Laser eye surgery reshapes the eye surface to correct a range of sight issues. In the UK along, the procedure is helping 18 million people a year say goodbye to glasses or contact lenses. But which is the best laser eye surgery? Who are the top laser eye surgeons? And which clinics should you avoid?
To help you make an informed decision, this article explains the best places for laser eye surgery in the UK. It will also introduce the best eye doctors in London and nationwide, as well as the risks and success rates of the different procedures available (from LASIK to cataract surgery).
With nearly 9,000 independent reviews submitted on our site by real eye surgery patients since 2002, Lasik Eyes is the go-to for comparing laser eye surgery providers in the UK. These top eye surgery clinic lists are based on these thousands of customer reviews, in addition to independent reports from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
☝ If you would like to find a top-rated laser eye surgery provider near you, and talk through your options with a trusted ophthalmologist, use our simple quote tool here.
Our no-nonsense review of the best laser eye surgery in the UK covers:
- Best places for laser eye surgery in the UK
- Best laser eye surgery in London
- Best prices for eye surgery
- Top clinics for eye surgeons
- The best eye hospitals
- The 4 worst rated clinics for eye surgery
- The 10 best laser eye surgeons
- Best eye surgery: The verdict
- Find the best eye clinics near you
- 9 laser eye surgery FAQs
1. Best Laser Eye Surgery in the UK
The UK is home to many world class laser eye surgery companies – and the good news is, you don’t even have to travel far to find a top-rated eye clinic. When we say ‘top-rated’, we’re looking at the five things you told us mattered most to you: clinic, surgeons, surgery, cost, and aftercare.
The best laser eye surgery providers in the UK must have safe, clean clinics, provide experienced surgeons, properly explain the procedure, offer good value for money, and provide quality aftercare. On top of that, they must have received some of the best laser eye surgery reviews, as voted by you.
With these criteria in mind, the six best places for laser surgery in the UK are: Optical Express, Moorfields Private, the London Vision Clinic, Accuvision, and the Centre for Sight.
Here is a full run-down of the six best places for eye laser surgery in the UK:
☝ But of course, the best laser eye surgery for you will be close to home. To find the top-rated eye clinic near you, and learn about free eye tests worth £800, use our simple quote tool here.
1. Optical Express: The UK’s most popular clinic
Optical Express is the UK’s leading provider of laser eye surgery, lens surgery, and cataract surgery, with thousands of operations performed every week.
In reviews, patients praise how clearly the surgeons explain the procedure, as well as the quality of treatment received. High Street clinics also tend to be more affordable options than hospital-based clinics: prices at Optical Express start at £595 per eye, compared with £2,000 per eye at Moorfields Private.
- Surgeons – All Optical Express Consultants are fully registered with the General Medical Council, and many are Members of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
- Technology – Optical Express has invested £400 million in cutting-edge laser eye surgery technology (including the most advanced excimer lasers and femtosecond technology) to provide the best clinical outcomes.
- Aftercare – The comprehensive programme includes a next-day aftercare appointment, an out-of-hours helpline with a specialist optometrist or surgeon, and further follow-up appointments.
- Average cost of surgery: £2,432
- Areas of expertise: LASIK and LASEK surgery, corneal cross-linking, cataract surgery, lens replacement
- Read review: Optical Express review
2. Moorfields Eye Hospital: The UK’s most renowned laser eye surgeons
With over 200 years researching and providing world-class laser eye treatment, Moorfields is one of the oldest and most renowned clinics in the world.
Moorfields Private specialises in a range of laser eye surgeries, including some of the most complex procedures not offered elsewhere.
Its patients appreciate the expertise of the surgeons, and the clear communication of the risks involved in the initial consultations. That said, these consultations are not free, unlike with most other companies on this list.
- Average cost of surgery: £4,528
- Areas of expertise: LASIK and LASEK surgery, glaucoma / cataract surgery, age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Read review: Moorfields Eye Hospital review
3. London Vision Clinic: Best laser eye surgery in London
The London Vision Clinic prides itself on its innovative vision correction, offering ReLEx (a ‘flap-less’ treatment for short-sightedness) and Laser Blended Vision (to remove the need for reading glasses). Patient reviews appreciate the clear discussion of the risks involved.
- Average cost of surgery: £4,832
- Areas of expertise: ReLEx SMILE, LASIK and LASEK surgery
- Read review: London Vision Clinic review
4. AccuVision: Specialists in laser eye surgery
Since launching in 2001, AccuVision has performed over 400,000 laser eye treatments across its clinics in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol and Newcastle. It specialises in LASIK and LASIK surgery, and uses world-class Wavefront Technology in all operations.
