Optical Express has grown to become one of Europe’s leading providers of laser eye surgery. It operates over 200 clinics, of which 100 are specifically designated laser consultation clinics and 54 are laser treatment clinics.
With locations throughout the UK, Holland, Germany, Ireland, France and Croatia, Optical Express has carried out over one million laser eye surgery procedures worldwide. What’s more, over 99% of patients would recommend Optical Express to their friends and family.
Pros: Value for money, caring surgeons, 128 UK clinics, latest technology, dedicated aftercare
Cons: No fixed prices (talk to them for a quote)
☝ Compare clinics: See if there are any other top-rated clinics near you, and use our simple tool to receive a personalised quote.
- Optical Express Laser Eye Surgery Review
- The Verdict
- Surgeon Reviews
- 1,806 Patient Reviews
I’m very happy with my laser treatment. There’s nothing to worry about – there’s no pain, and I would recommend it to anybody. The aftercare at Optical Express is also very good. I just wish i had done it years ago. – Philip Lavelle
Optical Express uses world leading technology, and their laser platform – the VISX S4IR – delivers safe, accurate and precise results. Fun fact: Optical Express is the only vision correction provider to invest in the iFS150 intraLASE in each of its clinics – the same technology that led to NASA backing laser eye surgery for astronauts in 2007.
Over 99% of Optical Express patients achieved 20/20 vision or better following treatment, according to a study carried out in June 2017.
With over 25 years’ experience in eye care, Optical Express boasts excellent surgical outcomes, and has invested £400 million in technology to offer advanced methods for vision correction.
Optical Express has 128 clinics in the UK alone – far more than any other eye surgery provider. Its locations include London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin, with many more situated in all corners of the country.
Here is how nearly 2,000 real customers rate Optical Express for its clinic, cost, treatments and surgeons:
|Optical Express Rating Overall||Clinic Rating||Cost Rating||Surgeon Rating||Treatments Rating|
(4.6 out of 5)
(4.5 out of 5)
(4.8 out of 5)
(4.5 out of 5)
(4.7 out of 5)
CQC Rating: Good
- Treating people with respect and involving them in their care
- Providing care, treatment and support that meets people’s needs
- Caring for people’s safely and protecting them from harm
- Quality and suitability of management
True, it was an expensive operation, but I spent £500 a year on contact lenses and optician appointments – I see it as an investment! – Dave Reyner
(4.8 out of 5)
Laser eye surgery at Optical Express costs from just £595, or from £1,995 for lens replacement surgery. Of course, these prices depend on the treatment you choose, as well as your prescription, so you’ll want to pop in for a free consultation to get a tailored quote.
Optical Express is one of the cheapest laser eye surgery clinics in the UK. Its prices are well below average, compared to over 70 leading eye clinics and hospitals nationwide.
There are also a range of pay monthly finance options, so you can benefit from eye surgery for less than £50 a month – and it’s 0% finance for 10 month contracts.
Are there any hidden costs? No, the consultation is free, and you even get free eye tests worth £800. The only downside is not having fixed prices like at Optegra and Optimax, but at least the costs are lower at the end of the day.
Here are the prices of some of Optical Express’ popular lens and laser surgery options:
|Eye Surgery Procedure||Price (per eye)||Finance Options (per month)|
(10 months on 0% APR, £100 deposit)
|LASIK||From £1,195||£42.02 |
(for 18 months on 11.5% APR, £500 deposit)
|LASEK (with iDesign)||From £1,495||£41.69 |
(for 24 months on 11.5% APR, £500 deposit)
|LASIK (with iDesign)||From £1,495||£46.35 |
(for 24 months on 11.5% APR, £500 deposit)
|Monofocal lens surgery||From £1,995||£48.89 |
(for 36 months on 11.5% APR, £500 deposit)
|Multifocal lens surgery||From £3,195||£47.39 |
(for 72 months on 11.5% APR, £500 deposit)
|Phakic IOL||From £3,395||£47.39 |
(for 72 months on 11.5% APR, £500 deposit)
☛ Want a tailored quote? The only way to compare exact quotes is to see an eye expert for a check-up. These can cost up to £250, but with our simple tool, you can find out how much laser or lens surgery will cost you at Optical Express for free.
