LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that corrects common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
The process of traditional LASIK vision correction involves two steps. First, a thin layer of the cornea is precisely cut into a flap using a microkeratome. The flap is then folded to the side to expose the cornea tissue under the flap, in preparation for the excimer treatment. Second, an excimer laser is used to reshape the outer curve of the cornea and correct the refractive errors in order to restore near-normal vision. The hinged flap of corneal tissue is then folded back into place, allowing it to adhere without the need of stitches.
In some rare cases there may be a problem with the corneal flap. If any such problem is observed, the surgeon will stop the procedure and will have to wait at least three months before continuing with the surgery. There is also the chance of corneal scarring, which can impair vision.
However, eye surgery is now safer thanks to the development of a laser procedure called femtosecond LASIK, which utilizes a laser, the femtosecond laser, instead of a metal blade to form the corneal flap. With the femtosecond laser, if there is any problem with the corneal flap during the procedure, the surgeon can create a new flap immediately, without having to wait the three or more months.
The femtosecond laser creates a thinner flap and ensures a uniform flap thickness, allowing even people with thin corneas to have LASIK eye surgery. In addition, compared to the traditional blade technique, the femtosecond laser technique results in fewer flap-related complications, such as dry eyes, uneven surfaces, or excessive glare.
Suitable candidates for femtosecond LASIK treatment
- People older than 20 years with refractive stabilization for at least 1 year
- People who do not want to wear glasses or contact lenses
- People without any eye diseases that can affect vision such as dry eyes or retina disease
- People without any medical conditions that can interfere with the body’s healing process, such as uncontrolled diabetes or rheumatic diseases
- People who are not pregnant or breastfeeding
For people over the age of 40 with presbyopia (a condition associated with aging, in which the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects), Monovision LASIK can help to achieve a good level of both distant and near vision without the need for glasses. One eye is set for distant focus, while the other eye is set for near focus. Please consult an ophthalmologist to determine whether monovision LASIK is right for you.
By Dr. Tharinee Kulkamthorn, Laser Eye Surgeon, Eye Center, Bumrungrad Hospital