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Lasik Surgery in Singapore

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What is LASIK Surgery in Singapore?

LASIK is a laser eye surgery procedure commonly used to treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The LASIK surgery procedure reshapes the cornea and focuses light into the retina, for better vision. LASIK surgery is painless and takes only about 15 minutes for both eyes. After the procedure, patients are usually able to see without glasses or contact lenses within a few hours. As vision stabilises over the next few days, vision continues to improve.

Laser Vision Correction & Surgery

This was first approved by the FDA in 1998 and many millions of patients have had it performed. In general, satisfaction rates are well over 90% and sight threatening complications such as corneal ectasia and infection are very rare.
Lasik is a two-step process where a corneal flap is first created with a femto-second laser and then laser ablation performed under the flap with a second excimer laser. The flap is then carefully repositioned and vision typically recovers very quickly but is not immediate. There may be some irritation after surgery but patients are usually back to normal daily activities the next day. Sometimes, a protective bandage contact lens is used which is removed by the surgeon after 1-3 days. The whole treatment is performed under topical anaesthesia (eye drops) and takes about 12-15 minutes. Mostly, patients need 2 days off work. Medicated eye drops are prescribed for 1 week. Lubricating or medicated eye drops may sometimes be needed for dry eyes for a longer period on a case by case basis. Lasik is a safe and effective treatment for the correction of refractive errors and has been approved by both the SAF and US military.

This was first approved by the FDA in 1998 and many millions of patients have had it performed. In general, satisfaction rates are well over 90% and sight threatening complications such as corneal ectasia and infection are very rare.
Lasik is a two-step process where a corneal flap is first created with a femto-second laser and then laser ablation performed under the flap with a second excimer laser. The flap is then carefully repositioned and vision typically recovers very quickly but is not immediate. There may be some irritation after surgery but patients are usually back to normal daily activities the next day. Sometimes, a protective bandage contact lens is used which is removed by the surgeon after 1-3 days. The whole treatment is performed under topical anaesthesia (eye drops) and takes about 12-15 minutes. Mostly, patients need 2 days off work. Medicated eye drops are prescribed for 1 week. Lubricating or medicated eye drops may sometimes be needed for dry eyes for a longer period on a case by case basis. Lasik is a safe and effective treatment for the correction of refractive errors and has been approved by both the SAF and US military.

ASA or Advanced surface ablation comprises the techniques of PRK, LASEK and epi LASIK. Generally, these 3 procedures are the same and differ only in the method by which the corneal epithelium is removed. They differ from LASIK mainly in that they do not need the creation of a corneal flap and leave the eye stronger bio-mechanically and is the technique of choice for those in the RSAF. The procedure takes about 12-15 minutes and is performed with topical anaesthesia (eye drops). Firstly, the corneal epithelium is removed with dilute alcohol and then the excimer laser ablation applied to reshape the front corneal surface. An anti-scarring medicine is then used for 1 minute in order to reduce the risk of scarring or haze. Finally, a bandage contact lens is applied to allow healing to take place. In general, the eye will be uncomfortable for 3 to 5 days and patients generally need a medical certificate for this period. Medicated eye drops need to be used for 3 months. Lubricating or medicated eye drops may sometimes be needed for dry eyes for a longer period on a case by case basis Vision tends to be blurry during the healing phase and does not stabilize for about 3 to 6 months. However, patients are generally back to daily activities including driving after about a week.
Dr Eugene Tay has been performing LASEK surgery with mitomycin-C (anti-scarring medicine) for over 10 years with excellent results. LASEK is a good technique for patients who have physically demanding jobs such as military or police personnel as it is a ‘flapless’ technique and does not have the risk of LASIK flap related complications. It is better suited for those with low to moderate myopia or with thinner corneas.

Corneal cross-linking is an outpatient procedure performed under topical anaesthesia (eye drops) for the treatment of keratoconus. It takes about 30 mins to perform and the down time is about 1 week. The cross-linking procedure is a 2-step process. Firstly, the corneal epithelium (skin) is removed and then the underlying tissue is soaked with liquid riboflavin (vitamin B2). Following this, UV light is used to treat the eye in a controlled fashion. This procedure causes new bonds to form between the cornea fibres resulting in stabilization and strengthening. A bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to aid in healing and is usually removed after 1-2 weeks. Corneal cross-linking, in recent years, has also been combined with Laser Vision Correction techniques resulting in procedures such as SMILE Xxtra and Lasik Xtra. The aim of performing corneal cross-linking with laser vision correction is to reduce the risk of corneal ectasia and refractive regression.

