Guide to LASIK in Singapore: Ready to say goodbye to myopia for good? (Updated, August 2020)

Guide to LASIK in Singapore: Ready to say goodbye to myopia for good? (Updated, August 2020)

LASIK in Singapore is such a common surgery today. Almost everyone knows someone who has had LASIK done. Getting your eyes lasered no longer evokes so much fear as before — telling your friends you’ve decided to go for LASIK will earn you nothing more than a nonchalant shrug.

In other parts of the world though, myopia is considered an eye disease that is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. [1] A study by American Academy of Ophthalmology found that almost 10 million Americans are severely short-sighted and are at higher risk of a complication called myopic choroidal neovascularization that can lead to vision loss. [2] Singaporeans are so used to myopia that we don’t see it as an eye disease anymore and we naturally turn to LASIK to solve our myopic woes.

But how much does LASIK actually cost in Singapore? How is LASIK surgery actually done? Can I get it done at a LASIK clinic or do I have to go to a hospital? In this comprehensive LASIK guide, we cover everything you need to know about LASIK surgery in Singapore and more.

I’ve decided to do LASIK in Singapore! Now what?

LASIK in Singapore

Like you, I found a contact lens free life too good to resist and got my eyesight fixed back in 2015. I used to have over 600 degrees of high myopia on each eye and I was blind as a bat without my glasses or contact lenses. I wore contact lenses on a daily basis; it was such a hassle cleaning them and making sure that I’m not putting a tiny petri dish of bacteria onto my eyeballs every day.

If you’re also thinking of correcting your myopia permanently, the good news for you is that LASIK in Singapore is so advanced today that you now have different options to choose from. A quick Google search of LASIK Singapore will bring up a myriad of medical procedures and technology names which can be confusing and overwhelming for the uninitiated. With technical jargon like “wavefront LASIK”, “Excimer laser” and “Femtosecond laser” being thrown all over the place by LASIK centres in Singapore, it’s no wonder that LASIK research can be confusing.

The thing is, LASIK is only one method of laser vision correction that can correct eye refractive errors — i.e. myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia and presbyopia — in one sitting. There are also other methods of vision correction, namely: ReLEx SMILE, TransPRK and Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL).

LASIK, ReLEx SMILE and TransPRK are corneal-based procedures which use a laser to burn off cornea tissue to correct your eye’s refractive errors; while ICL involves planting an intraocular lens into your eye, as its name suggests. The cornea is the clear transparent topmost layer of our eyes.

To decide which LASIK procedure is best for you, you will have to first understand more about each of the four methods of laser vision correction.

How is LASIK surgery done?

Short for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (what a mouthful!), LASIK in Singapore can be considered the most popular method of laser vision correction. Millions of people worldwide have done it, and many of us Singaporeans are very familiar with LASIK.

During LASIK, your eye surgeon uses a Femtosecond laser to cut the surface of your cornea and create a flap. He then folds the corneal flap open and uses an Excimer laser to reshape the cornea curvature underneath the cut flap. This changes the way light bends into the eye, correcting refractive errors. The corneal flap is then folded back into place, adhering to your eyes with tissue pressure. For a better picture, see LASIK infographic below:

Main Steps of LASIK surgery, it starts with local numbing eye drops, and then creation of flap with either a blade or laser, reshaping of cornea curvature with excimer laser, and then putting the flap back to its original position
How LASIK surgery is typically done in Singapore

It is a 15 to 20 mins day surgery which only requires numbing eye drops. Your vision is usually clear within a day or two so you are able to go back to work in about 3 days.

However, LASIK patients will have to refrain from rubbing the eyes and water sports for around a month. It is best to avoid contact sports for life after doing LASIK. This is to prevent complications such as corneal flap dislodgement and flap wrinkles. [3] The other major risk of LASIK is permanent LASIK-induced dry eyes.

What is ReLEx SMILE and is it new in Singapore?

In Singapore, ReLEx SMILE is the newest laser vision correction method out of the four methods mentioned. ReLEx SMILE stands for Refractive Lenticule Extraction, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction.

