Understanding LASIK Technology

With a variety of options available in laser vision correction, how do you know what is best?  As a patient, it can be confusing knowing which option is best and why.  At Raleigh Eye Center, we are pleased to offer both traditional LASIK and All-Laser LASIK in addition to PRK to meet the unique needs of our patients. Here is an overview of technology and how it impacts your LASIK procedure.

In both LASIK and PRK, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea, thus correcting vision. The similarities end there. With LASIK, a corneal flap is created. We offer two options for this part of the procedure, traditional microkeratome and all-laser LASIK.

What is Traditional LASIK?

Traditional LASIK utilizes a surgeon operated mechanical device called a microkeratome to create a thin corneal flap. The flap created is approximately 2-3 human hairs thick (the entire cornea is about 11 hairs thick). The flap is created to provide the surgeon access to the stroma, which is the part of the eye that is reshaped or corrected with the laser. The entire flap creation process takes less than 10 seconds to complete per eye.

What is All-Laser LASIK?

The second method of creating a LASIK flap we are going to discuss was originally introduced in 1999. This technique uses a femtosecond laser. At Raleigh Eye Center, we use a Ziemer femtosecond laser. The Ziemer places tiny direct pulses of infrared light into a specific depth within the corneal surface. These light pulses spearate the corneal tissue at the molecular level creating microscopic bubbles of carbon dioxide and water at their point of impact. This causes a separation to the corneal layers. The entire flap creation process takes between 25 and 45 seconds.

What Happens Next?

With both techniques, the flap is then gently lifted and folded back so the surgeon may begin correcting the vision with an excimer laser. The laser reshaping process takes just seconds to complete.

Which Option is Best for Me?

The most effective way to determine what technology is best suited for you is through a comprehensive consultation with Dr. James Kiley. During the consultation, we will perform a series of tests to measure your overall eye health and shape. Based upon these findings, we will match you with the technology that is best suited for you.

If would like to learn more about LASIK or schedule a consultation, call us today at (919) 876-2427.