OHSU

Casey Eye Institute at OHSU, Portland, Oregon

Where Healing, Teaching and Discovery Come Together


Our Laser Technology

LASIK: We're Part of the Innovation

The success of modern refractive surgery results from one of science's "happy coincidences" known today as the excimer laser – which was not initially developed for use in medicine. It was first developed by IBM in 1976 to etch computer chips, but by 1983 the excimer laser was being used in vision treatment and research. The first PRK was performed by Dr. Theo Seiler in Berlin in 1987 and the first LASIK followed in 1990 when it was developed by Dr. Loannis Pallikaris of Greece.

In the Northwest, the Casey cornea team performed the first PRK in December 1994 with the Nidek excimer laser. The first LASIK procedure in the Northwest was also done at the Casey Vision Correction Center in October 1996. The Center was also one of the first five United States eye centers selected to participate in U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials for the more advanced Nidek EC-5000 excimer laser. When the Nidek received FDA approval in 1998, more than 50 percent of data for the FDA study had been gathered at the Casey Vision Correction Center.

 

We Chose the Best:  Allegretto Wave® Laser and iFS Intralase Laser

Allegretto Wave Laser

The Allegretto Wave ® laser, used with the iFS Intralase ™ laser for a "bladeless" procedure, offers superior clinical results, safety and quality vision for patients of the Casey Vision Correction Center.

The  Casey Vision Correction Center utilizes the Allegretto Wave ® laser. This new generation laser was conceived right from the start for custom treatments. It incorporates Wavefront principles into each procedure while adjusting the treatment to each patient's unique corneal curvature. The Wavefront Optimized ™ treatment profile considers the curvature and biomechanics of the eye and addresses the spherical distortions that can potentially cause glare and influence night vision.

This is one of the fastest excimer laser systems available in the United States, treating one diopter of correction in only four seconds. This rapid treatment speed has been demonstrated to increase predictability and reduce the incidence of complications. Faster treatment time means less anxiety, less time under the laser and a more comfortable procedure.

Safety is a prime concern for doctors at the Casey Vision Correction Center, which is why they chose the Allegretto Wave's high-speed active eye-tracker. It tracks the eye 200 times per second, following even the fastest eye movements during treatment. Should the eye ever move out of range, the eye tracker automatically pauses the treatment until it is back in range.

 


iFS Intralase Laser Technology

The Casey Vision Correction Center uses the advanced iFS IntraLase laser to do "all-laser" LASIK.  This greatly reduces the risk of flap complications associated with using the older microkeratome method to create the flap.   

With the iFS IntraLase laser, tiny pulses of laser light, a quadrillionth of a second each, pass harmlessly through the outer portion of your cornea and form a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles just beneath the surface of your eye. The exact dimension of this layer of bubbles are determined by your doctor based on what's best for your eye, and are computer controlled for maximum precision – things that are not possible with the older microkeratome method.  The IntraLase flap creation process takes about 10 to 20 seconds.

 

 

Excimer Laser Technology

The excimer laser uses pulses of cool ultraviolet light to break the bonds between corneal molecules, effectively vaporizing them. The laser pulses are incredibly rapid, lasting only billionths of a second. They are also extremely precise. Each pulse of the laser removes only 1/4000th of a millimeter of corneal tissue. To put this in perspective, it would take 200 pulses of the excimer laser to cut through a single human hair. This precision is put to good use in laser vision correction surgery, where alterations to the cornea are on a microscopic scale. The amount of tissue removed is equivalent to about half the thickness of a human hair.

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The nature of the excimer laser beam is also well suited to refractive surgery on delicate corneal tissue. Most lasers burn tissues around the targeted area, but the cool pulses of the excimer do not damage surrounding tissues. The targeted corneal tissue is removed and surrounding tissues are unaffected.

Although excimer lasers are very safe and effective, they are never treated casually by our team or specialists. In addition to following standards of clinical excellence developed at the Casey Eye Institute, the refractive surgeons at the Casey Vision Correction Center adhere to all FDA and manufacturer guidelines for the excimer laser. The doctors at Casey have also been important contributors to the FDA guidelines, participating in 12 FDA clinical studies related to excimer laser technology.Additional Information on laser vision correction can be found on these websites:

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

Eye Surgery Education Council

International Society of Refractive Surgery


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