Recently the FSL was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to perform some of the steps of eye surgery to remove a cataract or cloudy lens.
Femtosecond Lasers are also being used to perform some of the steps of eye surgery to remove a clear lens or refractive lens exchange (RLE), and to make arcuate incisions in the cornea (AK) to reduce astigmatism.
Patients may have many questions about the differences of how the FSL is used in modern eye surgery. Westchester Eye Surgeons would be pleased to help you understand more about FSL – please set up a consultation with our expert eye surgeons today.
Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
LASIK is an EXTRAOCULAR surgery for addressing nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism optical corrections.
The FSL technology is applied on the front structure of the eye called the cornea. In LASIK, a microkeratome is used to shave the cornea to create a flap. The flap then is opened like the page of a book to expose tissue just below the cornea’s surface.
Next, the laser is used to remove ultra-thin layers from the cornea to reshape in a way to reduce a patient’s optical correction. Finally, the flap is returned to its original position in most cases without sutures.
Cataract Surgery with the FSL
Cataract surgery is an INTRAOCULAR surgery for removing a cloudy cataract and restoring a clear pathway for images to focus within the eye.
Traditionally, the eye surgeon uses blades to create the incisions in the cornea (the front window of the eye), and other special instruments to create the capsulotomy (the circular incision in the outer layer of the cataract or clear lens).
The eye surgeon also uses a phacoemulsification device that utilizes ultrasound power to break up the lens and remove it from the eye.
Patients with astigmatism have several choices for the reduction of astigmatism. Nonsurgical options for astigmatism correction include glasses and contact lenses. Surgical correction of astigmatism can be achieved through a toric intraocular lens, a limbal relaxing incision (LRI) made manually with a blade, or an arcuate incision made with the femtosecond laser (AK).
Refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK can also treat astigmatism. The possible benefits of the FSL include the ability to make more precise and consistent incisions in the cornea, a more circular and centered capsulotomy, and to pre-soften the cataract so less ultrasound energy is necessary with the phacoemulsification device.
Types of Eye Surgery – LASIK or Laser
The shape and size of incisions made with the laser may be more precise. The FSL can be used to perform some or all of these steps. The FSL is used for LASIK and cataract surgery offering laser quality preciseness and consistency. The location of the application differs:
In LASIK we are addressing optical alternatives for glasses and contacts outside the eye on the cornea.
In cataract surgery we address optical issues in conjunction with removal of a cloudy intraocular cataract that prevents clear images to focus within the eye.
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