The Excimer Laser
The excimer laser was invented more than two decades ago at IBM’s Watson Laboratories to etch microchips. Subsequently, the remarkable discovery was made that the excimer can also be used to re-sculpt human tissue, particularly the cornea, with a great degree of precision.
Today, the excimer provides accuracy, predictability, and the capability to correct a wide range of refractive errors. This Argon-Fluoride gas laser emits computer-controlled pulses of cool ultraviolet light with an unparalleled degree of precision. Each pulse of the excimer laser can remove 39 millionths of an inch of tissue in as little as 12 billionths of a second. In fact, the excimer laser can remove as little as 1/40 of a human cell. It would take about 500 pulses to break through an average human hair. This precision leaves the integrity of the eye unchanged.
The excimer works by breaking molecular bonds. It is the ability of the excimer laser to remove a single cell without damaging the remaining cells that allows the precision of laser vision correction.
Dr. Seidenberg performs two procedures with the excimer laser: LASIK and PRK. Both surgical procedures, which employ different methods, permanently change the shape of the cornea and can eliminate a lifetime dependence on glasses and contacts.
LASIK is an acronym for Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileosis. LASIK is a painless, outpatient procedure that usually takes about 10 minutes to perform. During LASIK, the surgeon first creates a protective corneal flap with a microsurgical instrument called a microkeratome, revealing the inner corneal tissue.
This protective flap is temporarily folded back, and computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light are applied to the inner layers of your cornea. The inner layers are gently reshaped to duplicate your contact lens or glasses prescription. This allows you to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts. The flap is closed and heals naturally and securely.
Surgical skill is a key component in the creation of the corneal flap, and the experience and success of Dr. Seidenberg with this procedure is unsurpassed. Because the surface layer (epithelium) of the cornea is preserved, discomfort following LASIK procedures is much less likely.
After the LASIK procedure, your eye may feel irritation or a
foreign body sensation for a few hours, but most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap.
PRK is an acronym for Photo Refractive Keratectomy. PRK is a painless, outpatient procedure that usually takes about 10 minutes to perform.
During PRK, computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light are applied to the surface of your cornea to delicately reshape your eye’s curvature.
Your cornea’s new curvature is shaped to duplicate your contact lens or glasses prescription. This allows you to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts.
To effectively reshape your cornea, Dr. Seidenberg will gently remove the protective surface layer (epithelium) from the eye. This epithelial layer is regenerated within three to five days.
The laser is completed in approximately 30 to 60 seconds. A clear “bandage” contact lens will be placed on your eye and you’ll receive additional eye drops. The bandage lens is usually worn for three days, and then removed by the doctor. After the PRK procedure, your eye may feel irritation or a foreign body sensation for a few days, but this discomfort can usually be effectively managed with medication if needed.
Wavefront-guided Custom LASIK/PRK vs. Conventional LASIK/PRK