LASIK laser manufacturers: Make eye-safe surgery devices with the use of a laser energy meter
Tuesday, November 05, 2019
LASIK eye surgery represents one of the most delicate yet demanding uses of precision laser technology. The excimer laser beams frequently used in these applications must be accurate enough to target extremely small locations in the eye without damaging surrounding areas.
It therefore goes without saying that proper measurement and calibration of your laser systems are of utmost importance.
LASIK is one of the most researched medical procedures, with more than 7,000 published clinical studies. As a result, the procedure is generally considered to be safe. In fact, according to the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, LASIK has a 95% patient satisfaction rate, the highest among any elective procedure.
While LASIK has a high success rate, like any other laser system, it requires measurement of basic parameters. The energy output from the excimer laser, in particular, needs to be controlled, precise, and predictable for operating in such a delicate medical application.
As you can imagine, the slightest malfunction or miscalculation during the LASIK procedure can have dire consequences for patients. Potential issues arising from incorrect laser measurement and calibration can range from undercorrections to the more severe and harder to fix, overcorrections. In extreme cases, permanent eye damage and vision loss can also occur.
However, while miscalibrated surgical devices can directly affect patients, manufacturers of these devices can also be held liable. Therefore, if you are a LASIK equipment manufacturer, using a high-accuracy laser energy meter for your system is essential.
Excimer laser systems are prone to degradation and are, therefore, considered to be high-maintenance. Beam degradation may arise due to faulty or deteriorated lenses and mirror coatings. Degraded excimer beams can ultimately lead to reduced beam homogeneity, which can result in varied ablation rates of the treatment zone, poor refractive outcomes, and irregular tissue removal.
Another common cause of degraded excimer laser beams is the presence of impurities in the laser head cavity. Fluorine, which is highly reactive, can react with these impurities, further contaminating the cavity and reducing the fluorine available for stimulated emission.
The sensitivity of excimer lasers makes preoperative calibration an essential step in performing LASIK procedures. Calibration methods generally entail direct measurement of the system’s energy output using high-performance energy sensors.
When measuring your excimer laser, the interaction between the beam and the environment needs to be considered. For instance, when a beam is directed toward a sensor, it first interacts with air and moisture in the atmosphere. This interaction can result in errors of up to 1% per each centimeter of air.
You should, therefore, ensure that the distance from the laser to the measurement device is the same as the distance to the actual object in practice. Since this also means that you will be measuring at the delivery point of your system, the energy density will be very high. The measurement instrument that you select must also be able to withstand this high density without being damaged or saturated. At Gentec-EO, we developed specialized absorbing materials for our energy sensors that have the highest damage thresholds on the market, ensuring that our laser energy detectors can be used even in the most demanding applications.
Photorefractive surgery procedures, such as LASIK, leave no room for error. As such, a high-accuracy laser energy meter should be a crucial investment for your excimer laser system. Don’t let uncalibrated equipment put your reputation on the line; choose a laser energy meter that meets your business needs today.