Page 51 - The UK Guide to Laser Eye Surgery
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Questions about technology
51
 Microkeratome
How does it feel?
During this part of the procedure, you may feel a small amount of pressure. This may feel a little strange, but it is not painful.
As this happens, your vision will dim or go dark for a few seconds.
How does it benefit you?
The main benefit of a flap in LASIK is that the healing and recovery time is much shorter than with surface procedures (PRK, LASEK and Epi-LASIK). The flap heals within hours, and the vast majority of patients can return to work the day after surgery.
Femtosecond laser
What is it for?
Today, the majority of surgeons use a femtosecond laser instead of a mechanical microkeratome when creating a LASIK flap. A femtosecond laser is also the type of laser used to perform a SMILE treatment. Common brand names of this technology include IntraLase, ZLASIK and VisuMax.
What actually happens?
You lie down on the laser bed facing up. After anaesthetising your eyes with eye drops, the surgeon holds your eye open using a lid holder. Your eye is held steady by creating suction between it and the laser. A femtosecond laser beam is then used to create a bubble layer within the cornea to delineate a circular corneal
flap with a hinge in LASIK, or a refractive lenticule in SMILE. In LASIK, the surgeon folds the flap back to expose the inner surface of the cornea, which is then ready for reshaping. In SMILE, the surgeon manually removes the lenticule in one piece through a small 2-mm keyhole opening.
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