LASIK’s New Vision: Consumer Advisory

LASIK vision correction is an outpatient procedure that can offer lifelong positive changes. High-tech innovations and new surgical techniques have transformed the field, with new, safer, more accurate treatment options and far fewer complications. 

“All LASIK is not the same. Outcomes can vary with the expertise of the surgeon and the state of the laser technology offered,” explains Martin Fox, MD, FACS, leading refractive and corneal surgeon and an early LASIK pioneer. It’s important for those considering the procedure to educate themselves thoroughly by researching doctors' track records and the technologies they use.” 

"There are no medical treatments that are completely free of potential complications, however, the incidence of reported problems remains under 2% when the latest technologies are applied with skilled hands," said Dr. Fox. “9 million Americans have had LASIK to date. The procedure remains one of the safest surgeries available and outcomes have continued to improve over time.” 

LASIK’s safety and efficacy is well-documented by a vast body of scientific literature - more than 7,000 studies have been conducted over more than 20 years, including clinical trials from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as independent studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense. “Patient screening is everything,” Dr. Fox explains. "Consumers should make sure they are evaluated by experienced professionals using the most up-to-date technologies to determine if LASIK is right for them.” 
Dr. Fox notes that consumers should: 

Keep in mind that LASIK is not for everyone. A refractive surgeon should be open and realistic with about possible alternatives and any potential risks. 

Technologies and terms consumers should look for when researching LASIK: 
Bladeless LASIK 
Uses a femtosecond laser (the IntraLase FS®)to create the LASIK “flap” rather than a blade. It is safer and offers faster healing times with better outcomes. 
Customized LASIK / Wavefront iDesign: Three-dimensional analysis maps the interior and exterior of the eye in detail. Measurements plot the way light enters each eye and determines their unique focusing imperfections and existing refractive errors. Used by the excimer laser, which reshapes the cornea. 

Idesign is the current version of Wavefront. It is 500% more accurate and provides precise, predictable outcomes. 

There are three types of custom LASIK: 

1) Wavefront-guided LASIK: Maps the interior and exterior of the eye to customize a personalized laser vision correction treatment. 

2) Wavefront-optimized LASIK: Maps the curvature of the front surface of the eye to preserve the natural shape of one’s cornea. Reduces the post-surgical risk of halos around lights and other potential night vision problems. 

3) Topography-guided LASIK: Maps the surface of the cornea to correct vision problems caused by corneal irregularities (including corneal scars) in addition to refractive errors.

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