Are you considering laser eye surgery?

By Pippa Thompson

Vision is one of the most valued senses – more and more people are looking to laser eye surgery to fix problems with their sight. Despite this, a recent high profile legal case has shown how eye surgery is not always as routine or risk free as many people believe.

In this case, a young woman called Stephanie Holloway had laser eye surgery with a major high street opticians so that she could join the police. The treatment went wrong with devastating consequences.

Before the treatment Stephanie didn’t have much wrong with her vision apart from needing glasses. Now, she is so sensitive to light that she has to wear dark glasses all the time.

Stephanie won over half a million pounds in a fiercely fought trial. The Judge found that she hadn’t received proper advice or been told about what could potentially go wrong before having the surgery. She hadn’t been given enough time, information, or space for a cooling off period before undergoing the surgery. Nobody discussed whether eye surgery was what she needed or whether it was too risky.

The case revealed some of the selling practices of opticians offering laser eye surgery. Their staff, including surgeons, worked on commission. This created a sales pitch culture where customers are hooked into agreeing to surgery.

Before committing to laser eye surgery follow our 5 top tips to make sure you’re covered:

1 – Do your research
See at least one or two independent surgeons before you commit to have surgery. They can point out the risks independently with no other motives.

2 – Understand the risks
Any surgeon you use should give you a booklet on the risks of surgery well before you commit. Make sure you read and understand what they are.

3 – Don’t feel pressurised
You will need to sign a consent form before your surgery. If you feel pressured into it, don’t sign! Your surgeon should give you the space you need to make the decision at your own pace.

4 – Meet your surgeon
Make sure you speak with the surgeon carrying out the operation at least a few days before the surgery.

5 – Know your rights
If you do go ahead, you have the right to complain about your treatment if you are unhappy with the outcome. You may even have a good case for compensation. If you are unhappy with the results of any surgery, you should see a specialist solicitor to find out whether you can make a claim.


Devonshire solicitors are big enough to cope with anything, and small enough to care. For more information visit Alternatively you can contact or call 020 7065 1841.

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