During the ReLEx SMILE procedure, the eye surgeon uses the same Femtosecond laser which is used to cut an open corneal flap in LASIK, but this time, he uses it to cut an internal corneal flap (medically known as a lenticule) within the corneal bed.

He then uses a blade to cut a small incision at the side and uses forceps to pull out this lenticule from the cut slit.

How ReLEx SMILE is done in Singapore

After the lenticule is removed from the cornea, the topmost cornea tissue then collapses into the empty space vacated by the lenticule, changing the way light bends into the eye and thus correcting your vision.

The ReLEx SMILE procedure takes around 10 to 15 minutes per eye in general. In general, it is more difficult and complicated to do as compared to LASIK and TransPRK, and thus is at higher risk of intra-operation complications. For example, complications that can occur during the SMILE surgery includes incomplete lenticule extraction, lenticule tear, etc. [3]

After doing ReLEx SMILE, you can expect to go back to work after 3 days and see quite clearly by then. The risk of dry eyes and corneal flap complications are also lower as compared to LASIK. However, do note that there are certain limitations to ReLEx SMILE — it cannot correct hyperopia, certain degrees of astigmatism and myopia.

What is TransPRK and how does it work?

TransPRK comes from a category of laser vision correction called Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) that has been around since 1989. In fact, if you study the history of laser vision correction, you will find that it first began with an ASA procedure called PRK. With ASA procedures, the laser is applied right at surface of the cornea without cutting it.

In Singapore, TransPRK is done via one excimer laser. The eye surgeon uses the laser to first ablate the surface epithelium cells (outermost skin cells of the cornea) and goes on to reshape the surface of the cornea, correcting your eye refractive errors.

Immediately after, the doctor places a high-oxygen content contact lens onto the cornea. He removes them when the epithelium cells have healed, typically 5 days later.

TransPRK surgery process. Firstly, a local anaesthetic in a form of eyedrops is used. Secondly, the removal of epithelium layer using excimer laser. Thirdly, reshaping the cornea structure by using the same excimer laser. Fourthly, temporary placement of bandage contact lens to protect the eye while the epithelium cells are healing
TransPRK in Singapore: 4 main steps

For this procedure, it requires a very specific brand of Excimer laser called the Schwind Amaris laser as it is the only laser that is able to ablate corneal epithelium cells. In LASIK, epithelium cells are peeled back in the form of a corneal flap, thus any brand of excimer laser can be used to reshape the tissue within.

It takes only 20 to 40 seconds per eye for the TransPRK procedure, making it a considerably fast procedure. The main benefits of TransPRK is that there is no risk of flap complications and dry eyes. However, there are slight fluctuations with visual acuity while the epithelium cells heal. You will have to take about 5 to 7 days to rest and go back to work. Vision acuity during recovery also fluctuates quite largely for some.

ICL in Singapore — for those with extreme myopia

The last laser vision correction procedure of the lot — Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL) — is the only one that is not laser-based. It involves an intraocular eye surgery which implants an artificial lens made of collamer in your eye.

In Singapore, ICL is done by first making a tiny incision in the cornea. The surgeon then inserts a foldable, artificial lens into the eye, between the iris and your natural crystalline lens. This procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes per eye.

illustration of the implantable collamer lens procedure where surgeon implants the artificial collamer lens on the eye
The ICL implant is inserted into the eye

Unlike the other procedures, ICL occurs within the eye structures, beyond the outermost cornea. Thus, it can be considered as a more invasive procedure. It is a good option for those with severely high myopia (more than 1.2 dioptres per eye) which cannot be corrected with the other corneal-based laser procedures. ICL patients should note that implanting an ICL into the eye is likely to result in an early cataract overtime, as the artificial lens rubs against your own natural crystalline lens.

How much does LASIK cost in Singapore?

LASIK costs about $3,000 to $4,500 for both eyes in Singapore, inclusive of GST. This usually includes the cost of pre-LASIK evaluation and consultation, surgeon fees for the procedure, disposables during surgery as well as a few follow-up review sessions. Medications such as eye drops are usually separate and depends on the individual.

