Laser Vision SA Reception Area

FAQ - Laser Vision Correction

Frequent Questions About Laser Eye Surgery

We aim to answer your questions relating to Laser Vision Correction and Laser Eye Surgery.  Please contact us for further information complete our online suitability test to find out and receive a FREE consultation to determine your suitability for laser correction and discuss your options.

  • How we are different to others
    • We DO recommend you view our explanatory animated YouTube videos on SMILE®, Lasik etc. The best antidote to anxiety is information
    • You are welcome to have any accompanying person by your side for the whole journey. This even includes the Laser Suite during your procedure.
    • Before you enter the laser suite you will watch a video showing exactly what you will see during the procedure.
    • The laser for SMILE® only takes 25 secs, its soft and gentle. You can even put your hand under it and nothing happens! You cannot see, hear, feel or smell the SMILE® laser. It’s completely invisible!
    • As SMILE® is minimally invasive, you don’t need to wear goggles or eye shields overnight.
    • The next day 99% of patients are legal for driving without their glasses or contact lenses.
    • We are the only laser vision correction practice in SA that offers the complete suite of options of PRK, LASIK, SMILE, ICLs and clear lens extraction.

    We try to make your experience at Laser Vision SA as comfortable as possible. We hope these points have explained a few differences that we feel allow us to stand out!



  • What is Smile?

    SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction) is the new revolution in vision correction. SMILE uses one silent, odourless, safe and gentle laser to create a lens shape within your cornea (the clear front lens on the outside of your eye) without any blades taking only 2 to 3 seconds. The lens is then removed through a very small (< 4mm) laser created corneal microtunnel to correct your vision.

    Compared with Lasik, minimally invasive SMILE laser vision correction means there is no need to create a flap of corneal tissue on the front of your eye. There is no sound, slight odour , brief loss of vision or need to change lasers as occurs with Lasik. The corneal microtunnel is 80% smaller than the Lasik flap, making SMILE a truly microincision vision correction procedure.

  • What is Lasik?

    Lasik has been the worlds most preferred laser vision procedure for over 25 years. The Visumax laser creates a thin flap of tissue on the front of the eye. A painless cool laser is then applied under this flap to change the focus of your eye. Finally the flap is replaced, This method is safe and a fast recovery of vision.

  • When can I go back to work?

    24 hours, but we do procedures Thursday afternoon and most people choose to have Friday off in order to rest over the weekend and go back to work Monday.

  • Do I need a referral?

    No, however any information about previous prescriptions, procedures , or eye problems you can obtain from your current or previous eye care providers may be very useful in your eye assessment and should be brought with you if possible on the day.

  • Do we do both eyes the same day?


  • How much does it cost?

    Laser Vision Correction can range from $2,500 to $4,000 per eye dependent on the appropriate procedure for your needs. This includes pre and post procedure care and, if required, enhancements for up to 5 years.

  • How much for two eyes?

    Both eyes are 2 x the per eye procedure cost recommended for your needs. There are no discounts available in doing both eyes.

  • Any finance?

    Patient Payment plans available from Mac Credit.

    Specifically designed for clients having Cosmetic & Medical treatments

    • Payment plans up to $70,000
    • No stress – the whole process is managed privately by our Consultants
    • Up to 7 year terms
    • Flexible options - any additional repayments or rebates from Medicare/Private Health can be added back on to the payment plan at no extra charge
    • Fast efficient approvals, simply apply online
    • Speak to MAC CREDIT for a formal quote based on your circumstances and for the full terms and conditions.
    • A full credit and financial assessment would need to be completed prior to acceptance of any offer or product.

    To go directly to the Mac Credit application and apply click here.

  • Is there any medicare or health fund rebate?

    There is no Medicare rebate available but some platinum health funds make contributions towards the cost of laser vision correction after serving appropriate waiting periods. Check with your health fund provider to find out if you qualify for a contribution.

  • What happens when I get older and need reading glasses?

    This will be discussed with you by Dr Fraenkel. Some patients prefer to leave a little reading vision in their laser corrected vision.

  • Can laser eye surgery treat the loss of reading vision

    Yes. The loss of reading vision beginning during the 40’s and is known as presbyopia or ‘ageing eyes’. A technique used to correct presbyopia is called Monovision. With this technique one eye is treated to view objects mainly at distance and a limited amount up close and the other is treated to view objects mainly up close and a limited amount at a distance. The brain puts the two images together and enables the individual to see distance and up close without effort. In most cases, the brain is able to compensate and you will experience an excellent depth of focus and overall visual acuity without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses.

  • Is there anyone available to talk to who has had Lasik?

    Yes, our optometrist has had Lasik, or we could arrange for you to contact one of our patients.

  • How long does the procedure take?

    You will be here for about forty minutes on a Thursday afternoon. The actual laser takes about 15 seconds for each eye.

