Laser eye surgery recommendations?

By 14 January 2010 32

I am considering having laser eye surgery this year, but I’m not sure where to go. Has anyone had their eyes done recently at either of the below providers? Any recommendations?


Please login to post your comments
32 Responses to
Laser eye surgery recommendations?
Mr Waffle 1:01 pm
14 Jan 10

A coworker got it done at the Canberra Eye Hospital mid last year, no problems that I’ve heard.

harley 1:05 pm
14 Jan 10

I had mine done at Vista 2 and a half years ago.

Dr Rick Wolfe was a nice bloke, but I thought it would have been better to have more consultation time with him, rather than the optomotrists. With the name and the image he looks like he belongs on daytime soaps, but he really did make me comfortable.

The surgery and post surgery support was faultless. I did have to go in for a second go, but that is not unusual for where I started from.

I have no regrets with the procedure or choosing Rick.

steveu 1:26 pm
14 Jan 10

I had my eyes done in 2005 by Ian Dunlop and havent looked back. Mind you, I did my homework first, weighed up the risks vs benefits etc. I got a independant opinion from an optometrist as well, who said to me I was ‘the perfect candidate’ etc. Turns out he was correct. Life changing event to someone who had -6.75 to better than 20/20 vision. I first looked into it early on in the piece in 1997, and waited until 2005 until I was confident the technology had improved, and the surgeon had more practice (which is a big thing).

I was a bit stressed waiting for it to be done, however by the time the first eye had been done I found the process quite interesting and wasnt phased at all.
I walked out of there wondering why I was stressed out at all. (think about this phrase a bit if you get worried or stressed).

I didnt go to work for 5 days afterward, stayed indoors, did all the things they told me to do and thensome.

Its a personal choice, though for me it was a great one.

Good luck with your homework and eventual decision.


motleychick 1:42 pm
14 Jan 10

Glad you put up this post as I am also interested in recommendations of good places. I have been considering having laser eye surgery for quite some time now. Am just a bit scared about the risks as it is my eyesight I’m dealing with. I look forward to reading other comments. I have heard good things about the Canberra Eye Hospital though.

Dazzlar 1:52 pm
14 Jan 10

Isn’t Sydney a cheaper option even with accommodation costs added in?

weaponx 2:04 pm
14 Jan 10


prhhcd 2:05 pm
14 Jan 10

Iain Dunlop at Canberra Eye Hospital. Does a great job.

lobster 2:53 pm
14 Jan 10

For the people who have had it done : What was the overall cost in the end? (If it isn’t too personal a question)

milsey2010 4:21 pm
14 Jan 10

Why???? glasses make you look smarter according to research done by Melbourne Uni.

Joe Canberran 4:30 pm
14 Jan 10

And HOT! don’t forget glasses can make you look dead sexy!

A Noisy Noise Annoys 6:01 pm
14 Jan 10

Joe Canberran said :

And HOT! don’t forget glasses can make you look dead sexy!

Glasses are terrible. It’s like being in a wheelchair.

Lilli 6:05 pm
14 Jan 10

I underwent the Advanced Surface Laser (ASL) procedure in August 2008 at Sebban Eye Centre in Brookvale, Sydney –

At the time, I paid a total of $988 per eye plus an aftercare pack (I think it was around $30) as well as accommodation costs of approx. $700 (I stayed at the Sebel in Manly – they do advise it is important to stay near by in case of complications). It is really important to research different procedures as they can result in different healing times etc. The ASL procedure is different to common LASIK/LASEK (which involves the cutting of a flap of cornea, correcting underneath and then replacing the flap) in that there is no flap created. The surface of the eye is removed (you don’t actually feel this), the correction is performed, and then a hard contact lens is inserted in the eye until the cornea re-grows (usually 48-72hrs). I’ve been told the lack of flap in this surgery can be an advantage as there is no risk of ‘bubbles’ under the flap during healing.

There is some pain involved in this procedure and you are provided a script for some pretty heavy painkillers and lots of eye drops. I believe I ended up staying in Sydney for 4 nights as one of my corneas took a little longer to fully stitch together. The painkillers are needed, as well as a sympathetic carer (to administer eye drops, pain relief, hugs etc.)

I would highly recommend Dr Sebban and his team. My brother has also had the same procedure and both of us are really happy with the results. If you have any further questions I am happy to answer :)

Mordd 6:09 pm
14 Jan 10

Personally i’ve been waiting for the technology to mature for the past 10 years and im still not completely comfortable with the rate of people who revert back after 5 or so years after having the treatment. I’m hoping by closer to 2015 the technology will have improved further again before I am personally willing to risk it for the cost.

