Why LASIK Technology Matters

Why LASIK Technology Matters

August 30th, 2021
Headshot of man in workspace

LASIK has been an increasingly popular vision correction procedure for decades. During that time, it has only become safer and more predictable.

Much of this has to do with the methods surgeons use during the procedure and their training. But, equally important are advancements in LASIK technology.

Keep reading to learn more about the technology used in modern LASIK procedures.

A Brief History of LASIK

The idea of refractive surgery began in 1948 when an eye doctor began reshaping corneas with a scalpel. Reshaping the cornea is still how LASIK improves vision.

That same eye doctor later used a microkeratome, which has a sharper blade to achieve better results. Some practices still use microkeratomes for procedures to this day. 

In the 1980s, another ophthalmologist developed a new technique called radial keratotomy. This technique involves creating small incisions in the cornea to reshape it.

He discovered this method by chance when a young boy’s vision improved after having shards of glass removed from his eye. Radial keratotomy was a significant precursor to LASIK, but it was not an optimal procedure itself.

The effects did not last long for many people. Almost half of the patients experienced changes to their eyesight after the procedure.

During the 1990s, eye doctors improved upon these older techniques. They developed LASIK and other similar procedures to correct vision.

Modern LASIK Technology

When most people think of LASIK, the technology they think of is usually a laser. After all, the first letter in LASIK stands for “laser,” and it’s a fascinating and flashy piece of technology.

But, many people don’t realize that modern LASIK procedures use two lasers, not one. The first laser is a femtosecond laser.

Its job is to perforate the top layer of the cornea called the epithelium. This allows your surgeon to create a flap that reveals the thick middle layer of your cornea.

Then they reshape your cornea by removing tiny bits of tissue. As a result of this tissue removal, your cornea can adequately refract light.

A second laser called an excimer laser does this reshaping. It removes exact amounts of tissue in specific places, giving you a new corneal shape.

Computers Guide LASIK Procedures

Lasers are not the only important technology in modern LASIK. The computers that guide them are equally important and are why LASIK is now a custom procedure.

They have taken much of the guesswork out of LASIK and significantly reduce human error. They use three-dimensional mapping software to map the topography of your cornea.

Before the procedure begins, the excimer laser scans your eye to create the map. It gets made in a software program and then guides your surgeon and tissue removal.

This map of your cornea creates a customized procedure plan specific to your eyes. That way, you get the best results for your eyes to help you achieve visual freedom. 

Are you ready for LASIK? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, to determine if you qualify for LASIK!