29 Jun Precision Vision Correction: What Are the Benefits of Custom LASIK Surgery?
Custom LASIK surgery, also known as wavefront-guided LASIK or wavefront-optimised LASIK, is an advanced laser eye surgery technique used to correct refractive errors and improve vision. LASIK stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” and it is a popular procedure for reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Traditional LASIK surgery involves reshaping the cornea using a laser to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. However, each person’s eyes are unique, and their visual imperfections vary. Custom LASIK takes this individuality into account by using advanced wavefront technology to create a detailed map of the eye’s optical system.
The wavefront technology used in custom LASIK measures how light travels through the eye and identifies any irregularities or aberrations in the visual system. These aberrations can include higher-order aberrations, such as spherical aberration, coma, and trefoil, which cannot be corrected by glasses or traditional LASIK surgery.
Once the wavefront map is created, it guides the excimer laser to precisely reshape the cornea, correcting the individual’s specific visual imperfections. By using this personalised approach, custom LASIK aims to provide better visual outcomes, potentially improving the quality of vision compared to traditional LASIK.
What Are The Benefits of Custom LASIK Surgery?
Custom LASIK surgery offers several potential benefits, including:
Enhanced visual quality: The personalised treatment addresses higher-order aberrations, resulting in sharper and clearer vision, especially in low light conditions or situations with high contrast, such as night driving or reading in dim light.
Reduced risk of glare and halos: Custom LASIK may reduce the occurrence of glare, halos, and other visual disturbances that some individuals experience after traditional LASIK.
Individualised treatment: Each person’s eyes have a unique optical system, and custom LASIK takes into account the individual’s specific visual imperfections, potentially leading to more precise vision correction.
Tailored correction: Custom LASIK can address both common refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, as well as higher-order aberrations, providing a more comprehensive vision correction solution.
Who Can Qualify For Custom LASIK Surgery?
Determining the suitability of an individual for custom LASIK surgery involves a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced ophthalmologist or refractive surgeon. They will consider various factors to assess whether custom LASIK is a suitable option for the individual. Here are some general considerations:
- Refractive errors: Custom LASIK can correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. The severity of these refractive errors will be evaluated to determine if custom LASIK can effectively address them.
- Stable vision prescription: Candidates for custom LASIK should have a stable vision prescription for at least one to two years. Stable vision ensures that any changes in the refractive error have stabilised, providing a consistent baseline for surgical correction.
- Healthy corneas: The health and thickness of the cornea are crucial for LASIK surgery. The cornea should have sufficient thickness to allow for the removal of tissue during the procedure. It should also be free from any significant irregularities, scars, or diseases that could affect the surgical outcomes.
- Age: Custom LASIK is typically recommended for individuals who are at least 18 years old, as the eyes should be fully developed. However, the age requirement may vary depending on individual circumstances, and a thorough evaluation is necessary.
- General eye health: The overall health of the eyes will be assessed to ensure there are no underlying conditions, such as severe dry eyes, glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal disorders, that could interfere with the success of LASIK surgery.
- Realistic expectations: Candidates should have realistic expectations about the outcomes of custom LASIK surgery. While it can significantly improve vision, it may not guarantee perfect vision, and there is a small chance of experiencing certain side effects or complications.
- Lifestyle considerations: The candidate’s lifestyle, occupation, and recreational activities will be taken into account. Some activities, such as contact sports or certain occupations, may increase the risk of eye trauma and impact the suitability for LASIK surgery.
It’s important to note that this is a general overview, and the specific criteria for custom LASIK candidacy may vary depending on the surgeon, technology used, and individual patient characteristics. It is best to consult with a qualified eye care professional who can evaluate your specific case and provide tailored recommendations.
What To Expect During Custom LASIK Surgery?
During custom LASIK surgery, anaesthetic eye drops are used to numb the eye, so you should not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Some individuals may feel slight pressure or a sensation of something touching the eye, but it is generally not painful. If you have any concerns or anxiety about the procedure, you should discuss them with your surgeon, who can provide reassurance and address any questions you may have.
In terms of downtime and rehabilitation, custom LASIK surgery is known for its relatively quick recovery compared to other surgical procedures. Most individuals experience improved vision immediately after the surgery, although it may take a few days for the vision to stabilise fully. Some common aspects of the post-operative period include:
- Rest and recovery: After the surgery, it is recommended to rest for a few hours to allow your eyes to heal. It is advisable to have someone accompany you to drive you home.
- Follow-up visits: Your surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and ensure that your eyes are healing properly. These visits are essential for assessing your visual acuity and ensuring any potential complications are addressed promptly.
- Medications: Your surgeon may prescribe eye drops or other medications to aid in the healing process and prevent infection or inflammation. It is important to follow the prescribed medication regimen diligently.
- Temporary side effects: Some individuals may experience temporary side effects, such as dryness, sensitivity to light, mild discomfort, or fluctuations in vision. These effects are generally temporary and should subside as the eyes heal.
- Resuming normal activities: Most individuals can resume their normal activities, including work, within a few days after the surgery. However, it is advisable to avoid strenuous activities, swimming, and contact sports for a few weeks to allow for proper healing.
The overall recovery period for custom LASIK surgery can vary from person to person. While some individuals may experience a quick recovery and achieve stable vision within a few days, others may require a slightly longer healing period. It is essential to closely follow the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon to promote optimal healing and minimise the risk of complications.
Your surgeon will provide you with detailed information about the expected recovery timeline, including any specific restrictions or precautions you need to take. Remember to communicate any concerns or questions you have during your follow-up visits to ensure a smooth recovery process.
What To Do If You Don’t Qualify For Custom LASIK Surgery?
If you do not qualify for custom LASIK surgery, there are alternative vision correction options available. The specific alternatives will depend on the reasons for your ineligibility and the recommendations of your ophthalmologist or refractive surgeon. Here are some potential alternatives to custom LASIK:
- Traditional LASIK: Custom LASIK is an advanced form of LASIK surgery, but traditional LASIK can still be an option for many individuals. It uses a standard treatment plan based on your prescription without the additional customization provided by wavefront technology.
- PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy): PRK is a laser eye surgery similar to LASIK but involves removing the thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) before reshaping the cornea with a laser. PRK is often recommended for individuals with thinner corneas or those who may not be suitable candidates for LASIK.
- SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction): SMILE is a minimally invasive laser eye surgery that corrects myopia and astigmatism. It involves creating a small incision in the cornea and removing a lenticule (a small piece of tissue) to reshape the cornea.
- Implantable lenses: If you are not a candidate for laser eye surgery, implantable lenses such as phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs) or clear lens extraction (CLE) may be options. Phakic IOLs are placed inside the eye while leaving the natural lens intact, and CLE involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.
- Contact lenses or glasses: Depending on your specific visual needs and preferences, contact lenses or glasses may be a suitable option for vision correction. Advancements in contact lens technology have made them more comfortable and convenient for many individuals.
It is essential to have a thorough discussion with your eye care professional at Binetter Eye Centre to understand the reasons behind your ineligibility for custom LASIK and explore the alternative options that may be suitable for you. They can assess your individual situation, consider your visual needs, and recommend the most appropriate treatment option to achieve optimal vision correction. Get in touch to book an appointment today!
A unique mix of expertise, experience and international reputation, Dr Ron Binetter is the figure behind the Binetter Eye Centre. With more than two decades of hands-on experience in eye surgery, Dr Binetter is a specialist in cataract, lens implantation and laser eye surgery. Learn more about Dr Ron Binetter’s background and qualifications.