“How long does SMILE® laser surgery take?”

“30 seconds. For a human, that is nearly an eternity” (apologies to Star Trek)

The VISUMAX® 800 laser is about to change that!

Celebrating the arrival of our new, super-fast VISUMAX 800 laser

At the Wellington Eye Centre we are proud to be a leader in the latest technology. That’s why we’re upgrading our VisuMax 500® (which is only 2 years old) to the VISUMAX 800®. We are the first in New Zealand to install the VISUMAX 800 bringing you the latest in ZEISS femtosecond laser technology. 

There are many advances to the new laser including smart robotic assistance, easy patient access and a digitally connected workflow. But we think the biggest advantage to our patients is the speed! The increased laser frequency of the VISUMAX 800 reduces the time to create the lenticule in SMILE® pro from around 27 seconds to less than 10 seconds! And for LASIK the flap creation only takes 5 seconds instead of 17!

Anyone who’s a Star Trek fan (if not, why not?) will know the scene in the film “First Contact” when the Borg Queen has just been totally fritzed after she tried to seduce Lieutenant Data. Captain Picard asks Data if he was tempted by her, and the following exchange takes place.

Lieutenant Commander Data:
And for a time, I was tempted by her offer.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard:
How long a time?

Lieutenant Commander Data:

 0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity.

How does the VISUMAX 800 improve laser eye surgery?

Here at the Wellington Eye Centre, we are totally stoked to be the first laser clinic in New Zealand to install the new VISUMAX 800 laser. ZEISS’s latest and most advanced refractive surgery laser. As the number “800” suggests, it’s a whole lot faster than the VisuMax 500. But in fact, it’s even faster than the difference between those 2 numbers would suggest.

The ”500” laser runs at 500 hertz, while the “800” runs, not at 800 hertz, but at 2000hz. This means that SMILE pro surgery with the VISUMAX takes less than 10 seconds, while LASIK takes only 5 seconds. 10 seconds goes really quickly. So having SMILE pro and LASIK surgery at the Wellington Eye Centre just got a whole lot easier! We are confident that the whole experience will be much better for our patients using the new laser.

Visumax 800 touchscreens

Why we’ve chosen the VISUMAX 800 laser

One of the biggest concerns that people have when going into laser eye surgery is whether they will be able to keep still for long enough while the laser is doing its thing. The VisuMax 500 femtosecond laser is used by most laser clinics in New Zealand to do LASIK surgery and was the only laser available that can do SMILE surgery. The VisuMax 500 takes 27 seconds to perform SMILE surgery and 17 seconds to perform LASIK. 

As you can imagine it’s important to keep really still during laser eye surgery. Any significant head or eye movement can prevent the laser successfully completing treatment. This may require you to come back another day or for a different procedure to be performed. While 30 seconds is not long, when you are having laser eye surgery, it can seem like an eternity! This brings us to our new VISUMAX laser.

Benefits for SMILE pro patients

The significantly shorter treatment time is the biggest advantage of the new laser, especially for SMILE pro patients. However, there are a number of other advances which will improve the results and experience for SMILE pro patients. The most important of these are robotic assistant systems, which manage the centration of the laser treatment on the cornea and control astigmatism treatment.

Benefits for LASIK patients

For patients having LASIK rather than SMILE pro, there are advantages as well. Making the corneal LASIK flap will take only 5 seconds rather 17 seconds with the VisuMax 500. As well as the Mel 90 laser, which does the actual vision correction, will be upgraded to run twice as fast. This means that for a typical Presbyond patient, the laser vision correction procedure will take around 10 to 12 seconds, rather than 20 to 24 seconds.

Benefits of saving time

A shorter suction time creates a more comfortable experience for our patients. It reduces stress or anxiety for the patient. We know it can be scary having laser eye surgery, that’s why we want to give the best experience with the best and latest technology.

Visumax 800 advanced tracking system

How laser eye surgery will improve your life

The benefits of laser eye surgery are different for everyone. It can range from being able to play sports without glasses or contact lenses. Or not having to fumble around in the dark for your glasses to go to the bathroom or check on the kids in the middle of the night. Maybe it’s not having to switch glasses between activities – moving from outdoors or indoors or from reading to watching TV. Whatever your reasons are we want to help you get there so you’re not missing the important moments in life.

Ready to improve your eyesight?

Installing our new VISUMAX laser shows our ongoing commitment to providing the latest technology for our refractive surgery patients. The Wellington Eye Centre was the first New Zealand clinic to do LASIK, and the first to do SMILE, and we are proud to be the first to install the new VISUMAX 800 laser.

If you are interested in having laser eye surgery then book a free assessment or give our friendly team a call on 0800 733 327. We’d love to hear from you!

SMILE®, VISUMAX®, and VisuMax® are registered trademarks of Carl Zeiss Meditec.

Images: copyright by Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Jena, Germany.

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