Refractive Surgery

Over the last 30 years, developments in medical technology and Refractive Surgery allow patients to dramatically reduce their need for glasses and contact lenses. Currently there are a number of effective procedures available to correct myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism. Laser vision correction (Excimer laser surgery) and lens implants are available from the specialist ophthalmology practices that partner with Eye Surgery Associates.

People choose to have Refractive Surgery for a number of reasons including: independence from glasses and contact lenses; intolerance to contact lenses; freedom to play sports; and/or occupational requirements (police, air force are two examples).

Patients who are over 18 years of age and have not had a significant glasses or contact lens prescription change over 12 months are eligible for an assessment for Refractive Surgery.

The Ophthalmologists we work with offer laser vision corrective treatments performed in the safety of an accredited day hospital environment (Manningham Private Hospital). The Schwind AMARIS 1050RS small diameter SmartPulse technology and very fast (1050Hz) predictive eye tracking in 6 dimensions, allow the safety and precision necessary to correct your vision to the highest quality.

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Refractive Surgery options include:

  • LASIK (laser in situ Keratomileusis)
  • TransPRK (Transepithelial Photorefractive Keratectomy)
  • Implantable Contact Lenses (Visian ICL)
  • Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) including laser assisted
  • Femtosecond Laser Assisted keratotomy (FLAK)

In LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), a corneal flap is created of uniform thickness by a femtosecond laser. The flap is then folded back on the hinge and the exposed surface is re-shaped by the laser. The flap is then placed back to its original position and adheres without the need for sutures.  Traditionally the corneal flap was created using a microkeratome blade. Eye Surgery Associates uses the most advanced medical equipment available, the Alcon LenSx laser system. This blade-free method uses a laser to create a hinged corneal flap instead of the microkeratome. This allows for increased accuracy.

TransPRK (Transepithelial Photorefractive Keratectomy)
The new TransPRK (Transepithelial Photorefractive Keratectomy) is a progression of the traditional PRK procedure. This is a no-touch single-step procedure where the epithelium, the superficial layer of the cornea, is removed using an excimer laser to expose the underlying corneal tissue for reshaping. This allows for a faster healing time than traditional PRK, with the bandage contact lens generally removed 2 days post operatively.

Implantable Contact Lens
The implantable contact lens (Visian ICL) is a thin, soft, foldable implant similar to a contact lens. The ICL is inserted through a small incision and placed within the eye, in front of the natural lens and behind the Iris. ICL’s are very effective for treating very high levels of myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism which are beyond the range of laser. Vision recovers rapidly within a day or two of surgery and the procedure is permanent, however can be reversed if ever required.

Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is an operation similar to cataract surgery in which the eye’s natural lens is surgically removed and replaced with an intra-ocular lens (IOL). The power of the IOL is selected to achieve the desired final refraction. There are a number of different types of IOLs available to which aim to give you a desired outcome for e.g. Toric IOLs to treat astigmatism and Tri-focal IOL’s to help with both distance and near vision. You can also choose to have a blade free procedure performed with the latest state of the art in medical technology, the Alcon LenSx laser to allow for increased vision precision.  You can discuss all of these options with your doctor at your consultation. The best candidates for this procedure are over 55 years of age.

Femtosecond laser assisted astigmatic keratotomy (FLAK).
Astigmatic keratotomy is a procedure used for patients with very high degrees of astigmatism. The operation involves making small relaxing incisions around the mid periphery of the cornea. This allows the cornea to take on a more regular spherical shape. These incisions can be made using the most advanced fermtosecond laser,  Alcon LenSx laser to allow for improved precision.


A/Prof Grant Snibson
Dr Ben Connell
Dr Nathan Wong