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India’s second blade-free lasik surgery comes to Kerala

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Eye care is all set to become a key revenue earner for the flourishing medical tourism of God’s Own Country with the most advanced systems in eye surgery being installed and offered at very cheap rates in comparison to other cities in India and abroad. Giving a major fillip to the medical tourism sector, the super speciality Mulamoottil Eye Hospital, at Kozhencherry in Central Kerala, which is already a favourite destination for large number of foreign patients especially from the Middle East and NRIs, is now bringing the totally blade-free Lasik surgery first time to the State. Kerala, abundantly blessed with hot tourist destinations and equipped with superior world-class treatment facilities, has always attracted medical tourists. With the launch of this blade-free lasik surgery from this month, the State is expected to witness a spurt in tourist inflow. According to Dr. Ashley Jacob, Medical Director, Mulamoottil Eye Hospital, “it is the first time this kind of surgery is launched in Kerala and we are offering very affordable pricing for the patients. This is the second such facility in India after the first installation in Bangalore two months back. A pioneer in many state-of-the-art systems and equipped with the latest in technology, Mulamoottil Hospital has a family tradition in eye care dating back to 1885. Located near to river Pampa and having an international guest house for outstation patients, the hospital has become a favourite place especially for NRIs. Presently many hospitals perform the partially blade-free surgery where a computerized metallic blade is used for cutting the flap of cornea and correcting the lens power by re-shaping the remaining cornea with laser treatment. Cutting the flap with blade may cause problems in the long run as the wounds made with a metallic tool will not join as before and this may weaken the cornea after a few years. In blade free- flap free Lasik method, the surgery is being performed with laser beams through a laser window. Commenting on the technological aspect, Dr. Jacob said, “In conventional blade and laser method, there will be a tissue loss of cornea to the extent of 150 microns whereas in flap-free blade-free Lasik surgery, it comes down 80 microns. Lasik surgery helps to correct up to 12 dioptre (lens power) while conventional surgery can help only up to 6 dioptre. The surgery will offer a spectacle-free life to most of the patients suffering from myopia. It can also be used for correcting astigmatism. Moreover, the surgery will be over in eight to ten minutes and the patient can go back to his normal routine.” The system being imported for totally blade-free flap-free surgery is Alcon Wavelight Refractive Suite and it is one of the best in the world. In conventional methods a 270 degree cut (25 mm incision) is made in cornea whereas in this method the cut is only 10 degree which results in a 2 mm laser window. Internationally, it is the latest technology for treating myopia, long sight, astigmatism etc. The cost of this treatment will be far lesser than the national and international rates. The lasik blade-free surgery at Mulamoottil Eye Hospital costs Rs 60,000 compared to Rs 85,000 in Bangalore and $2,200 in the US and

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