The invention of the femtosecond laser technology has allowed great advances in the field of corneal transplant surgery. This ultrafast laser employs near-infrared light to place numerous adjacent pulses, creating photodisruption, to cut corneal tissue with minimal collateral tissue damage. Infinite shapes of corneal cuts and dimensions can be employed to cut tissue at precise depths and positions. This technology is now being used in a wide variety of corneal surgeries including customized corneal transplantation, refractive surgery, tunnel creation for intrastromal ring segments, and astigmatic correction.

At the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, we have been performing corneal transplant surgery using the femtosecond laser since its inception. We have extensively researched the biomechanics associated with the laser cornea cuts and the surgical outcomes in these eyes. We have performed nearly 300 cases of corneal transplantation in a variety of corneal diseases including Keratoconus, Fuchs dystrophy, herpetic diseases and scars of the cornea, and many others. Our results show consistently faster healing, improved visual recovery and astigmatism, and better biomechanical stability in eyes that have undergone the femtosecond laser corneal transplant as compared to conventional forms of corneal transplantation. We are excited to continue our research and develop further applications for the femtosecond laser in ocular surface transplantation.

Posted April 2013