Friday, February 1, 2013

LASIK: What Matters Most?

Does technology matter in LASIK and other forms of Laser Vision Correction? Of course it does. After all, the technology underlying modern vision correction using lasers is nothing short of fantastic. Every year there are evolutionary changes in how doctors perform LASIK and PRK. Unlike in the earliest days of the makers of laser equipment leapfrogged each other with every new development we are now in the phase of tiny incremental improvements. Which laser is used is not really a predictor for your success.

How about making the LASIK flap? Doesn't the technology matter there? Most flaps are now being made with a different type of laser called a Femto-Second Laser for so-called "All-Laser LASIK". In the earlier days of LASIK mechanical keratomes using ultra-sharp blades were used to create the LASIK flaps. At the same time that laser flaps were being developed these mechanical flap-makers were also undergoing continuous improvement. A landmark study was published in December 2011 comparing LASIK results using Femto-Second lasers and mechanical flap makers. There was NO DIFFERENCE in visual outcomes and NO DIFFERENCE in complication rates for either. How your flap is made is not really a predictor for you success.

So what matters when it comes to your LASIK success? If the particular laser doesn't make a difference, and whether your flap is made with a laser or a keratome doesn't affect your outcome, what is it that makes a difference?


The technology for laser vision correction and the creation of the LASIK flap is now relatively uniform across platforms and between companies. The most important variable is your surgeon. Experience counts. Quality counts. The track record counts. Dr. Darrell White is the dean of laser refractive surgeons in Cleveland. He has the longest continuous track record dating back to the very first lasers in town in 1994, and he has been achieving class-leading results all along!

What matters most in LASIK is your surgeon.

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