Refractive Surgery update
Patients ask me which refractive surgery procedure they should have. Should they have standard or custom LASIK, should they have bladeless LASIK or choose the microkeratome? The newer technologies are a bit more money so its a good question to ask. When they first came out it wasnt immediately clear that the difference was significant. Now that we have had Custom LASIK and Intralase bladeless LASIK for a while I can categorically answer with a resounding YES they are definitely worth it.
Custom LASIK utilizing the VISX S4 excimer laser works by scanning your eye and creating a customized treatment that not only corrects your nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism but also treats a larger area of the cornea and in a way that maintains its optimal curvature. In addition the CustomVue IR laser can in most cases scan your eye and adjust the treatment exactly to your eye position under laser. All this results in significantly better results, with less chance of halos, blur and a much lower retreatment rate. We now have many studies which support this.
The Intralase laser creates the flap needed for LASIK using a high speed laser which is more reliable, accurate, safer and less painful than the microkeratome which uses an oscillating metal blade to cut the flap. In addition, Intralase flaps are more stable, heal faster and better and also result in better visual outcomes. Again we now have a lot of experience with this technology and great studies that show better results for patients.
Its clear at this point that we now have a more reliable and safer procedure than we have ever had for refractive surgery providing better vision for more patients. Our retreatment rate has dropped to below 5% and over 95% of patients are 20/25 or better. So now is an excellent time to consider refractive surgery, especially if you have a flex spending account. You want to be sure to utilize those dollars before the end of the year, or come in for an evaluation to see if you are a candidate so you can set aside dollars for next year.
I realize these are challenging times, but there is no better investment than in yourself. Financing is still available for those interested.