Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laser for Vision Surgery: How Does it Work?

The Excimer laser for vision surgery was first developed by IBM in 1975 for etching microchips. In 1981 other investigations were made and clinical aspects of the Excimer were applied to the cornea. Clinical trials around the world have documented predictability, stability and safety of PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) for low and moderate degrees of myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia.

The Excimer laser uses a mixture of argon and fluorine gases in a mirrored tube to produce a cold, ultraviolet beam of light that vaporizes tissue by breaking molecular bonds a few molecular layers at a time. This process allows for vaporization or ablation of tissue without burning or disturbing the underlying tissue. Ultraviolet laser beams break up tissue by excitation of the atomic links-a photochemical process. The result is a precise cut with very straight edges and no discoloration or dehydration of surrounding tissue.  The Excimer laser is so precise that it can remove tissue 0.25 um at a time.  The treated area of the cornea is so smooth and the ablation amount is so accurate that very precise modification of the corneal curvature is possible. Before Excimer laser surgery was performed in sighted humans, a wealth of information on the procedure was gathered from testing performed first on animal eyes and later on blind human eyes. In addition to its use in eye surgery, the excimer laser is also used by heart specialists as a way of clearing out clogged coronary arteries.

Doctor & Associates performs Laser Eye Surgery for Vision Correction in our Westport office using the Wavelight Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Excimer Laser System. Please do not hesitate to call our office at 203-227-4113 if you have any other further questions regarding Laser Vision Correction.