Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message

Type the characters you see below
captcha

11

The New Wave: Wavefront LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) laser eye surgery has been known for helping people achieve that much desired 20/20 vision. While LASIK still remains popular and in demand, there is a new treatment that is touted to be superior to the conventional LASIK laser eye surgery.

The new treatment called wavefront-guided LASIK is a customized laser vision correction system for nearsighted patients. It can measure and correct unique imperfections in your vision. The customized measurements and treatment plan help you regain that 20/20 vision or even better without relying on glasses or contact lenses.

Normally, the wavefront of the eye has a flat surface since light rays travel uniformly through the eye. However, when you have an imperfect eye, the wavefront map becomes wavy since some light rays reach the retina ahead of the others while some hit the retina at different locations.

Conventional LASIK laser eye surgery relies on your eye glass prescription without measuring the wavefront. On the other hand, wavefront LASIK measures the wavefront and the focusing errors in the eye. This is done by looking into the light while the wavefront device uses a camera sensor to measure the light rays that reflect out of the eye. A virtual map exhibiting the precise locations and extent of the visual aberrations are generated.

Here are some things you can expect if you undergo the wavefront LASIK laser eye surgery:

•    You will be asked to stare down a wavefront analyser to give you a preview of your potential vision and to take pre-operative measurements.

•    Your eye surgeon may opt to create a trial lens that will incorporate the correction your eyes need. The lens will be fitted into a trial frame to give you an idea of what your new and improved vision will be like.

•    The entire wavefront LASIK laser eye surgery procedure only takes about 10 minutes.

•    A microscopically thin and hinged flap will be cut on the top of your cornea with the use of the precision instrument microkeratome or lately it is created using state of the art femtosecond laser. The flap will be carefully peeled back.

•    The image of the wavefront will be transferred into a computer that controls the excimer laser. The computer will superimpose the map over the eye to enable the eye surgeon to adjust the laser to address the imperfections.

•    The eye surgeon will zap the cornea with a series of rapid pulses from the laser. This will remove small and precise amounts of the corneal tissue and reshape the corneal tissue to correct astigmatism and nearsightedness. .

•    You need not worry about the safety of the wavefront LASIK laser eye surgery. The excimer laser light does not penetrate into the eye, ensuring that other parts of the eye remain untouched.

•    After the procedure, the flap will be replaced and the natural suction of the eyes will allow it to heal without stitches.

•    This procedure may also be ideal for persons who underwent refractive surgery but continue to suffer from halos, distortions and glares.

Wavefront LASIK laser eye surgery may be a bit more expensive than the conventional LASIK surgery. Both procedures are usually not covered by health insurance plans. But with the benefits they provide, they are definitely worth the try.

We have seen thousands of patients that have had traditional LASIK and Wavefront Assisted LASIK.  What is certain is that on average the patient that has the Wavefront procedure does see slightly better, especially in dim light.  Given a choice between the two procedures we definitely recommend the Wavefront treatment.

About the Author

Dr Jim Kokkinakis (Optometrist) graduated in 1983 from the Optometry School University of NSW. He is currently a Senior Lecturer there and regular speaker to both Optometrists and Ophthalmologists in Australia and Internationally. He has a specialist clinical practice in the Sydney CBD with interests in Eye Strain, Computer Vision problems, Treatment of Eye Diseases and complex Contact lens Fittings.

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Marietta says:

    Thanks for the detailed overview. My doctor just talked to me about Wavefront LASIK today. This was the first site I have come across that actually goes through what’s going to happen! Thanks so much!

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

      Our pleasure. Even though most people choose not to have laser eye surgery due to fear of something going wrong. It is a good procedure most of the time.

  2. Ebony says:

    I wasnt eligible for PRK due to having an extremely steep eyeball curvature in both eyes and a thin cornea, would i be eligible to get Wavefront done? When I lived in the UK they were going to perform wavefront on me but i couldnt get it done due to the cost and having no way of getting home after the procedure other then public transport which they advised against. When i asked about wavefront a couple of weeks ago at my consultation to get PRK the opthomologist in Queensland said wavefront was old and that it couldnt help me, is this true?

