Mr John Fenton, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with LaserVision explains the laser eye surgery procedure
Laser Eye Surgery
At LaserVision, we use the latest generation of Visx Laser Technology incorporating dynamic eye trackers, variable beam technology and iris registration to reshape the cornea with extreme precision in a matter of seconds.
There are many different forms of refractive surgery. The two most common procedures are LASEK and LASIK. Your surgeon will advise which treatment is most suitable for you at your consultation. If these treatments are unsuitable for you alternatives such as intraocular lens placement may be recommended .e.g. Phakic IOL's, or simply returning to contact lens or spectacles.
The aim of laser eye surgery is to change the shape of the cornea using a cold ultraviolet laser. The ideal shape for clear vision is calculated pre-operatively at your free assessment:
To correct short-sight (myopia) the cornea needs to be made flatter.
To correct long-sight (hyperopia) the centre of the cornea needs to be made steeper.
To correct astigmatism the laser beam modifies the corneal shape in different regions.
Any surgical procedure can have potential risks or complications. These may vary from mild light sensitivity (or glare) and dryness of the eye, which can last several weeks to those that require additional treatment or enhancement.
A detailed explanation of all the benefits and possible complications is provided at your initial consultation. One of our surgeons will be available to discuss these in further detail.
Lasik is the most common treatment and the treatment of choice for patients with higher prescriptions.
- A thin layer of the cornea is lifted to create a flap using an automated instrument
- The underlying surface is reshaped with the laser. The laser treatment applied under the corneal flap can be standardized or individually customized using wavefront technology.
- The corneal flap is repositioned to complete the procedure. Because the surface skin is disturbed less, there is less discomfort than LASEK and a more rapid recovery.
Most patients experience a marked improvement in vision within 24 hours.
We recommend patients do not return to work until after we have examined them the following day after surgery.
Lasek is performed by first loosening the skin on the surface of the eye with a drop of alcohol
- This skin softens and then can be gently brushed aside temporarily while the procedure gets underway.
- The cold laser reshapes the surface for 10 to 40 seconds. The laser treatment applied to the corneal surface can be standardized or individually customized using wavefront technology.
- Finally, as with LASIK, the skin is rolled back into position. A contact lens is placed onto the eye for 5 days to reduce any discomfort as the skin heals.
We recommend patients do not return to work for 1 week.
- Reduces or eliminates night-time glare
- Wavefront utilises advanced optical technology to produce an individually customised treatment.
- It can be performed with Lasik or Lasek procedures.
- Wavefront treatment has an increased likelihood of achieving 20/20 vision
- It provides the potential for improved visual quality and contrast compared with standard treatment.
LaserVision offers all patients Wavefront treatment and we will provide detailed information during the consultation. Please note that not all patients are suitable for Wavefront treatment.
If you are not a good candidate for Lasik / Lasek surgery due to the cornea being too thin or refractive error too high we can offer you the option of phakic IOLs.
Phakic IOLs are lenses that are surgically implanted in the eye. These implants, which resemble contact lenses, are placed between the clear front covering of the eye (the cornea) and the iris (this space is called the anterior chamber) or just behind the iris (the posterior chamber).
There are two types of anterior chamber phakic IOLs: Iris Fixated or angle fixated. The iris fixated IOL is attached to the iris while the angle fixated IOL is held in position within the anterior chamber angle.
The Posterior chamber phakic IOLs sit in close proximity to the natural lens behind the iris.
Several factors dictate whether phakic IOLs can be used:
There must be sufficient physical space within the eye to safely place the lens in the relevant chamber. This is measured preoperatively.
It is also important to carefully assess the level and health of the cells on the back of the cornea using a special type of microscope. These cells (called endothelial cells) are delicate cells required to keep the cornea clear and healthy. If these cells are not sufficiently numerous or they are not appropriately shaped then phakic IOL's should not be used.
When you choose to undergo any surgical procedure, it is important for you to understand the potential risks as well as the benefits of the treatment so that you are able to make an informed decision as to whether to proceed.
The Monofocal IOLs
Monofocal IOLs have one single focus, this means that near object may not be completely focused without the possible need for reading spectacles. To enable a person to see over a greater range without the need for glasses or contact lenses there are several other types of intraocular lenses.
The Multifocal IOLs
Multifocal IOLs work by having various fixed areas of focus within the one lens. This means that a person can choose to concentrate on either a distant object or a near object. The brain has to learn to select the visual information it needs to make an image for either near or distant objects. This means that multifocal IOLs do require some adjustment. A person may adjust better to multifocal IOLs if they are placed in both eyes. These types of intraocular contact lenses work in a similar way to multifocal glasses.
The Accommodating IOL
Accommodating IOLs work by using the natural focusing mechanism of the eye. There are various designs but they all tend to work on the principle that as a person tries to focus on a near object the ciliary muscle in the eye contracts and causes the accommodating IOL to either shift forwards or change shape allowing the eye to change its focus.
Wondering are you suitable for laser eye surgery? Queries on your prescription? Other eye complications? Ask the eye surgeon for his advice. Mr John Fenton FRCSI, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with LaserVision will answer your queries. Or book a free suitability assessment.