  • Will it hurt?

    No. We use strong anaesthetic drops – the same type used for cataract surgery to take away pain and discomfort.

  • Is it permanent?

    For short sighted people yes. For longsighted people there is a greater risk of needing more between 45 and 50 years of age. All patients corrected for distance vision may start needing reading glasses at 45 to 55 years of age, just like your friends who have great distance vision without glasses or contacts.

  • Why is this not covered by health insurance?

    We understand dependence on glasses or contact lenses is a disability because of your poor vision without them. Unfortunately Medicare does not, although some private health funds contribute towards laser vision correction and you can find out more here.

  • Is it worth getting both eyes done at the same time?

    Whilst one eye can be done at a time, most patients for convenience choose to get both eyes done at the same time. Where the spectacle or contact prescription is very strong, the difference between the two eyes could lead to headaches after one eye is treated, so Dr Fraenkel may recommend you have both done at the same time.

  • Can I have it done when I'm pregnant?

    Laser treatment is inadvisable until 4 weeks after breastfeeding is complete. Increased hormonal activity during pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect visual outcome and increase the need for enhancement surgery. The drugs used in consultation and post treatment can pass across to the baby although are not harmful to the unborn child.

  • I have a very strong prescription, can laser still correct my sight?

    If your prescription is too strong, Dr Fraenkel may discuss other sight correcting technologies with you such as intraocular contact lenses. But most eyes are suitable for modern laser treatment.

  • Will I be able to throw away my glasses?

    A vast majority of our patients no longer need glasses or contact lenses for their vision in everyday life after vision correction.

  • Retreatment - Can I receive more laser later if my prescription increases or the treatment regresses?

    This is one of the commonest questions we are asked at Laser Vision SA.

    The answer is almost always yes. 

    After SMILE for myopia (short sightedness), thin flap all laser (femto) LASIK can be performed at LVSA. This is needed in 2-4% of patients. It is a little more likely to be needed if you are less than 25 or more than -5 Dioptres of short sightedness. 

    After LASIK, the flap can be relifted and further laser applied at LVSA.

    Whether any more laser treatment is possible depends usually on how much corneal thickness is present after the first treatment, as well as other factors. However retreatment, if needed,  is almost always possible. 

  • Do I need to take time away from work?

    As most patients can expect 90% of visual recovery within 24 hours, you can return to work the day after your procedure. Minor visual fluctuations may occur during the first few weeks.

  • Is Lasik safe?

    Over 10 million cases have been performed worldwide in the past 14 years. In the hands of an experienced surgeon utilising state-of-the-art equipment the procedure has an extremely low incidence of complications that are significant.

  • What is the risk of complication

    Like with all surgical or medical procedures there is a risk of complication. These are rare, and usually minor and treatable if they do occur. However, treatment should not be done if the patient cannot accept the remote possibility of a complication that could compromise the vision in an eye.

  • Are there likely to be any long term unsuspected side effects?

    This type of surgery, the procedure of creating the flap, has been performed for 40 years now and follow-up results show no side-effects. The excimer laser has been used on the cornea for over 20 years and Femtosecond laser used for over 10 years and there have been no long term effects documented.

  • What if I can't keep my eye still enough or if I blink during the procedure?

    We use a small device to prevent the eyelids blinking. We have an active eye tracker which detects even microscopic eye movement and can redirect the laser beam as required.

  • Will my vision be corrected forever?

    Once the cornea has been modified it tends to stay modified permanently. There can be occurrences of regression in the first three months, which can be corrected with an enhancement procedure. However changes in focus due to ageing of normal healthy eyes such as loss of near vision over 40 years or cataract may still occur.

  • I wear glasses for reading. Can laser surgery fix this?

    Yes. Monovision provides reduced dependence on reading glasses. In monovision one eye is focused for near vision and the other for distance. Monovision is subject to individual adaptation and can be trialled with contacts or glasses prior to surgical treatment.

  • Will I be able to wear corrective lenses after Lasik?

    Most patients do not require any correction after their procedure. However, there is usually no problem if you do require a minor prescription. Contact lenses can be worn 1 month after the procedure.

  • Can I still have it if I have a lazy eye?

    Sensitivity to glare, discomfort – itchy, pain is rare, corneal haze & dry eyes.

  • What can't I do after the procedure?
    • No contact sport from 1 week depending on the procedure undertaken
    • No eye makeup for a few days
    • No Swimming for 1 week depending on the procedure undertaken
    • Reduce exposure to dusty areas
  • What post-operative care is provided?

    The immediate aftercare will depend on the recommended treatment.

    Generally, Laser correction aftercare is performed in the following way:

    • 1st day after surgery
    • 1-4 weeks after surgery
    • 3 months after surgery
    • 12 months after surgery
    • Surface Laser patients should be closely monitored during the first five days after surgery.