Laser Eye Surgery Review
Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital may not be on everyone’s shortlist for finding quality laser eye surgery in London. But based on the “Good” rating from the CQC and glowing customer reviews for keeping patients happy, you may want to consider this clinic.
How do you find it? For laser eye surgery, the Westminster Bridge Consulting Rooms are situated on the ground floor of Gassiot House in St Thomas’ Hospital (London SE1 7EH). Gassiot House is sited at the corner of Westminster Bridge Road and Lambeth Palace Road on the North side of Lambeth Palace Road.
That said, we only have a handful of positive independent reviews for this eye hospital on Lasik Eyes. You maybe safer trusting somewhere like Optical Express, Moorfields Private Eye Hospital or AccuVision, which all have between several hundreds and thousands of thumbs-up ratings from customers, and are also located in London, or you can use our simple tool to find the top-rated eye surgery clinic in your neck of London.
Mr. O'Brart has given me the go ahead to do my right eye now (March 1st). The left eye has stabilised such that I could have 20/20 vision with a +0.5 dioptres lens. Opticians will not prescribe glasses for this level of correction. I am delighted at the outcome.
Mr. O'Brart said that he doesn't know why people do LASIK or PRK since LASEK is so much more predictable in his experience.
Had 3 month check up back in December and everything is fine. You take things for granted once you become accustomed to your improved vision. I have not had any major problems and will be doing my other eye in the next 8 weeks. Other than that, I am very pleasesd with the overall outcome. The only slight problems I have had are dry-eye, but this has been very rare- maybe 3 times in the last 2 months; and sometimes in dark areas some slight haze around some lights, but I am a perfectionist and look for imperfections!!!!
I am looking forward to getting my right eye done and finishing with contact lens for good - in my opinion - this is far better than glasses, contacts etc. Highly recommended!
I've now had both my eyes LASEKed by Mr O'Brart, and can't recommend him too much! Part of my reasoning was his involvement in post graduate training, and the various listings you can find for him on the web. I'd rather trust a single person than an anonymous somebody at a clinic.
Both my eyes were a relatively uncomplicated -4, with slight astigmatism.
After the consultation I was confident that I had made a good choice, and all my subsequent experiences have confirmed this. I was happier with his conservative approach, and the lack of salesmanship, pointing ot that spectacles had caused no problems for 700 years.
My first eye was more painful than expected for 48 hours, and then suddenly settled down to an occasional itching. Interestingly, my second eye was less painful, and for only 4 hours!
My left eye after 6 weeks is now +0.5, and my right eye is still settling down after 1 week, but has been deliberately left slightly under corrected to compensate for the slight long sight in the left.
Suffice to say, I'm very happy with what has been done.
I have had my right eye done now (01/03/02). My 1 week check up revealed that my left eye is now 20/20 and it should stay there hopefully since this is now around 3 months after the op on that eye.
There is every reason to believe that my right eye will be just as good and it is healing nicely.
This time I had no postoperative pain at all (and obviously no pain during the op), which is probably because the protective contact lens fitted better this time round, perhaps because in the intervening 10 or so weeks between operations, I started to wear a lens in the untreated eye and got used to it.
I´m 45 and have always lived with -8.00 in both eyes. Over the past few years my eyes have become lass and less happy with prolonged use of contact lenses (soft, daily replacements) especially as I live in Madrid where absolutely everybody smokes the most repulsive cigarettes you could possibly imagine, the fumes not only sticking to your clothes but also, seemingly, coating your contact lenses.
I am very physically active (any Hashers out there) and I have finally decided to take the plunge. I am a very cautious person by nature and I spent a few weeks trawling various web sites and I came across Ariana´s pages which I have to say are excellent from the point of view of setting one off in particular directions of research. In the end I came to the following conclusions.
Firstly, I would not have the op done in Spain. My Spanish is good but I didn´t want a single word of misunderstanding between myself and the surgeon. I would therefore go back to England for the procedure. Secondly, and particularly in the US web sites, I was beginning to see more and more clinics writing about the "new improved" PRK procedure known as LASEK - with an "e". I must say that when I first saw LASEK in print (on this website actually) I thought it was a spelling mistake. But it´s not. I won´t get technical here but basically the LASEK procedure does not involve slicing the cornea - which is good because it is exactly this part of the procedure that introduces most of the risks of corrective surgery. Instead, the cornea is zapped on it´s surface. It is similar to the tried and trusted PRK procedure as I have said but the main difference is that the epithelial layer which runs over the cornea is "lifted" but then placed back over the zapped cornea. The result is that there is less post-surgery pain than before and with the use of the more modern lasers and with new "bandage lenses", LASEK seems to be now coming into favour. OK, so my mind is made up about LASEK - but who does it?
