There are two kinds of laser used in eye surgery; a femtosecond laser used to cut a little flap in the surface of the cornea, and an excimer laser, which is used to make the adjustments to the stroma or underlying corneal layer.
Most vision difficulties stem from a problem with the shape of the cornea. It should be round, like a football, in order to even accept and distribute light entering the eye, and project it onto the retina at the back of the eye to form a clear image. The surgery used to correct these problems is called refractive eye surgery.
Lots of people don’t have perfectly shaped corneas; they may have an oblong shape like a rugby ball, rather than a rounder football-shape. This causes vision trouble as we get older, as the eye muscles have to work hard to get an even image onto the retina.
This is the laser used to cut a very small, thin flap of the surface layer of the cornea. It used to be that a very thin blade was used, but now this super –precise femtosecond bladeless laser is the instrument of choice for many surgeons performing refractive eye procedures.
It’s quick and easy to manoeuvre, ideal for slicing a little circular flap from the outside of the cornea and folding it back over its remaining hinge. Through this trapdoor into the eye, the magic begins.
Your Optilase Ophthalmic surgeon will use a highly specialised Excimer laser to ‘ablate’ or remove microscopic pieces of tissue from the cornea, gently reshaping it so it can correctly focus light entering the eye.
The excimer laser uses a cool ultraviolet beam, and is precision controlled by computer, especially for your individual surgery.
If you are near-sighted, the surgeon will flatten out the cornea with the laser; if you are far-sighted, he’ll fashion a steeper slope in the cornea.
The excimer laser can be used to correct astigmatism also, by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.
After the laser reshapes the cornea, the flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed. Then the cornea is allowed to heal naturally.
Laser eye surgery requires only topical anaesthetic drops, and no bandages or stitches are required.
Just call the Optilase Clinic near you on +353 1 223 8821 to book a completely free consultation,