Last updated on June 6th, 2017 at 11:07 am
LASIK and other types of laser refractive surgery, such as PRK and LASEK, all use a highly specialized excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct refractive mistakes consisting of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
Which LASIK Excimer Laser Is Best?
Excimer lasers have actually transformed the field of laser eye surgery. And over the decades, advances in excimer laser technology have increased the safety, efficacy and predictability of corneal refractive surgery.
Excimer lasers have the capability to get rid of, or “ablate,” tiny amounts of tissue from the cornea with a really high degree of precision and without harming the surrounding corneal tissue.
There are a number of excimer lasers that have actually been authorized by the FDA for use in vision correction surgery performed in the United States, consisting of:
- STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser System and iDesign Advanced WaveScan Studio System (Abbott Medical Optics)
- Allegretto WAVE Eye-Q Excimer Laser System (Alcon)
- TECHNOLAS 217Z Zyoptix System for Personalized Vision Correction (Bausch + Lomb)
- Nidek EC-5000 Excimer Laser System (Nidek)
- MEDITEC MEL 80 Excimer Laser System (Zeiss)
Though each of these lasers has its own special set of features, research has shown that FDA-approved excimer laser produce comparable LASIK outcomes.
Many experts agree that your surgeon’s ability and experience, and a precise evaluation of whether you’re a suitable LASIK prospect, are much more crucial factors affecting final LASIK results than subtle distinctions between excimer lasers.
How Do Excimer Lasers Work?
The excimer laser gives off a cool beam of ultraviolet light of a specific wavelength (normally 193 nanometers) to exactly remove corneal tissue. When the surface of the cornea is reshaped in the right way, it enables light rays to focus effectively onto the retina for clear vision.
The high-energy pulses of ultraviolet light penetrate just a tiny amount of the cornea and have the ability to remove as little as 0.25 microns of tissue at a time. (One micron is a thousandth of a millimeter.)
An excimer laser remedies nearsightedness by flattening the cornea; it corrects farsightedness by making the cornea steeper. And astigmatism can be remedied by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more balanced shape.
Excimer lasers are controlled by computer system settings programmed to remedy your particular refractive mistake. Your surgeon will program the excimer laser with the preferred measurements in order to reshape your cornea and treat your prescription. The quantity and pattern of tissue elimination are distinct to each patient.
Most modern excimer lasers have actually automated eye-tracking systems that keep track of eye motions and keep the laser beam on target during surgery. Studies have actually shown that eye trackers produce better results and reduce LASIK complications compared with past lasers that did not use eye-tracking systems.
Pupil Size, Ablation Speed And Patient Comfort.
Over the last few years, increasing proof has actually shown that larger pupil sizes might affect laser vision correction results. If your pupil expands in low light beyond the diameter of the laser treatment zone on the cornea, you might experience vision issues such as glare and halos at night.
Some surgeons believe the size of the laser ablation must be at least as big as your pupil in dim light. If you have bigger pupils, the kind of excimer laser might be essential in relation to how big the treatment zone (size) the laser is capable of developing. You need to discuss this with your surgeon.
Also read: LASIK Surgery for Astigmatism: Does It Work?
Treatment times likewise differ among lasers, ranging from about 20 to 60 seconds or longer, depending upon your refractive error. You may consider that essential in regards to your comfort as you go through a procedure.
You likewise may want to ask whether your surgeon uses a femtosecond laser or a bladed surgical tool (microkeratome) to produce the corneal flap in LASIK eye surgery and how these two methods may differ in terms of your convenience. Many surgeons take opposing sides in the microkeratome vs. femtosecond LASIK debate.
While particular excimer laser technology plays an essential function, eventually it is your surgeon’s skill and experience — and your suitability as a candidate — that will be the most essential aspects impacting your LASIK result.