Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I'm suitable for laser surgery?
If you are long-sighted, short-sighted or you have astigmatism, and you've had a stable prescription for at least the past two years, then it's likely you're a suitable candidate for laser surgery. Laser surgery can't be performed if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, under 21 or over 65 years of age. Some eye conditions such as scarring or corneal malformation may also preclude you from surgery. A free assessment at Laservision, and a consultation with one of our ophthalmologists if required, can determine with certainty if you are a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery.
How long do I have to wait to have laser eye surgery if I am breastfeeding?
If you feed for less than 9 months you will have to wait 3 months but more than 9 months the wait is only 6 weeks.
...about the results you can expect from laser surgery
Is the treatment permanent?
Laser refractive surgery is intended to be a once-only permanent correction for refractive errors. Thus, the correction should last. Medical research shows that once the cornea has been reshaped, it should not change. Despite the permanence of surgery, your eyes will continue to age naturally.
Will I still have to wear reading glasses?
With the South Island’s latest precision ZEISS equipment now installed we can offer you even more options to correct your vision. PRESBYOND is a customised treatment that results in clear sight at all distances. Treatment eligibility is the same as for normal LASIK procedures, except that the therapy is customised for each presbyopic patient. Dr Ian Dallison will advise you as to whether a treatment with PRESBYOND Laser Blended Vision is right for you.
Does anyone's vision ever turn out worse after Laser Refractive Surgery?
Serious long-term complications are extremely rare. In order for vision to turn out worse than it was before the surgery, a significant complication would need to arise. Keep in mind that complications can usually be dealt with without leading to permanent problems. Read more about risks and complications here
...about the surgery procedure
Is laser surgery painful?
Anaesthetic eye drops are used for the surgery so the laser procedure itself doesn't hurt. Pressure is felt on the eye during surgery and the speculum, which holds the eye open, may be uncomfortable. Prior to surgery you will be given a mild sedative to allow you to relax but remain alert throughout.
How long does the surgical procedure take?
Our unique-to-New Zealand combination of the Amadeus Microkeratome and Zeiss Mel 90 laser means the treatment is both precise and extremely quick. The laser only takes between 3 and 20 seconds to perform the required treatment on each eye and total time in the theatre is usually only about 20 minutes. Including pre-op checks and essential at-rest time immediately after surgery, you will be in and out of the clinic within about two hours.
Can I have both eyes treated at the same time?
Yes, depending on your wishes and the professional advice of the surgeon. Usually both eyes are treated together.
What if I blink or move during surgery?
The high speed 7 ms latening active eye tracker will follow any small eye movements. A speculum is placed around the eye, which makes blinking impossible. The anaesthetic eye drops administered before surgery will also eliminate the natural compulsion to blink.
If there are any unexpected larger movements, lasering will stop and then start again after realignment. A full UPS battery backup covers any power fluctuations or loss.
How soon after surgery will I be able to tell that my vision is better?
Most people will experience an improvement in their sight immediately after surgery. By the following day, 98% of people will see well enough to legally drive. Your sight will stabilise about two to four weeks after surgery.
When can I return to work and resume normal day to day activities?
LASIK patients are generally back at work two days after treatment and can resume the likes of light exercise within a week. With PRK, recovery takes longer and patients are typically off work for a week or more.
...about the cost of laser surgery
How much does the surgery cost?
Our Standard Fee for Laser Refractive Surgery (SMILE, LASIK, PRK or Presbyond) on both eyes is NZ$6,900 inclusive of GST ($3,450 inc GST per eye).
This includes pre-op consultation with a surgeon, surgery and post-op checks at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 month and 6 month intervals.
Laservision Eye Clinic Merivale accepts payment via cheque, Eft-POS, VISA, Mastercard and RuralCo Card.
Can my medical insurance cover the cost of my surgery?
Most medical insurance companies don't cover laser eye surgery as it is classed as 'cosmetic procedure' and 'not necessary'. If you have medical insurance, we recommend you contact your provider for further details.