LASIK: A sight for sore eyes

LASIK surgery (Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is now a commonly performed surgery in Australia, but is fast becoming the quickest and most effective way of restoring unaided sight.

Refractive conditions of the cornea—such as varying degrees of myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism (corneal imperfection)— can each be corrected with laser eye surgery.

Currently, it’s estimated that over 12 million Australians are living with eye conditions requiring glasses, according to statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The light and easy surgery option

Laser eye surgery is a procedure that permanently alters the curvature of your cornea. Studies conducted by the Journal of Medical and Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology reveal this procedure in hyperopic and myopic patients is significantly successful. Additionally, the results are permanent and infrequently create any additional side effects.

LASIK is one of the simplest, most pain-free medical procedures to date. During this treatment process, the surgeon will gently hold your eyelids open using a lid speculum, before creating a thin flap in the outer layer of the cornea so a laser can reshape the tissue underneath.

The flap is either created with a computer controlled microkeratome or created ‘bladeless’ with a computer-guided femtosecond laser, before being placed back over the treated area to heal naturally within a few days.  

The actual procedure usually takes less than 10 minutes per eye. Depending on your prescription, and the amount of correction needed, the laser itself only takes 20-50 seconds to correct your vision.

Numbing eye drops are used to anethisthe the area as you remain fully awake, with the option of further relaxants upon request. All in all, only two hours off work in the chair is usually required. Please note that it is a good idea to have the day after off work for our follow up postoperative visit, and to allow yourself some time to relax.

Enjoy a speedy recovery

Recovery times for LASIK are generally quick. The only slight discomfort you may feel is a slight  sensation directly after surgery. This may feel like an itch, slight burning, or more tear production than normal. This is part of the healing process and is only temporary.

For most people, vision is normal after hours and continues to improve over time.

Your experience at NewVision Clinics

Dr Alpins and his team will give you specific instructions for rest, eye care, level of activity, and follow-up. These instructions are important to the healing process and the effectiveness of your LASIK procedure.

Not uncommon in post-surgery treatment are eye drops, shields, instructions not to rub your eyes and to check back with your doctor the morning afterwards. Best of all, more than 95 per cent of lightly to moderately short-sighted people achieve 20/20 or 6/6 vision after the procedure.

Getting started

As one of the first steps in the process, you undertake a vision assessment at no cost to you at NewVision Clinics. This determines your suitability for the surgery and how severe the optical correction to the vision is.

Some health funds, including AHM, Medibank Private and Defence Health give partial rebates to LASIK surgery. Bupa’s premium hospital and extras covers ‘Bupa Ultimate’ now fully covers the cost of LASIK surgery.

NewVision Clinics’ Dr Noel Alpins is a pioneer in the industry. Recently awarded the General Division of Order of Australia AM Honour, he continues to lead the way in LASIK surgery particularly in astigmatism treatment as a result.  Call 1800 20 20 20 or visit NewVision Clinic to book your next appointment.


Timothy Buttery: Timothy is a ‘jack of all trades’ freelance journalist based in Adelaide, South Australia. Having worked with the NBL to, Timothy has built an experience base replete with diversity. His latest works include bux mobile banking and Crown Casino. He is from a long line of Doctors and has a medical knowledge base thanks to his contributions to News Corp’s’ The Messenger Newspaper, writing about hospital developments in Adelaide.