Since its development in the mid-1990s, LASIK has helped millions of people worldwide to obtain outstanding vision and achieve freedom from corrective lenses. Short for Laser-Assisted in-SItu Keratomileusis, LASIK is the most common form of refractive surgery. While the specific techniques and technology used in LASIK are in a state of constant advancement, at its most basic LASIK consists of using a laser, known as an excimer laser, to reshape the cornea under a protective flap created from the corneal tissue itself. This laser reshaping can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
In the two decades since its introduction, LASIK technology has progressed tremendously, heightening safety while improving results and making laser vision correction available to more people than ever before. The best lasers made today are faster and more precise than their predecessors by several orders of magnitude, and the diagnostic and testing devices available today are similarly advanced compared to those of years past. These differences are not merely cosmetic; they represent major improvements in patient safety and outcomes. For example:
- Blade-Free LASIK: The development of femtosecond lasers allowed LASIK surgeons to replace the oscillating steel blade used in traditional LASIK with a fast, accurate, computer-guided laser. This virtually eliminated blade-related LASIK complications, making an already safe procedure even safer.
- Custom LASIK: The introduction of wavefront mapping devices, which detect tiny imperfections (known as higher-order aberrations) in the cornea, led first to wavefront-guided, then wavefront-optimized LASIK. Wavefront-optimized lasers such as the Wavelight EX500 used at Whitsett Vision Group have been shown to reduce or eliminate nighttime halo and glare, which were among the most common complaints with pre-wavefront LASIK treatments.
Significant advances such as these and many others like them have not been adopted universally, so there is often a wide variance in technology used by different LASIK surgeons. Since these differences in technology carry with them differences in safety and postoperative results, it is important to seek out a LASIK provider who uses the newest technology and is experienced in its use. The laser vision correction specialists at Whitsett Vision Group are committed to offering patients in Houston, Katy and surrounding areas the newest, most effective technology. Our ongoing involvement in clinical research provides us a “first look” at many of the most promising new devices and techniques in vision correction before they are generally available.
If you have questions about LASIK vision correction surgery, or would like to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation LASIK screening and consultation with one of our surgeons, please do not hesitate to contact us. It would be our pleasure to help you understand your vision correction options and achieve freedom from glasses and contacts.
Wavefront-optimized LASIK uses detailed three dimensional maps of the eye to help guide the treatment, and preserve the natural curvature of the cornea. It is a major step forward from conventional treatments, reducing or eliminating many of the most common complaints with the first LASIK procedures.
The first femtosecond laser system, IntraLase®, made LASIK safer and better by replacing the steel microkeratome used to create flaps for traditional LASIK. Over a decade after that revolution, our fifth-generation iFS IntraLase® is far faster and more accurate than the original. Learn more about blade-free LASIK, and the speed and precision of iFS.
Our laser vision correction specialists are proud to offer custom LASIK procedures using the WaveLight EX500, the fastest and most precise excimer laser in the United States. Learn more about this remarkable laser system and why our board-certified surgeons believe it is such a significant upgrade over older lasers.
For nearsighted patients who are not good candidates for LASIK or other laser procedures, implantable collamer lenses (ICLs) can be an exciting option. Learn how our board-certified surgeons use the Visian ICL to help those patients achieve amazing vision.
One of the most common questions prospective patients ask is, “Am I a candidate for LASIK?” While only a screening examination can answer that question conclusively, there are several factors that are known to qualify or disqualify a person for laser vision correction. Learn more about them here.
LASIK Risks and Benefits
While LASIK is one of the safest, most predictable surgeries in the world, and one of the most popular, it is not without risk. Here are some of the well-known risks and benefits of laser vision correction.