- Average cost of surgery: £2,361
- Areas of expertise: LASIK and LASEK surgery, cataract surgery, amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Read review: AccuVision review
5. Centre for Sight: Best clinic experience
Centre for Sight is one of the largest private providers of laser eye treatment, with clinics in London, Oxshott, Surrey and West Sussex. It combines high quality lasers and implants with an environment that feels more like a spa than a hospital.
- Average cost of surgery: £4,499
- Areas of expertise: LASIK and LASEK surgery, implantable contact lenses, cataract surgery
- Read review: Centre for Sight review
☝ Find a top-rated clinic near you: The best laser treatment for you will depend, well, on you. To receive a tailored match and free eye tests worth £800, use our simple quote tool here.
2. Best Laser Eye Surgery in London
|Clinic Name||Established||Average Surgeon Rating||CQC Rating||Lasik Eyes Rating|
|1. London Vision Clinic||2002|
(5 out of 5)
(4.4 out of 5)
|2. London Eye Hospital||1805|
(5 out of 5)
(4.3 out of 5)
|3. Focus Clinics||2005|
(5 out of 5)
(4.1 out of 5)
- The London Vision Clinic takes the crown for the best laser eye surgery clinic in London. It provides some of the most in-depth pre-surgery assessments, but beware: it costs around double the average for high street clinics, and has similar success rates.
- The London Eye Hospital has some of the best reviews for laser eye treatment in London, and a glowing CQC report – despite patient complaints.
- Focus Clinics is a reputable eye surgery company on Harley Street that specialises in accurate Wavefront treatment for reading glasses (presbyopia) through Z-LASIK, LASEK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy surgeries).
3. Best Prices for Laser Eye Surgery
|Clinic Name||Laser Eye Surgery Cost|
|Lens Replacement Surgery Cost|
|Fixed Prices||0% Finance Available||Free Consultation|
|1. Optical Express||From £595||From £1,995||✘||✅||✅|
|3. Manchester Royal Eye Hospital||£1,250||N/A||✘||✘||✅|
- Optical Express is known for the cheapest laser eye surgery, with prices starting from just £595 per eye. There are no fixed prices, but that means you can negotiate a good deal. With very experienced surgeons and advanced technology, you can also count on value for money.
- Ultralase Eye Clinics Limited is the rebranded Ultralase – the company got into financial troubles in 2012 – and is now co-owned by Optimax. Despite positive reviews on our site and some decent finance options, a number of former patients have had difficulties accessing their lifetime guarantee, which the BBC’s Watchdog exposed in 2015.
- The Manchester Royal Eye Hospital offers cheap, no-frills LASIK eye surgery for £1,250. However, it does not perform lens replacement surgery, which includes cataract surgery and implantable contact lens surgery.
Read more: How to get cheap laser eye surgery
☝ Get a quote: To receive a tailored quote and free eye tests worth £800, use our simple quote tool here.
4. Best Clinics for Surgeon Reputation
|Clinic Name||Average Service Length of Surgeons||GMC Members||Fellows of the RCOphth||NHS Trained Surgeons||Lasik Eyes Rating|
|1. Moorfields Private||Over 20 years||✅||✅||✅||
(4.9 out of 5)
|2. St. James Laser Vision||Over 10 years||✅||✅||✅||
(4.7 out of 5)
- Moorfields Private Eye Hospital partners with some of the best laser eye surgeons in the world, with decades of experience in vision correction. Over half the UK’s ophthalmic surgeons train there.
- St James’ Laser Vision employs well-rated eye doctors on Lasik Eyes. Both Mr Andrew Morrell and Mr James Ball have several thousand successful surgeries under their belts.
5. The Best Eye Hospitals
|Clinic Name||Established||Advanced Technology||CQC Rating||Lasik Eyes Rating|
|1. St Thomas’ Hospital||1100||✅||Good||
(4.0 out of 5)
|2. MDA Clinic||1950||✅||N/A||
(3.5 out of 5)
|3. Duchy Hospital||1981||✅||Requires Improvement||
(3.5 out of 5)
- Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital is a top place to get laser eye surgery, with 39 positive reviews on our site and a stamp of approval from the CQC. However, its leading eye surgeon, Mr David O’Brart only has a four-star rating.
- The MDA Clinic in Cardiff has been a popular destination for eye surgery since 1950. Patients appreciate the free consultation, as well as the range of treatments, even if the clinic isn’t anything fancy.
- The Duchy Hospital in Cornwall enjoys 42 independent five-star reviews on Lasik Eyes. That said, it holds a poor CQC rating, and requires improvement for safety, despite its caring staff.
6. Worst Rated Laser Eye Surgery Clinics
|Clinic Name||Established||Reasonable Prices||Experienced Surgeons||Lasik Eyes Rating|
(5 out of 5)
(4 out of 5)
|3. Birkdale Clinic||1993||✘||✘||
(4 out of 5)
|4. Exeter Laser Eye Surgeons||2008||✘||✘||
(4 out of 5)
- Optegra is a leading UK-wide provider of laser vision correction and lens replacement surgery, using leading ophthalmic equipment. Although customers praise it with five-star reviews for patient care and surgeon-lead consultations, the latest CQC inspection deems the clinic ‘not safe’.
