LASIK surgery and laser vision correction is a dynamic and exciting field. The level of sophistication in our LASIK technology was undreamed of even 10 years ago. Dr. Pham will continually update this page with new and old advancements in LASIK.
LASIK Updates and Advancements
Advanced CustomVue FDA approved for monovision
LASIK Surgery has been approved for NASA pilots
Can you imagine the training required to become a NASA pilot? Imagine the forces your body and eye may be subjected to once you are thrust into space and through the atmosphere. Imagine how difficult putting contact lenses on in space would be. NASA has now approved LASIK surgery with the Intralase and VISX CustomVue Lasers for its pilots. These are the same lasers used by the San Diego LASIK Institute. The decision was once made after finding that the all laser Intralase method allowed pilots to perform well. At the San Diego LASIK institute, we are excited to see that NASA has followed the U.S. Navy as well as the Air Force in allowing its pilots to have all laser LASIK surgery. LASIK has also been approved for many military personnel. These decisions have been made based on review by the Department of Defense that LASIK surgery can be an effective and valuable resource for our men and women in uniform.
Advanced CustomVue FDA approved for monovision - New Options for People 45+
Presbyopia is a common condition that everyone experiences as the approach their mid forties. During this condition, you may have an increased difficulty in reading up close. One of the things that we can do in LASIK surgery is to target one eye for distance and one for near vision. This is called monovision because you are using each eye for a different task. Although this is not for everyone, it is an option for some select patients.
The FDA has recently approved custom or CustomVue LASIK for monovision treatment. The CustomVue system is only available on the VISX Star S4 laser system that we use at the San Diego LASIK Institute. The study was a prospective and multi-center trial. The results were monitored over 12 months and there were 160 participants in the study. Over 98% of the participants stated that they would have the procedure again.
Custom monovision brings together custom technology and common method to increase both your distance and near vision when you approach your forties and beyond. Monovision technologies are not for everyone. Patients that tend to do better are those who have tried monovision in a contact lens trial. There are other technologies to help with near vision including CK and multifocal lenses. However, custom LASIK is now another great option that we are happy to offer you. There are over 110 million Americans over the age of 45 that may benefit from this technology.
VISX CustomVue Laser System Compared with the LadarVision Custom Cornea System
A recent study out of the John A. Moran Eye Center compared the custom LASIK vision systems used in the VISX and LadarVision lasers. The VISX S4 laser which is used by the San Diego LASIK Institute employs the CustomVue technology for custom LASIK treatments. The LadarVision system is marketed as CustomCornea. Dr. Holz and his group compared 39 patients with myopia with and without astigmatism. These patients had one eye treated with CustomVue and the other eye with CustomCornea LASIK. He studied these patients over 6 months. At 6 months the doctors found that 88% of eyes treated in the CustomVue group had 20/20 or better uncorrected vision as compared to 67% in the CustomCornea LASIK group. The investigators also found that 91% of eyes were within +/- 0.50 diopter of the desired treatment in the CustomVue group. The Custom Cornea group had 79% of its eyes within +/- 0.50 diopter of the desired treatment. The studies suggest that both laser groups were effective in treating myopia. However, the CustomVUe system which is used by the San Diego LASIK Institute resulted in better visual acuity. More eyes had 20/20 vision with the CustomVue group than the CustomCornea group.
Reference: JCRS 2007; 33:1727-1733
LASIK Surgery for the Treatment of Myopia after Repair of Retinal Detachments.
Often, after a person suffers a retinal detachment, the retinal detachment is repaired by a scleral buckle. This surgery helps to reattach the retina. However, it frequently induces myopia and astigmatism. This is especially bothersome to some patients because it creates a larger difference between the two eyes. Thus difference can cause greater symptoms and visual disturbances in these patients. A recent study by Dr. Tervo in Finland examined ten patients who had 1 or more surgeries for retinal detachment. These patients also had refractive surgery (LASIK or PRK) after the treatment of their retinal detachment with a buckle.
In Dr. Tervo's study, all patients were free of asthenopic symptoms after refractive surgery. The average length of follow-up was 67 months. Six patients in the study had PRK and four patients had LASIK. One month after LASIK or PRK, 5/10 patients were within +/- 1.00 D of the intended correction. This study suggests that LASIK or PRK may be a potential tool to help treat the differences in the refractive error of the eye after it has suffered a retinal detachment and scleral buckle repair.
JCRS 2007; 33:1744-1749
Comparison of LASIK Outcomes in High Myopes
A recent study out of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary compared the resuls of 227 patients who had LASIK surgery. Dr. Azar and his colleagues compared the results in patients with low and high myopia. They also evaluated if preoperative corneal thickness played a role in postoperative vision and refraction. There resuls suggest that patients with lower levels of myopia had better vision than patients with high myopia. However, patients in the high myopia group also had a significant improvement in postoperative vision. They found that LASIK for high myopia was safe and effective. They found no relationship between preoperative corneal thickness and postoperative vision and refraction.
JCRS 2008 Apr;34(4):544-50.
Five - Year Outcome of LASIK for Myopia
Researchers from Tokyo, Japan have recented reported their observation case series of 779 eys in 402 patients with myopia or myopic astigmatism. They LASIK surgery patients were examined at their 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and yearly exams up to 5 years after LASIK surgery. The researchers found that uncoreccted was improved with LASIK surgery. They reported no serious or vision threatening complication such as keratoectasia was found in their study. The researchers concluded that LASIK surgery is a safe and effective procedure for correcting myopia and myopic astigmatism. They did not that minimal regression occurred during the 5-year period.
Opthalmology 2008 May; 115 (5): 839-844
LASIK or PRK for Thin Cornea
There is still considerable debate in the field of LASIK and refractive surgery as to when a cornea is too thin for LASIK or PRK surgery. Some LASIK surgeons in San Diego and throughout the world have set different levels of corneal thickness in which they will operate. A recent study in the American Journal of Ophthalmology studied the affects of LASIK and PRK on patients with thin corneas. Dr. Yoo and his investigators studied sixty three patients who had a corneal thickness of less than 500 microns. These patients were followed for atleast a year. The average corneal thickness was 484 for the LASIK group and 482 for the PRK group. None of the eyes examined by the investigators developed corneal ectasia. The researchers concluded that LASIK and PRK is an option for people with thin corneas. Please consult Dr. Pham of the San Diego LASIK Institute to see if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery in San Diego. Corneal thickness is just one of the many criteria that would be used to see if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery.
American Journal of Opthalmology, 2007; Aug 144 (2):284-285
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