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Refractive Surgery

Recognising patient concerns regarding laser eye surgery, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has brought together leading refractive surgeons including RCOphth Council officers, in the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group (RSSWG). As the RCOphth advocates statutory regulation for refractive surgery as a long-term solution, the purpose of the RSSWG is to review guidance, advertising & marketing guidelines and patient information to improve standards for the provision of refractive surgery for the benefit of patients.

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 predominately provided by the private healthcare sector.

New refractive surgery guidelines from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, together with patient information on Laser Vision Correction, Phakic Intraocular Lens Implantation, Refractive Lens Exchange and a Checklist for patients will be published in April 2017.

The General Medical Council has issued additional information on the scope of its guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic surgery ‘Does the guidance cover laser or refractive surgery?’

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

Refractive Surgery Patient Checklist April 2017
Laser Vision Correction Surgery Patient Leaflet (Reviewed May 2018)
Phakic Intraocular Lens Implantation Patient Leaflet (Reviewed May 2018)
Refractive Lens Exchange Patient Leaflet (Reviewed May 2018)

Roles within the Refractive Surgery Team (Reviewed May 2018) 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 has 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. Refractive Surgery Advertising and Marketing Standards – Updated June 2017