As there are various different types of laser eye surgery, you may have questions about which procedure would be the most suitable for you.
It is generally agreed that the most accurate type of laser eye surgery is Intralase (femtosecond laser) LASIK with Wavefront. This type of laser eye surgery is the safest, most accurate and has the quickest and most comfortable recovery period.
When deciding on laser eye surgery you will typically have to choose between LASIK and LASEK and in terms of visual outcomes there is very little to choose between them. However, LASIK generally results in a quicker and more comfortable recovery time and for this reason is usually considered the first choice for laser eye surgery. If you participate in contact sports, LASEK may be more suitable for you as it doesn’t weaken the surface of the cornea.
Intralase LASIK with Wavefront
Intralase: This is a type of LASIK and relates to the way in which the flap is created during the procedure. Intralase is in fact just a type of femtosecond laser and different clinics will use different manufacturers. Two examples are Z (Zeimer) Lasik and Technolas Perfect Vision. Creating the flap with Intralase (or any other femtosecond laser) produces a quicker healing time, better chance of achieving 20/20 vision and reduced risk of night vision problems.
Intralase creates the flap using a laser, whereas standard LASIK uses a surgical blade. The procedure is also often referred to as bladeless LASIK. You can read more about the advantages of Intralase at the following link: Why is Intralase better?
Wavefront: This can be added on to either LASIK or LASEK. Wavefront typically results in a more accurate procedure meaning the chances of achieving 20/20 vision after surgery are higher. Your night vision will also be significantly better following surgery when compared with standard LASIK. If you have large pupils or already have night vision problems, your surgeon may insist that you have this treatment. Although Wavefront does produce better results, many of the latest lasers incorporate Wavefront correction in to their lasers as standard.
Points To Consider
Ensuring you get the best laser eye surgery is not just as simple as having femtosecond LASIK with Wavefront as clinics generally use different manufacturers of equipment to perform the procedures. Most clinics will claim that their lasers and technology are the best on the market but the only real way to know for certain is to ask them for their audited laser eye surgery results and complication rates. Ideally you want the highest percentage of patients achieving 20:20 vision combined with the lowest complication rates. Although the risks of laser eye surgery are very small there is still some variation between different clinics and surgeons.
There is also some variability in the performance of different laser eye surgeons so ideally you should ask to see the individual results of the surgeon who will be performing your surgery. A better surgeon will increase your chances of getting better vision as well as minimising the risk of complications.