FAQs

Answer
Laser eye surgery
No. Since laser eye surgery is an elective procedure, Medicare does not provide a rebate for the cost of the procedure.

Cataract surgery
Yes. Medicare does provide a rebate for eligible patients. This will be discussed further, during your consultation.

Answer
This depends on your health insurer and the type of coverage you have.
We recommend that you make enquiries with your private health insurer before committing to any procedure.

Answer
The fundamental difference between LASIK and Advanced Surface Laser (ASL) is that LASIK requires an incision into the eye, creating a permanent flap in the cornea, which is lifted to expose the stromal tissue for laser treatment.
The Advanced Surface Laser (ASL) procedure, however, is a non-invasive laser eye surgery technique, which involves the gentle removal of the outermost layer of the cornea, the epithelium. After the epithelium has been removed and the procedure has taken place, the epithelial cells regenerate and the structure of the cornea remains uncompromised.

Answer
With ASL, no incision is made into the cornea so the strength and endurance of the corneal tissue remains uncompromised. LASIK creates a permanent flap, which increases the risk of surgical flap complications and ectasia post-operatively. ASL also preserves more corneal tissue and is a safer option when treating higher levels of refractive errors (e.g. severe short sightedness, long sightedness or astigmatism) especially for people with thin corneas. The long-term outcome with ASL is the same as, if not better than, with LASIK.
Surgeons using Advance Surface Treatment (ASL) have reported fewer instances of dry eye syndrome as it does not inhibit normal processes of corneal nerves involved in triggering responses necessary to moisten the eye’s surface.
ASL is the preferred laser eye surgery technique for Australian military and police personnel, pilots and many professional athletes. As their exposure to trauma to the eye is higher, there is a chance that the flap created on the cornea with LASIK may loosen and become unhinged.

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Only ASL is performed at the Sydney Eye Clinic.

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No, not everyone is a suitable candidate for laser vision correction. Your refraction may not yet be stable, the thickness of your cornea may be too thin, or there may be other medical conditions that would prevent you from undergoing laser eye surgery.
The only way to know whether you are a suitable candidate for this procedure, or any procedure, is to undergo a thorough examination of your eyes.

Answer
Laser eye surgery

Once inside the operating theatre, the surgery will take approximately 20 minutes. However, to allow enough preparation time for your procedure, you will usually spend two-to-three hours at the Centre on the day.

Cataract surgery
Once inside the operating theatre, the surgery will take (on average) 30 minutes, however this is variable depending on the type of procedure you have. It is important to allow enough preparation and recovery time for your surgery. Generally, you will spend two to three hours at the Day Surgery on the day.

Answer
No. It will not be possible for you to drive for at least four days after the procedure (including laser eye surgery and cataract surgery). As such, we recommend that you make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the surgery. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on the expected recovery period for your procedure.

Answer
Laser eye surgery
Depending on the type of your refractive error (i.e. myopia or hyperopia), you should be able to resume work four-to-five days after the procedure. We normally operate at the end of the week so you can recover over the weekend and usually return to work on Wednesday.

Cataract surgery
The recovery period is variable depending on the type of procedure you have. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on what to expect and when you should return to work.

Answer
At the Sydney Eye Clinic we use topical anaesthetic drops to ensure all procedures are painless. While procedures are not a painful experience, during the recovery period it is normal (especially in the first 24 hours) to experience some irritation and discomfort. This is usually alleviated by the drops and medication provided in the post-operative bag.

Answer
To reduce the chances of injury during the recovery period, we do not recommend that you participate in any high-energy or contact sports (such as football, squash, soccer, netball) for at least two weeks.
Similarly, we recommend that you avoid swimming, water sports or wearing any make-up or foundation around the eyes for the same period to minimise the risk of infection.
Your surgeon can advise you on the expected recovery period for your procedure.

Answer
For the majority of people, yes. However, this will of course depend on the amount of refractive correction required and the outcome of the procedure.

Answer
Laser eye surgery
Whether or not the results of your surgery will be long lasting will ultimately depend on a number of factors. These include your age, the amount of refractive correction you require, the success of the procedure and your recovery.

Cataract surgery
Once cataract surgery has been performed and the cataract has been removed it cannot reoccur. It is possible that over the course of time the membrane which holds the lens in place will become cloudy and symptoms similar to those of cataract will return. However surgery is not required for this and can be easily treated by us at the Sydney Eye Clinic.

It is also important to remember that laser eye surgery and cataract surgery cannot prevent naturally occurring eye conditions, such as presbyopia, which affects reading vision.

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