Laser Eye Surgery

The Ultimate Guide to Laser Eye Surgery

Last fact-checked: 26 August 2020 

With state-of-the-art clinics, expert ophthalmologists delivering the latest techniques and the chance to make substantial savings, going abroad for laser eye surgery has never been more popular. 

Find out how you can take advantage of more affordable treatment at our quality-checked facilities around the world and pay the best prices online with Medical Departures.

What Is Laser Eye Surgery?

Most people know that laser eye surgery (or LASIK) is used to correct short-sightedness (myopia), but it less well-known that it can be used for long-sightedness (hypermetropia) and astigmatism–a condition where the cornea or lens isn’t perfectly shaped, causing blurred or distorted vision. Most people who wear glasses have some degree of astigmatism.

Laser eye treatment involves using a laser to reshape the lens (cornea) to enable the light entering the eye to be properly focused for clear vision.

Am I a Suitable Candidate for Laser Eye Surgery? 

Only a trained ophthalmologist will be able to tell you if you are a suitable candidate. Generally, you will need to meet some conditions: if you can answer ‘yes’ to the following questions you will likely qualify for treatment:

  • Are you aged 18 or older? Because eye may still be changing, laser eye surgery is not recommended for people younger.
  • Do you have moderate to severe nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism?
  • Do you have mild to moderate farsightedness, with or without astigmatism?
  • Are you willing to stop wearing contact lenses for around two weeks prior to the surgery? Contact lenses can alter the shape of the cornea, affecting results.
  • Are your eyes generally healthy, i.e. you don’t have any other eye conditions or diseases?

What's Involved in the Procedure for Laser Eye Surgery?

A "flap" is created in the lens, which is folded back so the underlying tissue can be accessed. The laser is used to remove some of this tissue and it is reshaped so that it focuses light more accurately, thus improving vision.

The actual correction will be slightly different, depending on your particular vision problem. If you are near-sighted, the aim is to flatten the cornea. For far-sight patients, a dome shape needs to be created. For astigmatism, the aim is to create a smoother shape.

Once the reshaping is complete, the flap will be restored and allowed to heal. There are no stitches or bandages, but you will be given anesthetic drops to apply.

How Long Does Laser Eye Surgery Take?

It’s normally a very quick procedure–only around 15 minutes for each eye. However, do factor in more time at your clinic of choice before and after the procedure. 

What Is the Recovery Time?

Your vision may be blurred immediately after the surgery, and you may experience temporary burning or itching, which will gradually improve over the following days. You should have someone drive you home after the procedure.

It’s best to have a few days off work, although some people return to work the following day. Some people’s vision improves immediately, but for others, it is a gradual process over a few weeks.

You will need to take things easy and not do anything that may traumatize the eyes, and refrain from rubbing in case you dislodge the flap.

How much Does Laser Eye Surgery Cost Abroad?

You can save between 50 and 70% with laser eye surgery abroad. For example, in Mexico, the price of laser eye surgery can be as little as $400 per eye, which is around 60% less than in the US.

[Please note: these prices are approximate estimates based on international data, calculated at the time of writing. Please check with listed clinics for accurate pricing.]

What About the Quality of Clinics Abroad for Laser Eye Surgery?

 We understand that making a choice can be quite overwhelming, which is why, at Medical Departures, we pre-screen our doctors, looking into their legal and criminal records, checking qualifications and professional memberships, as well as visiting clinics to make sure they are safe, hygienic, follow industry standards and use modern techniques and equipment. We also take patient comments seriously, which is why we publish reviews from our patients after their experience—positive or negative.

Getting Started with Medical Departures

Choose to have your laser eye surgery with a trustworthy provider and you will be overjoyed with the results and having 20/20 vision restored. Get started by browsing our full clinic listings in popular medical tourism destinations like Mexico, Thailand or Turkey. 

Look forward to savings of up to 7% with medical Departures by booking your appointment directly through our site or via our Customer Care Team who can provide 24-hour assistance. 


What Is Laser Vision Surgery? WebMD. Website accessed: 26 August 2020.

LASIK Eye Surgery. Mayo Clinic. November 2019.

International Organization for Standardization. Website accessed: 26 August 2020