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In January 1993, the Eye Institute became the first university teaching facility in Canada to obtain an Excimer laser and evaluate its use for the treatment of myopic, hyperopic, presbyopia and astigmatic refractive errors.

The Excimer laser program at the Eye Institute has become recognized internationally for its clinical and basic research results. Our researchers have worked closely with AMO/VISX and have been the beta testing site for new software and new hardware. Our researchers have developed new software for treating highly aberrated eyes in partnership with AMO/VISX.

In 1994, the Institute received the first STAR Excimer laser system and now the most recent system installed is the STAR S4-IR with VSS (variable spot scanning technology), VRR (variable repetition rate), iris registration, cyclotorsional tracking, auto-centration and has full Wavefront guided capabilities.

The Eye Institute was the first AMO/VISX site to treat patients with hyperopia (farsightedness), hyperopic astigmatism, and to evaluate a smoother treatment profile.

Most recently, the Eye Institute has been using the new Wavefront technology to evaluate patients and to plan their treatment using custom designed software. The first WaveScan-guided hyperopic treatments were performed at the Eye Institute as well as the first high myopes with astigmatism.

In the fall of 2007, the Eye Institute became the first University centre in Canada to receive the IntraLase femtosecond laser and will be using it for IntraLASIK, an all laser vision correction procedure as well as for advanced corneal surgery including corneal transplants.

To date, over 6,000 patients have been treated at the Institute and the Excimer laser program has become one of the major clinical and basic research foci.

Research projects include:

  • Evaluation of different ablation patterns creating asphericity of the cornea for presbyopic treatments;
  • Extensive analysis of Wavefront based treatments with LASIK, PRK, ASA, LASEK and Epi-LASIK;
  • Corneal wound healing following refractive surgery;
  • Evaluation of PRK versus LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis);
  • Evaluation of Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) techniques
    (Epi-PRK & EK-PRK)
  • LASIK (laser assisted keratomileusis);
  • Wavefront imaging
  • Evaluation of a new AMO excimer laser
  • Evaluation of surface ablation and LASIK using the femtosecond laser (IntraLase)

To see if you would qualify as a patient for refractive surgery and enrol in one of our research programs at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute, The Ottawa Hospital (General Campus), please call 613-737-8657 for more information and an appointment for assessment.