LASIK Formulas Reduces Need for Second Operation
Results from a recent report presented in London
to the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery show
that a newly devised formula for LASIK surgery not only increases
the precision of the surgery, but may also reduce the number of
patients that will need a second surgery by two-thirds.
The new formula uses a special computer program to reduce error.
The patient’s information is entered into the program which
calculates the probability of their having specific imperfections
based on patterns demonstrated by previous patients.
The instances of side effects occurring in patients post-operation
are very low, and the success rate for the surgery is very high,
with a majority of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better.
Still, a small fraction of patients retain or develop farsightedness
after the surgery, minimizing the benefit of undergoing LASIK.
An even smaller percentage of patients also experience nearsightedness.
More often than not the condition is so slight that it does not
necessitate correction, but because people undergo LASIK to correct
their vision, this is a serious drawback for patients that experience
these complications, and a complaint that surgeons have been working
hard to address.
The study resulting from this new European formula showed that
the computer’s ability to predict multiple aberrations helps
surgeons to perfect the procedure. This more precise approach
significantly reduced the post-surgery occurrence of farsightedness
or nearsightedness in test patients.
Now LASIK can provide the same excellent results to an even larger
percentage of their patients. Patients that would otherwise have
experienced the unfortunate side effects of slight near or farsightedness
may now achieve the coveted 20/20 results that have made this
surgery so popular.
Though the new formula has reduced the risk of farsightedness
or nearsightedness, it has not shed any light on why some patients
still develop these side effects, nor on which are more likely
to develop one or the other. Researchers are trying to perfect
the formula so that it can predict these variables in addition
to existing aberrations. So far its largest contribution remains
the ability to improve precision during surgery.
So how exactly does it do that? Just as every person is unique,
so too are every person’s eyes right down to their abnormalities
and aberrations. The new computer formula indicates to surgeons
which patients are more likely to be near or farsighted. The surgeons
then adjust the laser accordingly to treat or prevent these visual
disturbances. Even minor aberrations may prevent LASIK from giving
optimal results, so the ability to correct all deficiencies at
once has the potential to improve each patient’s results
significantly, thereby reducing the odds that they will have to
return for a second surgery to treat aberrations that were not
detected prior to the original surgery.
This computer program and its new formula are sure to become invaluable
aids for LASIK surgeons everywhere. Now patients with multiple
abnormalities can expect better results in just one visit.