Possible eye movements can affect the accuracy at the time of laser eye surgery. Prof. Paolo Vinciguerra, Head of the Ophthalmology Center of the Humanitas Clinical Institute said that eye tracking is the process that allows the laser to follow the movements during the operation.
What is eye tracking laser surgery?
When the laser acts on the eye, the major concern of patients is whether they can stand still during surgery. The patient’s cooperation is certainly indispensable, but the laser is able to track the eye movements.
We tend to think that the eye moves only from right to left and from top to bottom. However, despite being apparently always on axis, the eye revolves around itself. If you do not have a primary diagnostic tool and a laser that can track the eye movements, it is hard to correct astigmatism. Precisely for this reason, it is necessary to have sophisticated tools.
The laser acts through bright spots removing the tissue at various points and generating a new shape. It has a variable power, so it is possible to apply a different power according to the area affected.
In the central area, the cornea is located at a precise distance, while in the periphery it is more distant; in such cases we have energy loss. In addition, if the eye tends to rotate around its axis, this will lead to a more imprecise result, so it is important to have a laser beam that can compensate for eye movements with varying power.
The energy released by the laser vaporizes the tissue, transforming it into gas. The increase in temperature can cause burns, so the laser must be able to measure the temperature that it is generating in the cornea.
The laser never intervenes twice on the same spot in a small time period, it allows time for the affected area to cool down before returning with the laser. All of this is possible thanks to a camera inserted in the instrument. This camera not only tracks the eye movements in real time, but also measures everything that happens.
Note: Image on title does not represent actual footage of any medical tool or treatment discussed in this article.