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

      Hi Ebony
      If you were not eligible for PRK in the UK, it is unlikely you will be eligible for Wavefront. You probably were not eligible for LASIK and possibly eligible for Wavefront – this would make more sense. The best thing to do is to have another consultation with an accredited laser eye surgeon. We will be happy to help you with a referral if you are not sure where to go.

  3. Ebony says:

    Thanks Jim

    I was eligible in the UK for Wavefront but when i returned to Australia they told me i wasnt eligible for any type of laser surgery and when i asked about wavefront they told me wavefront was old. So im a little confused…how was i eligible for wavefront in the UK but in Australia they tell me no laser surgery is suitable for me… and then im told in Australia that wavefront is old and couldnt help me…even though i was eligible for it overseas.

  4. Mike W (http://www NULL.mikeslasikhell NULL.com) says:

    You mentioned in a previous comment that it is a good procedure most of the time. What options exist for those who have had traditional LASIK, wavefront LASIK enhancements, and still suffer from poor vision? I have been unable to see clearly for more than 4 years since I underwent my first LASIK procedure in 2010. I never experienced a single day of clear or correctable vision after undergoing LASIK. Commercially available contact lenses and glasses do not correct my vision now. Scleral lenses provide limited improvement. Are you aware of any new procedures that can help?

    • admin says:

      Dear Mike
      I am so sorry that you have had a very poor result from laser eye surgery.In Australia I have tried to visual rehabilitate many patients post lasik, who have had poor vision results. the reason I found my self in this position is because I worked as a consultant for the biggest laser eye center in Australia from 1996 till 2002. During this time complications with Lasik were far more prevalent and between this center and many others I developed a reputation of trying to get people right using contact lenses.

      I have to say I am very surprised to hear that you have had such a poor result even though surgery was performed in 2010, when the procedure was more mature. Unfortunately even though complications are far less these days they can still occur and when they do, all the successful statistics are meaningless to the person going through the trauma of poor vision and or irritated eyes.

      Finally answering your original question there is certainly no surgery to fix your current dilemma. When patients are referred to me with post lasik complications I will try and fit them with either soft custom made lenses to mask corneal irregularity or scleral lenses. Typically these options improve things to the point of functionality not perfection. There are usually some residual imperfections in vision that are called optical aberrations. Currently we do have the technology to minimise these imperfections as well but lack of volume in this area hinders the research but it should become reality within the next 5 years. Apart from vision imperfections, contact lenses also have inherent comfort issues which can also limit wearing time and cause dry eye issues which in turn disturb vision intermittently.

      I clearly understand your frustration and i am sure i have not relieved it with my reply. For your own well being it is imperative to focus on the improvements that scleral lenses offer as opposed to the shortfalls. Without belittling your current contact lens fitter, scleral lenses are very complex and sometimes a second opinion from a contact lens specialist helps – possibly there is nothing more that can be done at the moment but maybe there are subtle changes that can be made that can make all the difference from your perspective. Please feel free to ask anything else you want to. I will try my best to reply in a timely manner.
      Regards
      Dr Jim Kokkinakis

  5. Leanne Selby says:

    Hi,

    On Friday I was assessed to have eye surgery and was told the best option for me was Bilateral LASIK.

    However I was told that my pupils are large 8mm and the LASIK laser can only laser 7mm. So this will not correct any light halos or nighttime visual aberrations which I currently have.

    After my appointment I was just reviewing things on the internet and came across your website and read about Wavefront LASIK. Do you think this could be a better option for me and would it fix the night visual aberrations and halos.

    Is there more risk of things going wrong with Wavefront LASIK.

    Many thanks. Leanne

  6. chris says:

    i am very short sighted -13.9 and -15 would i be abel sort this out what would be best
    many thanks

    • admin says:

      Chris this very much depends on your age. if you are over 40 lensectomy is best, but if you are under then some type of contact lens is best. The problem is you need to see a contact lens specialist. Where do you live?

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.