Z-LASIK or ‘Ziemer LASIK’ is a new type of laser for corrective eye surgery which is considered to be safer and more accurate than ever.

This is the latest version of the ‘femtosecond’  laser: a type of laser which emits light pulses in incredibly short bursts which creates a thin flap in the corneal tissue. This flap is wafer thin and easily lifted away from the surface of the eye to allow the laser to reshape the cornea.

What is a ‘femtosecond?’

This refers to the duration of each laser pulse. A femtosecond is as you might imagine, an extremely short period of time which is equivalent to one billionth of one millionth of a second.

It is difficult to imagine how quick that is.

But we do know that this laser is one of the quickest in the laser eye surgery field. It emits laser pulses 10 times quicker than a conventional laser which minimises any post-surgery complications.

At present there are only two Ziemer lasers in the UK.

The advantage of this laser and other femtosecond lasers is that they are ‘blade free’ which means greater safety and comfort for the patient and a better result.

Advantages of Z-LASIK

Z-LASIK has the following advantages:

  • Accurate: this laser makes a small flap in the corneal tissue which can be lifted to one side, enabling access to the cornea. The cornea is smooth and dry and in the best condition to receive the laser. This means accurate reshaping and improved vision.
  • Safe: femtosecond lasers such as Z-LASIK are ‘bladeless’ which reduces the risks of certain complications and speeds up the recovery time. It is quick, painless and safe.
  • Quick: this laser emits ultra-short pulses which speed up the procedure which means minimal side effects.

The Z-LASIK procedure

The surgeon will numb the eye with anaesthetic drops and may fasten a special eye-clip to prevent you from blinking your eye during the procedure.

He/she will make a small, thin flap in the corneal tissue. This is lifted to one side to allow the Ziemer laser to reshape the cornea.

Once this is done, the flap is placed back over the cornea. Stitches are not required as this flap will naturally bond with the cornea.

The surgeon will put antibiotic drops in your eye to prevent the risk of infection.


Your treated eye will be covered with a protective pad which you need to wear for the first 24 hours after surgery. You may experience some mild pain or discomfort but painkillers will control this.

Arrange for someone to drive you home after this procedure.

You will be given antibiotic eye drops to take home with you which will help to prevent an infection. They also help with the healing process.

For the first few days after surgery you must not rub or touch your treated eye. Try to avoid getting soap or shampoo in it and avoid contact sports.

It can help to wear dark glasses for the first few days as your treated eye will be sensitive to the sun or the environment in general.

There will be some blurring of your vision for the first few days after surgery but this will settle down after a short period of time.

Side effects of Z-LASIK

Surgery is safe but no procedure is risk free. There are a few side effects after Z-LASIK which includes:

  • A ‘halo’ or ‘starburst’ effect when looking at bright lights.
  • Dry eye/s
  • Dropping eyelid

These tend to clear up after a period of time.

Complications are rare but do happen and include:

  • A return of your short-sightedness
  • Scarring of your cornea
  • Problems with the corneal flap
  • Damage to the cornea
  • Over or under correction of your short-sightedness

Reduced vision or blindness is very rare.

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