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    Why UK patients travel abroad for laser eye surgery

    More citizens from the United Kingdom are traveling abroad for laser eye procedures, according to a medical travel website.

    Enquiries from the United Kingdom into overseas clinics for laser procedures rose 60% in the 12 months ending in November 2016, according to WhatClinic.com, which lists medical clinic by location.

    By comparison, overall global enquiries into laser eye procedures rose only 21% and enquiries for all laser eye procedures from United Kingdom users to clinics at home and abroad increased only 17%.

    Similarly, enquiries from the United Kingdom for LASIK procedures abroad increased 100%, but the overall increase including domestic searches increased by 88%.

    Additionally, enquiries for consultations with laser eye surgeons in overseas clinics increased by 42% over the 12 months.

    The 2 most popular types of laser eye surgery are LASIK and Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK), the site reported.

    More: 16 most popular stories of 2016

    In LASIK, a cool beam of light from an excimer laser slightly reshapes the cornea. In LASEK, the top layer of the cornea is lifted as a flap before the cornea is resculpted.

    LASIK has been available since the early 1990s, and is the more popular of the procedures because it is more straightforward and has a faster recovery time, according to the site.

    However, LASIK is not always the optimal choice for all patients. For those with thin corneas or those who are involved in contact sports, LASEK can be more appropriate, the site reported.

    Prices vary widely, determined by the country, the press release detailed.

    Although 862 clinics in the United Kingdom offer LASIK, the average price of LASIK among reported sites in the United Kingdom is £1,605. By comparison, LASIK treatment averages £823 in Turkey, £696 in Spain, £594 in the Czech Republic, and £319 in Poland.

    However, price may not be the main factor

     

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