LASIK: Seeing in high definition

August 6, 2019

When Joseph Russo first opened his eyes after laser vision correction surgery, he was overcome with emotion. Everything around him looked crystal clear. The curtain of blurriness he was so accustomed to due to significant nearsightedness had been lifted away in a matter of minutes.

“My vision was so bad, we would have to be touching noses for me to see you,” Russo explains. “After I had my first eye procedure and saw the vision comparison between my two eyes, I just wanted to cry. On the way home, I could see street signs without glasses for the first time. All I could think was, ‘This was all it took?’ I was under a laser for 5 minutes.”

Russo, 23, a teacher in Saugus who plays goalie in several soccer leagues, said sports goggles were never strong enough to help him see so he had to wear contacts, which would on occasion pop out at the worst times. Now, he does not have to wear glasses or contacts. For him, laser vision correction was literally a game changer. And thanks to new technology, Russo and other patients stand a greater chance of not having to wear glasses and even seeing better than they ever could with glasses or contacts.

Russo is on of the first group of patients at OCB to undergo a laser vision procedure powered by the new iDesign Advanced Wavescan Studio System. The system generates a high-definition scan of the eye that is significantly more precise than any other existing methods used to measure and correct vision. It acts as the brain of the laser vision correction procedure, measuring and mapping irregularities of the tye that may impact vision, and then creates a personalized treatment plan based on the unique refractive “blueprint” of each person’s eye.

The increased precision provided by this new technology translates to better more accurate vision for the patient.

“This new wavefront technology represents the most significant advancement in laser vision correction that we have seen in over a decade,” said OCB Ophthalmologist Peter Rapoza, MD. “I am thrilled to see that our already exceptional visual outcomes are even more accurate than before. We have patients who were nearsighted, who return to the office on the the day after surgery with 20/15 vision.”

Dr Rapoza began using the iDesign system in March and reports that the initial group of 69 eyes in 35 of his nearsighted patients who underwent LASIK with a goal of excellent distance vision achieved visual acuity without glasses on their first post-operative day of 20/15 in 43% of eyes, 20/20 or better in 98.5% of eyes and 20/25 or better in 100% of eyes. By the second week with 47 eyes in 24 patients examined, 70% had visual acuity of 20/15 and 100% achieved 20/20 or better. With traditional laser vision correction procedures, more than 90 percent of people achieve somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision.

In laser vision correction procedures, such as Lasik (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) or PRK (photorefractive keratectonomy) a specialized laser, called an excimer laser, is used to reshape the eye’s cornea to improve the way the eye focuses light rays onto the retina at the back of the eye. The laser is guided through exact measurements of your eyes that are taken with the new iDesign Wavefront guided system. The system uses waves of light to precisely map the anatomy of your eye, at 5 times more resolution than previous wavefront guided technology, capturing more than 1200 data points from each eye.

“People who may not have been candidates for laser vision correction using wavefront-guided treatments in the past, now may qualify for these more advanced treatments due to their FDA approval for a wider range of optical correction,” said Dr. Rapoza.

*Results vary from patient to patient. Laser vision correction greatly reduces and may eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. The new iDesign technology further increases the chances that patients will not need glasses.