Refractive corneal surgery is a specific discipline of ocular microsurgery, which reshapes the surface of the cornea, thereby influencing the refraction of light that passes through it and consequently resolving visual defects.
Reshaping the surface of the cornea can only be entrusted to the expert hands of one with experience in this very specific specialty of ophthalmic surgery. Dr. Pinelli has always believed in the importance of eliminating surgery in the treatment of vision disorders and has developed a “no touch” approach for corneal modification that uses three different light sources and does not use surgical knives or instruments. For this reason, it may be defined as “non-surgical”. The photons, particles of light, are sent to the corneal surface to modify its curvature in a very natural and completely non-invasive manner, respecting the structure of the eye, which is therefore not subjected to even the slightest trauma.
The Femtolasik Lux®, the Pinelli Presby Profile® and the ASA Lux® were developed and first introduced in Europe by Dr. Roberto Pinelli: they all share the fact that they use the excimer laser, a particularly precise beam of light that is directed onto the cornea according to a specific algorithm. This is then fine-tuned to take into account the patient’s many ocular parameters, which are accurately measured during the patient suitability assessment.
In particular, the Femtolasik Lux® and the Pinelli Presby Profile® also use femtosecond light pulses to lift the corneal epithelium without cutting it. For this reason, these “no touch” techniques may effectively be considered “non-surgical” procedures. The Pinelli Presby Profile® is indicated for the treatment of presbyopia, while the Femtolasik Lux® is indicated for resolving short-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism.
The ASA Lux® offers a valid alternative to the Femtolasik Lux® when the patient’s corneal surface is excessively thin. The ASA Lux® has been used far less since Dr. Pinelli introduced the Femtolasik Lux®, because the latter is also indicated for patients who in the past were considered unsuitable for LASIK treatment due to their low corneal thickness.
The Switzerland Eye Research Institute in Lugano was the first centre to introduce a femtosecond laser in the Canton of Ticino. This enables Dr. Pinelli to shape the cornea without making any incisions and with a level of accuracy and safety for the patient never before achieved.
Corneal cross-linking for the treatment of keratoconus also falls within the range of techniques for refractive corneal surgery, as this disease alters one or more corneal areas inducing a conical shape resulting in blurred vision. This is due to the simultaneous presence of short-sightedness and astigmatism, which in most patients worsen over time.
Osmotic transepithelial corneal cross-linking developed by Dr. Roberto Pinelli does not necessitate removal of the corneal epithelium. It is totally pain-free and may be repeated. The synergy between UV-A rays and the ParaCel® eye drops, devised and developed by Dr. Pinelli, creates new bonds between the collagen fibers of the cornea, strengthens it, and prevents the need for the dreaded corneal transplant, traditionally considered the inevitable outcome of progressive keratoconus.
Osmotic transepithelial corneal cross-linking is therefore not a treatment to eliminate keratoconus, but rather is a therapy to halt its development and thus avoid corneal transplantation, which is understandably a source of considerable worry for keratoconus patients.
The bilateral nature of the procedures, the absence of pain, immediate discharge from the clinic and the rapid recovery of eyesight are characteristics that are common across the range of different corneal refractive surgery techniques offered by SERI Lugano. These characteristics are therefore part of all the photon-based procedures for the elimination of vision disorders and presbyopia, and in the treatment of keratoconus.