Also read: LASIK Price Guide Singapore (2020) — Costs Revealed

The cost of Advanced Surface Ablation procedures i.e. TransPRK is generally on par with LASIK prices in Singapore. The cost of TransPRK in Singapore ranges from $3,800 to $6,000 for both eyes, inclusive of GST.

The newest procedure, ReLEx SMILE, is the most expensive of all the laser vision correction procedures in Singapore. The cost of ReLEx SMILE in Singapore is $6,000 to $8,000 for both eyes, inclusive of GST.

As for the cost of ICL surgery — a non-laser based procedure — this is the most expensive of the lot because the surgery is more complex and requires a higher level of surgeon skills. ICL in Singapore costs $12,000 to $15,000 for both eyes, inclusive of GST.

Cost of LASIK Xtra in Singapore (i.e. Cornea Cross Linking)

Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL) treatment is a relatively new optional and add-on procedure to your LASIK or TransPRK surgery. During CXL, your eye surgeon applies Vitamin B12 ribflavin eye drops to your eyes immediately after your LASIK or TransPRK procedure. He then uses the Avedro KXL System machine to shine an ultra-violet (UV) light to activate and “cross-link” the collagen fibres on your cornea, thus strengthening your cornea. It is an FDA-approved treatment that you can opt for.

The Cornea Cross-linking treatment costs an additional $1,200 to $3,000 for both eyes, inclusive of GST, on top of your LASIK or TransPRK surgery bill. You cannot do CXL with ReLEx SMILE.

Cost comparison of Laser Vision Correction (LVC) procedures

Here is a cost comparison table of the LVC procedures:

Laser Vision Correction Procedure (both eyes) Surgery cost
LASIK $3,000 to $4,500
Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)

e.g. Lasek, epiLASIK, TransPRK

$3,800 to $6,000
ReLEx SMILE $6,000 to $8,000
Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) $12,000 to $15,000
Cornea Cross Linking (CXL) — Add-on $1,200 to $3,000

Cost comparison table of LASIK procedures in Singapore

It is common practice for most LASIK clinics in Singapore to include 3 to 4 post-op reviews in this LASIK surgery price. Be sure to check if yours is included as these can also add up.

Medications like eye drops are usually additionally charged and not included in the LASIK surgery price. Check with your LASIK clinic during the consultation session on the cost of medications you will be expecting.

Pro tip: Ask your LASIK clinic for the instalment plans available that could help you better manage your LASIK surgery bill. It is quite common for LASIK clinics in Singapore to offer 6 or 12 months credit card instalment plans — just check with them what are the credit cards eligible!

Which LASIK clinic in Singapore should I go to?

You can either opt for public hospitals or private clinics to do LASIK in Singapore. Our public eye hospitals such as the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and National University Hospital (NUH) are renowned worldwide for high standards of ophthalmologic services.

You may be surprised that the prices of LASIK surgery in public institutions may not actually be cheaper than private clinics in Singapore! This is especially so if you are specifying a senior ophthalmologist in a public hospital as your LASIK surgeon. If you would like to opt for subsidised public hospital rates, you cannot choose your operating surgeon.

Pro tip: Prices of LASIK surgery in public versus private clinics do not differ much.

Here is a table of LASIK prices in public hospitals Singapore compiled:

LASIK centre (public) LASIK surgery price (incl. GST)
Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) $1,595 to $1,795
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) $1,659 to $1,766
National University Hospital (NUH) $1,766 to $2,354

LASIK price list in public hospitals in Singapore. (Source: TTSH, SNEC, NUS)

Here is a table of LASIK prices in private clinics in Singapore compiled:

LASIK centre (private) LASIK surgery price (incl. GST)
Lee Hung Ming / Asia Pacific Eye Centre $3,724.67
Atlas Eye Centre $4,059.00
Shinagawa Eye Centre $4,160.16
Clearvision Eye Clinic & LASIK Centre $3,888.00
W Eye Clinic $3,625.16
Dr Natasha Lim Eye Centre $3,424.00
Jerry Tan Eye Surgery $8,000.00
LSC Eye Clinic $4,375.00
Eagle Eye Centre $3,691.50

LASIK price list Singapore. (Source: LASIK clinic websites)

We would recommend that you:

  1. First, choose your preferred method of laser vision correction (i.e. LASIK, ReLEx SMILE, TransPRK, ICL)
  2. Then, pick the eye surgeon who specialises in that method and has a strong track record of doing that procedure

For you to do that, let’s look at the four methods of laser vision correction more closely again. Each procedure has its own pro and cons, so it’s all about choosing the one that you are most comfortable with and best suits your lifestyle.

