The technology used in the laser vision correction procedure, LASIK, has improved dramatically in the almost two decades it has been available in the U.S. The improvements in technology have helped shape the long-term results realized by LASIK patients. Once uncertain, experts now agree that the procedure has little negative effect and is now safer and more beneficial than ever before.
LASIK, which stands for Laser Assisted Stomal In-situ Keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure that uses laser energy to reshape the eye’s cornea. By reshaping the cornea, vision is improved and the need for glasses or contact lenses is eliminated or reduced.
A 2008 study into LASIK outcomes after ten years by Spanish researchers found that the vast majority of patients still had healthy corneas and good overall vision. Research 15 years’ post-LASIK still show excellent overall outcomes.
“It has been 16 years since I performed my first LASIK procedure and I have many patients from then who still have stable 20/20 vision,” said James Kiley, MD, Refractive Surgeon at Raleigh Eye Center.
Technology continues to improve, which makes the procedure safer than ever before with better results. One of the ways technology has improved is the ability for lasers to now treat not only the prescription, but also the tiny irregularities found on the surface of the cornea. These irregularities can distort the quality of vision one has.
“By being able to create a truly custom treatment for our patients, we can give them a better overall outcome with reduced distortions,” said Kiley.
The long-term outcomes and safety of LASIK patients are expected to continue to improve because of the improvements to technology. In addition to the improvements in technology, there is more pre-operative testing performed now versus 15 years ago. This provides greater insight into the patient and helps eliminate potential problems that could arise following treatment.
One thought among those considering LASIK is to wait for technology to get better than it is right now. While there is merit to waiting and studies show improved outcomes over time, the majority patients who had LASIK 15 years ago are still seeing very well.
“I cannot imagine having waited to have LASIK,” said Leslie Arnold, LASIK patient. “Having LASIK at Raleigh Eye Center 16 years ago is the best decision I ever made.
The question then becomes whether it is worthwhile to wait for technology or to enjoy the benefits of clear vision now. Choosing when to have LASIK is a very personal decision and should be taken seriously.
For more information about LASIK vision correction or Raleigh Eye Center, visit http://raleigheyecenterlasik.com.