April 2003

From Ketchum DC

New technology makes 20/20 vision a clear reality

Several major studies presented at American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Annual Symposium point to wavefront technology as future of laser eye surgery

April 14, 2003 (San Francisco, CA) After receiving wavefront-guided LASIK, a promising new technology that allows physicians to customize the LASIK procedure, an overwhelming majority of patients experienced better vision quality, with 96 percent of treated eyes attaining 20/20 vision, according to data presented today at the annual scientific sessions of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS).

Wavefront-guided LASIK works by beaming light through the eye and taking detailed measurements as the light bounces back. These measurements are recorded on a virtual map, highlighting each patient's individual visual imperfections. During LASIK surgery, this map is used by the surgeon to tailor the laser beam settings, making the procedure customized to the precise vision specifications of that particular patient. As a result, wavefront-guided LASIK leads to sharper, crisper vision and a reduction in many of the most common complications associated with LASIK, such as nighttime vision difficulties.

"This new technology has been tremendously beneficial to the patients, because we have provided them with enhanced sharpness and quality of vision with fewer complications, which means higher patient satisfaction," says Douglas Koch, MD, trial investigator and professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. "In addition there is an important diagnostic role, since it enables us to approach the surgery with a clearer understanding of each individual's unique correction needs."

The multicenter study evaluated the use of bilateral wavefront-guided LASIK in 320 eyes of 173 patients. While 96 percent of eyes reached 20/20 vision, an important clinical vision standard, a remarkable 74 percent saw 20/16 or better, a significant improvement over this standard for good vision.1

The findings are supported by several other studies on wavefront technology to be presented at ASCRS' annual meeting, which contain similarly encouraging results. Notably, a study presented by Stephen G. Slade, MD, national medical director, TLC Laser Eye Centers, found that a very high percentage of patients reported that light sensitivity (92.4 percent), glare (84.7 percent) and night driving difficulties (89.7 percent) were improved or unchanged after wavefront-guided surgery. In addition to reduced complications, almost 99 percent of patients reported that they were satisfied with the wavefront-guided surgery.2

"ASCRS applauds all technological advancements in the field of laser eye surgery, especially when they have such a significant impact on patient outcomes," says Stephen S. Lane, MD, ASCRS president, clinical professor of ophthalmology, University of Minnesota. "In fact, we have just included information on wavefront in our LASIK Screening Guidelines to ensure that patients are informed about this new tool and how it may affect their vision quality."

LASIK is currently the most common type of laser eye surgery in the U.S., performed an estimated 1.5 million times each year. The LASIK Screening Guidelines, the first initiative of the Eye Surgery Education Council (ESEC), were designed to help patients assess whether they are an 'ideal,' 'less than ideal' or 'non' LASIK candidate. The LASIK guidelines outline what patients should expect from their doctor and from the procedure itself. The recently-updated guidelines include a description of wavefront and how it works, potential evaluation and treatment uses for the technology and a discussion of expectations for wavefront-guided procedures.

About the ESEC
The Eye Surgery Education Council (ESEC) is an initiative established by ASCRS, a professional society of ophthalmologists dedicated to raising the standards and skills of surgeons, who operate on the anterior (front) segment of the eye, through clinical education, and to work with patients, government and the medical community to promote delivery of quality eye care. The ESEC, which is committed to helping patients make informed decisions about undergoing laser eye surgery, has two missions - to provide patients with accurate, accessible information, and to promote active physician/patient discussion about the benefits and risks of laser eye surgery procedures.

The materials available from ESEC are educational in nature and are not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice. The decision whether to undergo laser eye surgery must be made by each individual based on the relevant facts and circumstances acting in consultation with a qualified eye care professional.

For more information about wavefront-guided LASIK, and other new technologies in the field of laser eye surgery, please visit the Web at www.eyesurgeryeducation.com or call the ESEC at 1-800-536-ESEC.

The ESEC is supported by unrestricted educational grants from the ASCRS Foundation, which supports education, research and charitable eye care projects in the developing world.

1. Multicenter Trial of Wavefront-Guided LASIK, Robert Maloney, MD, Colman Kraff, MD, William Culbertson, MD, Terrence O'Brien, MD, Douglas Koch, MD. ASCRS/ASOA Annual Symposium & Congress, San Francisco, April 2003.
2. U.S. Clinical Trial of LASIK for Myopia with the Zyoptix System: Efficacy Assessment and Patient Satisfaction, Stephen G. Slade, MD, ASCRS/ASOA Annual Symposium & Congress, San Francisco, April 2003.

This article comes from Science Blog. Copyright 2004

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