Emory Vision, the LASIK service of Emory Eye Center, now offers the very latest equipment available to make LASIK procedures even more comfortable and convenient for patients at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.
The Zeiss VisuMax femotosecond laser uses groundbreaking technology to give surgeons outstanding cutting precision and unsurpassed speed while still being gentle to the patient. Emory Vision is the first academic medical center-affiliated facility in the state to have the VisuMax laser.
During a LASIK procedure, the surgeon improves the patient’s vision by using a laser to permanently change the shape of the cornea (the clear covering on the front of the eye). Older LASIK equipment required the surgeon to flatten the cornea in order to make the necessary cuts, with theideal outcome being a nice curved line when the cornea returned to its natural shape, but results could vary.
The VisuMax is built so the surgeon can make a three-dimensional, curved incision along the cornea’s natural surface instead of flattening it. Incisions are accurate down to the micron level (as a comparison, a credit card is about 500 microns thick).
The equipment is further enhanced by including three different sizes of contact glasses (the guides to cut the corneal flaps) to ensure a better fit to the patient’s cornea.
“The first step of the LASIK procedure involves creating a flap incision in the cornea,” explains John Kim, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and director of cornea and refractive services at Emory Eye Center. “Previously available lasers required very high pressures to flatten the cornea to make the incision. This regularly caused the patient’s vision to briefly ‘black out’ during the procedure. The new VisuMax laser requires less pressure so there is less discomfort for the patient and no loss of vision during the procedure.”
Another bonus for the patient and surgeon is a shorter procedure time because of a laser pulse frequency of 500 kHz.