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    Why UK patients travel abroad for laser eye surgery



    “Medical tourism is often driven by price, but when it comes to laser eye surgery, price may not always be the main factor behind people's travel,” said Philip Boyle, head of consumer matters for the company. “Many patients who are traveling for work or pleasure consider ‘adding on’ treatment when they are abroad. For example, many enquiries are being made to India, where the cost of travel really negates any savings made.”

    Although laser surgery is available on the National Health Service (NHS) for some eye conditions that can lead to loss of vision, myopia is rarely among them because glasses and contact lenses are considered successful treatment, he added.

    Celebrities including Laura Whitmore, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Kidd, Brad Pitt, and Richard Branson have had laser eye surgery, helping popularize the procedures, the company said.

    Even after getting his vision corrected in 2002, Elton John held on to his wacky glasses because they are still a big part of his image. In 2010, he claimed to own as many as 250,000 pairs, according to the press release.

    “The high adoption of the LASIK procedures is driven by the changing demographics—significantly among the young generation between the age group of 18 to 35 years,” said Sheraz Daya, MD, medical director of Centre for Sight London, in the press release.

    He attributed the popularity of the procedure to “peer pressure and high awareness of self-improving techniques available with cosmetic surgeries.” 

    Boyle cautioned patients considering treatment abroad to read patient reviews and ensure the quality and credentials of the clinic they select.

    More: What will be the top ophthalmic challenges in 2017?

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