LASIK: Pros and Cons

LASIK is the procedure that popularised it all and has been performed on millions of eyes worldwide. It can be considered the most well-known laser vision correction surgery in Singapore.

The main benefit of LASIK is its fast recovery and you can go back to work in 1 to 3 days. Most eye doctors specialising in eye refractive surgery are have had a lot of practice and are most familiar with LASIK surgery since LASIK was done is high volumes for a long time.

There are three major downsides of LASIK however:

  • LASIK patients may experience flap complications such as flap wrinkles, flap inflammation, flap dislodgement, etc post-op. This can happen if you rub your eyes too hard after doing LASIK, or if you get poked/get hit in the eye. The most severe is flap dislodgement, where you will have to see your surgeon immediately to replace the dislodged corneal flap. Flap complications, although rare, can occur because the cut LASIK flap adheres with tissue pressure only and never fully heals.
  • LASIK can cause permanent dry eyes as the cornea is cut to create an open flap. This risk is estimated at 2 to 3%. However, if you happen to fall in the unlucky 2 to 3 percentile of LASIK patients, you may have to apply eye drops regularly for life.
  • It can cause cornea thinning problems such as keratectasia. Because a lot of cornea tissue is required during LASIK, it results in a thinning of the cornea and causes the cornea to bulge forward over time.

ReLEx SMILE: Pros and cons

ReLEx SMILE is considered the newest laser vision correction method. It was only introduced in Singapore around 2014 and has steadily gained popularity.

The biggest benefits of ReLEx SMILE is its fast recovery, low risk of dry eyes and corneal flap-related complications (that are associated with LASIK surgery). Many are able to go back to work in 2 to 3 days after doing the ReLEx SMILE procedure and the recovery is generally easy and comfortable.

If you are thinking of going for ReLEx SMILE, consider these limitations:

  • ReLEx SMILE can only correct a certain degree of myopia and astigmatism. In general, you can only consider ReLEx SMILE if your myopia degree falls within a bandwidth of 200 to 700 degrees per eye. Due to the nature of the procedure, the internal lenticule cannot be cut too thin (low myopia) or too thick (high myopia).
  • ReLEx SMILE cannot correct hyperopia (long-sightedness).
  • There is risk of lenticule extraction complications, e.g. lenticule tear, incomplete lenticule extraction. If this occurs, the surgeon may have to switch to a surface-based procedure like TransPRK.
  • Enhancement surgery in the future is not possible using ReLEx SMILE as you cannot do the ReLEx SMILE procedure twice.
  • It is the most expensive — about twice the price of other laser vision correction procedures like LASIK or TransPRK.

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA): PRK, Lasek, EpiLASIK, TransPRK

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) are surface-based laser vision correction procedures and have evolved over the years. The ASA procedures differ from one another in the way it removes our epithelium cells — our outermost, regenerative cornea cells.

PRK (PhotoRefractive Keractectomy)

In fact, laser vision correction started not with LASIK, but with an ASA procedure called PRK. It was a painful procedure as the eye surgeon manually scraps away the epithelium cells back in those days before applying a laser. Today, PRK is considered an old procedure that is already phased out and most eye clinics in Singapore no longer offer it.

LASEK (Laser-assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy)

LASEK (not LASIK!) is a procedure where the eye surgeon would apply alcohol on the cornea to soften the epithelium cells before scraping them away. A laser is then applied to correct the refractive errors. Very few LASIK centres in Singapore still offer this procedure today, and it is also considered an old procedure that has been replaced.

