The femtosecond laser is a laser which emits ultrafast laser pulses in units of femtoseconds (one quadrillionth of a second). When this laser is used in place of a metal blade to cut the corneal flap, the cut it creates is more precise in both size and shape. It divides material at the molecular level without any transfer of heat or impact on the surrounding tissue.
LASIK eye surgery is a procedure used to correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. In traditional LASIK eye surgery, a microkeratome (blade) is used to cut the corneal flap. Recently, a new laser procedure using the femtosecond laser has been developed. As this method utilizes a laser instead of a metal blade to create the flap, it increases precision while reduces flap-related complications.
$1,300 to $3,500
-The femtosecond LASIK increases safety in corneal surgery and offers patients a better quality of vision compared to the standard blade procedure, as the laser increases precision and creates a precisely shaped corneal flap.
-The laser reduces discrepancies, creates a more precise and uniform flap thickness, reduces flap-related complications such as incomplete or irregular flap cutting, and reduces corneal scratching.
-The laser creates a corneal flap with more defined and angled edges, allowing the flap to be put back in place precisely, and reduces the risk of flap complications and excessive glare during the night. Patients suffer less dry eye after surgery.
-The procedure takes only a short amount of time and requires very little recovery time.
-Risks - may experience some dry eye or excessive glare during the night, which will disappear within 3-6 months.
Femtosecond LASIK vision correction involves the following two steps: The surgeon uses the femtosecond laser to separate the corneal layer, making the corneal hinged flap. The flap is then temporarily lifted to expose the underlying cornea, known as the stroma, in preparation for the excimer laser treatment in the next step. The excimer laser (a very precise, cool temperature laser) will be used to remove some of the underlying corneal tissue to make a new corneal curvature and correct refractive errors. The flap is then placed back in the primary position without suturing.
Prior to undergoing the femtosecond LASIK procedure, a 3-hour eye examination is required. This examination includes the following: Refractive error measurement by computer Vision test Eye pressure test Refractive error measurement by an ophthalmologist Tear function analysis Wavefront aberration, using a wavefront analyser to test for any deviation of the light ray as it is reflected out of the eye Corneal topography and corneal thickness measurement Dilated retina exam by an ophthalmologist
The femtosecond LASIK procedure lasts about 15 minutes per eye. After treatment, patients can return home the same day. No overnight hospital stay required. Avoid rubbing the eyes during the first 2 weeks, as this may irritate the corneal flap. Wear protective eye shields or goggles while sleeping for 1 week, so as to prevent eye rubbing. Avoid getting water in the eyes for 1 week. Use eye drops as directed by the ophthalmologist. Avoid eye strain, such as from reading or using a computer. Regular follow-up visits to monitor the healing process for 6 months to 1 year.
As with any surgery, there are some risks involved with LASIK eye surgery. Although it is rare, it may take several weeks before you see full results. You may also struggle with the following issues: -Impaired night-time vision, such as seeing halos or starbursts, especially while driving -Dry eyes -The need for reading glasses several years after the procedure due to natural aging -Inflammation -Infection -Under or overcorrection, which would require glasses or contact lenses for better vision -Complications with the flap of corneal tissue at the time of surgery Patients may experience some dry eye or excessive glare during the night, which will disappear within 3-6 months.
Who is suitable for the procedure?
-People with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. -People over 20 years of age having stable refraction for at least 1 year prior (change in refraction not exceeding 0.5 diopters). -People without eye diseases involving the cornea or other parts of the eye that might affect vision, such as macular degeneration or extreme dry eyes. -People without medical conditions that interfere with the body’s healing process, such as uncontrolled diabetes or SLE. -People who wear glasses or contact lenses which interfere with their job functions, daily activities, or hobbies. -Women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. -People at risk of an insufficient fixation of microkeratome, such as those with narrow palpebral fissures, as the femtosecond laser requires less space than a microkeratome, or those with corneas that are overly curvy or overly flat, as the curve of the cornea does not interfere with the use of the femtosecond laser. -People who are afraid of traditional surgery, due to the noisy motorized device (microkeratome) used while cutting the corneal flap, and the momentary loss of vision (for about 20 seconds); the femtosecond laser is noiseless and does not cause patient discomfort.
Is LASIK Eye Surgery Painful?
LASIK eye surgery is not painful. Right before your procedure, your surgeon will place numbing eye drops into both of your eyes. While you may still feel a little bit of pressure during the procedure, you should not feel any pain. Your surgeon may also give you another medication, such as Valium, to help you remain calm and relaxed during the procedure. After your surgery, it is common to feel a slight itching or burning sensation in your eyes, but it should go away quickly.
When Will I See Results from LASIK Eye Surgery?
Immediately after your LASIK eye surgery, you should begin to see things from a distance that you couldn’t see before. While your eye sight will likely be fuzzy and hazy initially, it should stabilize and continue to improve within the first few days after surgery. It is not uncommon for your eyes to sting a bit or to feel a little gritty and/or sensitive to light after your procedure. Patients have described their vision after LASIK comparable to looking under water. After four to six hours, patients usually feel relatively more comfortable with their vision. Most patients feel very comfortable with their new vision by the next day.
Are results achieved from LASID permanent?
The effects of the LASIK procedure are permanent. However, it is important to realize that a person's eye can still change internally. That is why many vision correction surgeons recommend having the procedure done after the major eye changes have occurred in one's life. For instance, LASIK eye surgery is not recommended on children because their eyes change a great deal and their vision would need to be fine-tuned in a few years. If the procedure is performed after the age of 18, the chance of long-term stable correction is more likely. Even the eyes of patients over the age of 18 can still change. Therefore, we recommend a good conversation with your eye surgeon so that they can review the changes you have undergone and, if applicable; they can help you make a decision in regards to whether or not you should wait until the changes have slowed down. Patients should also note that while results are usually stable, they can be modified by enhancement procedures – procedures performed after the initial one – if necessary.
If I have LASIK surgery and my vision changes later in life, can I undergo the procedure again?
Retreatment may be a viable solution to vision changes later in life. However, it is important to be aware that other treatment options also exist. In due course, you should consult your eye doctor to determine the cause of the change and to determine which option is best for you. If a retreatment is required, a patient must wait at least 3 month after the initial laser eye surgery. Only 1 eye is done at a time (4 weeks between each eye.)