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Updated 2:00 PM January 13, 2004
 

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Technology developed at U-M leads to bladeless LASIK at Kellogg


Patients looking for the ultrafast laser, the newest technology in LASIK eye surgery, now can find it at the Kellogg Eye Center.

The installation of the new system means something more to Kellogg physicians and scientists. It represents technology originally developed at the University through a collaboration of scientists at Kellogg and the College of Engineering that led to the formation of IntraLase Corp. in Irvine, Calif.

The IntraLase FS laser, which is available in just a few Michigan eye centers, represents an advance over conventional LASIK systems because it uses extremely rapid laser pulses rather than a blade in the critical first step of LASIK refractive surgery for vision correction.

LASIK surgeons typically use a device called a microkeratome with a blade to create and fold back a flap in the cornea. While the traditional system has a low incidence of complications—less than 1 percent—the IntraLase FS is so precise that it virtually eliminates complications associated with the flap.

Dr. Paul Lichter, director of the Kellogg Eye Center, expects to see gradual, widespread adoption of this technology.

"For now, just a few ophthalmology practices have invested in the IntraLase unit," he says. "That will change as consumers demand the most advanced and nearly risk-free technology for vision correction." Lichter says the ultrafast laser also has potential for changing the way physicians perform glaucoma and cornea surgeries.

Development of the laser involved many people from U-M, including Dr. Ron Kurtz while he completed a residency in the Department of Ophthalmology and Tibor Juhasz, associate professor of biomedical engineering and IntraLase cofounder. The Office of Technology Transfer helped bring the concept to market.

For information on LASIK and other refractive surgery options at Kellogg, visit http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/LASIK, call (734) 615-6914 or e-mail lasik@umich.edu.

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