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J Fr Ophtalmol. 2005 May;28(5):535-46.

[Advantages and disadvantages of the femtosecond laser microkeratome].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service d'ophtamologie du CHU de Bordeaux, Université Bordeaux 2, France.


Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) complications are mainly attributable to imperfect cutting with the mechanical microkeratome. The femtosecond laser is an important challenger because it can provide extremely precise cutting beginning at any corneal point. We analyze the potential of this new tool from the results reported in the literature. The optomechanical control of the impact position provides freer and more effective intrastromal cutting than the blade. The best cutting matrix is obtained with the postage stamp method. If the plasma quality is not perfectly under control, side effects such as tissue streaks and secondary ultraviolet radiations can be observed. For LASIK surgery, femtolaser cutting can offer greater safety, reproducibility, predictability and flexibility. The risk of incomplete or irregular cutting and the free cap risk are reduced. Striae, epithelial defects and interface deposits should be minimized. A better flap congruence can limit the risk of secondary displacement and epithelial ingrowth. The results of making thinner flaps should be more predictable. Other than the high cost of the procedure, laser cutting has very few disadvantages. In 1999, Intralase Corporation introduced the first femtolaser microkeratome on the American market. Approximately 120,000 intra-LASIK procedures have been carried out with fewer cutting complications than with the mechanic blade.

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