Ziemer Ophtalmology

The Z LASIK procedure

LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is a medical procedure used to correct different kinds of vision problems, first introduced in the early 1990s. The procedure involves the creation of a very thin flap of tissue on the cornea which is lifted so that the surgeon can remove additional tissue to change the shape of the cornea before folding back the flap and allowing the eye to heal.  When LASIK was first introduced, flap creation was done by a mechanical microkeratome which is a specialized surgical blade. In 2004, the first bladeless LASIK surgery was performed with a femtosecond laser which has since become the standard of care and is currently one of the most frequently performed surgeries.

Femtosecond laser LASIK procedures have a very high patient satisfaction rate and good visual results. Z LASIK is a highly specialized, patient-cantered medical procedure that uses advanced technology to minimize post-surgical inflammation and discomfort. To find out if Z LASIK is right for you please explore the specific information about the Z LASIK procedure and the patient information and consult with your doctor. To find a Z LASIK doctor in your area please visit our find-a-doctor page.

The way to a clear vision

The way to a clear vision with the Z LASIK procedure consists of different steps which are all equally important. Ask your doctor if you need further information on how the procedure works and to determine if you are suitable for laser vision correction. You can expect the following steps:

Step One

Assessment of your individual profile


Before you decide on the best route to improve your vision, make an appointment with your eye doctor. During your appointment, your doctor will give you detailed information on which options to consider as well as an overview of the risks and benefits. To determine if Z LASIK is right for you, your doctor will run a series of tests and perform an eye exam.

During this process, your eyes will be electronically measured in detail: thousands of data points are surveyed to create an accurate multi-dimensional image of your eye’s surface. This information will act as a map and guide the laser treatment in a way that is uniquely designed to best correct your refractive error.

The measurement is painless and will not involve anything touching the eye. Precise measurement is very important as it informs your doctor on the best treatment plan to minimize potential risks and complications. 

 

Step Two

The day of your vision correction


On the day of your treatment you will have another opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you may still have. The doctor will perform some final checks and examine your notes.

A few minutes before the treatment, your eye will be anesthetized so you won’t feel pain.

You will then be taken into the laser suite. Your eyelids will be gently held open to prevent you from blinking during the procedure. The whole procedure will take around 5 minutes per eye. For more details on the Z LASIK procedure, click here.

Immediately after your treatment you will be able to open and close your eye normally. In the recovery room you can lie down and rest for a while before you leave the clinic. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, your eyes may be protected with contact lenses for one day. Special drops will be given to promote the healing and prevent infection.

Step Three

After the procedure


The day after your surgery you will return to your doctor for a post-surgery checkup.

Most LASIK patients already notice a dramatic visual improvement within the first few hours after the treatment1. Usually, you will be able to go back to work after one day.

To ensure that you continue to heal well, eye exams will be scheduled one week and one or two months after your initial treatment.

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions on eye care after your LASIK treatment. Good care will help you quickly recover from the surgery.

The Z LASIK procedure in detail

Below you find a more detailed description of the Z LASIK procedure. Ask your doctor for further information and if Z LASIK is right for you.

Creation of a bladeless Z LASIK flap

The human cornea which is responsible for the biggest part of your visual focus (or optical power), and consists of different layers of cells. Irregularities in these layers may cause a change in the focal point on the back of the retina which negatively impacts your ability to see clearly at all distances.  Usually, this problem can be solved by reshaping the corneal in the stroma, or the second and most thick layer of cells. Because the corneal stroma is the second layer of cells, the surgeon must have a way to access it which is typically done through the creation of a highly precise, very thin tissue flap on the most superficial layer of the cornea.

In Z LASIK, an ultra-thin flap is made on the surface of the cornea by applying millions of tiny laser spots (one hundredth of a millimeter wide) in a row which separate the tissue. The procedure is blade-free and the laser treatment itself is painless. The laser creates the thin tissue flap with a hinge on one side so it can be securely replaced after the LASIK procedure is completed. 

Reshaping the cornea

Once the flap is created, it is opened and the curvature of the cornea can be reshaped to create your unique vision solution. This step is performed by an excimer laser by removing layers of individual cells in the corneal stroma within seconds.

When the re-shaping is completed, the tissue flap is gently placed back over the area, leaving the most external layer of the cornea untouched. The tissue that makes up the flap, called the epithelium, is regenerative and will heal over time, whereas the tissue in the deeper part of the corneal stroma cannot regenerate which allows the re-shaping to be permanent.

For more information about the procedure and possible risks and side-effects, read the patient information and consult with your doctor.