Questions and answers

This list will get you started, but the most personalised information is available at a consultation

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17 questions about eye surgery and our answers

Yes. We can operate on all vision defects including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism (ametropia) and presbyopia with refractive surgery, either by laser or with implants.

However, not all patients are eligible for this surgery and, therefore, we need to determine your suitability feasibility during a comprehensive, in-depth exam.

No. It is possible to operate on all adults without a higher age limit, and in particular, reaching the age of fifty and starting to become presbyopic is not a contraindication to refractive surgery.

On the other hand, it will be necessary to wait for the stabilisation of the ametropia, in particular with myopia, in young adults before proposing any surgery. We perform refractive surgery after 25 years and consider it necessary to wait for a minimum of 1 year of stability before planning a procedure.

Yes. Overall, it is possible to correct myopia from -1 to -10 diopters, hyperopia from +1 to +6 diopters, astigmatism from 0 to 5 diopters.

These values are averages. They may vary according to the age of the patient, the thickness of the cornea, the experience and the material used by the surgeon. The value of the maximum correction depends on the thickness of the cornea (the thicker the cornea is, the thicker it is possible to reshape it) and the diameter of the pupil (the more significant the width of the pupil, the larger the optical zone must be and the more difficult it will be to correct the refraction).

If myopia or hyperopia is extreme (up to -20 or -25 dioptres for myopia and up to +12 dioptres for hyperopia) or if the cornea is too thin, the surgeon can opt for putting in intraocular implants. The surgeon inserts the corrective optical lens either in front of the lens or as a replacement for the lens.

Yes. During refractive surgery, a surgeon can systematically correct your associated ametropia (myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism) at the same time as presbyopia.

No. Pregnancy is considered by some to be a temporary contraindication to refractive surgery because, during this period, the pregnant woman secretes hormones that can alter healing and influence refraction, revealing or accentuating myopia. After giving birth, the woman’s vision usually returns to normal.

Although some scientific studies have shown that pregnancy has little effect on the outcome of laser eye surgery, it is better, as a precaution, to wait. We recommend a minimum period of 2 to 3 months after delivery.

No. An extreme form of dry eye (Sjögren’s disease, for example) is a contraindication to refractive surgery. In contrast, a moderate dry eye is compatible with surgery. However, you should know that refractive surgery will increase the intensity of your dryness for three to six months. Eye drops to lubricate your cornea palliate this discomfort as you recover from surgery.

No. The operated ametropic eye does not return to its previous state after we act on it.

The myopic eye is too long, the hyperopic eye is too short. Surgery can artificially compensate for the lack of power of these ametropic eyes by compensating for the shape of the cornea or by using implants, but these eyes will retain their original anatomical characteristics (length, height, etc.).

We recommend ophthalmological follow-up with a consultation every 12 to 18 months. Myopic patients will have to check the condition of their retina because they are particularly prone to retinal detachments. The farsighted will have to monitor their eye pressure and the depth of their anterior chamber because they have a particular risk of developing acute glaucoma.

Yes. Because no surgeon can 100% guarantee the results of the surgery. It is crucial that you be aware of this eventuality.

It may be that a slight visual deficit persists after the operation. Patients feel this differently according to their personalities, the intensity of the initial refractive deficit, and the situations of everyday life.

Optical correction, usually minimal (average diopter), may be necessary in certain exceptional circumstances, especially when in darkness, to drive properly at night or watch a show in a dark theatre, for example. However, you will be able to carry out most of your activities most of the time without glasses.

Yes. It is possible to use contact lenses after a refractive surgery procedure, but it is necessary to respect a minimum delay of one month before using them to avoid interfering with the healing phase.

Needing contact lenses after laser eye surgery is rare.

Yes. In practice, less than 5% of patients require an enhancement procedure, all surgeries combined. We can perform a second or even a third procedure in exceptional circumstances.

We can perform an enhancement procedure with the original technique or another technique. After an enhancement, we obtain good results, but the surgery can be more delicate.

Yes, because presbyopia is an ageing of the lens and, as such, is unavoidable. Contrary to popular belief, everyone becomes presbyopic, even nearsighted.

Laser eye surgery for ametropia does not accelerate or delay the appearance of presbyopia. Like everyone else, operated patients will need glasses to see up close after 45 – 50 years.