Mimiboo 7:32 pm
14 Jan 10

Dazzlar said :

Isn’t Sydney a cheaper option even with accommodation costs added in?

True – I paid just under $2k to get my eyes done in Sydney (that was back in 2007).

s-s-a 10:12 pm
14 Jan 10

Glasses are terrible. It’s like being in a wheelchair.

That was a joke right? Either that or you need to get a healthy dose of reality and spend at least a week in a wheelchair (with use of your arms) or a weekend in a motorised one with your arms gaff-taped to the armrests.

I defy you to find a wheelchair user who wouldn’t swap you for strong prescription glasses.

cleo 11:34 pm
14 Jan 10

Lilli Be careful not to fall on your face, my mother did and the lense was pushed back, but the specialist thought that it was something else, so they operated on her eyes and completly stuffed her eye up, and admited after that it was from the fall, pity they didn’t realise that in the first place, also I’ve heard if you have had the cornia replaced you will need laser a few years later.

Canberra81 11:38 pm
14 Jan 10

My eyesight is pretty bad, -8 on both eyes, but apparently my cornea is thick enough to make me a good candidate for surgery. I had a consultation at Vista Eyes last year and have been trying to book a consultation at the Eye Hospital.

Overall I feel really good about Vista Eyes, but from what I can tell Dr Wolfe spends most of his time in Melbourne, and all of the Canberra staff are optometrists so I’m nervous about what would happen if I got an post-op infection.

The quote from Vista Eyes was about $5000 all up, I think that the Canberra Eye Hospital charges about $6500. Hope that’s helpful… Good luck :)

harley 12:45 am
15 Jan 10

Lilli said :

At the time, I paid a total of $988 per eye plus an aftercare pack (I think it was around $30) as well as accommodation costs of approx. $700 (I stayed at the Sebel in Manly – they do advise it is important to stay near by in case of complications).


it cost me nearly 6K in toto

I didn’t even question it, I just assumed that was the going rate.

sulikm 12:59 pm
15 Jan 10

Hi guys,

Thank you all for your comments.

I too have heard good things about both providers, so it’s hard to justify paying an extra $1500 at Canberra Eye Hospital vs. Vista

Sydney could be a possibility, but I can’t be bothered with the travel and accommodation hassles.

I’m having a consultation with my regular optometrist next week, so I’ll get her take on it and report back.


Artie_F 2:31 pm
15 Jan 10

I had mine done at Canberra Eye Hospital for $6200. I was a little disappointed by the result.

On the day of the surgery, I Had to wait 1+ hours after my scheduled appointment time (apparently wasn’t uncommon for this particular doctor) and then felt like I was in a production queue. The doctor was absolutely brutal getting my eye lined up for the first bit (cutting the flap) which ended up in some swelling before the procedure. When it came to the second bit (laser) I was meant to focus on a little red light. However, as soon as the laser starts, you can no longer see the red light. He got agitated and started raising his voice but when I told him that I couldn’t see the light when the laser started, he said, yeah he knows, but try to focus on it anyway!! The whole thing felt rushed and the doctor had a completely different demeanour to the one he displayed at the initial consult.

Afterwards, I wasn’t sure that I had 20/20 vision. I went to an optometrist who told me that my vision was 30/20 (or 20/30, whichever is worse?) and that was significant debris under the flap. Even now, I can see what looks to be a little hair in my vision when looking at a white screen or paper. So I went back to the doctor, and he said that my eyesight was close enough, and it wasn’t worth our time to do further correction.

To be honest, I was relieved, because I didn’t want to go through the procedure again. He also insisted there wasn’t any debris under my eye.

I was also surprised that for $6000 you only get one follow up consultation a week later (I think some places do another follow up 6 months later).

Two other people from my work went to the same doctor (not sure how many doctors they have at the CEH, but it wasn’t Dunlop). They were very happy with the result, however, so go figure…

harley 3:05 pm
15 Jan 10

Not good, Artie.

With Dr. Rick @ vista, I had follow-ups for over a year afterwards, though with the Optos, not Rick. I had follow-up surgery (with Rick again) as the result wasn’t perfect – I don’t know what my vision was, but I could drive and use the computer, but it was annoying. I think I went in 3 or 4 times between the first and second procedures, then at least 3 more after the second.