EpiLASIK

EpiLASIK uses an epithelium separator vibrating at ultrasonic speed to shake off the epithelium cells. An excimer laser is then applied to reshape the cornea curvature, correcting eye refractive errors. EpiLASIK is still being offered at LASIK centres in Singapore.

TransPRK

TransPRK is considered the most advanced ASA procedure. If you would like to opt for a surface-based procedure, TransPRK would be the best choice. Being the most advanced, it is the fastest and most comfortable amongst all its older ASA counterparts.

The biggest benefits of TransPRK are no risk of dry eyes, corneal flap complications and is least invasive, since it is a surface-based procedure. No corneal flap is cut internally (ReLEx SMILE) or externally (LASIK), so there is no risk of corneal flap-related complications at all.

Another benefit of TransPRK is that it is especially suitable for sportspeople. Because sportspeople are more at risk of impacts or blows to the eye, especially contact sports like mixed martial arts, a surface-based procedure like TransPRK ensures a full recovery with no corneal flaps being cut in the eye.

The main downside of TransPRK is that it has the longest recovery time of all the procedures and the recovery can sometimes be fairly uncomfortable. Vision acuity generally also takes a longer time to stabilise and recover. This is because of the cornea epithelium cells’ healing process, which differs for each individual. Generally, expect to go back to work in 5 to 7 days after doing TransPRK.

Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL)

ICL is usually for those who are not suitable for cornea laser-based vision correction. This is because implanting an artificial lens into your eyes is the most invasive out of all the procedures and runs the risk of an intra-ocular infection. That being said, ICL is a widely performed eye surgery so a skilled eye surgeon should be able to mitigate these risks.

The benefits of ICL is that it can correct extremely high degrees of myopia and astigmatism, allowing high myopes to go spectacle and contact lens free. For example, those with extremely high myopia (more than 1.2 dioptres per eye) and those with very thin cornea will benefit from doing ICL as it can help regain perfect vision.

The downsides of ICL are:

  • It increases the risk of glaucoma as eye pressure increases over time with the introduction of the artificial lens in your eye, causing some obstruction to blood flow.
  • It can cause an early cataract, as your natural lenses will be affected by the artificial ones sitting atop it.
  • It is the most expensive procedure — more costly than even ReLEx SMILE — as it is a more complex operation and the cost of these artificial toric lens implants are often costly.

Which procedure is best for me?

Each laser vision correction come with its own benefits and downsides, so do take both sides into consideration. Be wary if your eye doctor tells you there are no cons to a particular procedure since it may just be sales talk.

Keep in mind your own lifestyle preferences. For example, if you frequently do contact sports, dive, or play basketball, perhaps a surface-based procedure like TransPRK would be safest. But if you want the fastest and most comfortable recovery, ReLEx SMILE or LASIK might be better options!

First, go for your LASIK eye evaluation

Before you decide on anything, book your LASIK evaluation at an eye clinic or two to check for your suitability first. Not everyone is suitable for laser vision correction! For example, you may also be suitable for TransPRK but not ReLEx SMILE. Listen and consider recommendations from different doctors and get a feel of what each procedure is like.

Infographic showing information about pre-LASIK eye evaluation and things to take not of such as stopping the use of contact lens, and the eye assessment a patient has to take to determine his or her suitability.
Pre-LASIK eye evaluation in Singapore

During the LASIK evaluation, your pupils will be dilated so expect your near vision to be blurry for around 3 to 4 hours or so. You will also undergo eye tests determining your eye degree and measuring key metrics such as corneal thickness and corneal irregularities. The whole thing takes about 2 to 3 hours in general, including a personal consultation with your eye surgeon.

The cost of an eye evaluation in Singapore can range widely from $5 to $300! Most LASIK centres in Singapore allow you to check if you are suitable for laser vision correction at a very low and affordable cost.

Pro tip: ask if they have discounted rates (e.g. student price, referrals, etc) when you book your LASIK evaluation on the phone or email with them. Also, go for their public talks as LASIK centres in Singapore often offer special rates or vouchers for eye evaluation to their talk attendees.

