The Excimer Laser is the final part of your laser eye surgery journey. After mapping your eyes, the collected data is reviewed by our ophthalmologist and then fed into our Advanced Waverfront Intralase machine. Then, the Excimer Laser makes precise micro-incisions from your eye data to correct your vision errors (by removing the precise amount of corneal tissue to perfectly shape your cornea) so you no longer have to wear prescription glasses and contact lenses.
Mani Lal Bhaumik an Indian-American physicist, is considered to be the father of Excimer laser technology and is popularly known as “The Man Who Saves Eyesight”. In 1973, he submitted research papers to the Optical Society of America for practical utilisation of the Excimer Laser.
In the image below, you will see our Advanced Waverfront Intralase (left) and Excimer Laser (right) machines which work together for the most precise eye surgery leading to the most successful vision correction results.
Why is the Excimer Laser the safest way to correct vision?
In 1980 – 1983, Rangaswamy Srinivasan, Samuel Blum and James Wynne at IBM observed the effect of the ultraviolet Excimer Laser on biological materials. Intrigued, they investigated further, finding that the laser made clean, precise cuts that would be ideal for delicate surgery.
These properties make these lasers well suited for precision shaping of organic material, living tissue or delicate surgeries such as LASIK eye surgery.
Excimer Laser – the Science Bit
Excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy and excimer laser in situ keratomileusis are the very modern age treatments that can be used to correct refractive errors of your eye.
They are most commonly used to correct myopia (near-sightedness) but can also be used to correct hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism. The laser alters the refractive state of the eye by removing tissue from the anterior cornea through a process known as photoablative decomposition.
This process uses ultraviolet energy from the Excimer laser to disrupt chemical bonds in the cornea without causing any thermal damage to surrounding tissue.
The modified anterior corneal surface enables light to be focused on your retina, thereby reducing or eliminating your dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
What is an Excimer Laser?
The term Excimer is short for ‘excited dimer’. It typically uses a combination of a noble gas (Argon, Krypton or Xenon) and a reactive gas (Fluorine or Chlorine). Under the appropriate conditions of electrical stimulation and high pressure, a pseudo-molecule called an Excimer is created, which can only exist in an energised state and can give rise to laser light in the ultraviolet range.
Can an Excimer Laser damage the eye?
The ultraviolet light from an Excimer Laser is well absorbed by biological matter and organic compounds. Rather than burning or cutting material, the laser adds enough energy to disrupt the molecular bonds of the surface tissue, which effectively disintegrates into the air in a tightly controlled manner through ablation rather than burning.
So, these lasers have the useful property that they can remove exceptionally fine layers of surface material with almost no heating or change to the remainder of the material which is left intact. These properties make Excimer lasers well suited to precision micro-machining organic material, such as LASIK – a delicate eye surgery – or for other Laser eye surgery procedures.