Secondary to choosing the right cornea surgeon, the next most important factor in your visual outcome and safety will be the technology he or she uses, because not every method is ideal for every patient.
Laser vision correction can be performed as wavefront-guided laser eye surgery, or wavefront-optimized laser eye surgery on most patients. These are the two most commonly performed methods of laser ablation (removal of corneal tissue) in the U.S., and both produce excellent results. Only your surgeon will know which one is the perfect solution for your eyes.
Dr. Ilan Cohen offers many cutting-edge technologies in his practice, and all of them perform exceptionally well. When appropriate for the patient, he prefers the unmatched precision of wavefront technology and the speed and safety provided by the exceptionally accurate WaveLight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q excimer laser (Alcon, Fort Worth, TX).
Other laser manufacturers retrofit their lasers to allow wavefront treatments. These lasers may be satisfactory in most cases, and the surgery could be less expensive in some cases, but the surgeon may not be able to customize the procedure as flawlessly to suit your cornea’s unique shape. Think of it like the difference between buying a suit off the rack and having one tailored to your exact measurements. The wavefront treatment provided by the Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q is so customized that no one else in the world will ever have the identical treatment as you!
Older, standard LASIK technology primarily utilizes your glasses prescription as a guide for programming the laser. You sit and look at a digital eye chart through the aperture of a device called a phoropter, the same device that determines your prescription for glasses or contact lenses. The ophthalmologist switches from one lens to another and you determine which one gives you better clarity. The details are fed into the laser to correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. However, this method cannot correct the tiny imperfections or distortions, called aberrations, which naturally occur in your individual eyes.
Modern wavefront technology, in comparison, allows surgeons to measure and treat these natural aberrations (imperfections). This remarkable state-of-the-art technology provides Dr. Cohen with hundreds of computer measurements that create a 3-D map of the unique characteristics of your corneal surface; like a “fingerprint” of your vision. It also takes into account your corneal curvature and thickness to help preserve as much of the natural curve of the cornea, instead of flattening it.
Wavefront procedures are also known as Custom LASIK, and they enable Dr. Cohen to customize your vision correction for each individual eye. Wavefront technology is revolutionary because it has the potential to improve not only how much you can see, but also how well you can see. It reduces the risk of post-surgery complications, such as glare, halos and decreased night vision, and often sharpens vision beyond 20/20.
Not everyone is a candidate for this technology, however. In rare instances, a patient’s corneal condition does not permit the use of wavefront technology, and these patients can receive safe and reliable treatment utilizing another excellent technology at 5th Avenue Eye Center.
You probably already know a little about wavefront optical technology and just don’t realize it.
When NASA sent Space Shuttle Mission STS-61 into space in 1993 to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, the astronauts installed the COSTAR (Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement) to correct a phenomenon called “spherical aberration” in the main mirror of the telescope’s lens. Wavefront-guided laser vision correction corrects a similar phenomenon in our human eyes.
Likewise, the largest optical and infrared telescopes on Earth, the Keck Telescopes on the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, have amazing image clarity due to adaptive optics that are controlled by wavefront-guided technology. The images are often more crisp and detailed than those from the Hubble.
In 2009, the U.S. Navy Refractive Surgery Center in San Diego, California, conducted a study which proved that bladeless wavefront-guided LASIK was superior to conventional LASIK for correcting myopia and resulted in better night-driving performance. This prompted NASA and the military to approve wavefront technology in laser eye surgery for astronauts and fighter pilots.
Custom wavefront diagnosis can be done for LASIK, IntraLase, LASEK, Epi-LASIK, and PRK, also known as Advanced Surface Ablation (ABA). In the area of cataract treatment, wavefront technology has also been used to develop the Tecnis® Multifocal Intraocular Lens (IOL), enabling it to deliver better night vision compared to other IOLs.
At the 5th Avenue Eye Center, we encourage our patients to consider every option and make the most informed decision. We will present you with all of our technologies and techniques that you qualify for so that you can choose the one you’re most comfortable with. For us, it’s not about making the most money off of every client. It’s about providing the most satisfaction for every client.
Please click on the links to read more about the cutting-edge technology available at 5th Avenue Eye Center.