For decades, advances in laser technology have made way for more accurate and precise results in refractive surgery. More recently, femtosecond lasers have been used to increase the accuracy and success of corneal transplantations. Femtosecond laser-assisted lamellar keratoplasty (FALK) is an innovative procedure used to treat patients whose vision has been compromised due to damage to the cornea. Clinical studies have shown that the use of femtosecond lasers in lamellar keratoplasty can lead to better visual outcomes and faster recovery for patients.
At Texas Eye and Laser Center, our eye surgeons are some of the top corneal specialists in the nation. By combining expert training and the latest technology, we are able to provide patients with the best visual outcomes and quality care.
When Is a Corneal Transplant Necessary?
The cornea is the transparent tissue that covers the front of the eye. It serves an important role in achieving clear vision, as well as keeping the eye healthy and free of infection. When the cornea becomes damaged by injury, disease or infection, vision problems can occur. In these cases, a cornea transplant may be necessary to restore vision.
There are two types of cornea transplants: penetrating cornea transplant and lamellar cornea transplant. A penetrating cornea transplant involves removing all layers of the cornea, while a lamellar transplant involves removing selective layers. During your consultation, our experienced corneal surgeons will examine your eye to diagnose your condition and determine the cause of your cornea trauma. Using this information, they will determine whether a partial or full cornea transplant is necessary.
FALK is a new corneal transplant technique that is used to treat patients with superficial corneal scarring and dystrophies that affect vision. It is a partial transplant procedure, and therefore is less invasive than a full corneal transplant and involves a shorter recovery. This also means there is less risk of post-op complications and graft rejection.
The difference between FALK and standard corneal transplants is that a laser is used to prepare the corneal transplant graft instead of a handheld blade called a trephine. We believe that the laser more accurately prepares the tissue and also can create specialized edge shapes. The laser is also better able to match the recipient to the donor tissue shape, which can eliminate the need for sutures. Ultimately, this results in more precise results, quicker recovery, and a better optical and visual outcome.
FALK is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and takes approximately one hour to complete. Once anesthetized, your eye doctor will use the femtosecond laser to remove the damaged corneal tissue. The laser will also be used to size and attach the donor tissue in place. Once complete, a bandage contact lens will be placed to protect the eye as it heals.
Post-op side effects may include inflammation, infection, suture-related problems and graft rejection. Our team will monitor your healing progress closely to ensure your recovery is a successful one.
Schedule a Consultation Today
To learn more about FALK, please call the trusted eye surgeons at Texas Eye and Laser Center. Schedule your one-on-one consultation by calling (817) 540-6060 today.