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Several Major Studies Presented at American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Annual Symposium Point to Wavefront Technology as Future of Laser Eye Surgery

April 14, 2003 (San Francisco, CA) – After receiving wavefront-guided LASIK, a promising new technology that allows physicians to customize the LASIK procedure, an overwhelming majority of patients experienced sharper, crisper vision with 96 percent of treated eyes attaining 20/20 vision, according to data presented today at the annual scientific sessions of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS).

Wavefront-guided LASIK works by beaming light through the eye, taking detailed measurements as the light bounces back. These measurements are recorded on a virtual map, highlighting each patient’s individual visual imperfections. During LASIK surgery, this map is used by the surgeon to tailor the laser beam settings, making the procedure customized to the precise vision specifications of each individual patient. As a result, wavefront-guided LASIK leads to sharper, crisper vision, and a reduction in many of the most common complications associated with LASIK, such as nighttime vision difficulties such as glare and halos.

“This new technology has been tremendously beneficial to the patients, because we have provided them with enhanced sharpness and quality of vision with fewer complications, which means higher patient satisfaction,” says Douglas Koch, MD, trial investigator and professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “In addition there is an important diagnostic role, since it enables us to approach the surgery with a clearer understanding of each individual’s unique correction needs.”

The multicenter study evaluated the use of bilateral wavefront-guided LASIK in 320 eyes of 173 patients. While 94 percent of eyes reached 20/20 vision, an important clinical vision standard, a remarkable 74 percent saw 20/16 or better, a significant improvement over this standard for good vision.

The findings are supported by other studies on wavefront technology to be presented at ASCRS’ annual meeting, which contain similarly encouraging results. Notably, a study presented by Stephen G. Slade, MD, national medical director, TLC Laser Eye Centers, found that a very high percentage of patients reported that light sensitivity (92.4 percent), glare (84.7 percent) and night driving difficulties (89.7 percent) were improved or unchanged after wavefront-guided surgery. In addition to reduced complications, almost 99 percent of patients reported that they were “very satisfied” with the wavefront-guided surgery.

“ASCRS applauds all technological advancements in the field of laser eye surgery, especially when they have such a significant impact on patient outcomes,” says Stephen S. Lane, MD, ASCRS president, clinical professor of ophthalmology, University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota. “In fact, we have just included information on wavefront in our LASIK Screening Guidelines to ensure that patients are informed about this new tool and how it may affect their vision quality.”

LASIK is currently the most common type of laser eye surgery in the U.S., performed an estimated 1.5 million times each year. The LASIK Screening Guidelines, the first initiative of the Eye Surgery Education Council (ESEC), were designed to help patients assess whether they are an ‘ideal,’ ‘less than ideal,’ or ‘non’ LASIK candidate. The LASIK guidelines outline what patients should expect from their doctor and from the procedure itself. The recently-updated guidelines include a description of wavefront and how it works, potential evaluation and treatment uses for the technology, and a discussion of expectations for wavefront-guided procedures.

  1. Multicenter Trial of Wavefront-Guided LASIK, Robert Maloney, MD, Colman Kraff, MD, William Colberston, MD, Terance O’Brien, MD, Douglas Koch, MD. ASCRS/ASOA Annual Symposium & Congress, San Francisco, April 2003.
  2. U.S. Clinical Trial of LASIK for Myopia with the Zyoptix System: Efficacy Assessment an Patient Satisfaction, Stephen G. Slade, MD, ASCRS/ASOA Annual Symposium & Congress, San Francisco, April 2003.

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