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Hospital to offer non-invasive laser eye surgery technique

Update: July, 07/2012 - 10:51

HCM CITY — A minimally invasive laser eye-surgery technique used to treat myopia and myopic astigmatism is being offered for the first time in the country at a HCM City hospital.

Speaking at a workshop on refractive eye surgery held in HCM City on Thursday, Dr Tran Hai Yen, deputy head of HCM City Eye Hospital, said the hospital was using the ReLEx SMILE procedure to correct refractive errors in the eye.

With this technique, doctors can avoid complications that can occur with other laser surgery procedures such as LASIK. It also significantly reduces the risk of dry eyes after surgery and enhances corneal structural stability. The ReLEx (refractive lenticule extraction) SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) technique is performed with the Visumax femtosecond laser, which only 50 hospitals in the world use.

During the surgery, a small 4-5 mm incision is made on the surface of the cornea using the femtosecond (ultra-fast) laser.

The laser is used to cut out a lens-shaped section from the interior of the cornea, and the section is then removed with a small tool.

The cost of VND70 million (US$3,333), however, is higher than the other laser procedures. The ReLEx procedure has been used on about 40 patients at HCM City Eye hospital.

Patients were able to resume work the day after surgery, Yen said.

According to Dr Tran Anh Tuan, the hospital's head, 11,000 patients per year have some kind of eye surgery at the hospital.

Many people travel to Thailand for surgery because they want to have more advanced procedures, such as the ReLex SMILE surgery.

With the surgery now being offered in Viet Nam, patients can save on expenses.

The workshop attracted more than 100 ophthalmologists from hospitals nationwide. — VNS

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