LASIK, also known as Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or laser vision correction, is a refractive procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
LASIK is the most common type of refractive surgery. Using targeted excimer laser beam energy, the LASIK procedure reshapes corneal tissue to correct refractive errors so that light rays are focused more precisely on the retina to produce clear, sharp vision. Patients who choose to undergo LASIK typically achieve clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses, while also benefiting from minimal downtime and little to no post-operative discomfort.
Many improvements have been made over the years in LASIK procedures. Among the newest and most advanced is the Advanced CustomVue procedure, which combines wavefront guidance technology with the STAR S4 Excimer Laser system to provide patients with a highly precise and accurate method of laser vision correction.
CustomVue makes it possible to perform customized refractive procedures using information gathered from the patient’s eyes. This technology allows surgeons to custom correct these very specific refractive errors so that patients can enjoy the best post-operative vision quality possible. It creates a detailed map of the eye, providing the most individualized information so the surgeon can achieve an unprecedented level of accuracy and attain better results than ever before.
CustomVue received FDA approval to treat patients with the following levels of correction:
- Myopia – up to -11.0 diopters, with or without astigmatism, up to -3.0 diopters
- Hyperopia – up to 3.00 diopters, with or without astigmatism, up to 2.0 diopters
- Mixed Astigmatism – up to 5.0 diopters
The Benefits of CustomVue
Because of the low risk of complications and high level of precision it provides, blade-free LASIK treatment has become the standard of care among leading LASIK surgeons and ophthalmic teaching institutions worldwide.
Compared to methods that use a microkeratome blade, this minimally invasive and incredibly precise procedure decreases the occurrence of partial flaps, holes in the flap and other traumatic flap complications. The laser safely delivers cool ultraviolet light to remove small amounts of corneal tissue without penetrating the eye or harming any of its structures.
Other benefits of the CustomVue process include faster treatment time and no need for dilation of the pupils prior to the procedure.
Candidates Eligible for CustomVue LASIK
A thorough medical eye examination is required to determine whether you are a good candidate for laser vision correction. When correcting nearsightedness, candidates must be at least 18 years old to ensure that their eyes have matured. For those correcting farsightedness or astigmatism, candidates must be at least 21 years old. Also, vision must have remained stable without an infection or injury for one year prior to the surgery.
Patients not eligible for CustomVue LASIK include those who are:
- Pregnant or nursing
- Diagnosed with an autoimmune or degenerative disorder
- Diagnosed with any condition that prevents or slows the healing process
The CustomVue LASIK Procedure
The entire LASIK procedure takes only 10 to 15 minutes for both eyes, and patients are often ready to leave within an hour. After numbing the eye with anesthetic drops, the surgeon will work with the computerized CustomVue system to guide the procedure. Most patients report no discomfort during CustomVue LASIK surgery.
After a CustomVue LASIK Procedure
Following a vision correction surgery, patients are required to return home and rest their eyes for a few hours. Pain medication may be prescribed to relieve any post-procedure discomfort. Most patients can comfortably return to work and other normal activities after two to three days.
Patients experience improvements in vision immediately after the CustomVue LASIK procedure. However, since many people will have some vision fluctuations initially, final results may not be known until several months later. In most cases, patients can pass a driving test without the use of glasses or contact lenses and many will achieve 20/20 vision.
Risks and Complications of the CustomVue LASIK Procedure
The CustomVue LASIK procedure has proven to be extremely safe and effective. Nevertheless, no surgery is entirely free from risks and complications. Some patients do experience side effects that may include infection, complications involving the flap and improper corrections. The risk of these difficulties occurring can be further reduced by choosing a surgeon experienced in the use of this technology to perform the procedure.