Defining wavefront lasik eye surgery

Traditional lasik surgery relies mostly on the skill of the surgeon and how accurate his measurements of the cornea are. New technology has brought a new advancement in lasik vision correction. Wavefront lasik is lasik surgery that adds the use of what is called a mapping technique. This addition makes the surgeon’s job easier and the results much better. Wavefront technology has brought a new dimension in lasik eye surgery.

Wavefront lasik uses technology that is the same as what is used to look at images in space from telescopes. The advantage of wavefront is that it allows a doctor to see the whole picture in regards to the cornea. The cornea is the clear lens on your eye that is mainly responsible for sending images to the retina which then tells your brain so you can see. When someone has a vision problem and cannot see properly it is normally the result of the cornea being misshaped. In traditional lasik the surgeon can see the major distortions in the cornea, but with wavefront lasik the surgeon can see the majority of distortions including the very fine and small ones. What this means for the patient is that the outcome of their lasik surgery will be better. A common missed problem involves subtle problems in the cornea that without wavefront would not be detected. These subtle differences are what cause after effects like halos and starbursts and difficulty seeing in low light after traditional lasik surgery. Wavefront lasik has been approved by the FDA. In fact there are three different systems that have FDA approval. In studies verses traditional lasik, wavefront lasik has been found to achieve a 10 to 14 percent improvement in the success rate of achieving 20/20 vision. Wavefront adds a tremoundous advantage to lasik surgery in terms of final results.

Wavefront technology is not actually used during the surgery. It is part of the initial consultation. At that time the doctor measures the cornea and makes a determination if the patient is a suitable candidate for lasik. The way wavefront works is actually quite simple. It uses a laser beam of light that shines through the cornea to the retina and back. It is the way this beam is reflected and changed through this process that tells the surgeon what is wrong with the cornea. It translates all of this information into a formula that the surgeon uses to program the laser for the actual surgery. This information tells the laser how much and where to shape the cornea. The use of wavefront does not change the lasik experience for the patient, but only improves on the results a surgeon can achieve.

Just as in traditional lasik there are some people who are just not suited to receive wavefront lasik. Wavefront lasik results in removal of more corneal tissue than traditional lasik because of all the minor distortions it is able to correct, so people with thin corneas may experience problems. Also people who do not normally qualify for traditional lasik, such as those with dry eyes and eye disorders would still not be qualified for wavefront. The long term effects of all lasik surgeries are not completely known because it is a new procedure and not had enough time for long term studies. At this time it is not known if the benefits of wavefront will last over a long period of time.

Wavefront lasik adds more reliability and predictability to lasik procedures. It also helps people who have been turned down for traditional lasik due to severe cornea distortion become qualified. Wavefront lasik the same as traditional lasik can not guarantee a perfect result, but wavefront does offer hope of avoiding some of the complications associated with traditional lasik.

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