Lasik Q & A

Improved 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.

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