The past few decades have been an exciting time for laser eye surgery technology. Thanks to groundbreaking advances in how the procedure is performed, patients now report better vision quality than they ever experienced with glasses or contacts.
Always at the forefront of advances in his field, Dr Joshua Hann has stayed abreast of all emerging technology, deliberately investing in the tools that help him offer patients precise, predictable results. Read on as he explains how laser eye surgery technology has improved over time.
First Generation of Laser Eye Surgery
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is the first generation of laser eye surgery, but it is still used under some circumstances today. PRK involves removing the surface layer of corneal cells and applying excimer laser treatment to the underlying tissue. After surgery, the surface cells regenerate on their own. Though the recovery period is slightly longer for PRK patients than for patients who opt for other forms of laser eye surgery, PRK is a good option for candidates with thin corneas. It is also recommended for candidates who are at an increased risk of post-operative flap-based complications due to their occupation or hobbies.
Traditional and All-Laser LASIK
The next generation of laser eye surgery is laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK). During LASIK, instead of removing the surface layer of corneal cells, a flap is created in the cornea and folded back to expose the underlying tissue. In the early days of LASIK, this step was performed with a manual surgical instrument, but as technology advanced, the blade was replaced with a femtosecond laser, though some surgeons still use the blade. Automating the creation of the corneal flap with all-laser LASIK eliminates some of the risk of human error for safer and more predictable outcomes. Dr Hann uses this technique.
Modern Laser Eye Surgery
All-laser LASIK is not the pinnacle of technological advancements in laser eye surgery. Topography-guided laser eye surgery is one of the most exciting innovations in the area of modern laser eye surgery.
Using Alcon’s WaveLight platform, Dr Hann can capture details about the cornea’s specific curvature and then tailor treatment to the eye’s measurements and imperfections. Customized treatment provides results that are even better than what can be achieved with glasses and contact lenses.
Another relatively recent improvement in laser eye surgery technology is the development of small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE). During SMILE, a femtosecond laser creates a microscopic incision in the cornea, and a lens-shaped bit of tissue, called a lenticule, is removed. Removing this lenticule reshapes the cornea for improved vision. However, when comparing custom laser eye surgery with the WaveLight platform to SMILE, Dr Hann categorically prefers the former. The no-touch laser technique is perfectly matched to the patient’s unique eye, offers more precise results and better outcomes for cases of astigmatism.
With all of the available treatment choices, only an experienced laser eye surgeon like Dr Hann can help you decide on the right option. Contact Eastside Eye Specialist Care to request a consultation with Dr Hann today.