LASIK eye surgery has been available in the U.S. since the 90s, and you probably know someone who has had their vision improved with LASIK. But as you might imagine, there have been some changes to LASIK over the years as the technology behind it has improved. You may have still been using a landline with a cord when the first LASIK surgery was performed, so a glance at the phone in your pocket will remind you how far we’ve come in many different areas.
One of the most important changes we’ve seen in LASIK eye surgery is the progression of the tools used to perform it.
In the beginning, the excimer laser and microkeratome, a blade used to create the corneal flap, were the primary tools used in LASIK. In 1995, the FDA approved the Kremer Excimer Laser, which was equipped with eye tracking technology that would automatically adjust the laser, greatly improving the safety and efficacy of LASIK.
But even then, there were still improvements to come. In 2001, the first femtosecond laser was approved for use in the United States. The femtosecond laser has quickly become the gold standard when it comes to LASIK because it provides patients with a lower risk of complications and even better vision. For eye surgeons, the femtosecond laser creates a cleaner and more predictable corneal flap. The femtosecond laser can also be used in cataract surgery, and provides excellent results in that procedure, as well.
The other development in LASIK that improved it even further was the FDA approval of Wavefront LASIK in 2003. Wavefront allowed for more customized LASIK procedures by evaluating the unique characteristics of a patient’s eyes. The surgeon uses Wavefront to build a 3D map of how the eye processes images, resulting in fewer instances of glare, halos, and night vision problems.
Wavefront technology added another level of precision and refinement to LASIK surgery. And when combined with the femtosecond laser, the success rate for LASIK is extremely high, with a low risk for complications. And because of the advanced tools now used, most of those complications can be easily taken care of with follow up visits.
In 2010, LASIK became the most popular elective surgery in the world, and 95% of patients report being satisfied with their vision after 3 months—the highest satisfaction rate for an elective surgery.
At OCLI, you can be sure that we’re on the cutting edge of any new developments in laser eye surgery. In fact, we recently added a new FS200 femtosecond laser. The Wavelight FS200 is the newest, most advanced femtosecond laser on the market, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re being taken care of by the best doctors using the best tools out there.
If you’re tired of living with glasses or contacts and want to make a change, then give us a call today. We’ll set you up with a consultation and get you started on the path to great vision.