The History of Laser Vision Correction
Lasik refractive surgery was first performed in 1982, when scientists discovered that they could produce laser beams of varying lengths by mixing different gases. A 193-nanometre laser beam was of particular interest, because it allowed for the removal of tissue molecules by vaporization without heat or explosion. This resulted in a painless operation with virtually no damage to the eye.
The 100% Vision clinic, which specializes in refractive surgery, offers laser vision correction using the Zyoptix 100 from Bausch & Lomb. This ultra-high-technology device uses iris recognition to fully customize the laser to the personal characteristics of your eye in order to allow for very specific refractive surgery. Guided by a powerful computer and a superior-quality optic system, it provides extremely precise vision correction for myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
This latest generation of lasers also operates as a scanner laser, which greatly facilitates Lasik surgery when combined with the Hansatome microkeratome. Most laser surgeries performed in the world today are performed using this laser.
What Is Lasik?
In the 1940s, Dr. Jose Barraqeur developed a new surgical procedure that involved making a lateral incision in order to lift a thin layer of the cornea and apply treatment directly underneath it. This procedure underwent numerous transformations before being recognized among specialists. Lasik has spread to the four corners of the world since the 1990s.
The Lasik technique is used to treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism while fully preserving the surface epithelium. Lasik is the most widely used laser vision correction technique in the world.
The Surgical Procedure
Lasik refractive surgery is performed in a series of stages:
1. The eye is anesthetized using eye drops.
2. A flap (thin layer of the corneal epithelium) is produced using microkeratomes that leave the joint in a superior position rather than a nasal position.
3. The flap is raised in order to carry out the laser treatment directly on the stroma (the second layer of the cornea). This consists of sculpting the cornea in order to change the curvature of the eye using the laser ray.
4. The flap is returned to its original position (therefore, the epithelium is left intact after the operation). As a result, healing and visual recuperation is much faster and less painful.
In addition, there is a reduced need for post-operative care, which means that a reduced amount of eye drops are required after this type of refractive surgery.
This type of vision correction is in great demand for 3 main reasons:
1. Visual recuperation time is very short: Functional vision can be expected within a very short time (30 minutes to several hours), without the need for lenses, following this type of vision correction.
2. This type of refractive surgery results in very little or no post-operative pain.
3. Following Lasik surgery, eye drops and artificial tears are required, which must be used for months after vision correction.
Possible Side Effects
It is important to know that there may be certain complications associated with Lasik refractive surgery. The risk of complications is estimated at 2%.
The eye is often dryer after refractive surgery. In light of this, we recommend the use of artificial tears several times per day for the first few months following vision correction.
Under-correction or Over-correction*
The eye may be slightly over-or under-corrected following the operation. If this effect causes impaired vision, a second laser procedure may be required. This refractive surgery can be performed approximately 2 or 3 months after the first vision correction.
Refractive surgery may cause a halo to appear around bright lights at night for a certain length of time. This effect results from the dilation of the pupil causing the treated and untreated parts of the cornea to overlap. The treatment zone varies depending on the size of the patient’s pupil, and therefore, this effect is now less common than it was in the past. However, it may still occur among patients whose pupils dilate excessively in the dark. If this is your case, Dr. Doyon recommends the Zyoptix technology.
There may be more or less pain and discomfort during the first 3-4 hours following Lasik vision correction, which is why you will be given analgesics.
Sensitivity of Light
In some cases, increased sensitivity light may be experienced. This effect usually vanishes within a few months following vision correction. In order to alleviate this problem, it is recommended that the UV 400 sunglasses be worn for the first year.
You may find that your ability to focus varies during the day, and that you may have to stare for several seconds before you can see clearly. This occurs more often when looking at nearby objects, until the eye heals completely.
Infection of the Cornea
Infection occurs in less than 1% of cases. Antibiotic drops are used to prevent the risk of infection. There may also be some inflammation at the interface, which should be treated using cortisone eye drops.
Some corneas may be more fragile, and the Lasik cut may produce a lifting of the epithelia on the surface of the eye. This slows down the complete healing of the eye, and may result in pain and slower vision recovery. In addition, it is possible for epithelial cells to migrate over the interface, which would require a new intervention.
* In very rare cases, these symptoms could be permanent among certain patients. However, you can prevent the majority of these effects by following Dr. Doyon’s recommendations, because he will guide you toward the best vision correction solutions based on the specific characteristics of your eye.