Laser Vision Correction (LVC) is the process of reshaping the cornea to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In most cases, the need for eyeglasses is eliminated or greatly reduced. Laser Vision Correction currently takes two forms: LASIK or ASA (a.k.a. LASEK). In either form, the heart of the surgery is the excimer laser. Using a specific wavelength of light, the laser can remove tissue as accurately as 0.25 microns (one millionth of a meter) per pulse.
Tissue removal is referred to as ablation and is so precise it doesn't disrupt adjacent tissue structures. Tissue ablation is guided by advanced curvature algorithms. Classic LVC creates an ablation pattern based on mathematical models which vary based on the amount of correction desired. In other words, every patient with the same eyeglass prescription gets the same ablation pattern. Customvue LVC creates an unique ablation pattern based a patient's Wavescan data.
The Wavescan is a laser based aberrometer which measures the unique higher order aberrations of a person's eye. In other words, two different patients who have the same eyeglass prescription will show very different Wavescan readings and will have ablation patterns that are unique to their own eyes. The VISX laser is the leader of currently approved excimer lasers. It offers eye tracking and Customvue Wavefront guided ablations. In FDA studies of VISX Customvue treatment of myopia, 91% of patients saw 20/20 at 6 months after surgery. Price Eye Clinic uses a VISX laser which is a fixed site laser. That is, the laser is never moved to or from other offices. Moving such large lasers is difficult and makes the laser more prone to miscalibration. Whether LASIK or ASA, Classic or Customvue, it is important to remember three things. First, have realistic goals. The chance of seeing 20/40 or better without glasses after LVC is 98-99%. The chance of seeing 20/20 or better without glasses after LVC is 65- 91% depending on the patient's refractive error and the type of ablation that is performed. Second, understand that LVC is a process and it takes time for the eye to reach its maximum level of vision. Finally, understand the risks involved.
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