Good eyesight depends on how well light focuses onto the retina. Light rays must refract onto the retina to produce clear images. Refractive error happens when the cornea is irregularly curved.


The cornea diverts light rays onto the retina, but light cannot enter the retina entirely when it's not shaped properly. LASIK, PRK and laser thermal keratoplasty are procedures to correct hyperopia, myopia and astigmatism.

How do you perform LASIK?

Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or LASIK is simple, less invasive laser surgery. With a high success rate, LASIK corrects refractive errors that occur in people with poor vision. Millions of people worldwide undergo LASIK surgery.

LASIK has three primary steps which include:

  • A flap in the corneal layer folds over to one side.
  • Reshaping begins. Through the guidance of complex algorithms, a laser removes fine layers of corneal tissue to achieve an accurate curvature.
  • The flap folds in its original place and fuses with the cornea in time.

Dr McClunan uses microsurgical equipment such as a Femtosecond laser or Microkeratome to form a flap on the front of the cornea. He first considers the dimensions, thickness and size of the flap to preserve the cornea's function. A flap is necessary to keep the corneal nerves intact, which are vital to lubricate the eye through the secretion of tears. After the flap folds back in position, Dr McClunan uses an excimer laser to reshape the curved, exposed part of the cornea.

The cornea is properly realigned in its curved shape to correct refractive error. LASIK has numerous benefits. The procedure has a fast recovery rate, entails very little pain, and patients can return home on the day of treatment. Symptoms of dry eyes, flashes and halos subside within three months after surgery.

Dr McClunan recently opened a state-of-the-art Laser eye surgery centre which brought Femto LASIK, SMILE and PRESBYOND laser eye surgery to Cape Town. Click here to learn more about the Atlantic Eye Laser Centre and take a self-test to learn whether you are eligible for Laser vision correction.

How do you perform Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)?

Photorefractive keratectomy started in 1988 and has since become a popular corrective procedure. PRK is a suitable alternative for patients with a thin cornea who do not meet the requirements for LASIK.

Dr McClunan removes the delicate epithelial layer of the cornea and reshapes the surface with an excimer laser. He places a dummy lens over the cornea for the epithelium to heal. After 72 hours, he removes the lens.

What other refractive laser procedures are there?

Laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK) is a procedure that utilises a laser to deliver heat around the edges of the cornea. Collagen fibres begin to shrink and the shape of the cornea changes. People aged forty and over are ideal candidates for LTK.

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, also known as S.M.I.L.E, corrects vision permanently without the need for prescription glasses or contact lenses. A femtosecond laser shapes and removes a disc of tissue, known as a lenticule from the cornea. The tissue is removed through a small cut about 5mm in the cornea. A flat cornea can refract light onto the retina more accurately than ever before.



Your Questions Answered

We have compile a list of some of our most frequently asked questions to give you more information on the conditions we treat and the procedures we perform.


What our Patients have to say

"There was never a shadow of doubt in my mind that I had chosen the right specialist. I can honestly say my eyesight can now be compared with that of a teenager. For those of you, regardless of your age, that need any sort of eye treatment, I have no hesitation in saying - look no further."

- John Wittstock, Cataract

"It always seems impossible until it's done"

Nelson Mandela