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Laser eye surgery... there is more than one kind

I find a common misconception amongst my patients is that there only one kind of laser eye surgery. Eye surgeons use many different kinds of laser for many different purposes. Why do we need different kinds of lasers? Basically because different parts of the eye will react differently to a laser depending on the wavelength or "colour" of the laser, the energy setting of the laser and the speed of the laser pulse.

Of course, most people when they say they have had laser eye surgery are referring to vision corrective laser eye surgery and to the UV or excimer laser used in LASIK or surface laser (ASLA). Some would also be aware that we actually use two lasers in LASIK; in addition to the reshaping excimer laser, we also use a femtosecond (ultrafast) laser to create the LASIK flap. This femtosecond laser is also used in SMILE laser eye surgery and laser cataract surgery.

Other times you may have laser may be for glaucoma treatment, for diabetes retinal disease treatment or to treat scarring within the eye. So you can now see that really there are many kinds of "laser eye surgery".... maybe you can dazzle your friends with your new found knowledge at your next dinner party :)

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