Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgery is functional, not cosmetic, and can reduce dependence on spectacles and contact lenses. However, it does share many similarities with cosmetic surgery; for most patients, refractive surgery is elective and self-funded and is predominantly provided by the private healthcare sector.

Recognising patient concerns regarding laser eye surgery, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists brought together leading refractive surgeons including RCOphth Council Officers, in the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group (RSSWG).  We advocate statutory regulation for refractive surgery as a long-term objective to ensure that patients are protected and are able to make informed choices. The RSSWG produced new recommendations and clinical guidance including advertising & marketing guidelines and patient information to improve standards for the provision of refractive surgery for the benefit of patients.

The General Medical Council issued additional information on the scope of its guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic surgery.

If you are thinking of having refractive surgery, download the following patient guides to help you make informed choices.

Roles within the Refractive Surgery Team helps to explain all the medical and non-medical professionals involved in refractive surgery. It is important that patients understand the roles and how they will be involved in any consultation and treatment.

The Advertising and Marketing standards for refractive surgery have been developed to meet current recommendations by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) in the marketing of products and services.