Ashfield Eye Clinic, Ashfield, NSW

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The LASIK procedure involves lifting back a fine layer of tissue from the cornea (the clear dome at the front of the eye), sculpting (to pinpoint accuracy) the underlying corneal bed with the laser, and carefully repositioning the hinged flap of tissue over the reshaped cornea.

LASIK is also a relatively pain-free procedure.

Performed with the use of anaesthetic eye drops, the procedure itself takes around 15 minutes per eye, although you'll be at the surgery centre for around three hours, preparing beforehand, and relaxing afterwards.

Recovery is rapid. You can reasonably expect that you'll be back at work or driving yourself around, approximately 48 hours after surgery.

The Conditions LASIK Corrects

LASIK corrects the three main vision problems that result in the need for glasses or contact lens.

These conditions are:

  • Myopia (Shortsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (longsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (blurry vision) 


In the myopic eye, shortsightedness occurs as a result of the eye being - in basic terms - too "long" i.e. the retina (or back wall) of the eye, is further than optimal from the lens and other focusing objects parts at the front of the eye.

When light rays from objects being viewed pass through the cornea, they converge just short of the retina.

So, if you're shortsighted, distance vision is a problem. You may have good or indifferent near vision but your distance vision is poor.

LASIK treats the myopic eye by decreasing the degree of curvature in the cornea, enabling the incoming light rays to reach the retina.


In the hyperopic eye, longsightedness occurs because the eye is too "short". Incoming light rays converge to form a focal point behind the retina, rather than just in front of it.

So, if you're longsighted, your near vision is blurry and your distance vision is clear.

However, in middle-aged and older people, distance vision may also be affected. Both distance and near vision can be affected in a young person with hyperopic vision if the degree of hyperopia is severe.


In the astigmatic eye, significant irregularity in the curvature of the eye causes generally blurred vision.

With astigmatism, vision is indifferent both in terms of near and distant objects. The "out of focus" range is greater than with either long or shortsightedness.

Astigmatism can sometimes occur together with myopia, or with hyperopia.

LASIK treats the astigmatic eye by smoothing out the curvature of the cornea, so that the path of the light rays from objects is no longer distorted.

Latest Developments

Eye Tracking

Eye tracking is the latest development in laser technology.

This new laser follows the eye like a "guided missile" during surgery, making for extra safe and smooth ablations.

Wavefront Analysis

The "Wavefront" analysis that is part of this new technology makes it possible to perform various treatments on eyes that previously could not have undergone corrective surgery e.g. irregular corneas.

The new equipment allows wavefront analysis of the whole eye, to determine whether the problem is in the lens or the cornea.

In combination with the latest tracking technology, the improved wavefront provides the surgeon with the ability to perform custom treatments for irregular corneas, perform larger ablations to minimise impact on night vision, and achieve a smoother ablation profile.

Surface Treatment

New developments both in refractive surgical technology and technique are also seeing some ophthalmic surgeons return to a procedure known as PRK, a forerunner of LASIK.

PRK is the performance of refractive surgery by laser without the fashioning of a corneal flap. The precision of the new-technology scanning spot laser allows non-invasive sculpting of the cornea to take place with a greater degree of accuracy than with the older broad beam laser.

New Intraocular Lenses

Ashfield Eye Clinic’s Dr Barry Den is now utilising a new technological development (IOLs) Rayner Toric Intraocular Lenses and also Alcon Acrysof Toric IOLs – Rayner Toric Intraocular Lenses – to benefit patients with astigmatism and other patients whose eyes or eye types are unsuitable for the LASIK procedure.

Working closely with the UK-based developers of this new lens technology, Dr Den was the first ophthalmic surgeon in New South Wales – and among the first in Australia – to use these special implant lenses.