Fantastic! I am so pleased I has the treatment – playing sports is so much easier! All the staff were very helpful, reassuring, and happy answering my questions. I’ll definitely be recommending Optical Express to everyone, their service is excellent! – Stephanie Yeadon
(4.7 out of 5)
Laser Eye Surgery
Laser eye surgery is a simple procedure that can correct your vision in a matter of minutes. Optical Express offers the most popular types: LASIK and LASEK (if you are not suitable for the surgical LASIK).
In both treatments, a cool beam advanced laser reshapes the cornea (the surface of your eye). Optical Express uses a technology called iDesign, which is based on Wavefront technology and takes thousands of eye measurements to produce the best results.
Optical Express has 20 years’ experience in lens replacement surgery. This surgery is a popular treatment for people with long distance vision, short distance vision, and even cataracts.
An eye consultant can help you decide which surgery best suits your needs:
- Refractive lens exchange (RLE) – This surgery replaces the natural lens with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) implant.
- Phakic IOL – This type of IOL is an alternative to laser eye surgery for patients with strong prescriptions.
- YAG laser treatment – YAG laser capsulotomy is a non-invasive procedure used to treat refractive former lens exchange patients whose vision starts to fade over the years.
Optical Express performs the highest number of cataract surgeries – after the NHS, according to its website.
Cataracts are small, blurry patches on your eyes, giving you cloudy vision. Cataract surgery involves removing your damaged lens, and replacing it with a premium synthetic one for sharper near and distance vision.
Optical Express custom-fits its aftercare plan to every patient. This plan includes any medication that will aid the healing process, optometrist-led follow-up appointments, and an out-of-hours medical helpline.
Patients receive 12 months’ continued care as standard, and Optical Express recommends annual examinations to maintain your eye health.
All surgical procedures carry a degree of risk. However, laser eye surgery has an impressive success rate, and is the most popular elective surgery in the world.
99.2% of patients achieved at least 20|20 vision following surgery at Optical Express, based on a study of 190,231 Optical Express patients with the most common prescriptions. That’s why this eye clinic promises 20|20 vision or your money back.
Just be aware that the risks increase the more complicated the surgery. Optical Express will provide a screening service to check whether you are suitable for surgical treatment.
I can highly recommend Optical Express. They are very professional, and the procedure was pain free. The best thing now is I can see very well without glasses – and it was only done 3 weeks ago. – Elaine Gibson
(4.6 out of 5)
Optical Express is the best voted place for laser and lens replacement surgery, based on nearly 9,000 independent reviews on Lasik Eyes since 2002. With hard-to-beat prices, leading technology, and fully qualified surgeons, this clinic tops the list of best laser eye surgery clinics in the UK, as well as taking the crown for:
- Best eye surgery in London
- Best eye surgery in Scotland
- Best eye surgery in Manchester
- Best eye surgery in Bristol
But is it right for you? The only way to find out is to see if you’re eligible for 20/20 vision or your money back, and to get a tailored quote. That’s why we make it easy to pop in for a free consultation, have free eye tests (worth £800), and talk through your options with an eye expert.
Next steps: Our simple tool helps thousands of readers a day get one step closer to 20/20 sight:
- Find the top clinic in seconds: Answer three questions to be matched with the leading eye clinic in your area
- Check you’re eligible in minutes: Receive a quick call to check you can get surgery (we don’t share your number with anyone else)
- Book a free consultation: Talk to an expert at a clinic you can trust for a free eye test (worth £800) and personalised quote (with no obligation)
Mr Mehul Damani
MBBS, MS, DOMS, DNB, FRCS
Mr Luca Antico
Mr Manek Patel
Mr Dimitri Kazakos
Dr Mohammed Shabbar Kazmi
Mr Jonathan Carr
MD MA(Cantab) FRCOphth
Doctor Jan Venter
Mr Khalid Khan
MBBS FRCS FRCOphth
Mr Jacobus Pauw
MBChB MMedOphth FCSOphth
Mr Sanjay Mantry
FRCOphth FRCS FRCS
Mr Andre Oberholster
Mr Stefan Klopper
Mr Waseem Aziz
MB ChB FRCS
Mr Alex George
FRCOphth, FRCS MS, DOMS, DNB
I had natural lens replacement in June 2019, and unfortunately I cant say i’m as pleased as a lot of reviewers . I have been back several times for check ups and to express my concerns, in so much as my eyes are always going in and out of focus especially when looking at road signs, the halos around headlights are not getting better and at times I feel i’m looking through a tunnel. The only response to this so far is it will get better. I will say I no longer need glasses but its not comfortable at the moment. My 3 month appointment is coming up soon so will post again after that. Well I’ve been back for my 3 month check up and surprise surprise same response to my issues . My peripheral vision is still impaired and at time i feel I’m looking through a haze, but all they seem to be concerned about is the fact i can see the wall chart and the little book. Given the choice again i think i would keep my £6000 pounds and spend it on a nice pair of designer varifocal glasses.
