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The technology used in all laser LASIK procedures can be used to assist in surgeries for patients in need of cornea transplants. The technology which enables infrared lasers to create precise cuts in the corneas of LASIK patients can also be used in surgeries to assist patients in need of a cornea transplant to reduce the healing time required by the patients.
Approximately 105,000 cornea transplants take place each year. Prior to the use of infrared lasers in these procedures, a trephine was used to make the necessary cuts in the cornea of the donor and the eye of the recipient. This technique required longer recovery times and the potential for astigmatism after the procedure if the eye did not heal properly. However, the use of lasers to create precise incisions on the donor's cornea, as well as the recipient's eye enables the donated cornea to match more precisely to the recipient's eye. As a result, the patient heals more quickly and with fewer complications.