Who is suitable for laser eye surgery?

Interview transcription:

In an interview, Alex Shortt discusses which patients are most suitable for laser eye surgery.

Interviewer: Who is suitable for laser eye surgery?

Alex Shortt: I think in the past people used to think that you had to have a certain prescription. But with advances in laser eye surgery technology, to be honest, virtually all prescriptions now can be treated with laser eye surgery.

And even if yours isn’t, we now have new technologies related to laser eye surgery. For example, ICL lens implant technology, to correct the vision for even those patients who aren’t suitable for laser. There are options for them.

Interviewer: So to be clear, anybody who’s shortsighted, long-sighted, anybody who has astigmatism, can have laser eye surgery today.

Alex Shortt: The limits that the current technology can treat is long-sightedness up to around plus four, right down to the other end of the spectrum, which is short-sightedness up to minus 12. Now that’s a massive range, and most patients fall within that range.


In terms of astigmatism when people say, “Oh, I have too much astigmatism to do laser eye surgery” actually 99.9% of the time they are wrong. We can treat up to four units of astigmatism. Some lasers can actually do up to five units of astigmatism. If you’ve got more than five units of astigmatism, you are off the scale, and you are unique. Really that’s incredibly rare.

Interviewer: For those people who fall outside of those ranges, do you have alternative options available for them?

Alex Shortt: Exactly. That’s where these ICL lens implants come in. We can treat up to minus 20 and up to eight, nine years of astigmatism with ICL lens implants. What the patient experiences is not a huge amount dissimilar to having laser eye surgery.

It’s very rare for a patient to come and see a modern refractive surgeon nowadays and for them to be turned away saying, “Well, there’s nothing we can do.” That’s really rare.

If you’d like to know more about vision corrective surgery, book a free initial screening today and I will personally answer your questions. Alternatively, take our free suitability quiz to find out which treatment you are suitable for.

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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.

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