Laser Refractive Surgery

Laser Eye Surgery

The main objective of laser eye surgery is to correct refractive errors and reduce your dependency on glasses or contact lenses. During the surgery, a laser will be used to reshape the clear outer layer of the eye, called the cornea, to change your eye's focusing power and to improve your vision. There are different types of laser eye surgeries, but the most common and well-known type is LASIK. LASIK is a procedure used to treat myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (distorted vision). This procedure is almost painless and may take about 10 minutes per eye in total and is done under local anaesthesia which may be through an injection or eye drops.

During the procedure, the corneal tissue is gently flapped open with a microkeratome, a special oscillating blade. Then the cornea is lasered, and the protecting tissue is flapped back into place. Corneal tissue has an excellent natural bonding quality that allows effective healing without the use of stitches. Eyes usually heal extremely fast, and vision within the first week is usually very good. If you would like to find out if you are suitable for a Laser Eye Procedure, you are welcome to book a consultation to check your suitability.

Am I a candidate?

  • Before this question can be answered, a thorough eye evaluation needs to be done. This will include a general eye examination, pressure check, corneal topography (mapping), and the corneal thickness will need to be measured. This will help the ophthalmologist exclude any general eye disease. After the evaluation is done, the ophthalmologist will tell you if you are a candidate.
  • The surgery is done for people who are 18 years or older, but only if their refraction is stable.
  • The refractive error should be in the range that the laser is capable of treating. (If your refraction is too high you may be more suitable for another type of refractive surgery such as an I.C.L. or lens exchange).
Advantages of LASIK:
  • Helps you not wear spectacles and contact lenses.
  • It is a quick and safe procedure done under local topical anaesthetic.
  • Both eyes are treated simultaneously.
  • Quick recovery.
  • Minimal long-term side effects.
  • The cornea is not weakened, unlike with the Radial Keratotomy procedure.
  • Your eyes will be covered with a transparent plastic shield for the first night. This is only a precautionary measure.
  • Your vision may be slightly blurred for the first few days after the surgery. You should be able to return to your daily activities the day after the surgery.
  • Light sensitivity and glare at night usually disappear after one to six months.
  • If there is regression, enhancements may be done within three to six months after surgery.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Avoid contact sport for at least three months.
  • Avoid deep-sea diving for one month after surgery.
  • Normal exercises like running, aerobics; gym training may be resumed within two days.
  • Antibiotic and steroid drops are used for at least a week after surgery, but sometimes longer. Dr Beatty will advise.
Risks & Complications:
  • Over-correction and under-corrections.
    Though these occur in less than 15%, depending on the initial refraction.
  • The higher the refractive error is, the greater the chance of having under-correction. Enhancements may be done after three months or later if the cornea is thick enough.
  • Infection.
    There is a small risk of infection, but antibiotic drops are instilled during the procedure and for a week after the operation.
  • Dry eyes.
    This usually settles within a month but sometimes may take six months. Treatment is with lubricant drops or ointment.
  • Night glare.
    This normally occurs in the first few months after the operation but usually settles by about four to six months. A degree of night glare may persist depending on the optical zone of the laser, which is required for the specific treatment.
  • Haze.
    The incidence of haze after Lasik is very low.
  • Post-operative pain.
    This is usually not a problem after Lasik. You may experience varying degrees of discomfort. If the eyes are painful, one should take normal pain killers & lie down with the eyes shut. Normally within 24-48 hours, all discomfort has gone.
  • Corneal flap complications.
    The incidence of this is small. They include flaps that are too small or short, inadequate thickness, inadequate quality & smoothness, or a loose flap. If one of the above occurs, surgery is normally abandoned after replacing the flap. A few months later, the procedure can safely be repeated.
  • Epithelial ingrowth.
    This occurs when surface cells grow in underneath the flap. Minor degrees of this are not treated and do not cause problems, but if there are large areas, the flap is lifted, and the cells are scraped out.

Is Lasik a painful procedure?

It is done under topical anaesthetic & sedative. There is normally a feeling of pressure, but the pain is rare.

What are the risks of the Lasik procedure? Can I go blind?

The risks are minimal, and blindness following Lasik is extremely rare.

If my eyes regress after having Lasik surgery, can I wear spectacles or contact lenses again?

Yes, they may be worn after the surgery. It will not harm the eye. Re-treatments are also possible.

