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Find answers to frequently asked questions about LASIK/ laser eye surgery, laser blended surgery, cataracts and your general questions.

  • Lasik Surgery

    • How much time do I need to take off work?

      Normally we recommend you take three days off work. The first day for your surgery, the second day for your check up, and the third day to relax.

    • How soon can I drive after the procedure?

      Most people can drive the next day after Laser Eye Surgery. A form can be completed at the time of your check up to change your drivers licence.

    • How long after surgery before I can swim/play sport/wear makeup?

      We recommend no swimming, wearing makeup, nor contact sports for a minimum of 2 weeks after your Laser Eye Surgery. Sometimes we advise longer depending on how your eye is healing.

    • Can you have Laser Eye Surgery more than once?

      Most people only need Laser Eye Surgery once. If you have had Laser Eye Surgery in the past and your vision has changed it is possible to repeat the treatment. However, an assessment is required to help determine the best technique and exclude any other problems that may be occurring with your eyes.

    • What type of laser is used?

      Bowen Eye Clinic uses the latest FDA approved lasers. The femtosecond laser used is the AMO iFS which is the newest and fastest femtosecond laser available in Wellington. The excimer laser used is from Carl Zeiss which is also the newest in Wellington and offers Advanced Surface Ablation and Laser Blended Vision. It is also the latest available FDA approved excimer laser from Carl Zeiss.

    • Is there a waiting list for Laser Eye Surgery?

      After your assessment you can normally book a date and time for surgery within 4 weeks. 

    • Can I still wear my contact lenses up to the day of Laser Eye Surgery?

      We recommend you leave your contact lenses out for at least 48 hours before laser eye surgery if you use soft contact lens. If you use hard contact lenses then at least a week out of the lenses is recommended, sometimes longer.

    • Can I Have LASIK if I have a Cataract?

      Cataracts can decrease your overall vision and the quality of your vision. Early Cataracts can however be treated with glasses and Laser Eye Surgery can always replace your glasses. Cataracts however can change with time and this would have a negative affect on the result of your Laser Eye Surgery. It is important that a comprehensive assessment of your eye health is performed first. We want your investment in Laser Eye Surgery to last and if a cataract is detected we may recommend cataract surgery instead.

    • How do I know if Laser Eye Surgery is suitable for my eyes?

      Yes, Laser Eye Surgery can treat most short sightedness (Myopia), long sightedness (Hyperopia) and Astigmatism. Essentially it is suitable for anyone who no longer wants to wear glasses or contact lenses.  At Bowen Eye Clinic we offer a free assessment and will perform a series of simple tests and scans to check your suitability. 

      If your eyes are not suitable for the procedure, alternative treatments including LASEK, Advanced Surface Ablation (PRK), Staar ICL, and Refractive Lens Exchange can then be discussed

    • Does Health Insurance pay for Laser Eye Surgery?

      Unfortunately in New Zealand no health insurance companies currently pay for their customers to have Laser Eye Surgery.

    • What age should I be when considering Laser Eye Surgery?

      Normally you should be 20 years or older for Laser Eye Surgery. This is because your eyes refraction (glasses strength) is stable by this age.

      Most people over 70 years of age are no longer suitable for Laser Eye Surgery as it is likely a cataract will have developed. At Bowen Eye Clinic we can also treat this condition.

    • What types of Laser Surgery are available?

      At Bowen Eye Clinic we offer a number of modern laser eye surgery treatments. This include LASIK, Laser Blended Vision (LBV), Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA), PRK, PTK, YAG laser capsulotomy, and Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). Please call to make an appointment to discuss what is the best option for you.

    • Will Laser Eye Surgery hurt?

      No. Laser Eye Surgery is performed with local anaesthetic as a day procedure and is pain free. At the very most you may have some mild discomfort following the procedure for only 4 hours.

    • Can 60 year olds have Laser Eye Surgery/LASIK?

      Yes 60 year olds can be suitable for Laser Eye Surgery and LASIK. It is important that a comprehensive assessment of your eye health is performed first. This will exclude any sign of cataract prior to proceeding with laser treatment.

    • How long does Laser Eye Surgery take?

      The good news is that the procedure itself only takes seconds for each eye. You’ll only need to be in the clinic for about 1 hour. During this time we will take a double check of your eye measurements, explain the procedure and how to care for your eyes following the procedure.

    • Can 50 year olds have Laser Eye Surgery/LASIK?

      Yes 50 year olds can have Laser Eye Surgery. Presbyopia starts normally in ones late 40s and Laser Blended Vision is a great option for anyone over 40 to correct both distance and near vision without glasses. This is done with the LASIK technique with the same fast recovery.

    • Is Laser Eye Surgery safe?

      Yes. Laser Eye Surgery has an excellent reputation and LASIK has been performed on over 27 million people worldwide during the last 20 years. 

      However, Laser Eye Surgery is a surgical procedure and like all other surgical procedures there is a very small risk of infection and scarring. 

    • Can I have Laser Eye Surgery during COVID-19 level 4?

      Unfortunately only urgent eye surgery can be done during COVID-19 Level 4. Laser Eye Surgery procedures such as LASIK and PRK are consider non-urgent and will need to wait until we are at a lower level.

