Refractive laser corrections have given clear vision to over 20 million people worldwide, but unfortunately not everyone is automatically a candidate for laser treatment.  Before proceeding with laser treatment, it is extremely important to Dr Potgieter, who has many years of experience in this field, to first thoroughly examine your eyes so that any contra-indications may be identified.  At the same time, he can determine which type of laser correction is best suited to your particular needs if you do qualify.


The modern diagnostic equipment at Optimed Eye and Laser Clinic can detect and measure obvious, as well as latent and hidden defects accurately with sub-micron accuracy.

  • To qualify for a refractive laser treatment, you need to be nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism.
  • Be at least 20 years of age (there is no upper age restriction).
  • Be in good health.
  • Have no significant eye problems or health issues that may affect your eyes.
  • Have no or insignificant change in your spectacle error over the past two years.
  • Currently wear glasses or contact lenses, but for professional, sport and/or social considerations you would prefer to do without them.
  • Have an optical correction, but glasses or contact lenses are inappropriate or unsuitable for your type of work, your work environment or the type of sport you play.
  • Be fully informed of the benefits and possible complications of the proposed procedure.
  • Be aware of the cost of the surgery, as your medical insurance does not necessarily cover the expense.
  • Make an appointment at Optimed Eye and Laser Clinic for a comprehensive eye evaluation to identify possible conditions that might contra-indicate refractive surgery.


Apart from the above factors, Dr Potgieter must also be made aware of the following:

  • Potential pathology of your cornea (e.g. whether you have adverse eye conditions such as keratoconus).
  • To what degree your cornea requires a change in shape.
  • The thickness of your cornea (for LASIK it has to be at least 470 microns or 0.47 mm thick).
  • The severity of the refractive error(s) to be corrected.
  • If you are of the fairer sex, whether you are currently subject to hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or nursing a baby.


Whether you have systemic auto-immune diseases, infections, amblyopia, dry eye syndrome, a fluctuating refractive error and/or diabetes mellitus.

Therefore, prior to answering the question above, Dr Potgieter will perform a thorough evaluation to make sure that you  qualify for laser eye surgery.  Since each set of eyes is unique, there is no way to actually determine your candidacy for laser surgery until you have had your pre-operative evaluation.  It involves a series of diagnostic tests, which may include some or all of the following items:

  • A full review of the overall health of your eyes.
  • The measurement of corneal thickness, shape and properties, including
    • Corneal topography,
    • Epithelial profile and thickness,
    • Corneal hysteresis (elastic properties thereof), and
    • Wavefront analysis for higher order aberrations.
  • A complete review of your glasses and contact lens history.
  • The measurement of your prescription and refractive error in each eye.
  • Dilation of the eyes to check the health of the retina and optic nerve.  It also helps to determine the actual absolute power of the eye.
  • Dry eye test.
  • Measurement of pupil size in a very dark room.
  • Endothelial cell count.


Once he has completed your pre-operative evaluation, Dr Potgieter will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for a laser vision correction procedure or other refractive laser surgery.

If you feel that you meet the requirements and are interested in setting up an appointment to learn more about the various procedures, you are welcome to contact us today.