In keratoconus, there is a progressive distortion and thinning of the cornea resulting in the worsening of vision. Onset is usually in the late teens to early adulthood.

In general, laser vision correction may be considered for people who do not wish to use glasses or contact lenses for personal, occupational or medical reasons. These are: LASIK, ReLEx SMILE and Advanced Surface Ablation (PRK, LASEK, Epi-LASIK). Laser vision correction can treat Myopia, Hyperopia and Presbyopia or ‘Lao Hua’ when performed with monovision.

The requirements for laser vision correction are:

  1. Minimum age of 18 years.
  2. Stable myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.
  3. Absence of pre-existing eye conditions such as severe dry eyes, advanced glaucoma and keratoconus.
  4. Absence of certain systemic conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes.
  5. Regular corneal shape and thickness.
  6. Not Pregnant

How is LASIK Surgery Performed?

LASIK surgery in Singapore is performed by creating a very thin, superficial flap in the cornea with a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. Once the hinged flap is folded back, the surgeon can access the underlying cornea and remove some corneal tissue using an excimer laser. The excimer laser directs an ultraviolet light beam, reshaping the cornea so that light entering the eye focuses more accurately on the retina for improved vision. The flap is then laid back in place after the cornea has been reshaped with laser ablation. After LASIK surgery, the flap is sealed to the cornea beneath.

Procedures of lasik surgery

Benefits of Lasik Surgery

With the abundance of benefits LASIK surgery brings, it continues to rise in popularity, with more people undergoing the procedure. Firstly, LASIK surgery eliminates the need for contacts or glasses. For contact wearers, this offers a better cost-efficient solution in the long run. The cost of contacts can average to about $375 to $450 a year, rendering LASIK surgery cost in Singapore to be more worth the investment. For glasses wearers, LASIK surgery provides greater convenience, especially when it comes to sports related activities. Moreover, being able to wear shades and sunglasses are no longer a hassle.

Secondly, LASIK surgery has long-lasting results. Once the eye has stabilised for about three months, LASIK results are expected to be permanent. The recovery process of LASIK surgery is also quick and effortless. Majority of ophthalmologists estimate that patients can return to their normal schedule within a day or two of surgery, unless they work in particularly dirty or dusty conditions. Last but not least, LASIK surgery improves vision. In fact, 90% of patients performing LASIK get 20/20 vision or better!

How To Prepare for LASIK Surgery in Singapore

Pre-LASIK Surgery

Preparing for LASIK surgery in Singapore involves several essential steps. First, schedule a comprehensive eye examination with a qualified ophthalmologist to assess your suitability for the procedure. During this visit, discuss your medical history, current medications, and lifestyle habits. The eye doctor will perform a series of tests to measure the thickness and curvature of your cornea, as well as your refractive errors.

Follow any pre-surgery instructions provided by your LASIK surgeon, which may include avoiding contact lenses for a specific period before the surgery. On the day of the surgery, arrange for someone to drive you home, as your vision might be temporarily blurry immediately after the procedure.

LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery is a quick and virtually painless procedure. Before the surgery, your eye will be numbed with eye drops to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the process. The surgeon will use a laser to create a thin flap on the cornea, which is then gently lifted. The laser will reshape the corneal tissue based on your specific refractive errors. The entire process typically takes around 15 minutes for both eyes.

Most patients experience improved vision immediately after LASIK surgery, although some might notice slight discomfort or a burning sensation, which is temporary. Your surgeon will provide post-operative care instructions, including using prescribed eye drops and attending follow-up appointments.

Post-LASIK Surgery

After LASIK surgery, it’s crucial to rest your eyes for a few days. Avoid activities that might strain your eyes, such as reading, using electronic devices, or watching TV for extended periods. Wear protective eyewear, especially at night, to prevent accidental rubbing of your eyes. Follow the prescribed medication schedule diligently to prevent infection and promote healing.

