Laser Scalpel & LASIK: Two Peas In A Pod

Femotosecond Laser Scalpel Lasik

Recent news suggests that laser scalpel and laser eye surgery (LASIK) go hand in hand. Researchers now have a laser that works faster than any other, allowing a surgeon to create clean, crisp and very precise cuts in the cornea. This improves the odds for an outstanding recovery and hastens the speed with which LASIK is performed.

How is LASIK Traditionally Performed?
LASIK surgery, often called "laser in situ keratomileusis," is a form of laser surgery that has enabled surgeons to restore almost perfect (if not better) eyesight in thousands of patients. Traditionally, a surgeon uses a microkeratome, which is nothing more than a blade, to cut a corneal flap.

Under this flap, the surgeon changes the shape of the cornea using lasers, sometimes even removing parts of it. Afterwards, the flap is replaced so that the eye can begin to heal.

Femtosecond Laser LASIK
While there is no doubt the microkeratome is a great tool for surgeons performing laser eye surgery, a newer option, the femtosecond laser, may prove even more effective.

The femtosecond laser acts much like the microkeratome, in that it cuts a corneal flap so the surgeon can reshape the cornea, but since it is a laser, it is faster. Many feel it is also much more precise, which decreases the risk of uneven cuts or tissue damage. This in turn reduces the odds for a poor outcome and even for infection or healing problems.

What Happens During Bladeless LASIK?
The femtosecond laser provides very short pulses directly to the corneal flap. The laser is so fast it operates at less than one billionth of a second! The rest of the procedure works much like traditional LASIK, where the surgeon simply reshapes the cornea, returns the flap and allows the patient to heal.

The femtosecond procedure is often marketed under the name "IntraLase" although some simply refer to the technique as "bladeless" LASIK.

If you feel you may benefit from this procedure, make sure you seek the care and advice of a surgeon qualified to work with the femtosecond laser.

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