- Optimax is a popular provider of laser eye surgery all over the UK, from Belfast to London. Unfortunately, patients rate this laser eye clinic just four stars, thanks to its uncompetitive prices, lack of communication from the laser surgeons, and hard sales technique.
- The Birkdale Clinic in Liverpool is another one of the few eye clinics in the UK with middling four-star reviews. Its prices are about as high as those at the best eye lasers in London, but its own technology is stuck in the dark ages.
- Exeter Laser Eye Surgeons in Devon is one of the youngest eye surgery clinics in the UK, founded just a decade ago. Since then, it has only picked up nine lukewarm reviews on Lasik Eyes, which is well below average.
☝ Find your perfect match: To discuss your options with a trusted eye surgeon from a best-reviewed clinic near you, try our pain-free clinic-matcher tool here.
How Do I Find the Right Clinic For Me?
What may have been a good fit for a friend or colleague may not be the best choice for you. To help you compare laser eye clinics, here are three key questions to ask:
- What types of laser eye surgery are offered? Not all clinics perform every type of laser eye procedure.
- Is the clinic accessible? You will not be able to drive after surgery, so you will need to find a clinic that has good public transport routes or is easy for someone else to get to in order to pick you up.
- How new is its laser technology? While state-of-the-art technology can drive up the cost of your surgery, it can make the procedure quicker, more accurate, and more comfortable.
You will want an expert to answer all your questions, so it’s worth booking a consultation with an ophthalmic specialist. Most laser eye surgery companies offer a free, no-obligation meeting, during which you can discuss all your options and any risks involved.
Warning Signs to Look Out For
Be sure to book consultations with several well-rated clinics, so you can compare the results, and spot any red flags. These include:
- Pushy sales tactics
- No cancellation rights
- Claims of 99% to 100% success rates (these are usually only true under strict criteria such as as young patients and simple procedures)
Remember not to trust reviews that only come from the company’s website, as they are prone to cherry-picking to give the best impression. It’s better to read impartial reviews online, and check independent reports from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
7. The Best Laser Eye Surgeons
The very best eye surgeons are highly qualified in laser eye surgery, have extensive experience in vision correction, and come recommended by other GPs and ophthalmic surgeons as well as former patients.
To track down the UK’s top laser eye surgeons, we reviewed certificate of competence from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, verified memberships with the General Medical Council, and of course, used our thousands of independent patient reviews.
So, who are the highest rated specialists for eye surgery? Based on these trusted sources, here are the best-reviewed laser eye surgeons in the UK:
- Professor David Gartry is one of the most experienced eye surgeons in the UK, and was the first person in the country to perform ophthalmic surgery. His reputation remains world class, and he is a Senior Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital London.
- Mr Bruce Allan is another leading Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields, and has been Service Director at The Refractive Surgery Service since 2012.
- Mr Julian Stevens has been a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital since 1988. He specialises in laser refractive surgery, and has performed over 18,000 treatments.
- Mr Sheraz Daya is the Medical Director and a leading Consultant at the Centre for Sight. The DailyMail recently voted him one of the best cataract surgeons in Britain.
- Mr Romesh Angunawela is a leading Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Private, where he also trained. He has nearly three years’ advanced specialisation in complex eye surgery, and is known around the world for his conferences and scientific publications.
- Mr Manek Patel is a highly respected Optical Surgeon at Optical Express. With his many years’ experience, he has performed over 61,000 procedures.
- Professor Dan Reinstein is a pioneering LASIK surgeon with over 18-years’ experience in laser eye surgery. Since graduating from Cambridge University, he has practised at the London Vision Clinic.
- Ms Valerie Saw is a longstanding ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, but now treats patients at her own private practice on Harley Street.
- Mr Dimitri Kazakos is the most senior surgeon at Optical Express, with special expertise in cataract, laser refractive surgery, and eye diseases, and accreditation from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
- Mr David Allamby has specialised in laser eye surgery since 1989, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. He offers LASIK, LASEK and CK radio eye correction at Focus Clinic.
How Do I Choose the Right Surgeon?
To help you check who has the experience and credentials to take good care of your eyes, it’s worth asking plenty of questions. The key things to consider when picking the best eye surgeon for you are:
- What qualifications do they have? All laser eye surgeons working in the UK must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). You should ask them where they trained, how many years of experience they have performing laser eye surgery, and whether they have continued to keep up with training and the latest developments in eye surgery since obtaining their qualifications.
- Do they have a good reputation? Ask about their success rate, what their former patients have said about them, and whether they have any before and after pictures of their surgery.
