25 May, 2021
barnaclínic+ incorporates a new two-laser system for refractive laser surgery
Refractive laser surgery is one of the best known and most commonly performed options for correcting vision problems and can be an alternative to wearing glasses or contact lenses. Now, the barnaclínic+ Ophthalmology service that carries out this type of surgery, has incorporated into its facilities a new system that utilises two types of laser: the femtosecond laser to make a precise cut in the form of a window in the cornea (the transparent dome-shaped part at the front of the eye) and the excimer laser to modify its curvature.
Thanks to the new equipment it will be possible to carry out two surgical procedures. On is the technique known as FEMTO-LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and the other is PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). “Thanks to these techniques we will be able to correct both myopia and hyperopia or astigmatism. They are all about pathologies in which there is a malformation in the length of the eyeball or in the shape of the curve that can be corrected with the laser”, explains Dr Jorge Peraza, an expert ophthalmologist in refractive surgery of barnaclínic+.
In eyes with normal vision, the cornea focuses light precisely on the retina at the back of the eye. But with near-sightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, the light is improperly focused, resulting in blurry vision. “Glasses or contact lenses can correct this vision but by artificially changing the shape of the cornea using refractive laser surgery, we can achieve a more durable repair that does not depend on external aids, with which the patient gains a lot of comfort”, Dr Peraza keeps explaining.
“Glasses or contact lenses can correct this vision but by artificially changing the shape of the cornea using refractive laser surgery, we can achieve a more durable repair that does not depend on external aids, with which the patient gains a lot of comfort”
Dr Jorge Peraza, expert ophthalmologist in refractive surgery of barnaclínic+
Refractive laser surgery, a precision operation
After a first visit to the ophthalmologist, the patient’s current prescription will be evaluated, as well as his ocular health status and an examination will be carried out to determine the main parameters of the cornea. From this information it is decided which of the two laser refractive surgery techniques will be carried out.
In the case of the FEMTO-LASIK surgical technique, by first using a femtosecond laser – the most precise laser that exists in current eye surgery and that works in a thousand billion fraction of a second, accurately reproducing the microincisions previously designed by the surgeon in the computer and allowing very precise three-dimensional patterns – a window is made in the anterior part of the cornea. For this, an infrared light is used that is focused on the cornea and a microscopic gas particle is generated that separates the corneal tissue very precisely from its environment, something known as photo disruption.
Subsequently, through the window that has been created with the femtosecond laser and by means of a second excimer laser – a state-of-the-art device that incorporates the most advanced technology and which generates a cold, invisible ultraviolet light that, instead of cutting or burning, creates enough energy to separate the molecules from the tissues – the curvature of the cornea is modified, thus eliminating the refractive defect. The window made with the first laser is then replaced in its initial position.
But in some patients, it is not possible to carry out this FEMTO-LASIK technique, because their cornea is too thin. In these cases, the PRK surgical technique is used. With this technique the most superficial layer of the cornea, known as the epithelium, is removed and the corneal curvature is modified with the excimer laser. Subsequently, a contact lens is placed until the epithelium grows back, covering the modified corneal surface.
Both LASIK and PRK are painless, outpatient procedures with a short duration of 10 to 15 minutes. To carry them out, only a local anaesthesia is necessary, previously administered in the form of drops. After the intervention, the patient’s vision will be blurred, but the day after the operation the vision is usually good enough to carry out a normal life, further improving in the following days. “It is still necessary to make a visit between the first 24 and 48 hours to assess and control the postoperative period”, adds Dr Peraza.
Both LASIK and PRK are painless, outpatient procedures with a short duration of 10 to 15 minutes. To carry this kind of refractive laser surgery out, only a local anaesthesia is necessary, previously administered in the form of drops
Vision problems are more and more frequent
Sight is one of our main senses. The human eye is a precise machine and any small defect in it leads to different problems in the correct formation of images. So much so that in Spain about 80% of those aged over 18 are considered to have some problem that affects their vision.
Presbyopia, associated with aging, is the main one, but myopia or astigmatism are also very prevalent, being the second and third most common vision problems in our country. Of particular concern is the upward trend in the incidence of myopia.
In recent years, worldwide, it has been seen how the incidence of myopia has been increasing gradually and progressively. Some studies consider that by the year 2050 50% of the world’s population will be myopic. In this myopia pandemic there are genetic factors, but also behavioural and lifestyle factors.
Longer time spent looking at screens, inadequate lighting or lack of outdoor activity are some of the factors seen as driving this increase in myopia. In Spain the data is not very different. Different studies indicate that up to 6 out of 10 young people between the ages of 17 and 27 are myopic and only 1 in 4 has good vision.
Until recently, there was no curative treatment and the only option to combat myopia was the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. With the development of laser technology in recent years, the option of refractive surgery is gaining importance. An increasingly simple operation with very satisfactory results it can be the definitive solution for myopia which more and more people are choosing.
Now, with the new laser equipment for refractive surgery, barnaclínic+ make this option available to all their patients.