A WaveScan is a computerized device that we use to create a “fingerprint” of your vision prior to having surgery with LASIK or PRK with the AMO/VISX Star S4 IR excimer laser. Although other people may have the same refraction as you, your WaveScan is unique to you. This technology allows us to capture your refraction, including higher order aberrations, and to upload your diagnostic data to the computer that drives the laser. Because the laser has iris recognition technology (called “iris registration” or “IR”), the laser will know the difference between your right and left eye (thus eliminating the possibility of wrong site surgery) and, after locking onto your eye, will deliver a customized treatment in the exact spot where the diagnostic data were acquired.
Carrying on our tradition of innovation in eye surgery, the Schulze Surgery Center was the first center in coastal Georgia to offer this technology. Using the WaveScan together with our AMO/VISX Star S4 IR excimer laser allows us to offer truly customized wavefront guided LASIK and PRK, called CustomVue.
Data submitted to the FDA for CustomVue LASIK found the following:
- 4x as many participants in the low to moderate myopia clinical study were very satisfied with their night vision after the Advanced CustomVue Procedure, compared to their night vision before with glasses or contact lenses
- 4x as many participants in the hyperopia clinical study were very satisfied with their night vision after the Advanced CustomVue Procedure, compared to their night vision before with glasses or contact lenses
- Nearly 2x as many participants in the mixed astigmatism clinical study were very satisfied with their night vision after the Advanced CustomVue Procedure, compared to their night vision before with glasses or contact lenses
- 90% of patients surveyed in the high myopia clinical study were more satisfied, or as satisfied with their vision after the Advanced CustomVue Procedure as they were before with glasses or contact lenses
This is a question I get fairly often from patients coming to me for refractive surgery. Since the excimer laser was first approved for use in 1996, we now have over 20 years of experience to answer this question. Understand that both LASIK and PRK use the same laser, the excimer laser, to reshape your cornea to improve your vision, whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The difference is that #LASIK reshapes your cornea underneath a flap (think of the flap as being like a trap door on your cornea) whereas #PRK reshapes your eye on the surface.
LASIK offers the advantage of quicker healing. Most patients with LASIK have excellent vision the day after surgery. Disadvantages include a greater incidence of dry eye symptoms and the remote but real risk of a flap complication, including subsequent dislocation of the flap after trauma even years after surgery.
PRK takes a little longer to heal, but offers the advantages of simplicity (there’s no LASIK flap to have a complication with) and less incidence of dry eye symptoms. Most PRK patients have useful vision the day after surgery, but may take up to several weeks to achieve their best vision.
Interestingly, because military personnel are in harm’s way and thus at risk for eye trauma, the military tends to prefer PRK over LASIK so as to avoid the risk of flap dislocation. Studies show that quality of vision between PRK and LASIK are essentially identical, with some studies giving the nod to PRK.
So what is best for you? If you have a thin cornea, a history of dry eye, or abnormal topography, PRK would be your best choice. If there is any question as to suitability for LASIK, we generally prefer PRK because of its greater simplicity. Or, if you’re simply not a LASIK or PRK candidate, the implantable contact (collamer) lens–the ICL http://schulze-eye.com/patient-education/staar-visian-icl-implantable-contact-lens/ –or Refractive Lens Exchange (http://schulze-eye.com/patient-education/refractive-lens-exchange/ ) might be best for you. When you come for your consultation, Dr. Schulze will review your findings and help you make a choice that is best for you.