What to expect on surgery day (LASIK, TransPRK, ReLEx SMILE)

some of the things you will have to take note prior your lasik surgery day. To stop wearing contact lens for certain number of days. To not wear any perfumes, deodorant, colognes or after shave on your surgery day. To not drive to the clinic. TO not wear any makeup or face lotions on the surgery days.
4 things to take note of on your LASIK surgery day

Prior to your LASIK surgery, here are a few things you will need to take note of:

  • Stop wearing your contact lens prior to the evaluation (in general, 3 days for soft lens and 14 days for hard lens). This is because wearing contact lenses can temporarily alter the curvature of your cornea and also cause dryness. Your eyes should be in a normal state when doing your laser vision correction surgery.
  • Do not wear perfume, lotions, deodorant, colognes, aftershave on your surgery day. The fine particles or chemicals emitted from these products may come in contact with the laser that is applied to your cornea during laser vision correction.
  • Do not wear any eye make-up on your surgery day. Your eyes should be as clean as possible and make-up free.
  • Do not drive to the clinic; try and get someone to accompany you home after. Your eyes will be very sensitive to light and may feel uncomfortable right after the surgery and you are likely to be unable to drive home.

15 LASIK FAQs to note

1. What can LASIK correct?

LASIK can correct myopia (far-sightedness), hyperopia (near-sightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia. The degree of correction hinges on the thickness of your cornea. The thicker your cornea, the higher the myopia power you are able to correct. In general, LASIK can correct myopia powers of up to 800 degrees. [4]

2. What is the best age to do LASIK?

The minimum age for LASIK is at least 18 years old and your eye prescription must have stabilised for at least the past 12 months.

There is no maximum age to have LASIK done. It can even be used to correct presbyopia, which is an age-related near sightedness commonly experienced by those above the age of 40 years old. For those above the age of 60 years old, they would be subjected to additional eye checks to check for any signs of cataracts. If there are signs of cataracts, they would have to go for a cataract removal (phacoemulsification) surgery instead.

3. Can I undergo the surgery while I am pregnant?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! However, if you are pregnant, do put your LASIK plans on hold as pregnancy hormones may alter your eye prescription. Steroidal and antibiotic eye drops that you will need to apply right after your LASIK procedure is also not great for pregnant mummies. After giving birth, it’s still not advisable to do LASIK if you are breastfeeding as the eye drop medications may affect quality of breast milk. Feel free to check with your doctor beforehand, but it’s still best to play safe and only proceed with your LASIK plans after you have given birth and stopped breastfeeding.

4. Will I be suitable for the procedure if I have a previous eye injury?

If you have recovered fully from your eye injury, it is likely that you will be able to undergo LASIK. However, this depends on the severity of your condition and if there is any permanent corneal scarring. Do clarify with your eye doctor during your LASIK eye evaluation so that he can check thoroughly before giving you the green light.

5. If I am suffering from a medical condition, will I still be suitable for LASIK?

If you are suffering from diseases which affects the healing ability of the body (e.g. diabetes, HIV, lupus, etc), you may not be a suitable candidate. However, if your condition is well-managed and under control, your eye doctor may allow you to undergo vision correction procedures. Again, be sure to check with your doctor regarding this!

6. If I have dry eyes, will I be able to undergo LASIK?

Even if you have been diagnosed with dry eyes, you will still be able to undergo LASIK. However, your eye doctor may recommend you to do alternative laser vision correction procedures such as TransPRK, Epi-LASIK and ReLEx SMILE as these procedures have lower risk of dry eyes. [4]

It’s interesting to note that some contact lens wearers who complain about dry eye problems tend to solve their dry eye woes after laser vision correction procedures like ReLEx SMILE and TransPRK. This is because contact lenses tend to cause or exacerbate dry eyes.

7. Can I choose to be put to sleep during the operation?

No. The LASIK surgery will take place under local anaesthesia in the form of eye drops. You will need to be awake throughout the whole procedure to focus on the laser light ahead of you.

8. Is LASIK painful?

Even if you’re extremely pain intolerant, you don’t have to be afraid as your eyes will be applied with numbing eye drops so you won’t feel a thing. There are also no needles or injections involved, contrary to common belief. The laser procedure is fast and over within minutes.

