LASER REFRACTIVE SURGERY
The excimer laser surgery is a very safe and extremely accurate treatment option to provide spectacle independence for those who have refractive errors that cause near-sighted (myopia) or farsighted (hyperopia) or presbyopia vision, as well as those with astigmatism.The method of the procedure varies, but the treatment is essentially the same, allowing patients a more permanent solution, with little to no need for spectacles.
The front of the cornea is accurately shaped in order to sharply focus incoming light without the need for spectacles or contact lenses. It is important to note that an excimer laser does not cause any burn to the cornea, but on a microscopic level vaporises cells and removes tissue to reshape the corneal surface.
Customised laser treatment involves accurate measurements of every single eye, because each eye has a unique surface and irregularities. The treatment is then customised to each eye, to not only treat the spectacle error, but also any irregularities to provide a smooth corneal surface for improved vision.
A LASIK eye surgery is performed under a very thin flap on the surface of the cornea. A thin 130 micrometer shaving on the surface of the cornea is lifted, and the laser procedure performed under this thin flap. The healing and visual recovery occurs rapidly with little to no discomfort. Most patients can see very well within a day. The corneal flap needs extra attention though, because it can move or wrinkle if due care is not taken.
The “no-touch” Streamlight procedure is a blade-less technique. The laser treatment and preparation is all done by the laser system, without the need for a flap to be created. The procedure is safer than LASIK eye surgery, but it takes longer to heal. The patient can expectsome discomfort after a surface procedure like PRK and Streamlight for approximately two days, but this is addressed with both oral medication and drops.
The most common side-effect of laser treatment is a transient dryness. This causes a sensation of grittiness, but is successfully treated with lubricating eye drops. Patients might also experience some halos and glare initially, but this also improves spontaneously.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE DAY OF THE SURGERY
Dr. Hartog performs customised laser treatments for all his patients, be it wavefront optimised or topography guided. Every eye is unique with its own specific surface irregularities. These are very accurately measured with two instruments in order to design a specific treatment profile for each eye. The Topolyzer and Oculyzer examinations are done before the laser procedure. The images obtained are also used to track the eye during the procedure, to compensate for small eye movements. The staff will instil topical drops in preparation.
The eye is anaesthetised with topical drops only. The patient lies down on a bed that moves electronically to the treatment position. The patient looks up at a small green blinking light in a box above his head. During the procedure the eyelids are separated with a thin wire speculum. The lasers’ eye tracking system corrects for any small eye movements. The laser treatment itself takes less than a minute, and the entire laser treatment of both eyes is usually finished within 15 minutes.
After the procedure the patient will receive instructions and all his or her medication.