Visited the Hull clinic in August to discuss Laser Treatment and was told I’d be a perfect candidate for Lens Replacement. After tests and a consultation, Multifocal implants were recommended and surgery was booked to take place in Manchester the following month. As I needed to be at the clinic at 7:30am and then revisit the following morning for a check up, I booked 2 nights in a hotel. On the day of surgery, after similar tests, the clinician decided I was not suitable for Multifocal lens replacement and recommended Mono Focal lenses instead, after she explained her reasons, I agreed to go ahead but Optical Express refused to carry out the operation as I hadn’t had enough time to consider the change of advice. I returned to Hull where the first clinician insisted she was right all along and couldn’t understand why Manchester had disagreed with her. At this point, I lost faith and decided to cancel altogether. Optical Express agreed to a full refund but I was told this would still take 28 WORKING days to process. They made it clear they wouldn’t cover any of my expenses as it was written in their terms and conditions that operations can be cancelled for various reasons. My operation should have been 19th September, Optical Express claimed to have refunded me by 6th November but as of 16th December, I haven’t received a penny of the £6090 I paid in good faith on 10th August. I have raised a dispute with my Bank and they are now investigating. I feel Optical Express put profit way above customer service and have sales teams driven by commission rather than caring health professionals who should care for their clients.
Worst decision I’ve even made in my life. Only had reading glasses, 2 years on I still wear reading glasses but not have dry eyes, halos, starbursts, ghosting, PCO, Posterior Vitrous detachment, headaches, optical migranes. This had changed my life and not fro the better. I had put my review on Optical Express website but surprise surprise it was blocked.
After an initial positive consultation, it was agreed that I’d do a monovision trial over the weekend. When I returned, no-one I spoke to seemed to have any idea about what I’d been trialling, and trying to pay for my surgery proved challenging, as they didn’t know what I’d been told at my previous appointment. After being passed around to three different people, I finally managed to pay for my surgery, which was already booked. The day of the surgery itself was a little chaotic. I turned up at the agreed time, only to discover the doors locked and staff sitting outside, who told me to go away and have some breakfast then come back later when he person had turned up with the keys. I questioned this as I’d received a letter telling me not to eat before surgery. Once inside, they asked to see the letter and said that it was incorrect information and they wished those letters would stop being sent out as it’s not related to laser eye surgery but lens replacement surgery. The time of the surgery itself was true to its name, which should have given me a clue – optical express it was! I was shown into the theatre, where a cap was immediately placed on my head and I was told to lie on a chair. As soon as the surgery was complete, I was told to sit up and leave, to follow someone I couldn’t see very well as my eyes were blurry, out into the corridor and along to a different room. Here the surgeon checked my eyes quickly and I was bundled out again and into another room where someone was explaining different eye drops to me while I was struggling to keep my eyes open to see what they were showing me. At this point, I was told I couldn’t get a tube home due to the dust. No-one had mentioned this at any point previously, so I’d arranged no other transport and had to take an expensive taxi ride home. I was given blink eye drops for dryness, which are pretty useless on my eyes even before laser eye surgery. The information sheet I was given said that post treatment, I would be given light refreshment, but I was offered nothing, not even a cup of tea, and rushed out as fast as possible. Everything about the experience felt “express”. I arrived at my post surgery check-up the next day to find that they had no record of my appointment, in spite of them booking it at the same time they booked my surgery. At my one week post surgery appointment, I explained about the soreness and dryness of my eyes. Some yellow dye was placed in my eye and I was told they was dryness all over my eye. I was given two bottles of Hycosan and told to use it every hour or so until my eyes started to feel better. I asked why I hadn’t been