Laser Eye Surgery

Hi, I am new to here and just read from a member about having laser eye surgery. I have just been given the run around by Ultralase. I asked before booking my consultation whether it would be ok to take place if I had a pacemaker and was told this was no problem. Once I arrived they said they couldn't even consider it because of their insurances and the surgeon wouldn't take the risk. I am not dependent upon my pacemaker as I have vasavagal syncope and I am very lucky as my heart is in good working order, my pm simply prevents me from passing out. I am 35 years old and in good health. I called my pm clinic and they confirmed that it would be fine to have the laser surgery but it would be helpful if I could ask the clinic for details of the machines they are using and at what frequency they are working from, they would then send the details to Sweden (it's a St Jude) and they would be able to confirm if it was safe to go ahead. I didn't hang around too long at Ultralase as they really didn't want to know once I became problematic to them. Subsequently I rang around and came across a very good surgeon in London who was willing to give me the information needed and I am off to see him in 2 weeks for a thorough consultation. The reason I am writing is to ask if anyone else has had the surgery for long sight correction with Lasek and whether they were ok? Sorry for being long winded! I have to say that although my pacemaker stopped once on a long haul flight (apparently due to sitting too close to the engine!!) I have been very lucky and my life is so much better with my little device.

Thank you for reading,


Laser Eye Surgery

by her indoors - 2009-07-08 03:07:06

Hi Peter, I have been going too and fro with this for years and I feel that I am now confident to take the risk. I am really sporty and can't wear contact lenses so glasses are really frustrating for me. It's not for vanity reasons just I would love to dive in the pool with my young children and be able to see them by the time they swam to the other side!!

I just found it a bit frustrating today as they said I was very "unusual" and that they have never had a young person (35 isn't that young!) come to them to ask for the surgery and that I didn't fall into the "normal" range of people. I actually feel very normal, it's just that I have a special little device.

Have a good evening.

Thank you

by her indoors - 2009-07-08 03:07:12

Thanks John, that's really good to know. Glad it was a success for you. Now I just have to sort out getting the surgeon to perform it with my pacemaker!


by pete - 2009-07-08 03:07:16

I was told by my optician that no opticians will go for or trust laser surgery so that you no longer need glasses. A sobering thought. Almost hard to believe. I am going to stick with nature and my glasses. Cheers Peter

The eye sugery is worth it

by johnb10000 - 2009-07-08 03:07:17

I had the laser eye surgery done back in the 1990's. and I am very happy with it.

Before then I had to wear thick ugly glasses or contact lenses. I couldn't see the big 'E' on the eye chart.

I went for eleven or twelve years without wearing glasses or contact lenses. Because of a side effect of Amiodarone I currently have to wear glasses for driving but I can type this message without glasses.

The surgery was done before the pacemaker was put in.

Possible bad news

by johnb10000 - 2009-07-08 05:07:32

Found this on one web site but didn't see any mention of a pacemaker on other web sites. It could depend on the machine used.

Can CK be performed on patients who have a pacemaker?

The CK equipment can produce interference that may adversely influence the operation of other electronic equipment. Therefore, CK is contraindicated for patients who are wearing a pacemaker.

They used an excimer laser when they did my eye surgery. My doctor was one of the pioneers of LASIK and my surgery was done when it was considered experimental. I was close to the machine at the time. You have to remain still for a few minutes and keep the eyes focused on a red light.

I looked up eximer laser and found out that laser can be used to remove old pacemaker leads.


Laser surgery and pacer

by ElectricFrank - 2009-07-08 11:07:57

I had laser surgery for floaters with no problem. The doc said it is the same laser he used for LASIK.

The warning about the laser affecting electronic equipment isn't very helpful. It depends on what sort of electronic equipment and the frequency of operation. A lot of equipment can affect a radio receiver because it is receiving signals of millionths of a volt. The sensing lead in our pacemakers is usually set to around one half volt.

The warning is written by a lawyer rather than an engineer who would know.



by johnb10000 - 2009-07-09 06:07:07


What medications are you taking.? I was using Amiodarone for about four years and it was starting to effect my eyes. I got floaters and when in sunlight or bright light it sometimes looks like I was seeing though smoke. There was also a rare eye disease that the doctor never seen before. All these symptoms cleared up when I stopped taking Amiodarone. It did change my eyesight enough where I need glasses for driving.

Moorfields may help

by francine - 2009-07-23 12:07:04


I also have a pacemaker for vasovagal syncope (I'm 28) and just went to Moorfields Eye Hospital today to enquire about eye surgery. I had no idea that pacemaker would be a problem to be honest!

The surgeon there (Stephen Tuft) said that he'd be concerned about doing the surgery using current equipment, but that next year they were planning to buy a solid state laser that would have no pacemaker interference so it might be best to return in a year. He said that that would be the first one in the UK.

Hope that is helpful,


Thank you Francine

by her indoors - 2009-07-23 12:07:50

Hi Francine, thanks for your advice above. I have actually had my surgery done now and although I too tried Moorfields I actually ended up going to Acculase in Fulham who were fantastic. They had operated on previous pacemaker clients and they let me know the frequency of the laser before I went all the way there for the initial consultation. I then emailed this to my pacemaker clinic and they sent it onto Switzerland (I have a St Jude) and they confirmed that it would be completely safe to go ahead. Once I arrived for my initial consultation the matron there (who overseas the surgery) spoke directly to my pacemaker clinic who confirmed that everything was safe. I found Acculase to be completely professional, excellent value for money (£950 per eye) and most of all I felt very safe in their hands. I am now 10 days post surgery, have better than 20;20 vision and wish I had had the surgery years ago! I have also had a pacemaker check up since the surgery and there was no interference at all. My surgeon at Acculase is one of Moorfields top surgeons too so I felt very at ease that I had chosen the right place. At last no glasses. My children keep calling me bionic mum as I now have new eyes as well as my pacemaker! Please feel free to pm me if you want any further details.

Thanks again.


For Francine

by her indoors - 2009-07-27 03:07:16

Sorry Francine, told you the eye clinic was called Acculase, it's not, it's called Accuvision, think I got muddled, sorry!

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