The first step in LASIK eye surgery is to cut a very thin layer of tissue from the top surface of the cornea (called the flap). The metal blade microkeratome is commonly used at many laser centers. Once the top surface (flap) is reflected away, the underneath surface is exposed. The excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. The flap is then placed back in position.
The Metal Blade Microkeratomes have certain special characteristics.
The above is a Visante image of a LASIK flap created by an Amadeus II microkeratome. The flap tools that are placed by the Visante OCT are adjustable at location, epithelium, flap interface, and the endothelium. This flexability is further enhanced by the capacity to magnify the image to a very large level for more accurate placement of the flap tools.
The above is the same image as the one above it. Only flap has been further demarkated by placing red marks at the level of the flap. This was performed in an image editing software.
The above shows a magnified image of the flap edge created by the Amadeus II Metal Blade Microkeratome. The flap has been demarkated by red dots.
The Metal Blade Microkeratome can be contrasted to the Femtosecond laser microkeratome such as IntraLase. Please see the Femtosecond laser page.