Custom LASIK is a procedure that enables your surgeon to further customize the conventional LASIK procedure to your individual eyes. Custom LASIK provides an additional level of data about your vision requirements using wavefront technology. A device called a wavefront analyzer measures the way light travels through your eye and compares it to an eye with perfect vision. This device then creates a 3-D wavefront map that is uniquely yours, in the same way that your "fingerprint" is unique to only you. This additional data is then used by your surgeon to customize the LASIK procedure to your individual vision requirements.
Wavefront technology functions as a roadmap for LASIK surgery, providing benefits to the patient during both the evaluation and treatment process.
During the patient evaluation process, wavefront provides the physician comprehensive individual diagnostic information, not available using earlier technologies. Thus, before surgery even begins, the surgeon is better able to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
During treatment, wavefront allows the surgeon to tailor the laser beam settings, making the surgical procedure itself more precise. In this way, wavefront technology offers the patients sharper, crisper, better quality vision, as well as a reduction in nighttime vision difficulties, such as halos and glare.
Wavefront technology is an adjunct tool used to enhance an already safe and effective procedure. As the most common form of vision correction surgery, LASIK has already benefited millions of patients. The increased safety and the improved quality of vision benefits of customized procedures are an important technological advancement for patients and physicians alike.
HOW DOES WAVEFRONT WORK?
Light can be thought of as traveling in a series of flat sheets, known as wavefronts. To clarify the confusion about light traveling as waves instead of rays, waves are just perpendicular to light rays. These light waves are wrinkled or distorted as they pass through imperfections in the eye. These errors can be displayed on a color map of the wavefront image, which is the tool that is used to diagnose, and then determine corrections, for abberrations in the eye.
THE WAVEFRONT-GUIDED TREATMENT
The goal of wavefront-guided laser treatment is to make corrections in the surface of the cornea that compensate for errors in the total visual system. Thus, the amount of wrinkle or error in the wavefront reflected from the back of the eye, as compared to the reference wavefront that was projected into it, defines the compensating optical correction. If the wavefront is retarded in relation to the reference wavefront, the laser must remove more tissue from the part of the cornea related to that pattern. If the wavefront is advanced (in front of the referenced wavefront), the laser must remove less tissue. It should be noted that wavefront treatment does induce some minor second-order spherical errors, but to a significantly lesser extent than conventional refractive surgery.
In this way, a wavefront-guided treatment is customized to the characteristics of each eye and intended to minimize higher-order aberrations so that the greatest quality of vision can be achieved.