Attend all post-operative appointments with your LASIK surgeon to monitor your progress. Most patients can return to work and normal activities within a few days to a week after the surgery, but it’s essential to continue following the post-operative care guidelines provided by your doctor. Over the next few weeks, your vision will continue to improve, and you’ll experience the full benefits of LASIK surgery, enjoying clear and crisp vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK or ReLEx SMILE?

ReLEx SMILE (Refractive Lenticule Extraction – Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a minimally invasive, flapless lenticule extraction procedure that is FDA-approved and ideal for those with active lifestyles. ReLEx SMILE in Singapore enables some of the benefits of LASIK to be achieved with less invasive surgery. By creating and removing a tiny piece of corneal tissue within the eye, ReLEx SMILE can reshape the cornea. In contrast to LASIK surgery, where a 22mm cut is made, the lenticule is extracted through a 2mm micro-incision, resulting in a faster and more comfortable healing process. No flap is created, which eradicates the risk of flap complications (dislodgement, wrinkles, inflammations) or dry eyes.

Ultimately, conditions vary from patient to patient. Should you plan to undergo eye surgery, it is highly recommended to consult your eye specialist. Your eye specialist will assess your eye condition and determine the most suitable treatment option, whether it be LASIK surgery or reLEx SMILE for you!

Laser vision correction is able to treat a wide variety of refractive errors including myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Presbyopia or ‘lao hua’ may be helped with monovision techniques.

What is the Cost of Lasik Surgery in Singapore?

In Singapore, LASIK surgery costs are influenced by various factors, and understanding these aspects can help individuals make informed decisions.

Financing Options:

LASIK surgery in Singapore can be covered by Medisave under specific conditions. This includes cases of anisometropia, where there is a significant difference of more than 3 dioptres in the “spherical equivalent” between the two eyes. Additionally, the procedure is covered if it is used to correct refractive errors resulting from previous eye surgery, such as cataract surgery. For added convenience, Nova Eye Centre offers instalment plans for DBS credit cardholders, providing 6 or 12 months of interest-free payments.

Average Cost of LASIK in Singapore:

The cost of LASIK surgery in Singapore varies among clinics, and the average expense typically falls within the range of $2,980 to $4,500. It’s essential for prospective patients to inquire about the breakdown of costs at their chosen clinic, as this can include pre-operative assessments, the surgery itself, and post-operative care.

Factors Affecting the Cost of LASIK:

  • Clinic Reputation and Expertise: Established and reputable clinics with experienced surgeons may charge higher fees due to their track record of successful procedures.
  • Technology and Equipment: Technologies and equipment used during LASIK surgery can impact costs. Clinics offering the latest technology may have higher fees.
  • Surgeon’s Fee: The surgeon’s expertise and experience play a significant role in the cost. 
  • Pre-Operative Assessments: Some clinics include comprehensive pre-operative assessments in the overall cost, ensuring that patients are thoroughly evaluated for the procedure.
  • Post-Operative Care: The cost may also encompass follow-up visits and post-operative care, contributing to the overall quality of service.

Get in touch with our team at Nova Eye Centre to obtain detailed information about costs and associated services.

What Are the Risks Associated With Laser Vision Correction & Surgery?

While laser vision correction surgery is generally considered safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, it carries certain risks. Let us share the comparative risks associated with the following procedures.

Bladeless LASIK (Femtosecond LASIK)

  • Although bladeless LASIK uses a laser to create the corneal flap instead of a microkeratome blade used in traditional LASIK, there is still a risk of flap-related complications such as flap dislocation, wrinkling, or incomplete flap creation.
  • LASIK surgery can sometimes cause or exacerbate dry eye syndrome, leading to symptoms such as dryness, discomfort, and fluctuating vision.
  • While the goal of LASIK is to correct vision, there is a risk of undercorrection (insufficient correction of refractive error) or overcorrection (excessive correction), which may require additional procedures or the use of corrective lenses.

