Making waves in 2006

December 1, 2006

The wavefront guided approach has certainly yielded the best outcomes in my practice; patient satisfaction rate is very high, while the retreatment rate is extremely low at 2.3%

Refractive and cataract surgery techniques have continued to advance at a rapid pace in 2006, with eye surgeons embracing new and improved ways of vision correction for their patients.

Waving goodbye to conventional laser correction

The general consensus seems to be that wavefront-guided treatment is an excellent treatment option for those patients who have large amounts of preoperative higher order aberrations (HOAs) and if the spherocylinder error is low, equating to around 20-25% of eyes overall, with wavefront-optimized treatment still offering excellent outcomes in all other cases.

Some of the wavefront systems to hit the headlines in 2006 include Bausch & Lomb's Zyoptix, which has added a 100 Hz excimer laser to its refractive surgery platform that, according to the company, offers the fastest laser correction treatments currently available; twice the speed of its older system. The US firm has also loaded its Zyoptix platform with many new improvements including the Zyoptix Aspheric, which has been found to induce significantly less amounts of spherical aberrations compared with conventional LASIK treatment and a new nomogram, developed by Scott MacRae of the University of Rochester, USA, which has been shown to neutralize interactions of HOAs, providing more predictable visual outcomes.

New diagnostics made a great impact in 2006

According to Dr Mertens, by far the biggest change witnessed by those operating in the refractive laser surgery sector in 2006 has been in the diagnostic and imaging capabilities introduced. "The diagnostics for HOAs and wavefront-guided treatments have become much simpler. Measurements are more reliable, more repeatable and, also, because measurements can be taken faster, the tear film does not influence the measurement results as much as it did before."