Custom LASIK
While conventional LASIK has been a complete revolution in vision correction, the latest in laser vision correction technology is Custom LASIK. With Custom or Wavefront Guided laser vision correction, a new standard is established, providing a precise level of measurement and correction never before possible.

Using WaveScanŽ based digital technology, originally developed for use in high-powered telescopes to reduce distortions when viewing distant objects in space, we can now identify, measure and correct imperfections in an individual's eyes 25 times more precisely than with standard methods used for glasses and contact lenses. This information is transferred to the laser, providing a new level of precision and accuracy.

This customized procedure may result in patients seeing clearer and sharper than ever before. FDA studies show that Custom LASIK may produce better vision than is possible with contact lenses or glasses.

In clinical studies, Custom LASIK has been able to provide patients with:

  1. A greater chance of having 20/20 vision
  2. The potential for better vision than is possible with contacts or glasses
  3. Lower incidence of glare and halos
  4. Potentially better overall vision, even at night

Better Quality Vision
Clinical studies have shown that Custom LASIK may improve your vision beyond what you can get with glasses or contacts. To understand the value of Custom LASIK it is important to know that every eye is unique and that the human eye is not a perfect optical system. In the past we could only measure your eye by figuring out which lenses enabled you to read the eye chart. Those lenses told us your nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism (or, more accurately, "refractive errors" or "lower-order aberrations"). However, with current technology we can measure subtle optical errors called "higher-order aberrations" that also affect the quality of your vision. These higher-order aberrations are not corrected by glasses or contacts. They have less familiar names, like spherical aberration, coma and trefoil. While these aberrations typically account for less than 10 percent of the total refractive error of the eye, they can significantly affect the quality of your vision and are a major part of the cause of glare, halos, starbursts and other vision problems. Now, with Custom LASIK, doctors are able to treat these higher-order aberrations as well as the refractive errors to maximize the LASIK results. Many patients who have had Custom LASIK are reporting the ability to see clearer than ever before.

The Technology of Custom LASIK
Measuring higher-order aberrations requires advanced technology called wavefront analysis. Custom LASIK uses a wavefront analyzer to measure the way light travels through your eye. If your eye were a perfect optical system the wavefront would be flat. Any distortion or aberration in the optical system disrupts the shape of the wavefront. Every eye is unique, like your fingerprint or DNA. A wavefront analyzer creates a customized 3-D map or "fingerprint" of your eye that shows graphically all the lower and higher-order aberrations of its entire optical system. This map provides information about the unique visual characteristics of your eye that adds an additional level of data about your vision, enabling Dr. Arffa to further customize your vision correction.

Wavefront LASIK
The wavefront analyzer software performs complicated measurements and projects a precise map for the surgeon to evaluate. The data is used to generate a "treatment table" or an outline of the patient's refractive error and higher-order aberrations. This new level of measurement provides information that could not be obtained using the standard methods of the past, and greatly refines the laser treatment. The surgeon reviews this data and with the analyzer software creates a customized plan for each of your eyes. This plan is then digitally transferred to the VISX laser along with an infrared image of your eye for recognition and alignment. Treating a patient with the information taken from the analyzer can result in better clarity of vision and less complaints of glare or night halos.

Custom LASIK or Traditional LASIK
The actual LASIK procedure process is performed the same way in both traditional LASIK and Custom LASIK. Everyone's eyes are different; your pre-procedure consultation with your doctor will help determine the range of your probable outcome based on your particular prescription, healing profile and expectations. Dr. Arffa will recommend which procedure is best for you based on many factors, including your refractive error, the size of your pupils, and your visual aberrations. He will help you to determine if you could benefit from the higher level of customization that Custom LASIK may provide.

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Copyright © 2009 Robert C. Arffa, M.D., 1370 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017