So what is the difference between them - and what are the risks?
Here, we outline the main techniques, while Professor Gartry and another of the country's leading experts, Mr David Anderson, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Southampton University Hospital, explain the pros and cons of each. Available since the Nineties, this is the most common laser treatment in this country, accounting for around 70 per cent of cases. Then a machine called a microkeratome is used to cut off a hinged flap from the top of the cornea - a bit like slicing off the top of a boiled egg.
These do not necessarily reflect the skill of the operator and may occur because of the structure of the eye. report found that, in many cases, people were not told about the risk of side-effects.
It is not recommended for those in the police or military because even slight trauma could detach the cornea.
SUITABLE FOR: Long and short sight, plus astigmatism. Available since the late Eighties, the surgeon first inserts anaesthetic drops to numb the eyes, then manually scrapes off the epithelium - the thin, protective layer of cells covering the cornea.
It is not suitable for anyone with thin corneas or for people who regularly play contact sports, such as rugby, because the cornea can be weakened by the process and therefore could detach more easily if the eye is hit. The laser is then used to shape the cornea to improve the ability to focus.
The lasering takes seconds and the whole process takes around 20 minutes.
'But I am very uncomfortable with some of the advertising ploys and the trivialising of laser eye surgery.
While it can be very quick, it is not a trivial procedure.' Laser eye surgery involves reshaping the cornea to tackle the defects which cause eyesight problems.
Normal vision returns within hours and patients can return to work after about two days.
CONS: There is a risk of complications because the procedure includes manually cutting into the cornea.
It can be painful for two or three days and, although normal vision will be restored after a day or two, it can be slightly blurry for up to three months while the epithelial cells heal. SUITABLE FOR: People with low prescriptions for short and longsightedness and astigmatism who are not suitable for other forms of laser surgery. This is very similar to PRK, but first the epithelium is softened with alcohol for 30 seconds before it is moved to the side by the surgeon.
The cornea is then lasered and the epithelium is replaced. The epithelium is partially retained, so will provide faster healing.
Afterwards a protective 'bandage' contact lens is placed on the eye to seal it while the epithelium grows back, which takes between four and seven days. PROS: Because no flap is cut into the cornea, it's less invasive than other techniques such as LASIK, which means there's a lower risk of the cornea weakening.