9. What happens if you blink during the surgery?

Your eyes will be held open with a retractor device, sort of like an eye holder, so you do not have to worry about blinking. Moreover, the laser machine is equipped with eye tracking technology which will track your eye gaze and stop if your gaze happens to shift out of focus.

10. How long will the surgery take?

LASIK treatment is very quick — it takes less than five minutes! All you have to do during this period of time is to listen closely to the instructions given by the doctor and focus ahead on the laser light.

11. Can you go blind from LASIK?

Blindness after a LASIK surgery is often a concern of many patients, probably due to horror movies like Final Destination and extreme cases happening in other countries reported in the news. LASIK in Singapore is generally very safe as most of the work is done by the laser machine itself, thus leaving little room for human error. Laser technology today is highly advanced and accurate. Moreover, the lasering process itself only takes about 30 to 60 seconds. To date, there is no known case of someone going blind from LASIK surgery in Singapore.

12. Can I use my phone and watch TV after the procedure?

Technically you can, but take it easy for the first few days. Your eyes may feel easily tired and your vision may still be blurry during recovery. Once they feel tired, stop watching TV or using your phone. Try to avoid prolonged periods of near vision work and get as much sleep as possible.

13. Can I still wear contact lenses after LASIK?

After LASIK, you will not need to depend on their glasses and contact lenses anymore. But if you want, you can choose to your wear soft lenses and even coloured lenses about 3 months after the surgery. [4] You may not be able to wear hard lenses post-LASIK though as they tend to slip off the altered cornea surface.

14. How long does LASIK last for?

LASIK can give you the freedom of unrented vision without glasses and contact lenses for a long time, since the laser has permanently reshaped your cornea curvature. However, you may experience regression if you subject your eyes to too much prolonged eye strain. You will also experience old age problems such as presbyopia when you get older, and require the aid of reading glasses.

15. Can you have LASIK twice?

Yes you can. Your suitability depends on your eye condition, cornea thickness etc though, so you will need to undergo another round of LASIK eye evaluation if you want to do an enhancement procedure. You probably won’t need to undergo LASIK twice, since modern laser vision correction is accurate and can last for many years.

Recommended LASIK clinics in Singapore

1. Eagle Eye Centre

Large team of eye specialists: Eagle Eye Centre

Founded by celebrity eye surgeon Dr Julian Theng, Eagle Eye Centre has expanded to an impressive 7 clinic locations islandwide and a large team of 15 eye doctors under its helm.

Laser vision correction technique: focused mainly on LASIK. They also offer alternatives like Epi-LASIK, ReLEx SMILE and Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL).

Laser technology used: LASIK is done via the Ziemer LDV Z6 Femtosecond laser + Allegretto Wavelight Excimer Laser; Epi-LASIK via the Allegretto Wavelight Excimer laser; ReLEx SMILE via the Zeiss VisuMax Femtosecond System.

Price with GST: LASIK costs start from $3,692 for both eyes. Prices differ based on your choice of surgery type (e.g LASIK, Epi-LASIK, ReLEx SMILE). Eye evaluation costs $300++ (waived if you proceed with surgery).

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm; Sat, 9am to 12pm, for most outlets.

Locations: Mount Alvernia, King Albert Park Residences Mall, Mount Elizabeth Orchard, Mount Elizabeth Novena, Royal Square at Novena, Parkway East, Westgate Mall.

2. Clearvision Eye Clinic & LASIK Centre

Clearvision’s shophouse building: Clearvision Eye Clinic & LASIK Centre

Located in a humble shophouse building in the heart of Orchard, Clearvision was established by Dr Tony Ho in 2001 — almost 20 years ago!

Laser vision correction technique: specialises in the surface-based procedures like Epi-LASIK and TransPRK, which has zero risk of corneal flap complications and minimal risk of dry eeys. Also offers Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) as an alternative.

Laser technology used: TransPRK is done via the Schwind Amaris 1050RS Excimer Laser.

Price with GST: TransPRK costs $3,888 for both eyes, including first set of medications. Eye evaluation costs $37.50.

