15.SEP.2016 5 MIN READ | 5 MIN READ

Hailed for its high success rate, rapid visual recovery and extremely low risk, LASIK has long been a popular choice for eye correction surgery.

Millions of people around the world have undergone refractive surgery to reduce or eliminate their need for wearing spectacles or contact lenses.

Refractive surgery refers to the surgical correction of the refractive errors of the eye. All forms of refractive error can be corrected, including myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia (lao hua).

Conventional LASIK

LASIK, which stands for Laser In Situ Keratomileusis, is a laser procedure that corrects the refractive errors of the eye by reshaping the cornea. Traditionally, the procedure consists 2 stages and is completed in approximately 4 minutes per eye.

The first stage is the creation of a corneal flap. A motorised blade system called a microkeratome or a femtosecond (FS) laser creates a flap on the cornea, leaving a small hinge to keep the flap partially attached to the rest of the cornea. The FS laser allows the corneal flap to be created without the use of a blade.

The second stage involves partially lifting the corneal flap and using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea tissue underneath the flap. The flap is then returned to its original position.

The whole procedure is essentially painless. The visual recovery is fast and patients can return to work within 1 – 2 days after surgery.

What is iLASIK?

iLASIK is done without a blade and has proven to be the safest and most precise method for vision correction. It maps the unique characteristics of your eye to provide a customised correction for visual clarity. The procedure is so safe that it's approved for use in NASA astronauts and US top-gun fighter pilots.

Bladeless surgery for better safety

A safer method of flap creation is with the use of a femtosecond (FS) laser. It is faster and more precise, enabling surgeons to attain a high degree of surgical control. The laser beam is focused just beneath the corneal surface and creates a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles that interconnect to create a corneal flap. The flap diameter, depth, edge angle and morphology are customised to suit each person’s cornea to achieve a safe and accurate result.

Recovery is faster, with fewer risks of complications compared to conventional LASIK. A higher rate of patients are able to achieve 20/20 vision or better. Patients also reported better quality of vision overall in the day and night, with less visual disturbances such as glares and haloes.

Wavefront-guided LASIK for improved vision correction

A standard LASIK corrects a person’s basic refractive errors such as myopia and astigmatism. Wavefront-guided LASIK enables a customised treatment that not only corrects these refractive errors, but also unique imperfections of the eye that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or standard LASIK surgery.

Wavefront-guided LASIK measures all refractive errors and imperfections of the eye using the highest resolution available. The information captured is then used to customise a unique treatment for the patient, thereby enabling a more personalised and accurate vision correction.

The combination of iLASIK technologies have helped to ensure greater safety and precision in treating refractive errors and higher order aberrations, so that patients can have better vision with less risks of complications and symptoms of glare, haloes and starbursts.

These advances in LASIK technology in the form of iLASIK have significantly improved the safety, accuracy and precision of vision correction surgery.

Ang Pek Kiang Leonard
Mount Elizabeth Hospital

Dr Leonard Ang is an ophthalmologist practising at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore. He specialises in cataract surgery, cornea disease treatment, cornea transplantation, glaucoma treatment, retinal disease treatment, stem cell transplantation, and refractive surgery (LASIK, Epi-LASIK, Implantable Contact Lens).