In biology class we were gong over the anatomy of the human eye, when Dr. Cha our teacher began to explain to use the risks and danger of laser eye surgery. Being a farsighted person (myopia) that constantly needs to put on glass and contacts laser eye surgery seemed like the perfect solution. My doctor has even told me that I had to wait for my eyes to stabilize, before I would get the surgery. But after hearing all of Dr. Cha concerns with laser eye surgery, I decided that I needed to do more research on the topic.
The first step of the surgery is to apply anesthetizing drops, then the surgeon makers the eye to indicate where the flap will be cut and then replaced. A suction ring holds the eye still and pressurizes it so it is firm enough to cut. Then a micokeratome slices a tiny flap in the cornea. The flap is moved out of the way but is still attached, and then the finally the laser removes tissue to reshape the cornea. The flap is replace on the eye. The link has video demonstration of the laser surgery. Some of the sides’ affects are infection and night glare, which are starbursts or halos when the patients are looking at night-lights especially when driving. Also it is possible that the surgery not takes affect and the visions of the patients worsen. So is it worth the risk? I think it is because I believe that the risk do not over power the benefits of having good vision. There are many professional benefits to having the surgery, especially for surgeons and pilots.
However, these implications got me thinking about the limitations of laser surgery. Through further researcher I discover that at the moment there is a laser eye surgery that can change the color of the eye to what ever color the patients wants. BBC News did a story on Dr. Gregg Holmer an American that is conducting clinical trials to study the effects of the surgery.
The process involves a computerized scanning system that takes a picture of the iris and works out which areas to treat. The laser is then fired. The laser agitates the pigment on the surface of the iris,” Dr Homer – the firm’s chairman and chief scientific officer – told the BBC. “We use two frequencies that are absorbed by dark pigment, and it is fully absorbed so there is no danger of damage to the rest of the eye. “It heats it up and changes the structure of the pigment cells. The body recognises they are damaged tissue and sends out a protein. This recruits another feature that is like little pac-men that digest the tissue at a molecular level.”.Since the pigment – called melanin – does not regenerate the treatment is irreversible.Lasers are already used to remove the substance in skin to help treat brown spots and freckles. Some of the limitations of this surgery however they haven’t been completely identified, further research has to be done.
There are many implication to this surgery, it causes us to question how far we will go to benefit our appearance, to what point are our the risk less important then our appearance? Also it causes us to think about te future of science, how will the science advance to further our cosmetic appearance? Through some of the research I found that a laser surgery that causes the eye to be completely white taking away all of the small red line. Just like other surgery there are many risks.
“Doctor Trials laser treatment to change eye colour.” BBC Media News Technology. 5 11 2011: n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15596885>.
Handrill, Marilyn. “LASIK Risks and Complication.” All About Vision. n.d. n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/lasik_complication_1.htm>.
“Laser Eye Surgery: Risks and COmplications Exposed.” Laser Eye Surgery Hub. 26 10 2010: n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.lasereyesurgeryhub.com/laser-eye-surgery-risks-complications-exposed>.
Feig, Christy. “Clearing up picture on laser eye surgery.” CNN Health. n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://articles.cnn.com/2003-02-26/health/laser.eye.surgery_1_astigmatism-eye-surgery-eye-doctors?_s=PM:HEALTH>.