screening.


I’ll see you before treatment to ensure you’re a good candidate and treat you at one of my Harley Street London facilities.


I’ll supervise your aftercare as you begin to experience a life free of glasses and contact lenses.

Even more information about LASEK eye surgery

I frequently write articles and publish videos to answer people’s most common questions and keep them updated on the latest developments in vision correction. Find out more below…

Can I get laser eye surgery?

If you dislike your glasses and contact lenses, you might be wondering "can I get laser eye surgery?" To find out whether you may qualify for this life-changing procedure, read on.

A clear look into the 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. 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.

You don’t choose eye surgery from a menu

Some patients worry they will have to do a whole heap of work to choose the best eye surgery. Not on my watch. Below are some alternatives that you might have heard about, however, I believe it is my duty to choose which eye treatment is best for you after conducting a thorough examination


LASIK is the most common form of laser vision correction. It’s a safe and effective treatment for short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. If you’re considering LASEK, it’s probably because LASIK is not suitable for you.


SMILE works similarly to LASEK but is a less-invasive, keyhole treatment. It’s an excellent alternative to LASEK that offers a significantly visual faster recovery, less discomfort and less post-operative dry eye. I recommend it to all my patients as an alternative to LASEK.


PRESBYOND, also known as “laser blended vision” is a laser vision correction treatment aimed at treating presbyopia and other refractive errors. If you’re unsuitable for LASEK, then you’re also unlikely suitable for PRESBYOND. If you are over 40, then we might discuss this option to help you lessen your dependency on reading glasses or varifocals.

Implantable Contact lenses (ICL)

If you are one of the rare patients for whom laser eye surgery is not suitable, ICL lens implants offer a safe and extremely accurate option to free you from needing glasses.

This option is particularly suitable for you if the shape/thickness of cornea makes you ineligible for laser eye surgery; or, if you are so short- or long-sighted that you are out of the treatable prescription range with laser eye surgery.

Lens Replacement (RLE)

Lens replacement or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is an advanced form of vision correction surgery which we use to treat patients over 50 years of age who need glasses for both distance and for reading. If you are 50 plus, then this might be a better option for you if you want to also lessen your dependency on reading glasses and varifocals.

Refractive cataract surgery

If you have a cataract, removing that cataract and replacing your natural lens with a multifocal artificial lens will negate the need to have LASEK, although we might – in rare cases – use it as a top-up procedure.

Complex cataract surgery

If you have a cataract and another complicating eye condition, removing that cataract and replacing your natural lens with an artificial lens will negate the need to have LASEK.

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.

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