Laser eye surgery can provide a new lease on life
"I have a new found appreciation for the beauty around me."
We often hear about the benefits of looking at the world through new eyes, but sometimes you don't need new ones – a little work on the eyes you have can give a whole new perspective on life.
The Fendalton Eye Clinic has been leading the way in laser eye surgery for the past 20 years changing the lives of patients with High Definition LASIK.
Two decades ago Dr David Kent and his team were the first to bring laser eye surgery to the South Island.
They continue to be leaders in their field with their use of High Definition LASIK, a blade-free procedure that gives patients a better result, while being safer and more accurate than the use of bladed instruments.
People decide to have laser eye surgery for a wide variety of reasons, says optometrist Jane Patterson, the business manager and co-founder of the clinic.
The decision to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact is usually motivated not by a desire to look better, but to be able to do all the things in life that blurred vision and glasses make difficult.
"The motivation is usually far more functional than cosmetic. They may play a lot of sport such as golf or tennis and don't want the added challenge of dealing with glasses.
"Some mothers find it frustrating that they can't get in the pool with their children because they can't wear their glasses in the water.
"Often people who work outside get dust under their contact lenses and that's really irritating for them," says Patterson.
It's not unusual for people to initially feel a little squeamish about the idea of laser surgery and Patterson says "fear and finance" are typically what get in the way.
The clinic offers payment plans to help with the finance dilemma, and any fears can be allayed at a free assessment, held either in Christchurch, or at regular clinics in Nelson, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill.
"It's natural to be apprehensive because the eyes are a sensitive part of the body," says Patterson.
If all the suitability criteria is met and a decision made to go ahead, the schedule is relatively straightforward.
Extensive tests are done during an hour and a half consultation and the treatment is done the next day.
The actual laser time is less than a minute, but there is a whole team at the clinic working together on tests and checks to make the procedure painless, safe and effective.
"Some people think their eyes will be patched up and they won't be able to see anything after the surgery, but the effect is usually the same as having their glasses off," says Patterson.
"Then things get gradually clearer as the evening progresses. After we do a test the next morning 98 percent of patients are legally able to drive."
The clinic is very proud to have been working with South Island patients for the past 20 years and is an active member of its community including being a Together Partner of the Christchurch Art Gallery.
"The work we do is very rewarding, the whole team loves seeing the transformation in people," says Patterson.
To learn more or to book a free assessment visit www.lasik.nz or phone 0800 4 LASIK (0800 45 27 45).