Step forward David O´Brart MD, FRCS, FRCOphth whose specialist interests are Refractive, Cataract and & Corneal Surgery. All the websites recommend that you investigate your surgeons. Even the best laser equipment in the World can cock-up in a big way if in the hands of an idiot. Just because you have a Rolls Royce doesn´t mean that you are automatically a good driver - you can still cause a lot of damage.
I chose David because of his deep general knowledge of the eye. It also transpires that he takes on cases where people have had bad corrective surgery. He didn´t seem to me to be a "machine operator" - he seemed to know the biology and physics of the eye. He also offered both LASIK and LASEK and I thought that he would be more likely to guide me to the correct process whereas other clincs would only offer you the one.
In addition, he himself did the tests and he himself would do the surgery.
And so it was that I phoned his assistant to make an appointment. Liz - his wife - gave me the low-down on David and, funny, but I felt I was talking to normal people Do you know what I mean?.I made an appointment to see David on Monday 22nd April for a consultation.
The day came and I must have asked David 100 questions. He took time to answer them all in a very non-technical way, which was very good. He made it clear that the best operation was no operation and that nothing could really beat glasses from the point of view of risk.
In the end we agreed on LASEK. a) because of my -8.00 eyes and b) because the risk of cutting the cornea is not present. I got the distinct feeling the David is sold on not cutting corneas if that can be helped. He should know. Another thing that "sold" me on LASEK is that it´s PRK ancestry has 12 years of post-operative statistics to back it up. And LASIK??? About 2 years. Well ....!
So here I am, writing this introduction to what is sure to be an interesting journey. I have my first operation - one eye at the time, as recommended by the expert - on June 14th. If all goes well the right eye will be done 3 months later. David will keep close track of my op because he is an academic and he also keeps meticulous records for subsequent publication. Another good point I feel.
I´ll keep this column informed of my progress.
Now here’s something different - and you might be wondering why I´m posting a score of 5 when ..... Anyway, read on.
As noted earlier on this website (PS glad that Ariana had the courage to migrate) I went for LASEK on the left eye on 14th June. The eye was anaesthetised, alcohol solution applied and the epithelial layer carefully pulled back. David O´Brart placed me under the laser and the zapping started. David had informed me that the operation would take about 30 seconds ... so I was surprised when he shut down the laser after about 5 seconds. He then said those words which none of us want to hear under these particular circumstances "We have a problem. I´m aborting the procedure as it´s not safe to continue".
Bloody hell! David guided me back into the waiting room and informed his waiting patients that they should go home as there was a problem with the laser.
David apologised profusely and was totally perplexed. Apparently, after about 3000 safe operations - and 4 to 5 of those immediately before mine (they were subsequently checked out and are fine) - the laser, despite it’s multiple fail safes, decided to misalign of it’s own accord DURING the operation. Now, remember what I said in my first posting to this website - my Rolls Royce analogy on man v machine. So there I am, under the laser, and David notices (percentage by luck, but largely through experience I would guess) some "fluorescent flashing" on the masking which is laid over the eye. Now THAT shouldn’t have been happening
So, what happened next!
Concerning the laser, technicians were called - and were equally baffled. The only conclusion they could come to was that the machine had received a heavy knock - and we are talking about a substantial knock here. Trouble is, no-one can think how this could have happened. Certainly neither David nor I had done anything of the kind. I am informed the machine is back in use and is working 100%.
Concerning my eye ..... At the time it was too early for David to assess what damage - if any - might have been done to the eye. His advice to me was to leave the eye open and unprotected by the normally applied surgical contact lens. He told me it would be very painful but it would be the safest course and he would see me again on the Monday. Well, pain was not an apt description. I needed knock out tablets to get me through the night and during the day I had no choice but to over-prescribe myself on anaesthetic eye drops which would give relief for up to 30 minutes at a time. No joking, it was like having a huge piece of grit under the eyelid and not being able to touch the eye in any way. The pain lasted the full three days - and then diminished rapidly thereafter as the epithelial layer started to repair itself.
Results .... For four weeks after the op I was experiencing two disturbing side effects. Firstly, you’d be looking at lines (say, in the road) and they would double up and separate with distance - although the image would be weaker than the actual line. And then there was the doubling up of all images - especially disturbing at night with lights. All cars had four stoplights - plus halo effects.
I have to admit I was worried up until very recently. Over the past week the double imaging is much reduced and my eye seems to have settled to within, say, 10% of the original starting prescription. I have seen David about 4 times since the operation and at all times he has been attentive - even calling me a few times to see how I was over that first weekend. (He was just as upset as me about the whole episode. Quote "My patients come to me and expect to leave in a better state - not worse").