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm; Wed, 6pm to 8pm; Sat, 9am to 1pm.

Location: 6 Nutmeg Road, Nutmeg Court, Singapore 228337

3. Atlas Eye Specialist Centre

The Atlas Eye team: Atlas Eye Specialist Centre

Atlas Eye Specialist Centre was founded by Dr David Chan. As a new name in the LASIK industry in Singapore, Atlas Eye is a fast-growing centre which is highly recommended by many of her patients.

Laser vision correction technique: mainly advocates ReLEx SMILE in particular – the newest laser vision correction technique that was launched in 2017. Also offers LASIK and PRK as alternatives.

Laser technology used: ReLEx SMILE is done via the Zeiss VisuMax Femtosecond Laser System.

Price with GST: Epi-LASIK costs $3,851; LASIK costs $4,279; ReLEx SMILE costs $5,670. Eye evaluation costs $19 and all medications are chargeable.

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 8.30am to 5.30pm; Sat, 8.30am to 12pm

Location: 290 Orchard Road, Medical, #07-09 Paragon, Singapore 238859

4. Shinagawa Eye Centre

Warm and inviting clinic reception: Shinagawa Eye Centre

Priding itself as a clinic which delivers eye care services with the human touch, Shinagawa Eye Clinic has flourished and grown over the years under the care of her Founder, Dr Lee Shao Bing.

Laser vision correction technique: LASIK, TransPRK and Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL).

Laser technology used: LASIK is done via the iFS Intralase Femtosecond Laser (with Wavescan) + Schwind Amaris 750RS Excimer Laser; TransPRK is done via the Schwind Amaris 750RS Excimer Laser System.

Price with GST: LASIK costs $4,160 for both eyes. Eye evaluation costs $22. All medications are chargeable.

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 9am to 5.30pm; Sat, 9am to 5pm 

Location: 501 Orchard Road, Wheelock Place #05-15, Singapore 238880

5. LSC Eye Clinic (previously The LASIK Surgery Clinic)

LSC Eye Clinic by SMG: Paragon Medical

Established in 2005, LSC Eye Clinic was one of the LASIK centre pioneers in Singapore. It is part of the private medical group powerhouse Singapore Medical Group (SMG), the same group that also operates The Dental Studio and SW1 Clinic.

Laser vision correction technique: LASIK, ReLEx SMILE and Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL).

Laser technology used: LASIK is done via the iFS Intralase Femtosecond Laser (with Wavescan) + VISX Star S4 IR Excimer Laser; ReLEx SMILE is done via the Zeiss VisuMax System.

Price with GST: LASIK costs $4,375 for both eyes; ReLEx SMILE costs $5,659 for both eyes. Eye evaluation costs $27 (aged 18 to 49) or $161 (50 years old and above). All medications are chargeable.

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm; Sat, 9am to 1pm

Location: 290 Orchard Road, #16-01/02 Paragon Medical Tower 1 via Lift Lobby F, Singapore 238859

Use our free treatment quote service to get more LASIK information from recommended LASIK centres in Singapore.

Resources

[1] Fredrick, D. R. (2002). Myopia. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 324(7347), 1195-1199. https://www.bmj.com/content/324/7347/1195

[2] Willis, J.R. et al. (2016) The Prevalence of Myopic Choroidal Neovascularization in the United States, Ophthalmology, Volume 123, Issue 8, 1771- 1782. Retrieved https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(16)30140-3/fulltext

[3] Alastair K. O. Denniston, Philip I. Murray (2018), Oxford Handbook of Ophthalmology, Oxford University Press, pg 958-960

[4] Caster A.(2018). Ask The LASIK Surgeon, from https://www.allaboutvision.com/askdoc/lasik.htm#:~:text=Some%20doctors%20consider%20%2D8%20D,as%20an%20alternative%20to%20LASIK.

Jolene

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Jolene lives for avo toasts, yoga and is a little more OCD than she cares to admit. She never fails to start her day with her morning coffee and is very partial to flat whites. She also has gone a little too far down the rabbit hole with interior design and dabbles in styling her own home at @februarynest.

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