ReLEx SMILE

  • Similar to LASIK surgery, ReLEx SMILE can lead to dry eye syndrome as a side effect, which may be temporary or persist long-term.
  • Although the risk is extremely low, there have been reports of corneal ectasia (weakening and bulging of the cornea) following ReLEx SMILE surgery, particularly in patients with pre-existing corneal irregularities or thin corneas.
  • Some patients may experience temporary visual disturbances such as glare, halos, or difficulty with night vision, especially during the early stages of recovery.

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)

  • Compared to LASIK, ASA usually involves a longer recovery period and slower visual improvement due to the absence of a corneal flap. It may take several days to weeks for patients’ vision to stabilise after the procedure.
  • Patients undergoing ASA may experience higher levels of discomfort.
  • As ASA involves the removal of the corneal epithelium (outer layer of the cornea), there is a slightly higher risk of corneal infection compared to LASIK.

Corneal crosslinking (Xtra)

  • Although rare, there is a risk of developing an infection following corneal crosslinking. This risk can be mitigated by the use of antibiotics before and after the procedure, but it’s still essential to monitor for signs of infection such as increased pain, redness, or discharge from the eye.
  • Some patients may experience corneal haze, which is a cloudy or blurry appearance of the cornea. This typically resolves over time but may affect vision temporarily.
  • In rare cases, corneal ulceration may occur as a result of the procedure. This is characterised by an open sore on the cornea and requires prompt treatment to prevent complications.

What Is the Best Laser Vision Correction Option for Me?

Before seeking treatment, we recommend consulting an eye specialist. The eye doctor will conduct an eye evaluation to determine which procedure is most suitable for you.

Generally, the ideal treatment method will depend on the following factors:

  • Corneal thickness and shape – If your corneal is quite thin, the eye doctor may recommend ASA.
  • Degree of short-sightedness – If you have mild short-sightedness, ASA may emerge as the optimal treatment choice.
  • Degree of astigmatism – If you have a severe case of astigmatism, LASIK surgery may be the most suitable treatment option.
  • Lifestyle and occupation – If you are into contact sports, you may consider a flapless procedure, like epi-LASIK or ReLEx SMILE, to avoid accidental injury to the eye which may affect the corneal flap.

What are the Side Effects of Laser Vision Correction Surgery?

Patients undergoing laser vision correction surgery may experience temporary side effects over the following days or weeks after treatment:

  • Corneal flap complications and infections (very rare with today’s laser technology)
  • Dry eyes
  • Glares
  • Haloes
  • Mild vision fluctuation

Patients may also encounter a tiny probability of under or over-correction of eyesight power (less than 5% of cases). However, those with resulting prescriptions of +/-0.75 or more must undergo enhancement surgery 3 months after their procedure or when their refractive error has stabilised to correct the issue. 

Please note that the side effects associated with these procedures may vary depending on individual factors such as corneal thickness, refractive error, and overall eye health.

Before undergoing any type of laser vision correction surgery, it’s essential to consult an eye specialist to assess candidacy, discuss potential side effects, and determine the most suitable treatment option based on individual needs and expectations.

FAQs about Lasik Surgery

LASIK surgery in Singapore can be covered by Medisave under certain conditions. · There is anisometropia, which is defined as a difference of more than 3 dioptres (300 degrees) of “spherical equivalent” between the two eyes. · The procedure is used to correct the refractive error caused by previous eye surgery such as cataract surgery.

The LASIK surgery cost in Singapore varies from clinic to clinic with the average cost ranging from $2,980 to $4,500.

LASIK surgery in Singapore is a safe, effective and quick procedure, with a success rate of 96% globally.

 

The results of LASIK surgery are usually permanent. However, factors such as aging or changes in the eyes might require additional procedures, which your eye specialist in Singapore can discuss with you.

Yes, LASIK is effective in correcting astigmatism. Your eye doctor in Singapore will determine the suitability of LASIK for your specific astigmatism during the evaluation.

It depends on the severity of your dry eyes. Your eye specialist in Singapore will assess your condition and advise you on the best course of action, which may include addressing dry eyes before LASIK surgery.

LASIK may not be suitable for individuals with certain eye conditions. Consult with your eye doctor in Singapore to determine the appropriate treatment options if you have glaucoma or cataracts.

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