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.
I regretably had LASEK at Ultralase in St. Albans and afterwards suffered burning eyes and blurred vision, I was advised that I could go back to work (I'm a PA working on a computer in an airconditioned office)as long as took regular breaks and promptly suffered sudden flashing lights and floaters, which I now have been advised is a partial vitreous detachment and at 31, this should not have happended. I then have been also left with burning eyes and blurred vision for 5 months until seeing David O'Brart at St. Thomas's who patched my eyes with antibiotic cream and gave me punctul plugs and now I am in no discomfort and can see! Ultralse kept telling me I had Blephritus and there was nothing they could do whereas David healed me within a week! I would strongly advise anyone to go to David for their treatment and only wish I had. I am now left with all these floaters which I firmly believe are from straining my eyes on the computer that I could hardly see and so wish I could turn the clock back!
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.
What can I say, but thanks to David O'Brart my life has changed. A year ago I couldn't recognise my own son from 6ft away. I was -8.5 in the right eye and -8 in the left, both with astigmatisms. I tried Ultralase who only did LASIK but because I had thin corneas they couldn't treat me. After research I found St Thomas's and Mr O'Brart. It's now been a year since I had my right eye treated (9 months for the left) and what a difference it has made. Very little pain with the right but more so with the left. David was very reassuring throughout and I felt much happier being seen by the consultant doing the operation in the first place than (like ultralase) being passed round from one assistant to another each doing their own tests. The only problem I've experienced was a little dry eye in very hot temperatures. And the result, I'm now +0.5 in the right, and =0.35 in left, legal to drive, no reading glasses needed and I can recognise my son across a football field. Don't hesitate, do it now.
So, I went for my consultation with David o'Brart yesterday afternoon and I've decided to go ahead next week for Bilateral LASEK - I have -3dioptres in both eyes - so I'm mildly myopic I was please that he didn't offer LASIK - as the flap option really disturbs me. He's obviously an incredibly competent guy and very well respected in the international community. He was extremely pleasant and answered all of my many questions. I recommend taking a friend family member with you for your first consultation as they may have questions you forget to ask! So I go next Friday - watch this space. For more info on David go to: www.davidobrart.co.uk
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.
I have spent the best part of the last year doing lots of research on the internet with regard to Laser Eye surgery and have found this web site to be absolutely invaluable. A friend had already recommended David O'Brart to me, and his name had been mentioned by others, but the comments on this web site assured me that he was the best person for the job. I had my consultation in November, very impressed with the way everything was explained to me and I was pleased that I was suitable for Lasek, as the invasive technique of Lasik had never appealed to me. Would you believe it took me weeks to pluck up the courage to book my first eye in, and with some trepidation, I arrived at St Thomas on 17th January with my sister, Janice, who had also decided to take the plunge, and have Lasek to correct her short-sightedness. I was very nervous, (understandable, I suppose, after all, it's not every day that one has eye surgery!), but David was very patient and calming. My right eye, the weakest, was duly 'zapped', and, apart from some pain after the protective contact lens was removed on the Monday, everything has been fine. It is now 2 weeks since the surgery and the vision is absolutely unbelievable. I was -8.25 with a severe astigmatism of -3, (I hadn't realised that I was that short sighted !!), but following my 10 day check up, on 27th January, I am ever so slightly long-sighted at +0.65 and I'm told that this will improve still. David has said that my left eye could be done in approx 6 weeks, which is great. My sister, Janice, is equally pleased with the results of her surgery. Anyone reading this who is unsure, I would say do your research like I did, but I would thoroughly recommend Mr O'Brart. I know that it's still early days, but for someone like me, who has worn glasses since the age of 7, and GP contact lenses for the last 18 years, it is truly remarkable. Looking forward to the next eye being done, and being free of contact lenses completely.
I thought I would put an update. I had my left eye done last December (I was -6.00) and the right one in february (-3.5), both with some astigmatism. I had my check up consultation last week and everything is perfect! I have a bit of residual astigmatism on my left eye but it does not bother me, I hardly notice. As far as I know my vision is now perfect (6/6) and I'm very glad I went ahaed with surgery and I chose David for the job. I can definitely recommend him to anyone! What's next then? I will have a follow up consultation f(or free of course around october) to check all is fine and in the mean time if I need to see him I just phone! The aftercare is certainly fantastic.
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.
I had bilateral LASEK surgery, performed by Mr David O'Brart, on Friday 25th July 2003. I learned about this practice and LASEK by word-of-mouth, and chose this method as I am a diver and it is most suited to me because I have wide pupils. I am now on my fourth day post-op and am recovering steadily. I can already see well enough to type and read my comments on the screen of my computer. I can tolerate this and the television in short periods and read for short times too. My vision at this time is slightly blurry but I have little soreness in either eye, save for a sensitivity to bright light. The first 48 hours after the operation were spent resting in a darkened room as my eyes were sore, but not unbearably so. Despite being prescribed anaesthetic eye drops, I did not feel the need to use them. There was no pain at all during the operation. I commend Mr O'Brart on his professionalism and reassurance during every stage so far. Seeing the gradual improvement to my vision that each day brings is worth it thus far!
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!