May I watch TV, work on the computer and read after the Lasik surgery, or will it harm my eyes?

You may continue doing all of the above because it will not harm your eyes.

When can I start driving my car after a Lasik procedure?

You may be able to start driving their car one day after the surgery, depending on how comfortable you are and how quickly the vision improves.

Will Lasik surgery prevent me from wearing reading glasses later on in life?

No, you may still need to use reading glasses. This may be needed after the age of approximately 45-50 years of age due to normal physiological changes of the eye as the lens starts to age.

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  • Pleased to confirm that I had both my eyes operated for cataracts. This was the best decision ever going for this procedure.
  • Ons is reeds jare pasiente by dr Beatty en ons het intussen afgetree en verhuis. Steeds ry ons vir ons besoeke daarheen en sien elke keer uit om daar te kuier!
  • I wanted you to know that I got my eyes checked and it came out as 20/20! You did a great job. The guy who checked my eyes said whoever did it really knew what they were doing :)   Anyway, thanks for doing such a good job! Glad you were able to open up just in time before we left for the states.  
  • Roger 12/11/20
    I will definitely recommend dr Beatty. I am so happy with my Lasik.
    Roger 12/11/20
  • Mev Botha
    Ek is regtig baie dankbaar en opgewonde om so mooi duidelik te  kan sien. 13/11/2020
    Mev Botha
  • Margaret
    Thank you for always helping me on such short notice. James is the best!
  • Morne
    Julle is 'n great span met die beste dokter.
  • Constance
    Thank you ladies for always being so helpful and friendly:)
  • Lauren
    Doctor Beatty is hands-down one of the best Ophthalmologist I have ever seen in my 35 years of life!
  • Gary
    Such a  privilege to have doctor Beatty  as my Ophthalmologist.
    Ek was besoeker by julle kamers tydens my vakansie in die Kaap. Ek is julle is so dankbaar vir die vinnige hulp en goeie diens.
  • John
    Lovely ladies and best doctor. Love you all and looking forwards seeing you next year for my follow-up.
  • Yolandie
    Altyd so lekker om by julle te gaan kuier en almal is so vriendelik en behulpsaam.
  • Megan
    I am so happy with the results after I had Lasik done. Best money spent ever.
  • Zelda
    Thank you doctor Beatty and staff for your good service and for you all being so friendly:)
  • Best decision and results after I had my Lasik done by doctor Beatty!
  • Always looking forward seeing doctor Beatty for my check-up once a year.
  • Thom
    I could not believe my eyes!
  • Barry
    Very impressed with Dr Beatty, the hospital and aftercare was excellent.
  • Alma
    Julle dames lag altyd, so lekker om hierheen te kom! Puik diens.
  • Mr "A"
    Thank you for professional service and excellent aftercare.
    Mr "A"
  • Johann
    Julle diens is uitstekend en almal is altyd baie vriendelik.
  • Rene van Tonder

    I have been a patient of Dr Beatty since 25 April 2013. I then followed him after moving practice to the new building in Paardevlei and I have not looked back.

    At Somerset Eye Clinic, vision becomes a reality. Though advanced imaging and state-of-the-art technology, Dr Beatty diagnosed my eye problem timeously, thereby arrested the disease in it's earliest stages. Dr Beatty also practices the most sophisticated surgical techniques for the treatment of patients and remains on par with international research and developments in the field of ophthalmology.

    The dedicated team of ophthalmic assistants and administrators are handpicked to optimise practice management, functioning and patient care. Visiting Dr Beatty's practice feels like dealing with trusted, loyal family. Dr Beatty's gentle, patient, kind and caring manner, fosters patient loyalty, respect and long-term engagement.

    I am a strong advocate for his practice and a patient for life.

    Rene van Tonder
  • Pieter Moelich

    I was lucky enough to find Dr Beatty via a referral and I would refer him to anyone interested in Lasik / PRK eye surgery. The entire experience, which can be scary, was really pleasant with his and his staffs professional advise and care before, during and after the surgery. I am very thankful to be able to look at the world and go about my day to day activities without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses.

    Pieter Moelich
  • Elsabe de la Port

    Who it may concern

    About nine months ago Dr Beatty removed cataracts from both my eyes.

    The procedures were successful and I do recommend this particular specialist. He is always professional and it was a relaxed experience.

    The admin personnel are always friendly and professional.


    Elsabe de la Port