One of the major breakthroughs in the history of refractive surgery in Nepal occurred in 2003 when the Nepal Eye Program, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) Refractive Surgery services was started. TIO has played a vital role in the development and advancement of eye care services, including refractive surgery, in Nepal. It has contributed to train Nepali ophthalmologists in the latest surgical techniques and has been instrumental in conducting research and spreading awareness about refractive surgery within the country.
Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology has introduced refractive surgery (PRK) in 2003, Dr Reeta Gurung, was Nepal’s first refractive surgeon, she had operated more than 500 Laser eye surgery to make people see the world without heavy spectacles and contact lenses, later on TIO trained other ophthalmologists.
Over the years, several types of refractive surgeries have been introduced and practiced in Worldwide and Nepal. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and ReLex Smile has been one of the most commonly performed procedures. In LASIK, a thin flap is created on the cornea, and the underlying tissue is reshaped using an excimer laser to correct the refractive error. Other procedures like photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), ICL, also have also gained popularity.
With advancements in technology and surgical techniques, refractive surgery in Nepal has become safer, more accurate, and accessible to a wider population, TIO had upgraded the technology in 2012 with Visumax 500 and MEL 80, more than 12000 were successfully performed. The increasing number of trained refractive surgeon and the availability of advanced equipment have contributed to the growth of refractive surgery services across the country.
In the June 2023 TIO has introduced Zeiss Visumax 800 which is most advanced and recent refractive surgery technique, for the first time in Nepal and started performing ReLEx SMILE Pro surgery in Nepal. ReLEx SMILE PRO® is the world’s first robotic laser vision correction system. ReLEx® SMILE Pro offers various advantages such as a very fast action time of up to 8 seconds per eye (Extra Fast). Higher security (Safer) with a combination of robotic arm technology and AI systems for integration of pre-operation support data to minimize risk. At the same time, giving convenience to the patient.