- How many surgeries have they performed? The Royal College of Ophthalmologists awards certifications to members who have carried out a minimum of 300 procedures over a two year period, so you should ask your surgeon if they have this accreditation.
- How long is their waiting list? If your need for laser eye treatment is time-sensitive, it’s important to determine if there is a waiting list. A surgeon with a long waiting list is usually a good indication that they are well-known and trustworthy.
- What pre-operative checks do they offer? They should offer tests to check relevant details, such as your eye surface thickness, pupil size and any other factors that may have an impact on your surgery.
If you would like to sign up for surgery, make sure you check your cancellation rights, and do not feel pressured into parting with any cash. Laser eye surgery is an investment, and you will want to consider all your options before committing.
8. The Verdict
Based on over 8,900 independent reviews left on Lasik Eyes since 2002, the three best laser eye surgery clinics in the UK are:
- Optical Express: Best place for laser eye surgery overall
- Moorfields Eye Hospital: Most renowned eye doctors
- London Vision Clinic: Best laser eye surgery in London
These ratings come from how former patients found these clinics performed in five key areas: clinic, surgeon, surgery, price, and aftercare.
- Clinic – How clean were the facilities? How welcoming were the staff? How advanced was the technology used?
- Surgeon – Did he or she explain everything clearly before and after the surgery? Did you have enough time together? Are the surgeons experienced and well qualified?
- Surgery – How safe did you feel during the surgery? Was the procedure what you expected?
- Price – Are the prices transparent? Are they competitive, and do they offer good value for money?
- Aftercare – Did you receive good care following the surgery? Did you receive appropriate medication, a helpline, and check ups?
9. Compare the Best Clinics Near You
We know that it’s not always easy finding the best laser eye surgery clinic for you. Fortunately, we’ve found an easy way to help you get your sight back, pain free.
Find a top-rated clinic near you, and receive free eye tests worth £800 from a specialist ophthalmologist. Click here to start using our clinic-finder tool.
See if there are any other top-rated clinics near you in a matter of seconds, check your eligibility in minutes, and get a free tailored quote for your surgery in just three steps:
- Compare clinics: Answer three questions to be matched with the leading eye clinics in your area.
- Book a free consultation: Find out if you’re eligible for surgery over the phone, and get tested for free with an eye consultant or surgeon (worth £800).
- Receive a personalised quote: Get a clear idea of what laser eye surgery would really cost you.
☝ Find a top-rated clinic near you: To get matched to the best eye clinic in your area, and receive free eye tests worth £800 with your tailored quote, use our simple quote tool here.
10. 9 FAQs About Finding the Best Laser Eye Surgery
1. Is laser eye surgery safe?
Laser eye surgery is generally considered safe. All surgical procedures carry risks, but laser eye surgery has one of the highest success rates. According to the 2017 report by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, fewer than 1 in 5,000 patients experience a loss of vision as a result of surgery.
2. How can you reduce your risk of complications?
You need to be awake for laser eye surgery, so you can eat and drink as normal. Other than that, you can relax during the surgery (most modern lasers track eye movements, letting you blink), use your eye drops, and attend all your follow-ups.
3. Can you get laser eye surgery on the NHS?
4. Is it worth getting laser eye surgery abroad?
It is not recommended. Some people seek vision correction abroad in an attempt to cut costs. But with some of the best laser eye surgery treatments and top laser eye surgeons already here in the UK, it’s not worth risking your eyes far from home.
5. What should you look out for in the consultation?
Laser eye surgery is generally a quick procedure with a short recovery time. However, no patient should ever be treated as just another statistic, or rushed in and out of surgery. Never accept a consultation on the day of surgery itself, and make sure you have all your questions answered before deciding whether to go ahead.
6. How much does laser eye surgery cost?
Laser eye surgery costs on average between £1,195 and £2,875 per eye for common LASIK treatments. Lens replacement surgery costs between £1,995 and £6,500 per eye, depending on your prescription, and the clinic you choose.
7. Can laser eye surgery fix astigmatism?
Absolutely. Laser eye surgery is an effective treatment for astigmatism, and the results are permanent. Alternative options include wearing glasses or contact lenses.
8. What is the best age for laser eye surgery?
Most people seek vision correction surgery between the ages of 20 and 40, but really there is no age limit for eye surgery. As your eyes will continue developing as a young adult, most clinics won’t perform LASIK on anyone under 18, and recommend lens replacement surgery for those over 45.
9. Which are the best clinics for lens replacement surgery?
Based on our many thousands of reviews, the best place for lens replacement surgery in the UK is: Moorfields Private Eye Hospital. If value for money is your thing, Optical Express is a popular option.
Want to talk more? The best next step is to book a free consultation, and discuss all the options available to you with an eye consultant or surgeon.
☝ Click here to find the best clinic near you, receive a tailored quote, and arrange free eye tests worth £800 from an eye expert.