Advantages of Femtosecond lasers in LASIK
Femtosecond Laser Technology is thought to increase the safety and predictability of LASIK. LASIK procedure requires the surgeon to create a corneal flap. After that, an excimer laser will be used to reshape the corneal surface, in which way refractive errors can be corrected. The corneal flap is traditionally created by a mechanical microkeratome. However, Femtosecond Lasers have been developed to manage this task. This new technology has been reported to have more advantages over conventional microkeratome. The remaining of this article focuses on these advantages.
An improvement on flap preciseness
Femto lasers can create extremely precise and thin flaps, which in turn can preserve as much corneal tissue as possible. A standard deviation of Femtosecond Flap is typically 2.5 microns, while the figure of microkeratome is as high as 40 microns.
An increase in LASIK indications
Femtosecond lasers can also increase LASIK indications, which widen the range of treatment. With conventional microkeratome, the surgeon is always limited to the K Reading of the patient and sometimes the corneal thickness.
Femtosecond lasers enhance sterility
Femtosecond lasers can enhance sterility by precluding possible reuse and consequent cross-infection. LASIK procedure with Femtosecond lasers is more aseptic. Studies show that patients favor femtosecond flaps and benefit more vision improvement from these flaps.
Customized corneal flaps can be created
Femtosecond lasers can help the eye doctor program the exact flap characteristics, hinge location, hinge size and angle, flap diameter, flap thickness and even the angle of the side cut. Vertical side cuts allow the flap to lock into place more effectively. With these benefits, customized flaps can be provided by Femtosecond lasers.
A decrease in surgical complications
With Femtosecond lasers, most of the severe microkeratome complications of LASIK surgery can be avoided, such as anterior chamber entry, infection, DLK as well as buttonholes. In a word, safety can be improved.
FDA-approved femtosecond lasers
Currently, femtosecond lasers are widely used for flap creation during bladeless or all-laser LASIK. The conventional microkeratome is a hand-operated blade instrument. IntraLase was the first femtosecond laser approved by FDA in 2001 for use in LASIK. Later, FemTec laser was approved in 2004 and Ziemer Femto LDV in 2008. These lasers do have their own risks. For instance, statistics show that about 19 percent of bladeless LASIK patients suffer from the rainbow effect around light sources. Moreover, light sensitivity is more commonly reported.
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