Custom LASIK refers to a very specific type of LASIK that utilizes certain technological software advances to reshape the cornea in a very specific and customizable way. This software is referred to generically as “wavefront” technology. However, different LASER companies have developed their own proprietary software and it may be referred to in different ways. “CustomVue”, “Zyoptics”, “Wavelight”, and “Ladarwave” are some of the many proprietary terms used to describe the “wavefront” technology. Marketing tactics also use the terms “high definition”, “HD”, and “premium”, to describe this technology. Nonetheless, they all refer to “wavefront” technology.
Wavefront technology uses a special wavefront scanner to measure the microscopic surface abnormalities of each person’s eyes. These surface abnormalities are completely unique from person to person, and even from eye to eye, just like a person’s fingerprint is completely unique. By measuring these completely unique surface errors, a completely unique treatment plan to eliminate these errors can then be created. With conventional refractive surgery procedures, a general treatment plan is generated and applied to the entire cornea. With wavefront procedures a highly customizable treatment is generated and is strategically placed on the cornea. Highly sophisticated trackers and mappers are used to be sure that this exact treatment pattern is placed on the exact location and orientation on the cornea to achieve the best possible result.
Although wavefront technology is most commonly performed using the LASIK procedure, it can also be used to perform any refractive surgery procedure (PRK, Advanced Surface Ablation, LASEK). The refractive surgery procedure itself is exactly the same whether wavefront technology is used or not. The only difference is whether or not a wavescan is obtained before the procedure in the pre-operative stage, and if the wavefront software is used to create the treatment plan.
When a patient desires wavefront refractive surgery, a wavescan is performed on each eye in the preoperative stage. The data from this scan is then imported into the LASER to calculate a wavefront based treatment plan. At the time of surgery, the wavefront software is used instead of the conventional software. To the patient (or spectator), there is no observable difference in the actual steps of the surgical procedure.
Because wavefront refractive surgery is highly customizable to each person’s individual eyes, it has many advantages. First, it can give patients a much better quality of vision. In many instances, wavefront technology can improve a person’s vision so that it is better than vision obtainable with glasses or contacts. Also, night time glare and halos, and contrast sensitivity can be improved after wavefront procedures, whereas they may be worsened with conventional procedures. Finally, people with very complex glasses prescriptions (severe nearsightedness or farsightedness, or astigmatism) tend to do better when receiving wavefront treatments versus conventional treatments. You and your eye surgeon can determine if wavefront surgery is the best option for you. Call the Texas Vision & Laser Center today for a complete refractive surgery consultation.