The Latest Innovations in Ophthalmology
Laser Eye Surgery is a sector that is built on innovation. Since its humble beginnings, it has evolved to become one of the most technologically advanced surgeries in the world.
At London Vision Clinic, we are proud to be heavily involved in this innovation. We carry out ongoing research to advance the field of vision correction even further.
Since early in his career, our founder Professor Dan Reinstein has been one of a small group of experts pioneering the latest developments in Laser Eye Surgery. Developments that we are able to offer patients from our Harley Street clinic.
Here, we are going to take a look at some of the major advancements that have revolutionised Laser Eye Surgery.
The femtosecond laser
In the early days of Laser Eye Surgery in the 1980s, surgeons did not have the benefit of the advanced tools we see today. A tool called a microkeratome – an instrument with an oscillating blade – was used to create a small flap in the outer layer of the cornea.
This flap allows access to the corneal bed below, which could then be reshaped. The flap is then put back in place, ready for the eye to begin healing.
While the basis of this technique prevails today, surgeons have moved away from the microkeratome and so-called ‘bladed’ surgery – thanks to the development of the femtosecond laser.
This development introduced an all-laser treatment in which a laser is used to create the flap in the cornea. A second laser is then used to reshape the underlying tissue.
Again, this makes up the basis of Laser Eye Surgery today; however, advances in technology have also led to a less invasive technique.
“ReLEx SMILE represents the next-generation in corrective vision treatments” – Professor Dan Reinstein
The need to create a flap – as in LASIK treatment – was reduced significantly with the development of ReLEx SMILE. This treatment instead employs the incredible precision and 3D placement of another laser – the VisuMax laser – to make a tiny ‘keyhole’ incision in the cornea.
The same laser is then used to create a tunnel, through which tissue is extracted to reshape the corneal bed. The outcome of this innovative technique is the same as LASIK, only with less disruption to the cornea.
The pioneering SMILE technique was first performed over 10 years ago. Our expert surgeons here at London Vision Clinic were some of the first in the world to offer this treatment to the public, under the name ReLEx SMILE.
Today, the procedure is available at 700 clinics in over 65 countries around the world. Millions of people are now experiencing improved vision, thanks to this latest advancement in Laser Eye Surgery – with millions more set to join them.
Whatever the future of Laser Eye Surgery, it certainly looks bright for SMILE.