Femtosecond Laser Assisted Corneal Transplant Surgery

The femtosecond laser (FSL) is a near-infrared laser that is successfully used to create precise lamellar flap LASIK and is also used in modern cataract surgery. Rather than preparing the corneal transplant graft with a traditional trephine (a specialized circular blade) as in standard transplantation techniques, both the patient and the recipient cornea are fashioned with the laser. This allows the construction of customized graft shapes for both donor and recipient The femtosecond laser can be used for PKP and DALK to customize the graft shape.

This procedure can potentially give the following benefits:

  • Wound stability enhanced.
  • Faster and strong healing.
  • Corneal irregularity and astigmatism reduced.
  • Number of sutures and suture tension reduced allowing earlier removal of the sutures.

Vincenzo Maurino has extensive experience is a pioneer and world-class expert of femtosecond laser assisted corneal graft surgery. He has been invited to several international meetings to present is work on femtosecond laser corneal graft surgery which has also been published in peer reviewed ophthalmic journals.

Femtosecond laser mushroom configuration corneal transplant donor and recipient. On the right an eye 12 months after femtosecond laser mushroom shaped corneal transplant for keratoconus.

Femtosecond Laser Assisted Corneal Transplant Surgery

Laser assisted corneal transplants are performed in two stages. In the first, the patient undergoes the femtosecond laser-assisted pre-cut procedure in the laser room. This procedure is done under anaesthetic drops and takes approximately 60 seconds. The patient is then transported to the operating room, for the main surgery performed under general or local anaesthetic for the conclusion of the transplant procedure. The operation takes about one hour. A central 8mm button of the patient’s cornea is removed and a similar-sized button of the donor cornea previously cut with femtosecond laser is stitched in with tiny stitches. These cannot be felt nor seen.  Risks and visual recovery are similar to DALK and PKP.