Dr. Leonard Teye-Botchway describes the pain-free nature of modern laser eye surgery techniques.
Leonard Teye-Botchway: This question is one I get asked very often. I’ll start by saying that there are different forms of laser eye surgery. There’s laser surgery that’s performed to correct vision. We call it refractive laser surgery. There are also laser surgeries for cataract, glaucoma or diabetes and other conditions. I’ll focus first on refractive laser surgery.
Refractive laser eye surgery
In the past, because of the form of laser surgery, some patients experienced a bit of discomfort after the procedure. Now, with the evolution and with improvements in treatment and care, this doesn’t happen at all. What I’ll typically do and all surgeons do for laser surgery is to freeze the eye. We would use a special anaesthetic which numbs the eye and removes any form of sensation that brings about discomfort.
The other thing we do is to put a special instrument we call a speculum inside your eye, which keeps the lids apart. Patients sometimes get a bit anxious about what would happen if they blinked, so I reassure them that with the lens in place, that won’t happen. You can blink, but the other eye would blink, but the eye with the speculum wouldn’t blink. With the speculum in place and the eye completely anaesthetised, patients don’t experience any form of discomfort at all.
Regarding surgery for glaucoma, diabetes and cataract, sometimes patients might experience a little bit of discomfort.