Refractive surgery: “We are trying to give patients a better quality of life”

OCL Vision director, Allon Barsam, emphasised the importance of patient selection during a presentation on refractive surgery at 100% Optical

refractive surgery
Getty/Science Photo Library

Director and founding partner of OCL Vision, Allon Barsam, emphasised the positive impact of refractive surgery on the daily lives of patients at 100% Optical (London ExCel, 23-25 April).

He encouraged optometrists and refractive surgery providers to work together in the interests of patients.

“We are on the same team. We are trying to give patients a better quality of life,” he said.

During his presentation, Refractive surgery in 2022: the state of the art, Barsam noted that there is some scepticism around vision correction services in the UK.

However, publicity around negative experiences can obscure the larger number of patients who benefit from refractive surgery.

“There are huge numbers of people who are happy with the outcome and you might not hear from them,” Barsam said.

Patients with myopia up to -10.00D, hyperopia up to +6.00D and astigmatism up to 6D may be suitable for refractive surgery, Barsam shared.

Barsam shared his personal statistics as a refractive surgeon, revealing that 99.9% of the last 500 patients he has treated obtained an uncorrected visual acuity of 6/6 or better.

“The thing that I really get a kick out of in my practice is to make a patient’s visual world clearer than it ever was before,” he said.

Barsam emphasised the importance of optometrists guiding patients appropriately for refractive surgery and recommending a reputable surgeon.

Appropriate patient selection by surgeons helps to avoid unanticipated and unwanted results, Barsam added.

Patients who may not be suitable for refractive surgery include patients with unrealistic expectations (for example, presbyopes who want to be 100% spectacle-free following surgery) and keratoconus suspects.