When you start looking into having LASIK, you may come across a lot of “fancy” terms, and you probably won’t know what they mean. LASIK lingo can be confusing to a lot of people, so we put together a guide to help you understand common terms associated with LASIK procedure. These terms can usually fit under the categories of either flap creation or vision correction.
Microkeratome – A Microkeratome is an instrument used to create the LASIK flap. This is the instrument that was used when LASIK first came into practice. A procedure using a microkeratome might be referred to as a “bladed” or “traditional” LASIK procedure
Intralase Laser – The Intralase laser was the first blade-free technology used to create the LASIK flap. This laser is more precise and accurate than the microkeratome instrument, and it reduces the risk for complications during and after procedure. This introduction of this laser opened the door for more patients to have LASIK who may not have been good candidates for the traditional method.
Ziemer – This laser has been the upgraded technology from the Intralase laser used to create the flap. It decreases the side effects that were seen with the Intralase laser, such as light sensitivity and foreign body sensation after procedure. It also allows for a more uniform and less traumatic procedure. This laser is comparable to the Wavelight FS200 laser.
Wavelight FS200 Laser – The FS200 laser, much like the Ziemer laser, is known for its fast flap creation, with the ability to create a flap in approximately 6 seconds. Much like the Excimer laser, it is also known for its precision and accuracy, as well as allowing more patients to be eligible for LASIK procedure.
Excimer Laser – There are many types of Excimer lasers, some that are custom and some that are not custom. This is the type of laser that corrects the vision after the flap is created. It is important to recognize the type of laser a surgeon will be using for your specific procedure. Oftentimes, a lower price of procedure will correlate with an older technology laser. Below are explanations of different types of Excimer lasers that are currently in use.
Wavelight EX200 and EX400 – The Wavelight EX200 and EX400 lasers are older custome wavefront optimized excimer lasers that are used for vision correction treatment during a LASIK procedure. The numbers 200 and 400 refer to the speed of ablation, which is measured in Hertz (Hz). The speed of ablation refers to how fast the vision correction treatment is. It is important to understand that when a patient is told that their treatment will be Wavefront Optimized, that does not necessarily mean that it is the most recent technology.
Wavelight EX500 – This is also sometimes referred to as Custom Wavefront Optimized LASIK and is the most recent FDA approved Excimer laser out on the market. It is one of the fastest vision treatment lasers, with a speed of 500 Hz and an average treatment time being about 1.4 seconds per diopter. This laser bases the patient’s vision treatment off the shape of their eye, which allows the surgeon to customize the laser treatment for each individual patient. The improvement of the software of this laser increased the safety for the patient during the procedure by allowing the surgeon to view each patient’s prescription while performing the procedure.
There are even older technologies that are not custom, such as the Nidek, the Bausch and Lomb, and the VISX lasers that are typically used in lower cost procedures, and companies may advertise large discounts on their procedures that use these lasers.
The newest technology in LASIK is Contoura Vision. This is an upgraded software that maps more points on the cornea to potentially improve visual outcomes. While Contoura is the newest addition to the LASIK family, LASIK procedures done with other lasers, like the EX500, still offer virtually the same results. They each continue to deliver great results with a very small risk of side effects.
These fancy LASIK words can be confusing to patients who are looking into LASIK procedure. But, it is important to know what these terms mean so you can pick the LASIK procedure that is right for you. Here at 20/20 Institute, we offer the latest FDA-approved lasers on all of our procedures, regardless of the price or prescription.
Are you ready to start your journey? Call us or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation today!