given this one right after surgery, since they knew my eyes were a little dry to start with. I was told that it wasn’t “cost effective as blink are cheaper than Hycosan”. The two bottles ran out before my next appointment three weeks later (one month post surgery) and my eyes got sore and red. At this one month appointment, I was quickly asked to read the smallest line I could on the wall and the smallest line for reading the card in my hand. I wasn’t asked how my eyes were, so I offered the information instead, and said they were dry and sore. The person said that they could see that but that they’d run out of eye drops so couldn’t give me any. I was then taken to the front desk to book an appointment for four weeks time where I was told that they could let me kow when the eye drops come in and I could travel all the way back there and pick some up in a week or so! My husband asked me what was going on, so I turned to him and said, “this is the aftercare service”. I was then told, “as a goodwill gesture” I could go to the nearby Boots and buy Hycosan eyedrops and they would reimburse me with the receipt. The terms and conditions document says that “eye drops prescribed by their clinicians during the first three months are included in the amount paid for the primary surgical procedure.” Since my next appointment was in four weeks time and the last two bottles I was given ran out in just over two weeks, I bought three bottles to last the four weeks and returned to the shop. I was then told that I’d bought too many and they wouldn’t pay for three bottles. I explained that I’d been told by the person last time to use them every hour or so while my eyes were sore, so I’d bought enough to last four weeks. The person went away and came back to say that today’s clinician said I should only use them five times per day. I said I wasn’t told that until that moment, and offered to return one bottle to the shop. They went away again and came back to say that they would reimburse me the whole amount “this time”, again, “as a goodwill gesture”! Like they’re doing me a favour! It’s not a goodwill gesture if it’s included in the price of the surgery and Optical Express have run out and I have to go shopping for my own eye drops. The whole thing has been a pretty horrible experience so far. Customer service is lacking after the initial consultation when they sign you up to pay. Everything after that feels like you’re an inconvenience.
I went for a consultation at the Optical express in Westfield London, just to see if I was eligible. The consultation was good, nice and easy, it took some time but they managed that expectation from when I booked my appointment.
Everything after that moved quickly. There is definitely a ‘sales’ atmosphere, with the lady from the branch calling me almost daily – so you have to be firm if you want time to think about it, but it wasn’t an issue for me personally.
After negotiating the price, I went ahead and was keen to book with Mehul Damani, he seemed reputable with lots of experience. I’m glad I did, the surgery itself was over in minutes and was completely painless (I got it done at the Shaftsbury Avenue branch). The staff were excellent, the most annoying bit was waiting to go in for the surgery itself as it took some time, aside from that it was fine. I’d recommend both the Clinic and surgeon, a month later I’ve got 20:20 vision with it improving – so expecting to have better than 20:20 within the next couple of months. Good aftercare and no hesitation to give more dry eye drops when asked for.
I am tremendously grateful to Dr Jan Venter and the team at Optical Express. Kind, patient and most importantly a perfectionist who gave me eye sight better than I was born with. Bless you alll. What you have done for me is beyond words thank you so very much.
Dankie vir die geskenk.
I’ve been a glasses wearer for over 30 years due to a Astigmatisms, on numerous occasion my opticians suggested Laser surgery would not work for me.
However I decided to look into the procedure myself, I visited Optical Express in Preston in late May 2018, the advice was really clear and concise and I decided to go ahead.
The procedure was done at St Johns Street in Manchester on the 12th of June and I have to say the staff and the surgeon made the whole process easy to understand and 60 minutes later I was heading out of the Optical Express with 20/20 vision. A week later now that the misty vision has subsided and I can see perfectly, better than I was expecting.
I would recommend this to anybody who is suitable and considering the surgery as an alternative to wearing glasses.
