Editors: H. Burkhard Dick, Ronald D. Gerste, and Tim Schultz
Publisher: Thieme – 206 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

Laser surgery is a type of surgery that uses a laser instead of a scalpel to cut tissue. Laser surgery is commonly used on the eye. Techniques used include LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) which is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia (near-sightedness), hypercopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism (a refractive error in which the eye does not focus evenly on the retina (an inner coat of the eye which is a light-sensitive layer of tissue).

Other types of LASIK surgery are the photorefractive keratectomy, a procedure which permanently reshapes the cornea using an excimer laser to remove a small amount of human tissue, and the laser thermal keratoplasty, in which a ring of concentric burns is made on the cornea, which cause its surface to steepen, allowing better near vision.

Lasers are also used to treat non-refractive conditions, such as: photorefractive keratectomy (PTK) in which opacities and surface irregularities are removed from the cornea; and laser coagulation, in which a laser is used to cauterize blood vessels in the eye, to treat various conditions. Lasers can also be used to repair tears in the retina.

Some of the materials used in laser surgery include: argon, carbon dioxide, and potassium titanyl phosphate, which is a nonlinear optical material.

This book is on various types of laser surgery on the eye. Fifty-three specialists in laser surgery from around the United States and eight other countries – Australia, Austria, Germany, Greece, India, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey – authored the 29 chapters of this book.

We name the chapters below to provide you an overview of what is covered in this book:

  1. Basics of Femtosecond Technology
  2. The Advent of the Femtosecond Laser in Medicine and Ophthalmology
  3. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
  4. All-in-one Femotosecond Refractive Laser Surgery
  5. Pearls in Femtosecond Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) Surgery
  6. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis: Clinical Outcomes
  7. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis: Complications and Management
  8. The Future of Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis: Femtosecond Laser versus Other Technologies
  9. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Keratoplasty: Lamellar Anterior and Posterior
  10. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Keratoplasty: Penetrating with Different Cut Profiles
  11. Correction of Astigmatism with a Femtosecond Laser
  12. Why Femtosecond Laser for Intracorneal Rings?
  13. New Innovative Applications of Femtosecond Laser Technology
  14. Laser’s Place in CXL: Excimer Laser and Refractive Surgery Combined with Corneal Cross-Linking, Femto-LASIK Combined with CXL
  15. The Femtosecond Laser in the Surgical Treatment of Presbyopia in the Cornea: Options and Limitations
  16. The Femtosecond Laser in the Surgical Treatment of Presbyopia in the Lens: Options and Limitations
  17. The Basics of Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery
  18. Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery: Setting and Infrastructure
  19. Crucial Steps I: Capsulotomy
  20. Crucial Steps II: Lens Fragmentation
  21. Crucial Steps III: Corneal Incision, Main and Side
  22. Posterior Capsulotomy, Bag-in-the-Lens and Evolving Techniques
  23. Pediatric Cataract Surgery with the Femtosecond Laser
  24. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery in Ocular Comorbidities
  25. The Rise of the Femto-Intraocular Lens
  26. Incorporating the Femtosecond Laser in Daily Practice
  27. The Femtosecond Laser and the Posterior Segment
  28. Pitfalls: Femtosecond Laser-Induced Complications
  29. The Femtosecond Laser: Future Directions

Video Contents: Seven videos pertaining to procedures covered in this book are available for viewing.   Go to the first page of this book to get the access code, then visit www.MediaCenter.Thieme,com. When prompted during the registration, enter that access code.

The editors write in the Preface: “The femtosecond laser has emerged as a true game changer, first in corneal refractive where it was introduced for flap creation during LASIK and then from 2008 onward, in cataract surgery. In the industrialized world, cataract surgery is the most frequently performed invasive procedure, far ahead of the implantation of artificial hips and knees as well as of the removal of inflamed appendices and gall bladders. Only the number of extracted teeth might in some countries exceed the number of implanted ocular lens. It is common knowledge these days that cataract surgery is always a refractive surgery.”

“Femtosecond laser promises unsurpassed precision, particularly when creating capsulotomies; it seems to be safe and sometimes maybe safer (as studies in endothelial cell loss seem to indicate) than conventional phacoemulsification – and, speaking of phaco, it might make ultrasound application superfluous in many cases. What is truly fascinating about femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (LCS)? We have a genuine all-comers approach, we have a technology that benefits virtually everybody due to its high precision, safety, and excellent results in the hands of an experienced surgeon.”

Among the key features of this volume are the following:

  • Clinical pearls, outcomes, and complications management in femtosecond laser-assisted in situ keratomilieusis surgery
  • Discussion of crucial steps including capsulotomy, lens fragmentation, and corneal incisions
  • The use of femtosecond Laser for prebyopia, pediatric cataract surgery and ocular comorbidities
  • Extensive videos in ThiemeMediaCenter.com that further elucidate techniques
  • More than 300 high-quality illustrations and photos that ad a rich visual dimension

This is an excellent, pioneering, and extensive text on the introduction, spread, and work-in-progress of femtosecond laser technology and surgery in ophthalmology.



Burkhard Dick, MD, PhD is Director of the University Eye Clinic and Chair of Ophthalmology at the University of Bochum in Bochum, Germany.

Ronald D. Gerste, MD, PhD is an Ophthalmologist, Historian, and Science Writer in North Potomac, Maryland.

Tim Schultz, MD, FEBO is an Ophthalmologist at University Hospital Bochum in Bochum, Germany.