Having visual impairments such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism can have a negative impact on a person's lifestyle. More and more people are traveling to Turkey to undergo laser eye surgery. But why is that?
In the field of laser eye surgery, Turkey has become a specialist. There is no country in the world that performs as many eye surgeries as Turkey. Some of the most qualified and skilled ophthalmologists as well as some of the best clinics can be found in Istanbul.
In this article, we will introduce you to the best clinics for laser eye surgery in Istanbul along with the types, costs and the things you need to know before your laser eye surgery.
Lets’ dive right in!
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What is Laser Eye Surgery?
Laser eye surgery is a common procedure to correct types of vision issues, with the help of a laser that reshapes the surface of the eye. Depending on the type of surgical method, laser eye surgery can correct nearsightedness up to 10 degrees, astigmatism up to 6 degrees and farsightedness up to 6 degrees.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery
The LASIK method is often used as a synonym for laser eye surgery, as it is the most common method. But there are more methods that differ in the surgical technique and the shape in which the cornea is corrected.
See below some of the most common eye surgery techniques:
1. LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK stands for “Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis” and is the most widely used method of laser treatment in the world.
This method uses 2 lasers and offers quick visual recovery and a painless procedure. An accurately calculated amount of corneal tissue is removed during the LASIK procedure. This changes the surface curvature of the cornea and corrects the eye's refractive error. The cornea is reshaped with the laser beam, which is programmed via computer according to the degree of visual impairment. What makes this method so popular is that it spares the delicate surface of the cornea.
2. Femto-LASIK method
This method is one of the popular and innovative types of laser eye surgery. This is because the eyes are treated with a femtosecond laser that is computer-controlled and makes highly precise incisions.
As a result, the eyes heal faster than with traditional LASIK treatment and there are even fewer complications.
3. SMILE method
This method is one of the newer laser eye surgery procedures, using only one laser. SMILE stands for “Small Incision Lenticule Extraction”. During this procedure, the cornea is reshaped through a small, self-sealing hole. The recovery time is slower than traditional LASIK. The disadvantage cited is that this method is still quite new and is said to have fewer safety features compared to the LASIK procedure.
LASEK stands for “Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis” and is a surface laser procedure. This method is not so popular, as it involves more discomfort and a longer recovery time than with LASIK procedure. It is usually used when LASIK is not an option.
Things you should know before your Laser Eye Surgery in Turkey:
- Laser eye surgery has become a routine procedure in Turkey.
- With the high number of procedures performed annually, high standards and experienced ophthalmologists, Turkey has become one of the world's leading countries in the field of eye surgery.
- The cost of laser eye surgery in Turkey is very affordable while maintaining the highest quality. Prices are much lower compared to Europe or the USA.
- One visit to Istanbul is sufficient for eye laser surgery, allowing you to wonderfully combine the procedure with a sightseeing trip. Plan at least 3 days for your trip in Istanbul.
- Since eyesight can change during puberty, laser eye surgery is not recommended for people under the age of 21.
- Note that people who have diabetes, cataracts high eye pressure or systemic diseases such as HIV, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are not suitable for laser eye surgery. The same applies for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Good candidates for this procedure are those who are over 21 years of age and have had a stable prescription for glasses/contact lenses for at least 2 to 3 years.
- The complication rate for laser eye surgery is below 1 %. The LASIK procedure is minimally invasive. There is no scar with sutures to heal.
- It is important to avoid alcohol and cigarettes for 1 week before the planned procedure.
- Generally, you can expect a good vision again within 24 hours after LASIK procedure. In some cases, however, it takes two to five days.
- Don’t be alarmed: Dry eyes are a typical problem after eye laser surgery. Your doctor will give you eye drops to treat it. Common side effects that may occur the first few days after surgery include increased sensitivity, blurred vision, fluctuations in vision or decreased visual acuity at dusk and glare.
- For the first week after laser eye surgery, do not allow tap water in your eyes and avoid eye makeup. Also, don’t forget to wear the goggles you got from your doctor while sleeping.
- You should refrain from competitive sports until 2 weeks after laser eye surgery. Swimming, sauna and solarium should be postponed for 4 weeks.
Procedure of Laser Eye Surgery in Turkey/Istanbul:
Before laser eye surgery, you will send your eye doctor your medical history. Based on it, your doctor will check which laser eye surgery technique is right for you.
For this purpose, you will usually be asked to join an online consultation with your eye doctor, where you will also talk about the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as the aftercare.
After your arrival in Istanbul, you will meet your eye doctor for an examination and the final confirmation that you’re a candidate for the procedure and the chosen method. The laser eye surgery typically takes place the next day.
The duration of the LASIK procedure usually ranges between 5 and 15 minutes per eye. During a LASIK procedure, drop anesthesia is used, so that pain is not felt during this surgery. Afterwards, your eye doctor will remind you about the aftercare.
After the procedure, your eyes will be sensitive to light. Therefore, it is recommended to wear sunglasses for the first 24 hours after laser eye surgery.
A detailed follow-up is typically planned the day after the laser eye surgery.
How much is Laser Eye Surgery in Turkey?
While you pay around $3,000 per eye in Western countries, laser eye surgery prices in Istanbul are around $1,500 per eye.
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