What is Excimer Laser?
Excimer Laser is a type of ultraviolet laser with a wavelength of 193 nm, which is obtained as a result of electrical excitation of a mixture of Argon-fluorine. It has excellent sensitivity. It is the process of removing visual defects by changing the shape of the cornea, which is the transparent layer of the eye, using an excimer laser device equipped with computer systems . With laser treatment, the tissue that causes the carbon bonds to hold the corneal tissue together is destroyed by evaporation. The laser, which is adjusted with perfect accuracy, is sent to the selected area in the cornea and the cornea is thinned a little. Thus, the desired value is reached by changing the refractive feature of the eye transparent layer.
This treatment method, which is aimed at eliminating eye defects, has been applied in the world for approximately 25 years without any problems. It has been used in the correction of eye defects for more than 20 years in our country. Excimer laser technology , which has taken its final form with many developments from the past to the present, has become zero error and zero risk. Laser treatment, which was started to be applied with the PRK method in the first applications in history, has now shown a rapid development until the femtolasic method.
There are many application methods in excimer laser treatment such as PRK, TPRK, Lasik, Ilasik and Intralasik.
- PRK; It is the first applied laser treatment method. In this method, the epithelium, which has an extremely thin structure on the transparent layer of the eye, is scraped with a scraper called a spatula. After the surface of the cornea is made non-epithelial in a 9 mm area, laser application is performed. The epithelial tissue scraped during the operation renews itself later. After this method, there is pain and the feeling of stinging lasts about 3 to 7 days. An average of 3 to 6 weeks is needed for complete relief of vision.
- TPRK; In this method, there is no need to remove the epithelium as in the PRK method. This method shows less pain and quicker recovery than the PRK method.
- Lasik excimer laser treatment method offers a painless solution that gives very good results compared to other methods. The advantages of this method over other methods are; It is a painless method compared to the PRK method, and the complaints such as post-operative stinging and pain seen in the patients in the PRK method decrease or disappear within two days after the application in this method. The improvement of vision is very rapid, the patient starts to see well in about 3 to 5 days. After the operation, it is not possible to return the degrees of glasses or to have clouding in the cornea, which is the transparent layer of the eye. It can be applied without any problems at 10 degrees and below in the removal of myopia, which is a distant vision defect.
- ILASIK; It is one of the most advanced excimer laser treatments applied today. A computer-controlled corneal flap is created with a laser without a personalized blade and is applied together with wavefront therapy.
- INTRALACELASIC; With this technique, which has the most advanced technology, a personalized flap is created with high precision without a knife by using intralase and excimer laser treatment is applied.
Who Can Have Excimer Laser?
Most patients with visual impairment may want to get rid of their glasses or contact lenses for various reasons. In particular, individuals may need a clear vision without glasses due to their professions and careers. In some patients, the use of contact lenses is not possible due to the structure of the eye and environmental reasons, or there may be inconvenient conditions in terms of eye health.
On the other hand, people may not prefer to use glasses and contact lenses for reasons such as appearance or eyeglasses and lens care. According to a study, three-quarters of patients with visual impairment who wear glasses or contact lenses stated that they would like to be able to see without glasses and lenses, while the remaining patients stated that it would be a good opportunity for patients to change their external vision with practical operations such as excimer laser . In order to apply laser treatment to the patient, the patient must meet the following criteria.
- be over 18 years old,
- The degree of eye defect has not changed more than 0.50 diopters in the last year,
- The degree of eye defect of patients with myopia eye defect should not be more than 10 diopters,
- Patients with astigmatism do not have an eye defect degree of more than 6 diopters,
- Patients with hyperopia eye defect should not have an eye degree of more than +4 diopters,
- The thickness of the outer layer of the eye, called the cornea, is sufficient,
- Absence of known systematic diseases such as rheumatism, diabetes,
- Not having any of the eye diseases such as glaucoma, caretoconus,
- According to the results of the preliminary examination and detailed examinations to be made before the operation, if the eye structure of the patient is suitable for the excimer laser operation, the person is treated with laser.
What are the Advantages of Excimer Laser?
There are many methods of excimer laser treatment , which is widely used in the removal of eye defects . Which method will be applied depends entirely on the preliminary examination and examinations to be performed. The advantages and disadvantages of currently used laser treatment methods are given below.
Advantages of PRK Laser Method
- It is applied to patients with an eye transparent layer of 500 microns or less.
- Since the corneal flap is not removed after laser application, no corneal scars develop.
- It is especially recommended for patients who prefer not to have any traces left.
- Due to the fact that the corneal flap is not removed, both the natural structure and thickness of the eye transparent layer are preserved.
- Since no vacuum is applied to the eye during the treatment, there is no increase in eye pressure, so the patient does not feel pain during the operation.
- It can be applied without any problem in patients whose corneal thickness is so thin that Lasik application cannot be performed, and in patients with astigmatism with an eye defect degree of -5.D for myopia and +4 D for hyperopia patients.
Advantages of LASEK Treatment
- It can be applied to patients with a corneal thickness of 500 microns or less.
- Due to the fact that the flap in the eye transparent layer is not removed, there is no change in the natural structure and thickness of the cornea.
- Since vacuum is not applied in the treatment, there is no increase in eye pressure and there is no feeling of pain during the operation.
- Since the flap is not removed, scar formation does not occur. For this reason, it is often preferred by patients who do not want scar formation.
- It is recommended by experts for those who are not suitable for Lasik treatment due to the thickness of the cornea.
- It can be used in myopia -5.D, hyperopia +4D and astigmatism defects.
Advantages of ILASIK Method
- A flap is created individually.
- It can be applied to those who have too thin corneal thickness for normal lasik treatment.
- The scars that may occur on the flap are minimized.
- It offers patients with high visual impairment to be treated with Lasik laser management.
- The risk of flap wrinkling or slipping is very low.
- The recovery of the patients is quite fast and satisfactory.
- It provides the opportunity to form flaps of desired width and thickness.
- A clearer view is obtained due to the wavefront treatment.
- Headlight discomfort is less when driving at night.
Advantages of INTRALASE LASIK or Bladeless Laser
- Mechanical (micro) keratoma can be applied easily in people with eye structure that is relatively difficult to use and in people with high rates of astigmatism.
- After the surgery, vision becomes clearer.
- Thanks to the flap, which is specially created for the patient, the laser is applied perfectly.
- Thanks to computer-controlled technology, excellent precision is achieved in the use of lasers.
- There is less pain after both laser application and treatment.
- Since it can provide thin flap formation, ILASIK application allows patients who cannot apply LAsik.
- It provides LASIK laser application to people with higher visual impairments.
- The risks of both wrinkling and slipping of the flap are reduced and the recovery period is shortened.