Yes and no. The wearing of contact lenses is not without risks. Infectious complications can always occur. It is usually corneal ulcers (keratitis), likely to be complicated by an abscess of the cornea, whose healing can induce a decline in vision. Infectious complications are proportionately more frequent in contact lens wearers than in operated patients.

Refractive surgery, whether laser or implant placement, is now over 40 years in use.

Ophthalmologists have operated on several tens of millions of people. Many publications have confirmed the safety, accuracy and predictability of this surgery. Complications are extremely rare in suitable patients and if an experienced surgeon performs the surgery.

Corneal refractive surgery does not induce cataracts or other abnormalities of the lens. If a cataract occurs postoperatively, which is always possible given the frequency of this condition, it is unrelated to the operation.

Yes. Surgical treatment of cataract is no more of a problem for people who have undergone corneal refractive surgery than for those who have never had a procedure for refractive error (but calculating the optical power of the implant requires several measures and is perhaps less precise).

No. We base the decision to have cataract surgery on the impact and the functional discomfort that a cataract causes which vary according to each.

Yes, it is possible. We must, of course, study the feasibility of a procedure to correct presbyopic symptoms during a thorough, in-depth exam.

TÉMOIGNAGES

“Le jour de l’intervention, je n’ai ressenti aucune gêne et aucune douleur. Après 2 h de repos j’ai pu reprendre mes activités tout à fait normalement. Deux jour après l’intervention il ne subsiste aucune gêne. Je tenais également à insister sur le fait que, contrairement aux idées reçues, ce n’est pas une intervention réservée aux personnes jeunes. J’ai 59 ans et c’est une totale réussite.”

L.B.

“Le Docteur Albou-Ganem m’a opérée de la presbytie il y a un an, et je suis très heureuse du résultat, plus besoin de lunettes pour lire, même ma vue de loin est bonne. C’est un vrai soulagement pour moi, car j’ai hésité pendant un moment avant de sauter le pas, difficile de prendre une telle décision.”

C.T.

“Après une opération rapide et sans douleur j’ai quasiment immédiatement remarqué une nette amélioration de ma vue de près et de loin. Au fil des semaines cela n’a fait que se confirmer et je n’ai jamais reporté mes lunettes depuis! Je ressens une telle liberté dans ma vie de tous les jours ainsi qu’une impression d’avoir rajeuni que je recommande à toute personne de le faire sans hésitation si cela leur est possible!”

V.S.

“Docteur Catherine Albou-Ganem l’a immédiatement dissipée. Contact et confiance se sont installés immédiatement. Ses explications ont été claires, précises et je peux dire que le Jour J de l’opération, j’y suis allé les yeux fermés! Pour les rouvrir quelques heures plus tard avec la vue parfaite d’un homme de 30 ans!”

M.A.

“L’opération a été un franc succès. J’ai maintenant 10/10e, sachant qu’auparavant j’avais une assez forte myopie (-5 et et -4,5) et un léger astigmatisme.”

R.B.

“Vous m’avez opérée il y a maintenant plus de deux ans. A part pour conduire et regarder la télévision, et encore… je n’ai plus besoin de lunettes, moi qui n’ai jamais rien vu… Il m’a fallu plusieurs mois pour que ma vue s’adapte. Je tenais donc à vous remercier de cette opération qui a changé ma vie! Plus d’ulcères douloureux dus aux lentilles et la possibilité d’ouvrir les yeux sous l’eau et d’admirer les jolis poissons!”

F. LB.

FEATURED VIDEO

What is presbyopic laser eye surgery – how does it work?

Corneal surgery corrects all vision defects, including presbyopia, by reshaping the cornea. This video explains how it works.

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About the author

Doctor Catherine Albou-Ganem
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon 

I am Catherine Albou-Ganem and I am an ophthalmic surgeon brought up in a family of ophthalmologists. I had a passion for ‘the eye’ and ‘the vision’ from my childhood. This was the subject of my first presentation at school.

Today, I share my refractive surgery activity between the hospital and the private sector.

I am proud to have contributed to the development of new laser refractive surgery techniques that can correct vision defects with accurate, effective and safe results when respecting the indications.

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