The Steps To a Laser Eye Procedure

We have found that many prospective patients are curious as to what steps are involved in a laser eye procedure. To enlighten these people we have detailed the typical steps taken by a patient undergoing a laser eye treatment.


Step 1 – Having shown interest in having a laser eye procedure the patient phones the clinic and is booked in for a suitability appointment.


Step 2 – On the day of the suitability appointment the patient will meet a qualified optometrist who will take the patient through the consultation process and carry out her eye examination to determine if she is suitable for a laser eye procedure. The suitability appointment includes 6 different eye assessment tools and usually lasts no longer than an hour.

Laser eye procedure step2

Laser eye procedure step 2


Step 3 – The patient meets with consultant ophthalmologist, Professor Moore who will have analysed the results of the patient’s eye examination and will make recommendations as to what procedure would be most effective. In this case, Professor Moore has recommended that the most effective procedure for the patient’s eyes would be the VisuMax SMILE procedure.

Note that steps 1 and 2 are usually carried out on a separate day to the steps ahead. For the reason that we value the patient’s informed consent and find that most patients need to be given time to make a decision.


Laser eye procedure step 3


Step 4 – The patient has made her decision to have the VisuMax SMILE procedure. The patient arrives at the clinic and is prepared to undergo the treatment.

laser eye procedure step 4


Step 5 – Before the patient enters the laser procedure room they are required to put on a surgical cap and footwear.


laser eye procedure step 5


Step 6 – After putting the surgical attire on, the patient situates themselves on the VisuMax bed.


laser eye procedure step 6


Step 7 The bed is then repositioned so that the patient’s head is directly under the laser. Professor Moore will then proceed by inserting drops of local anaesthetic into each eye.


Laser eye procedure step 7

Laser eye procedure step 7


Step 8 Professor Moore begins the VisuMax SMILE procedure which lasts no longer than 10 minutes. This procedure consists of two main parts; the creation of a lenticule and the removal of the lenticule. To learn more about this procedure click here.


Laser eye procedure step 8


Step 9The laser is no longer in operation and the procedure is complete.


Laser eye procedure step 9


Step 10Final checksUsing the slit lamp Professor Moore examines the patient’s eye to determine if the eye is exactly how it should be after the procedure.


laser eye procedure step 10


Step 11 –     The patient is given a bag containing eye drops and is advised to not drive and relax for the next 24 hours to allow the eyes to fully recover. The patient leaves the clinic and will revisit the next day for an assessment.

Laser eye procedure step 11


Post treatment When the patient’s treatment is complete they will be asked to visit the clinic a number of times for the surgeon to assess the eye’s response to the procedure. This is to ensure that the procedure has had the desired effect and the eye is recovering well.

To book a suitability appointment at our state-of-the-art Belfast clinic contact us on 028 9032 2020 or email

Next Steps

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Adventurous and sporty Optometrist Aaron had been wearing contacts since he was 13, until he had the groundbreaking VisuMax Smile Laser Eye procedure at Cathedral Eye Clinic. Read Aaron's comprehensive review of his experience.
Optometrist Can't Believe His Eyes!
Danielle Anne recently came to Cathedral Eye Clinic to have the groundbreaking VisuMax Smile Laser Eye procedure, and noticed a dramatic improvement in her vision just a few hours later. Danielle kindly wrote a few words to share her experience with Cathedral Eye Clinic and Medical Director Professor Moore.
Review: Danielle now "seeing the world in HD"