Dr Lee Mun Toong
Bladeless LASIK has been available in the United States since 2001, when a company called IntraLase gained FDA approval of its first femtosecond laser designed for use in LASIK surgery. However we started Femtosecond laser in Malaysia since 2009 with VisuMax (Carl Zeiss Meditec AG).
Brand names like IntraLase LASIK and IntraLASIK were soon being used to differentiate bladeless LASIK from conventional LASIK that required a bladed microkeratome to create the corneal flap.
By 2006 – VisuMax, a relatively young product was on its way to becoming a new standard in refractive surgery: the VisuMax® femtosecond laser, whose light pulses are so short, and yet so intensive, that they do not heat or damage the surrounding tissue during the incision.
Surgeons have been successfully using this system since 2006 for procedures to correct visual acuity by means of a laser.
Other femtosecond laser platforms that are FDA approved for blade-free LASIK procedures performed include:
VisuMax (Carl Zeiss Meditec AG)
Femto LDV (Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems)
Technolas (Technolas Perfect Vision GmbH)
Victus (Technolas Perfect Vision GmbH and Bausch + Lomb)
Each of these systems has its own features and benefits, and all systems produce comparable outcome.
Mild/moderate/High myopia, hyperopia and/or astigmatism, adequate corneal thickness, healthy eye & systemic condition.
Procedure time: about 10 minutes per eye
Typical results: 6/6 vision without glasses or contact lenses
Recovery time: a few days to several weeks for vision to stabilize
Advantages of Femtosecond Laser LASIK
In addition to putting patients at greater ease (knowing that no blade will be used on their eye) advantages of bladeless, femtosecond laser LASIK include:
More predictable corneal flap thickness
Decreased risk of corneal abrasions during surgery
Decreased risk of induced astigmatism after LASIK
Also, in some cases, a femtosecond laser may make it possible to create a thinner corneal flap, which could enable the surgeon to safely correct higher amounts of nearsightedness.
The femtosecond laser also gives the LASIK surgeon more options in flap size, shape, and orientation, for a more customized LASIK procedure for each patient’s needs.
Finally, a femtosecond laser can create a corneal flap that has edges that enable the flap to fit more securely in place after the LASIK procedure, potentially reducing healing time and decreasing the risk of dislocation of the flap after surgery.