Advanced Surface Laser Ablation (ASLA) uses an excimer laser to treat a small amount (about 5 to 30 percent) of the cornea. Instead of creating a flap in the cornea with a laser, this method preserves the strength of the cornea. During the ASLA procedure, the surgeon also has great control in the location and amount of tissue being removed, allowing patients to enjoy a highly accurate treatment.
The ASLA method involves gently sculpting the cornea rather than cutting, allowing your surgeon to treat greater degrees of nearsightedness, as well as farsightedness and astigmatism. Up to 95 percent of patients with a correction of up to -6.00 diopters achieved vision of 6/7.5 or better after ASLA, with up to 90 percent achieving 6/6.
Before LASIK was available, ASLA was the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. LASIK brought about several advantages over ASLA, including less discomfort and faster results, but ASLA is still preferred for patients with thin corneas. The ASLA procedure takes less than a minute to complete, and is performed with only anesthetic eye drops.
Similar to LASIK, there are certain requirements that patients must meet in order to undergo the ASLA procedure. This procedure is ideal for patients who:
Many patients choose to undergo ASLA because they do not qualify for LASIK, whether they have corneas that are too thin or have problems with eye pressure or a corneal dystrophy.
ASLA takes about 20 minutes to perform and is done on an outpatient basis using only anaesthetic eye drops. During the procedure, Dr. Kumar will first remove the surface layer of the eye (epithelium). This can be done with a solution of diluted alcohol that gently loosens the epithelium so that it can be removed or pushed to the side.
Once the epithelium is removed, the cornea is then carefully reshaped with a laser to correct vision. The advanced laser used during this procedure customizes vision correction for each individual patient to ensure successful results. A bandage contact lens is then placed over the eye to promote proper healing.
After the ASLA procedure, patients will be able to go home after a few hours, although someone will need to drive you home. The bandage contact lens will be worn for three to four days. Eye drops will be prescribed to prevent infection and keep the eyes moisturised. In many cases, patients can return to work the next day, although strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least a week.
Patients will notice an improvement in vision within the first few days after surgery, with full results gradually developing over the course of six months. Glasses may need to be worn during an initial period after surgery as vision adjusts Vitamin supplements may be recommended to help the eyes heal more quickly and comfortably.
The results of ASLA are comparable to LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures. Some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses after treatment, but their prescription will be significantly reduced.
To learn more about ASLA and to find out whether or not this procedure is right for you, please call us today to schedule a consultation.