SOURCE: American Refractive Surgery Council

American Refractive Surgery Council

October 28, 2011 07:30 ET

The American Refractive Surgery Council Discusses How Advances in LASIK Open Door for Those Once Ineligible

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - Oct 28, 2011) - LASIK was once off-limits to people with thin corneas, dry eye and prescriptions in higher ranges. But thanks to advances in technology and technique, many of those once ineligible for LASIK may now benefit from the popular vision correction procedure.

"Improved tools, such as new, more precise lasers and more advanced techniques, mean that we now have better outcomes than ever before and can perform LASIK on many people who once were not candidates," says Dr. Eric D. Donnenfeld, M.D., F.A.C.S. and member of the American Refractive Surgery Council. "While there are still people whose medical conditions and vision issues make them poor candidates for LASIK, that population is shrinking due to improved technologies and therapies.

"If you have been considering LASIK -- or if you have been disqualified in the past -- it's worthwhile to consult with your surgeon to see if you are among the growing group who might benefit," Dr. Donnenfeld said.

According to Dr. Donnenfeld, recent improvements in LASIK include:

  • Femtosecond laser technology. The femtosecond laser administers extremely precise pulses of energy. "This allows some patients with thin corneas to take advantage of LASIK," Dr. Donnenfeld explains. "The precision of the femtosecond laser for flap creation makes it possible to create very thin flaps. Studies have shown these thinner flaps also reduce the incidence of dry eye post LASIK, making it appealing to those patients with a tendency for pre-operative dry eye."

  • Wavefront technology creates a microscopically-detailed map of the eye. "It creates a personalized, high-definition measurement unique to the patient and details minute irregularities on the surface of the cornea that contribute to quality of vision," Dr. Donnenfeld said. "This 'surface map' guides the excimer laser, making optimized and customized corrections possible and increasing the percentage of patients seeing 20/20 and better."

  • Next-generation excimer lasers that can address a broader spectrum of prescriptions than early generations. "The result is that a wider range of vision correction can be achieved with LASIK. Today's LASIK technologies, as opposed to first generation lasers, can benefit those patients with more extreme vision prescriptions."

  • Advanced diagnostic equipment. New diagnostic equipment allows clinicians to evaluate both the front and the back surface of the cornea. "New technology has improved screening devices, allowing us to evaluate patient candidacy and improve results," according to Dr. Donnenfeld.

"Additionally, there are new drug therapies and treatments to help with such conditions as dry eye, as well as wavefront, topographic and pachymetric measurements, which give us precise measurements and individual blueprints of the eye," said Dr. Donnenfeld.

"There are many myths about who is and isn't a candidate for LASIK," Dr. Donnenfeld says. "Some of these were once true, but they're not anymore, thanks to steady improvements in technology and technique. While not everyone is a good LASIK candidate, more people can benefit now than ever before. If you're considering LASIK -- or you've considered it in the past -- it's a good idea to talk to a surgeon and see if you're among the people who were once poor candidates but are now good ones."

About ARSC
The American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC) is a cooperative working group made up of refractive surgery industry representatives and medical professionals. ARSC promotes the interests and general welfare of the refractive surgery industry in the United States. Its primary function is to educate the public about the safety, clinical outcomes and lifestyle benefits of refractive surgery, including LASIK and refractive intraocular lens implants, and supporting research into laser- and IOL-based refractive technologies.

Contact Information

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    Liana Miller
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