More eye clinics offer Lasik

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EYES are one of the most valuable human assets because they are vital for daily activities. However, many deficiencies often haunt us, such as near sightedness, far sightedness, astigmatism and so forth. The most common method or way to overcome this is by resorting to spectacles. With the current progress many also wear soft lens. Spectacles and soft lens have their plus and minus points.

Today, technology has certainly become more sophisticated. Now there is an alternative for those who do not want to wear specs or soft lens: Lasik operation (Laser Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis), which is believed to make the eyes function normally without specs or soft lens. Dr. Hadi Prakoso, SpM, an ophthalmologist at Nusantara Eye Clinic, said that before the Lasik operation became popular there was a procedure, called Photorefractive Keratectomy, which is now referred to as Surface Ablation. This procedure has a minus point in it inflicts pain and the recovery period is relatively long.

“So, finally a painless and speedy operation was found — Lasik,” said Dr. Hadi, who added that the technology was pursued due to many patients’ need for a comfortable procedure. Some people find wearing spectacles disruptive and it hampers certain activities, such as swimming, racing and so forth.

Meanwhile, soft lens means taking extra care. “Basically, everyone wants to be free and live without burden,” he added.

Lasik is a procedure that changes the shape of the cornea using excimer laser rays. It can correct myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism. Conventional Lasik uses microceratom to open up the upper surface of the cornea and then the excimer laser is used to remove a thin layer of the cornea. After the flap or upper surface of the cornea is opened, it is moved back to its original position. As the procedure is done only on the inner part of the cornea it does not inflict any pain. The flap will naturally stick to its original position without stitches. To date, more than 30 million people throughout the world have undergone Lasik procedures. Today, many hospitals and eye clinics offer Lasik as one of the most sophisticated solutions.

Naturally, with the growing number of hospitals and eye clinics offering almost similar benefits, each tries to lure customers with persuasive marketing strategies. One example is Nusantara Eye Clinic (KMN), which offers Advanced iLasikTM. The “i” stands for Intralase, which has a speed of 60 Khz per second. In January this year, KMN purchased a fifth generation Intralase machine, called iFSTM. The Advanced iLasikTM uses a combination of the latest technology — iFSTM Advanced Femtosecond Laser and VISX Advanced CustomVueTM. iLasikTM is a knifeless Lasik with the safest technology that has been approved for NASA astronauts, US Air Force pilots and US Navy Top Gun pilots as well.

The knifeless procedure, called All Laser Lasik, which includes intralase, femtech and iLasik, is widely known, and now comes Z-Lasik. This was created by the Ziemer Group, a multinational Swiss company dealing in ophthalmology or eye care. Jakarta Eye Center currently offers Z-Lasik procedures.

Z-Lasik is far more superior as it has a speed of 1,000 Khz per second. The flap incision is based on Femtosecond technology, which is more accurate. Its energy is also very low, one thousandth of other methods, so the heat produced is very low. This prevents thermal or radiation on the cornea.

Meanwhile, another eye clinic, i Care Lasik, is offering the sophisticated Z-Lasik with Advanced Aspheric, which is also a knifeless procedure or Lasik combining FEMTO LDV machine from the Ziemer Group and the MEL 80 excimer laser manufactured by Carl Zeiss, Germany.

This procedure uses a femtosecond laser and an excimer laser. The energy of the femtosecond laser is very low so as to prevent heat as well as thermal reaction or bubbles on the cornea. Then the excimer laser is used.

Mel-80 Carl Zeiss has its superior Advanced Aspheric Lasik, which keeps the shape of the cornea natural. It also reduces glare for night vision. Less of the cornea is affected by this laser procedure, which reduces aberration on the cornea and improved vision. The Z-Lasik procedure has FDA approval and has been approved for US army, US navy, US air force, marine corps and NASA personnel.

So, Lasik seems to be the perfect solution today, and the upper income segment of society can afford the millions of rupiah that the procedure costs. Dr. Annette Mariza, SpM, an ophthalmologist at Nusantara Eye Clinic, said there were certain prerequisites before such an operation could be performed.

First, a patient has to be over 18 years old as the eyes do not develop further after this age. Second, a person’s far or near sightedness must not have changed over the past six months. “This is to ensure the best result,” said Dr. Annette, who underwent the Lasik procedure herself. She added that it is not recommended that pregnant or breast-feeding mothers have Lasik done due to hormonal fluctuations. Those with diabetes also should have a stable sugar level in their blood. (Iwan Suci Jatmiko)

The Jakarta Post, January 14, 2010

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