My surgery got canceled with less than 48 notice leaving me having to lose my holidays and take more the following week which I don’t get paid for . I was told by optical express they would give me £600 in losses and it would be refunded in 3 to 5 days which I have confirmed in an email. I had to start chasing the money after 10 days when my bank was overdrawn then they told me it would be another 28 days till the refunded me. After ignoring all my emails and making 5 calls they have agreed to put my money back I’ll just have to swallow the overdraft charges. I would deal with these people again terrible customer service.
I had my treatment in 2013. The service and outcome was fantastic. However in April 2017 I developed posterior capsular opacity ( a known problem that generally occurs within the first year!!!! ) I was told that this was easily solved with laser treatment, and advised to ask for an NHS referral from my GP. I did this and was given an appointment for July. As I was finding the problem debilitating I asked for a private referral through Optical Express at a cost of approx £500. I was advised that I would be contacted by their head office with an appointment date. This never happened. Despite contacting my local branch an customer services, and being reassured that I would be contacted, I am still waiting that appointment contact. I have since been successfully treated by the NHS. Optical Express were fantastic in arranging my initial surgery, and prompt at taking my money. I was followed up for a year, but once that year has passed, they don’t want to know. I have been left very dissallusion do with their after care.
After my first consultation with Demiti where he explained all my options and the best outcome for me, we talked about my expectation and what to expect in the weeks to come, I left full of confidence and returned the following week, getting to London three days running was a bit of a bind but my Granddaughter loved the shopping experience.
Three weeks on and all is well, my vision gets better each day and has exceeded my expectation. The team in London were very professional and looked after me well.
Thank you All
I want to write a review whilst it’s all fresh in my head as I received laser eye surgery on 17th June 2017.
Just over 2 weeks ago I thought about getting laser eye treatment. I filled a form online and within minutes I was getting called from a lasik company. They referred me to Optical Express who were the closest to provide in my area.
I was booked in for a pre-consultation and it’s a very hard sale. They almost force you into deciding there and then so that you can receive a £500 discount. (Here’s where many others have written bad reviews as if you change your mind apparently it’s hard to get that money back.)
I had some issues at this point as I have unusual working hours and you need to speak directly with the surgeon prior to treatment and my slot was missed (not by me) and the lady who was dealing with me didn’t seem to be getting the job done so that I could get my surgeon telephone appointment. She also confused me over where I was having post operative consultations. I spend forever on the phone to an 0800 number trying to get it all sorted, which was a royal pain in the bum, and ended up calling a number that had called me which turned out to be the Meadowhall branch. Vicki from Meadowhall was fantastic and got everything organised there and then for me.
For whatever reason I live in York but had to get the laser eye surgery in Leeds and then had to go to Newcastle the following day for the post op, which was a bit frustrating, but I have wonderful family who were happy to take me to and from appointments.
When you read all the information about the surgery and all the possible outcomes it is VERY daunting, and you literally feel as though you’re signing your life away. However the team at Leeds were both calm and had lovely humour so really put me at ease before ‘going under the knife’. The surgery itself took about 10mins and completely painless. (I’m a wuss and it was absolutely fine!). Once it was done my vision was blurred but I could see!
I’d say the worst bit is about an hour after surgery where you literally can’t open your eyes as they’re just streaming (imaging chopping super strong onions for 4hours… that’s what it’s like). My mum had to guide me around the house just because I physically couldn’t open my eyes. I took some paracetamol and went to sleep for 2 hours. When I woke they were still watery but I could open my eyes! After another couple of hours I was doing some sewing!
Basically now (on day 3) my eyes can see wonderfully. They’re very dry, but I had dry eyes anyway so I’m used to this feeling and the eye drops certainly help.
I would absolutely recommend the Lasik treatment, and I figured 10years worth of contact lenses amounted to the same as the laser eye surgery, so whilst it seems expensive, if I don’t need to buy lenses again I’ll be saving in the long run.
Obviously there are people who have had undesired results (and I’d say they’re the one’s who tend to write the reviews) but the surgeon will tell you what percentage chance there is of things going wrong. Of course it’s not guaranteed and I was lucky as everything went according to plan (at least so far). So if you’re thinking about it but are hesitant, and perhaps the reviews you’ve read are negative, from my experience I’d say go for it. 🙂