Surgery options

At Southern Eye Specialists we provide different types of refractive laser procedures, with a recommended approach only offered after careful analysis and consultation.

How it works

Laser surgery first gained popularity for correcting vision defects back in the 1980s. Since then, the technology has continued to be develop at a rapid pace, with new innovations leading to improved procedures and consistently excellent results.

These procedures are now used on a range of refractive errors including nearsightedness and farsightedness or astigmatism. For many people eye laser surgery is a fast and convenient way to remove the need for glasses or contact lenses.

There are now three main laser surgery processes, LASIK, PRK and SMILE Pro®, each using different techniques and suited to different eye conditions.

At Southern Eye Specialists our expert team will recommend the best treatment option based on what type of refractive error you have and your profession, lifestyle, and general vision requirements.

Once we establish the best option for you, our eye surgeons will use our advanced surgical technology to quickly reshape your cornea, ensuring light is properly focused onto the retina and improving your vision.


LASIK surgery corrects refractive errors, which affect how the eye focuses light. These errors are caused by the shape or structure of the eye rather than disease. LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) can be used for a range of vision defects including myopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia. The process allows us to treat the condition while eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.

While it sounds complicated, the surgery is both fast and straightforward. Before the treatment begins, anesthetic eye drops are applied to the eye. Then, once these have drops have taken effect, a Femtosecond laser is used to create a thin flap of tissue on the outer layer of the cornea. This is folded back, much like the page of a book, exposing the underlying tissue.
A second laser, called an Excimer laser, is then used to reshape the cornea, correcting the refractive error. Once this is completed, the thin flap is put back in place, where it acts like a bandage to protect the cornea.

This is a quick and painless procedure, which usually only takes a few seconds per eye to carry out. Patients are generally able to drive and carry out most activities without glasses the day after their surgery.

The procedure has been perfected since it was invented 20 years ago, with 27 million people having undergone LASIK successfully worldwide. It is suitable for patients aged between 20 and 65 with prescriptions that range from -10.00 to +5.00. 


Introduced in 2007, SMILE Pro® is the most recent technology available to laser eye surgeons. Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE®) can be particularly beneficial for patients who suffer from dry eye, which can be exacerbated by other refractive surgery techniques. 

Rather than removing the epithelial layer or creating a flap of tissue, this technique uses a keyhole incision to remove a small piece of tissue, called a lenticule. Doing so effectively reshapes the cornea and corrects the vision with minimal steps and invasiveness. The operation takes just 10-20 minutes and recovery is very quick.


PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) was the first laser eye surgery available, and it is still used in modern times in specific circumstances, such as when a patient has a thin or irregular shaped cornea.

Rather than using a laser to create an outer flap of corneal tissue, this procedure uses a diluted alcohol solution to dissolve the miniscule epithelial layer from the surface of the cornea, which is then scraped or pushed aside using a manual tool. An Excimer laser is then used to sculpt the cornea, correcting the refractive issue for the patient before a bandage lens is placed over top to protect the cornea. This can then be removed once the epithelial layer grows back, a process that takes just a few days.