Wavefront-guided LASIK surgery is made possible with use of various excimer laser systems that reshape the cornea based on a three-dimensional Wavefront map of your eyes' irregularities. Several custom LASIK systems are currently approved for use in the United States.
LASIK surgery is a two-part procedure that involves the creation of a corneal flap, which requires an incision in the cornea (the clear layer of tissue that protects the eye). After the flap is made in the outermost layers of the cornea, the surgeon can ablate underlying layers of corneal tissue away to produce clear vision in patients.
The custom LASIK procedure refers to LASIK surgery that incorporates use of WaveFront mapping technology to measure the imperfections that impair a person's vision. Before the surgeon creates the corneal flap and reshapes the cornea, a WaveFront map of the patient's eyes is taken. The map is then used to guide the excimer laser in reshaping to cornea to produce clear vision in patients.
The VISXTM Star S4 and WaveScan WaveFront System was approved by the FDA in 2003 for myopia with or without astigmatism; the VISXTM Star S4 IR and CustomVueTM was approved by the FDA in 2005 for myopia with or without astigmatism and hyperopia with certain degrees of astigmatism and mixed astigmatism. Some of the benefits of these custom LASIK systems include:
- Tracks Eye Movement: The VISXTM CustomVueTM and WaveFront system features the exclusive ActiveTrakTM method of tracking the patient's eye movements in three dimensions and centering the laser beam to provide precise results.
- Smoother Corneal Ablation: The developers of the CustomVueTM system focused on achieving an extremely smooth corneal ablation, which is associated with superior healing and better visual outcomes. A unique feature of this system is its ability to use a variety of laser beam shapes, depending on the patient's needs, to deliver more precise treatment.
- Quick Treatment: In addition, the custom LASIK procedure is quick, enhancing patient comfort and reducing the risk of complications. No pupil dilation is required, simplifying recovery.
- Lower Risk of Side Effects: CustomVueTM has also been shown to have a lower incidence of LASIK complications such as glare and problems with night vision.
The LADARVision® CustomCornea® system was FDA approved in 2002 for the treatment of myopic vision with or without astigmatism; the custom LASIK system was approved for treatment of hyperopia and hyperopic astigmatism in 2006. The system incorporates use of modern technology to complete the three-part custom LASIK procedure: the wavefront scan that produces a three-dimensional map of visual irregularities, the creation of the corneal flap, and the reshaping of the cornea with an excimer laser.
The LADARVision® CustomCornea® system employs use of technology that measures your eyes' unique irregularities. Once the imperfections of the eyes are recorded, this data is transferred to the laser system so the cornea is accurately reshaped during surgery. The surgeon can then create the corneal flap and remove fine layers of corneal tissue.
The CustomCornea® system was designed to perfectly align treatment with the cornea; in past LASIK procedures, misaligned treatment led to disappointing surgical results. The system incorporates use of the LADARtrackerTM, which tracks eye movements 4,000 times a second in case the patient moves or unfocuses the eyes during the custom LASIK procedure. The laser is a small-spot, cool-beam, scanning laser that delivers tiny, overlapping spots of treatment to the cornea, reshaping it bits at a time.
LADARVision® CustomCornea® Benefits
The CustomCornea® system offers a decreased risk of side effects such as glare, halos, poor night vision, and double vision when compared to the conventional LASIK procedure. It has also been shown to consistently provide better results than traditional LASIK, in terms of both visual acuity and crispness and clarity of vision.
ALLEGRETTO WAVE® System
The Alcon ALLEGRETTO WAVE® Eye-Q excimer laser eye surgery system is approved for use in Europe and the United States. This custom laser vision correction system effectively treats both nearsightedness and farsightedness. The WaveLight ALLEGRETTO WAVE® scanning spot laser was FDA approved to correct myopia and hyperopia in 2003, and FDA approved to treat mixed astigmatism in 2006. The WaveLight ALLEGRETTO WAVE® with Allegro Analyzer (excimer laser and wavefront system) was approved by the FDA in 2006 for treatment of myopia with or without astigmatism, and was approved by the FDA in 2007 for mixed astigmatism.
ALLEGRETTO WAVE® System Benefits
The ALLEGRETTO WAVE® custom LASIK system utilizes PerfectPulse TechnologyTM, a method of delivering controlled beams of laser energy to precise locations on the cornea. This system is also capable of treating a larger area within the eye's treatment zone, minimizing the chance of side effects such as glare, halos, and night vision problems. In addition, its active eye tracker reads patients' eye movements 200 times per second. Rapid treatment has been shown not only to decrease patients' stress and anxiety, but is also associated with increased predictability, as well as a reduced chance of complications.
The Allegretto system is also superior in its ability to compensate for the cornea's naturally aspheric shape. Rather than creating a clearly defined edge between the treated and untreated areas, the laser automatically adjusts according to the cornea's curvature, preserving its spherical shape to a degree never before possible.
Worldwide, Technolas® lasers are used in more custom LASIK procedures than any other type of laser. The ZyoptixTM system was developed with a focus on accuracy, an extremely smooth corneal surface, and highly predictable improvements. In the United States, the Bausch & Lomb Technolas® 217A and Technolas® 217z Zyoptix were FDA approved to treat myopia in 2000; In 2003, the FDA approved the use of the laser plus a wavefront device to guide the laser, as well as use of these devices for the treatment of hyperopia. The Bausch and Lomb Advanced Control Eyetracking (rotating eye tracking technology) was approved for use with Technolas® lasers in 2009.
Technolas® ZyoptixTM System Benefits
This Bausch and Lomb laser system is able to treat a wide area, so patients with large pupils or high degrees of myopia or astigmatism can be effectively treated. The system also features a feedback mechanism that maintains quality control throughout the custom LASIK procedure by monitoring the accuracy of each laser pulse. In studies, the Technolas® Zyoptix® system has been shown to produce impressive results with a high degree of predictability and patient satisfaction. Further, use of the Technolas® Zyoptix® machine is associated with fewer post-surgical side effects such as night vision disturbances.
Another advantage of the Bausch and Lomb custom LASIK system is that these devices not only correct lower order aberrations such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, they also address higher order aberrations that cause starburst, halos, glare, and difficulty seeing at night.
Contact a LASIK Surgeon
Contact a local LASIK surgeon to find out if you are a good candidate for treatment.