    • Are the results of Laser Eye Surgery permanent?

      Laser Eye Surgery gives very predictable results. We expect you will get many years of good quality vision following the procedure. Occasionally someones eyes will change over the years following the procedure. It is normally possible to retreat with the Laser. More commonly everybody needs reading glasses by the time they reach 50 years. We can offer laser blended vision to those who do not want to use reading glasses. 

    • What is the difference between LASIK and LASEK treatment?

      90% of people choose LASIK because of the quick recovery and minimal discomfort. LASIK involves two lasers. The first laser makes a flap in the cornea, this is folded back and the second laser does the reshaping of your eye. The flap is layed back down leaving only a very small ring area to heal. The recovery is very quick and only takes hours. 

      10% of people choose LASEK normally because their cornea is thinner than average. LASEK (Advanced Surface Ablation) involves one laser. The top layer of cells are removed from you eye and one laser does the reshaping of your eye. The cells  grow back over a few days. The recovery is slower and more uncomfortable than LASIK. 

    • Can Laser Eye Surgery treat Astigmatism?

      Yes, Laser Eye Surgery can treat almost all cases of Astigmatism.

  • Cataracts

    • When can I drive after cataract surgery?

      Following cataract surgery some people can drive the next day, whereas others may need to wait until new glasses are prescribed.

    • What is a cataract?

      A cataract forms in your natural crystalline lens with age. The proteins become disorganised and discoloured. This damage is mostly related to ultraviolet light over the years. Sometimes the change can be genetic or associated with a medical condition such as diabetes. The good news is it can be successfully treated with cataract surgery.

    • How is a cataract treated?

      Cataracts can only be permanently treated with surgery. Cataract surgery is done as a day procedure with local anaesthetic. The cataract is broken up into small pieces by phacoemulsification. A new acrylic intraocular lens replaces the cataract to restore your sight. 

    • Is Cataract surgery permanent?

      Yes Cataract surgery is permanent. Occasionally (< 5%) a membrane can grow around the new intraocular lens causing your vision to become cloudy again. Dr Hall can treat this membrane using the YAG laser at a clinic appointment at Bowen Eye Clinic.

    • What type of technology is used for Cataract Surgery?

      All three hospitals (Bowen, Southern Cross, and Crest) that Dr Reece Hall offers cataract surgery at use the latest phacoemulsification technology from Alcon and Bausch+Lomb. This is ultrasound energy which is used to dissolve the cataract.  A range of modern wavefront designed intraocular lenses are used to replace the cataract.

    • Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?

      You will definitely see a lot better following cataract surgery. Normally new glasses will improve the visual result a further 5-10%. For those who do not want to use glasses they might consider combining cataract surgery with laser eye surgery.

    • How much time off is recommended after cataract surgery?

      We recommend you take at least three days off work following cataract surgery. Some people prefer to take a week off. It does vary from person to person.


  • General Questions

    • Why should I choose Bowen Eye Clinic for my Laser Eye Surgery?

      Bowen Eye Clinic is the most modern purpose built eye clinic in Wellington. We offer excellence in laser eye surgery with the latest diagnostic equipment and FDA approved femtosecond and excimer lasers. You are in safe hands with Dr Reece Hall who is the only laser eye surgeon in New Zealand with overseas fellowship training in the procedure and holds a Masters degree in Laser Eye Surgery (Refractive Surgery).

    • How do I find Bowen Eye Clinic?

      Bowen Eye Clinic is conveniently situated on site with Bowen Hospital. We are on Churchill Drive in Crofton Downs between Wadestown and Ngaio , ten minutes up the hill from the CBD. 

    • How much does it cost for an appointment at Bowen Eye Clinic?

      A first visit consultation fee is $190.  All follow-up consultations are $100. Additional charges may apply if scans are required.

    • Can I claim any procedures through my medical insurance policy?

      All specialist treatments are covered by most medical insurance policies. Unfortunately no insurance company in New Zealand covers Laser Eye Surgery. Before proceeding with a treatment it is recommended that you check with your medical insurance company. 

    • Do you treat ACC patients?

      Yes. We can treat all ACC patients with no surcharge.

    • What payment options are offered?

      We offer a range of payment and finance options. These include EFTPOS, VISA, MASTERCARD and direct bank transfer. We also provide finance options through Q-Card and Nova finance.

  • Laser Blended Surgery

    • What is the difference between Laser Blended Vision (LBV) and LASIK treatment?

      Laser Blended Vision (LBV) uses the same technique as LASIK to correct your eyes. Your dominant eye is treated for distance and your non-dominant eye treated for near vision. This means that you will no longer require glasses for distance vision or for reading. LASIK will correct both eyes for distance.

    • How will I know if I am more suited for Laser Eye Surgery or for Laser Blended Vision?

      We assess your suitability with tests and scans at your free assessment. We can also show you what the Laser Blended Vision is like in trial glasses.

    • How long does it take to adjust to Laser Blended Vision?

      Your vision will be very functional following the procedure the next day but for it to be fully adjusted and to feel natural it can take anywhere from a few days, weeks or in some instances a few months.

Laser eye surgery FAQs | Bowen Eye Clinic


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