The SNEC Laser Vision Centre provides a range of laser correction services, including laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), surface ablations, refractive lenticule extraction (ReLEx), small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE), phakic intraocular lens surgery and refractive cataract surgery.
LASIK is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea – the clear covering of the front of the eye – using an excimer laser. LASIK technology has advanced from using a blade to bladeless surgeries.
LASIK Xtra™, an enhanced LASIK procedure, has an additional corneal strengthening procedure (cross-linking).
Laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) is an advanced surface ablation procedure. It is a method of laser vision correction that does not require a flap to be cut and is suitable for individuals with thin corneas and those with active and vigorous lifestyles.
ReLEx® SMILE is a new technique of laser vision correction that does not create a flap and involves the use of a femtosecond laser only. This technique results in less severe immediate post-operative discomfort and tearing and no risk of flap dislodgement. Phakic intraocular lenses, including the implantable collamer lens, are artificial lenses that are implanted into the eye to correct the refractive errors. The procedure is performed without removing the eye’s natural lens and is usually suited to patients with very high refractive errors or thin corneas.
The SNEC Laser Vision Centre is equipped with four laser platforms that are used in a variety of laser vision correction procedures: the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser, Visumax® Femtosecond Laser, AMO IntraLase® iFS Laser System and Ziemer Z8 Femtosecond System.
The department is led by Dr Mohamad Rosman (Head and Senior Consultant) and comprises a team of 14 doctors. It serves as a referral centre for complicated and difficult cases from Singapore and around the region.
Additionally, SNEC’s team of refractive surgeons conducts courses locally (basic LASIK accreditation course) and at regional and international meetings, such as those of the Asia-Pacific Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.
Key facts and figures
The department sees 1,000 to 2,000 cases per year, and frequently receives referrals for complex cases regionally.
Photorefractive keratectomy was launched in 1992, LASIK in 1998, phakic intraocular lens surgery in 1999, femtosecond LASIK in 2005, SingLASIK™ in 2006 and ReLEx® SMILE in 2013 (which was introduced at SNEC ahead of other centres globally).
More than 64,000 laser refractive surgery procedures were performed at SNEC from 1992 to 2014.
SNEC was the first centre in Asia-Pacific to perform excimer laser refractive surgery procedures in 1992.
All surgeons undergo accreditation and re-accreditation to ensure currency and expertise with the rapid development of laser refractive surgery technologies.
All surgeries are audited to ensure continued optimal outcomes for patients.
Breakthroughs in technology/ publication highlights
SNEC has designed and developed five novel SMILE lenticule strippers to more easily locate and extract lenticules. These strippers were found to improve the safety and quality of SMILE surgery, particularly in cases of difficult lenticule extraction (Liu, Pujara, & Mehta, 2014).
Researchers at Singapore Eye Research Institute found that SMILE results, relating to lower nerve damage and faster nerve recovery, compared well with LASIK results (Mohamed-Noriega et al., 2014).
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