Over the past ten years, excimer laser technology has improved tremendously. Today’s lasers are faster, more accurate, more safe, and more efficient. In the initial FDA studies laser surgery patients were content with 20/40 vision. LASIK was viewed as a success when a patient could pass a driving test without glasses.
Today LASIK and laser eye surgery has reached a point where most patients consider their surgery a failure if 20/20 vision is not achieved on the first attempt. While this may or may not be a realistic expectation, more and more surgeons are able to achieve 20/20 results with greater than 90% frequency.
Even more important however is that the complications which once plagued laser surgery patients are becoming less and less frequent. Dryness is overcome with better pre- and post- treatment and improved patient selection. Glare has been significantly reduced by better measurements and improved excimer laser patterns as well as larger treatment zones and less tissue use.
Surgeons have improved as well with experience. As the technology allowed for better results, the LASIK specialist has adapted his or her own style and equipment choices to best serve the patients.
When choosing a LASIK surgeon, find someone with significant experience, advanced technology, and a good understanding of his or her limitations and the technology. They should be aware of what technology is available and be able to address their choice of excimer laser.
They should also be making regular upgrades. It is not unrealistic to expect a surgeon to upgrade their laser every 2 to 3 years. The best LASIK clinics routinely evaluate the newest upgrades available on the market and make decisions based on the needs of their patients.