27 Aug 5 Reasons the Allegretto EX 500 is the Best Laser in America
We recently replaced our Allegretto laser (400 hz) with the Allegretto EX 500 and I feel it is the best LASIK laser in America. I pause here to to thank the engineers in Germany for producing such an amazing and precise Allegretto laser. LASIK is a form of laser eye surgery to improve your vision without glasses.
1. The Allegretto EX 500 is the Fastest Laser in America
Our VISX S4 fires 10 times per second and our old Allegretto laser fired at 400 times per second. The EX 500 fires at 500 times per second. “So what?” you ask. I’ll explain why it matters so much. During the laser treatment, the cornea stars to dry out. A dry cornea absorbs more laser energy. If the treatment is completed before the drying really sets in, the results are more predictable. The Allegretto laser treats 1.4 diopters of prescriptive error per second!
2. The Allegretto EX 500 Increases LASIK Safety
Laser vision correction reshapes your cornea by gently vaporizing away the parts of the cornea that make your vision out of focus. The best way to increase LASIK safety is to prevent complications. Prior to surgery, we measure the thickness of your cornea to make sure your cornea is thick enough.
The goal is to leave enough cornea untouched so it will remain stable throughout the rest of your life. Many surgeons feel the magic number is 300 microns. We want to leave at least 300 microns untouched to create an extra margin of safety.
Here’s an example. If your cornea is 540 microns thick and your surgeon is planning a 110 micron thick flap with a laser treatment that will vaporizes away 100 microns, the residual bed of untouched cornea would be 320 microns. (520-110-100=310). This would meet this criterion for surgery.
Sounds great, but what if the flap is thicker than expected? (This is rare, but more common with microkeratome flaps than with bladeless laser flaps) Let’s say the flap was actually 220 microns thick. (520-220-80=240) This is well past the safety goal of 300 microns.
Most surgeons do not measure the thickness of the flap or the residual bed before they treat. I have never been comfortable with this so I have always paused to actually measure the thickness manually with a pachymeter before I treat, just in case the flap is thicker.
The Allegretto EX 500 has a built in OCT imaging systems that measures the corneal thickness automatically before I treat. The measurement is displayed through the microscope ocular while I am looking at your eye. This is an important LASIK safety advance.
3. The EX 500 has a Better Eye Tracker
Many patients worry that they will move their eye during the laser treatment. The fact is that you will move you’re eye during the procedure, but the good news is that the Allegretto laser tracks the movement of your eye and adjusts the treatment accordingly. Our VISX S4 laser checks the position of your eye 80 times per second and our old Allegretto 400 checked eye position 400 times per second. The EX 500 tracker is checking the eye position 1050 times per second with just a 2 millisecond latency! This is an important improvement for accuracy and safety. In addition, there is a display inside my ocular that shows me the quality of the tracker acquisition. This helps me ensure the tracker is fully engaged before I treat and during the treatment.
4. The Allegretto Laser Displays Vital Data
The laser displays your vital data in my microscope oculars during your treatment. I can see your name, date of birth, planned treatment, and a count down of the treatment completed during your laser. This gives additional confirmation safety that the correct patterns for your specific visual needs are programed and completed.
5. The EX 500 Creates its own Nitrogen Gas
The laser beam is created in the main cavity of the laser. It then travels approximately three feet through the laser arm where it is directed towards your eye. The atmosphere causes small changes in the quality of the beam. In the VISX system, the beam passes through the atmosphere for the entire length of the laser arm. In the Allegretto laser system, the beam is sealed and protected from the atmosphere by nitrogen gas in the laser arm.
With our old Allegretto 400, we stored the nitrogen gas in a large metal tank that was strapped to the support column in the middle of our beautiful laser suite. The EX 500 makes its own nitrogen gas so the first thing you see with your new eyes after your LASIK isn’t the ugly metal tank anymore. Admittedly, this is not a huge advantage, but I believe the beauty matters, and I want everything about your LASIK to be beautiful.
I am grateful that I work with a group of doctors committed to providing the best technology, results, and experience possible. This commitment has led us to offer the laser we fell is the best LASIK eye surgery laser in America. If I can answer any other questions about your LASIK procedure, please schedule a time to meet with me or post a comment.