Femtosecond Lasers and Corneal Refractive Surgery

Dr  Anthony Roberts pic
Dr Anthony Roberts
Image: lasikvisioninstitute.com

Dr. Anthony Roberts is a Rockville, Maryland, physician who leads Shady Grove Ophthalmology and offers LASIK treatments. Experienced in employing advanced technologies in vision correction, Dr. Anthony Roberts undertakes the majority of LASIK procedures using the femtosecond laser, which offers a host of distinct advantages over other techniques.

Femtosecond laser systems are infrared and were first developed for ophthalmic use in the 1990s. They employ an ultrashort pulse of light that is achieved through passive mode locking. Finely tuned application of these ultrashort pulses results in a quickly expanding cloud of ionized molecules and free electrons, like an acoustic shock wave.

This is used to perform a variety of procedures, including corneal refractive surgery, particularly for correcting presbyopia and implanting intrastromal corneal ring segments. Femtosecond lasers are also used in LASIK procedures to cleave the cornea over the pupil and create what is known as the “LASIK flap.” Advantages include the reduced incidence of flap complications and greater physician control in determining variables such as flap thickness and diameter.


Femtosecond Lasers – An Overview

A graduate of University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Anthony Roberts joined Shady Grove Ophthalmology in 2002. Dr. Anthony Roberts utilizes Lasik, multifocal intraocular lenses, and femtosecond lasers to diagnose and treat various eye diseases.

Even as laser cataract surgeries become more advanced, physicians are pushing for greater efficiency and accuracy. Scientists have categorized lasers to better understand and describe their speeds. The femtosecond laser falls in the “ultra-fast” category of lasers; it emits optical pulses measured in femtoseconds, one of the fastest units of time available. For perspective, there are one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) femtoseconds in a single second.

More and more ophthalmologists are using femtosecond lasers for cataract surgeries, which require surgical incisions in the cornea. Femtosecond lasers offer greater accuracy and steadiness than incisions made by hand. This translates to lower risk and facilitates self-sealing of the incision, which reduces the risk of infection following cataract surgery.