It’s potentially a huge market: an estimated 15
million people suffer from the kinds of eyesight problems treatable
with laser surgery.
But while the technology, which has been available
in Britain since 1989, can produce excellent results, some of the
100,000 people who undergo laser eye surgery each year are unhappy
about their treatment.
Partly that’s because it often costs more than promised.
A recent Which? report found that many High Street deals end up
much more expensive than advertised because of hidden costs.
More worryingly, the same report found that many
clinics are not explaining the risks, nor are they warning people
that, for some, laser surgery might not mean an end to glasses for
‘The results can be fantastic,’ says Professor David
Gartry, a spokesman for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and
a consultant surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. ‘But I
am very uncomfortable with some of the advertising ploys and the
trivialising of laser eye surgery. While it can be very quick, it
is not a trivial procedure.’