I don’t regret the money I spent, but I am now kicking myself that I could have gotten a better deal. :)

fortyseven 6:40 pm
15 Jan 10

I just had mine done in December at the Australian Institute of Eye Surgery ( in Sydney and was extremely happy with the whole thing. The cost was $1250 per eye (the website quotes double that but that’s out of date, trust me) and even though it’s in Sydney there is a decent hotel 2 mins away that’s reasonably priced.

I had it done with my wife at the same time and the only regrets we have is that we hadn’t had the procedure done earlier, worth every cent.

LaLa 1:50 pm
16 Jan 10

+3 for Sebban Eye Centre in Brookvale. Myself and 2 friends have all had our eyes done there, I would do it again if I had to. If you can organise to stay with friends it makes it even more cost effective. It cost me $988 per eye 2 years ago. They work on referral only and do very little advertising, hence how they can keep the cost down.

grumpyrhonda 1:30 pm
14 Feb 10

I had both my eyes done about 7 years ago by Rick Wolfe. The best thing ever! I was a minus 8 prescription. 7 years ago, it cost me $2000 per eye. I had absolutely no regrets. The staff were brilliant. The operation was very quick and easy. NO REGRETS.

Daniel P 11:51 pm
28 Mar 10

Apologies, I can’t work out how to contact another member independently of a forum . I’m scheduled with to have the surgery with Sebban in about 3 weeks and I wanted to ask either Lilli or LaLa are couple of questions if they didn’t mind. Not sure how to do that though without posting my email address.

Gardnerz 10:27 am
05 Feb 11

I have ageing eyes, apparently, perfect long distance, hard to read the phone book, script +1.5, has anyone had corrective surgery for this type of problem? How many years does it last for, any complications, where did you have it done and how much? by the way, I think glasses look Hot, so many nice designs, but cannot wear a multifocal.
Thank you

lasereyesurgery 11:32 am
14 Apr 11

Just wondering how you went with the surgery. Which company did you go with and do you have any feed back on the operation?

byproxy 1:07 am
14 Jul 11

howdy all,
a few people in this thread have mentioned the sebban eye centre in Sydney…
I just thought I’d give an update: based on this recommendation, i had ASL surgery done there a few weeks ago.
the verdict: frikking tops.
the price is now $1288 per eye, and all up, including an extra procedure they did to help me avoid having dry eyes afterwards, and including copious amounts of valium for post-op care, came to about $3000.
The procedure itself was very quick and easy – taking about 5 minutes tops.
The lead-up to the procedure took three hours of having multiple tests done, waiting around, and receiving post-op care instructions with my carer.
The recovery process involved three days of sleeping (with the assistance of valium and painkillers) while my carer would periodically wake me up during the day to feed me and put drops in my eyes. It was almost as good as a holiday, and I appreciated the chance to catch up on some sleep.
My only criticism would be that the written post-op care instructions were a bit disorganised, and my carer had trouble following them as they were confusing and unclear. Still, we made it through ok and my recovery has been great – I do get tired eyes after a day in front of the computer, but apparently it takes 2 months for the whole thing to settle down completely.
I receive free follow up appointments for a year (one at 2 weeks, one at 6 weeks, one at 6 months and one at 1 year) at the clinic in Campbelltown (if I want to drive up and back in a day), or i prefer to use the appointment as an excuse for a weekend in Sydney.
Now, still, about ten times a day i remember that i am not wearing glasses and that i’m not about to stab myself in the face when i put on a jumper / hug my fella / fall asleep watching a movie / etc… or that they fog up when i walk into a heated bar, or that they’re just generally a complete pain in the nose to wear, it’s really great. I found it much easier to justify $3000 to have the procedure done in Sydney than $6000 for the convenience of staying here in Canberra. I chatted to another patient who had travelled down from Brisbane to Sydney for the same reason.
So, thanks to those of you who recommended the sebban eye centre and for pointing out that eye surgery doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive.
Also, Dr Sebban commented on the large number of patients he sees from Canberra, which gave me the chance to plug the riot act. :-)

Gungahlin Al 10:18 am
14 Jul 11

I had mine done back in 2002. At Lasik in Melbourne not that that is any use here. Been absolutely brilliant ever since. Life is so much easier without glasses or bloody contact lens hassles. Can’t focus so closely now though that is expected.

katsby 5:43 pm
20 Apr 13

A newcomer to the RiotACT, I posted a query in the wrong thread…I meant to do so here: has anyone any up to date info on laser eye surgery in Canberra? I’m particularly interested in any experiences with Personal Eyes in Kingston…

Follow The RiotACT
Get Premium Membership
Advertisement Newsletter Sign Up

Should school bus travel be free?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Images of Canberra

RiotACT Proudly Supports
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.