What Are the Commercially Available Femtosecond Lasers for Refractive and Other Eye Surgeries?

March 18, 2011

Over the past several years, I  have posted a number of accounts on the use of femtosecond lasers in ophthalmology.

Earlier this month, I came across an article written by Drs. Ronald Krueger and Glauco Reggiani-Mello, that does an excellent job of summarizing the latest developments in the use of femtosecond lasers in refractive surgery and other applications in ophthalmology. Since the article was written in a professional journal – Expert Review of Ophthalmology, I asked the authors for permission to reproduce a significant part of their writeup, along with a link to the original for those that wish to read it in its entirety. Permission was granted, and here is my version of what was presented, along with most of their illustrations and their two tables.

Refractive surgery requires excellence. Nothing less than the best is acceptable for an elective procedure that must be precise, accurate and safe. Femtosecond lasers meet these requirements. The capabilities of femtosecond lasers include not only the creation of corneal flaps for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), but limitless corneal- and lens-based incisions, as well as revolutionary glaucoma and retinal applications. Manipulating biomechanics to correct presbyopia with the IntraCor procedure, the ‘femtosecond-only’ femtosecond lenticule extraction or SmILE procedures, intrastromal astigmatic incisions, and cataract surgery are among the next exciting applications of this laser technology.

The Intralase Femtosecond Laser was released by Abbott Medical Optics in 2001. The bladeless flap creation rapidly gained popularity because of its promised increased safety, fast recovery and excellent results.

Nowadays, the majority of high-volume refractive surgery centers in the world use a femtosecond laser to create the flap. In addition to Intralase, four additional systems are now commercially available: Femtec from Technolas Perfect Vision, Visumax from Zeiss Meditec, Femto LDV from Ziemer, and UltraFlap FS 200 from Alcon.

The main technical specifications that play a role in the femtosecond laser are the following:

  • Laser pulse repetition rate;
  • Spot size;
  • Pulse energy;
  • Pulse pattern.

To read more about the use of femtosecond lasers in ophthalmology, follow this link.




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