I delayed this follow up report until today because I was in England last week and took the opportunity to have some further scans on the eye. Looking at the scans, it appears that the laser was aiming a fraction of a millimetre above the targeted area - and you can quite clearly see that the area of ablation was still in the process of "filling in". This means that there is still a little improvement to come and this will hopefully get me back to within a couple of percent of where I was before all this started.
Next steps ..... David has been looking at some new wave guide (?) lasers in Germany and I understand he’ll be using these in the future. I had already expressed a lack of confidence in his current kit and we originally mused over the idea that I would be put under the new technology. However, we have decided that it would be far better to continue the treatment under the current machine as we know exactly where we have left off and what we have to do to finish the job- we didn’t really want to introduce other variables.
We have also agreed that the left eye would be re-zapped on ..... yes .... Friday 13th September. Foolish or what?.
In summary then, I’m really glad I went for a someone of David’s calibre. I am convinced that as machinery can and does go wrong, you really do need an expert to spot that fact very quickly indeed. I am also lucky, I suppose, in that I chose LASEK. With LASIK, the cornea would have been sliced and the damage would have been done inside the cornea, thus requiring further cutting on the same lines in three months time. All other aspects of the operation went fine. David got a "really nice" edge on the epithelial layer and he was able to return it with very little loss. I had no dry eye, I had no other after effects.
Lessons to be learnt...... 1. Machines can cock up. 2. Get the best man for the job. 3. If at first you don´t succeed.....
I´ll keep you posted but it’ll be all quiet for a while until after I’ve had my second op.
My wife wanted Mr O’Brarts phone number to go and see him, so I looked it up from this site. I then read my reports from now over 1 year ago! So how have I got on? Well I haven’t done eye number 2 yet. The dryness I used to get is now much much better, but I do still get some dryness, although now I find a little moisture and all is fine. I have not had the rush to the bathroom for tap water whilst in pain for well over 6 months, so that is now behind me. The night vision is now perfect. The brain has now compensated perfectly. So why haven’t I done eye number 2? Well I now have 20/20 vision, so why risk the operational risk. So I am content to stay where I am. A year on I have 20/20 vision, don’t wear glasses, and have no trouble with my night vision. A very small amount of dry eye, which I believe will completely go over time is a fantastic result.
Well it has been 1 year now since I had my left eye done and 6 months for my right eye. Having read some of the problems other people on this site have had, I can honestly say how happy and grateful I am for the success results of my operations. My right eye which was approx (-1.5) is now perfect and its as though there was no treatment on it. My left eye was (-3.5), 1 year on the vision is perfect in daylight. No dryness or any other complications. At night, in very dark conditions, my left eye tends to dilate and this can cause slight eye strain and halos around rear car lights. But generally the halos are reduced when using both eyes. Its only when I use my LEFT eye on its own when halos are significant. As soon as I use both eyes, the halos pretty much go. This is not a major factor anyway as I am right eye dominant. Overall, very pleased with the outcome and now just need to book and appt with Mr O'Brart for that 6 month check up!
I had my first eye LASEK'd by Dr David O'Brart on August 31st 2001 and the other eye done on 1st March 2002. It was a long time between having my eyes done because I had various holidays and things already arranged. Upon reflection I wish I would of had the second eye done sooner! I would definately recommend David, he explains everything to the minutist detail and the operation is quick and painless. I myself had very little pain afterwards, more like what I would call a 'mild stinging' for 36 hours (like conjunctivitus). I am extremely pleased with the outcome. Before the operation I was: Left eye: -1.25 Right Eye: -1.25 (6/15 on the snellen eye chart) After the operation I am: Left eye: 0 Right eye: 0 (I can now read 6/5 on the snellen eye chart, better than the average person). I also had astigmatism in both eyes. I have still have a very small amount in my left eye, but hardly enough to notice. I have no side effects such as ghosting, halos etc, these soon disappeared within a few weeks after the operation. My pupils are 7mm dialated. My girlfriend goes in for her first eye to be LASEK'd next Friday. I will make sure she lets you all know how she gets on!
Tove-Lise De Caen
I have just had my first eye treated with the LASEK procedure by David O'Brart and I was so surprised I could see better straight after the operation but my sight did go blury after a while and I am now slowing getting clearer vision. There was slight pain in the first 24 hours but after that the bandage lens I had in my eye, just left me feeling like I had grit in my eye, but once that was removed it was fine. I am now looking forward to having the other eye done. I would certainly recommend Mr O'Brart.