This is a great story about the surgeon who first perfected radial keratotomy (RK), the original vision correction surgery that used knives instead of lasers. Here’s an excerpt:
The first medical procedure that had millions of people throwing away their glasses was pioneered in Soviet Russia. Many surgeons had tried before, but Svyatoslav Fyodorov was the first to perfect radial keratotomy, or RK, a surgical procedure that corrects nearsightedness.
Fyodorov’s story is the stuff of medical myth. A little boy gets in a fight and breaks his glasses, cutting his eye. All of a sudden, he could see better. The little boy’s doctor, Fyodorov, asked himself, if accidental cuts can improve vision, what could precision cuts do?
The story may or may not be true. It’s more likely that Fyodorov, as creative a salesman as he was a surgeon, probably read about botched RK attempts in the medical literature and got to work.
It’s interesting that Fyodorov started doing laser eye surgery once people realized that the RK procedure was unstable and some people who were nearsighted became farsighted.
VISX Star S4
A lot of lasik vision correction clinics will advertise that they are equipped with the most advanced equipment. For instance, if you go to a website for your local LasikPlus Vision Center they’ll say they have the VISX Star S4 laser.
So what is the VISX laser, and why is it so great?
VISX is a Santa Clara, CA company that designs, manufactures, and sells laser vision correction systems. Their most advanced lasik vision surgery system is the Star S4 IR Excimer Laser System.
The VISX Star S4 integrates with the WaveScan WaveFront system which generates highly accurate 3-D maps of each eye, detailing the tiniest abberations and disorders. By integrating with the WaveFront maps, the VISX laser can be extremely precise during the lasik surgery procedure.
Also, the VISX Star S4 removes the smallest amount of corneal tissue of any laser available. This gives shorter treatment times and greater flexibility to personalize the laser treatment.
My advice is to ask your lasik clinic which lasers they use, including the name and model. Then do your research on the Internet to make sure they’re using the level of technology that makes you feel most comfortable.
Which Laser is Best for LASIK?
It’s reasonable to want to know as much as possible about the equipment being used for your lasik vision correction surgery. But unless you already know a lot about the different types of excimer lasers used for lasik (do you know the differences between Slit scanning lasers, Spot scanning lasers, and Wavefront-guided lasers?), you’ll have a tough time telling which lasik laser is best.
This article does a very good job describing the different lasik lasers and what features each of them have. A handy table compares common lasik lasers such as the Alcon LADARVision 4000, Bausch & Lomb Technolas 217A, Nidek EC-5000, Visx Star S4, Visx Star S4 IR, and the WaveLight Allegretto Wave.
While not coming right out and saying which is the best lasik laser, the article concludes with an important point:
…no matter which laser is used, remember that ultimately your surgeon’s skill and experience likely will be the most important factors affecting your LASIK outcome.
So don’t get hung up on finding the best laser for your lasik surgery–focus on finding a great lasik surgeon, instead.
If you’re in the Atlanta area and you’re looking for the cost to get lasik surgery from Emory Vision (an affiliate of Emory Healthcare), you’ll have a hard time finding it on their website here
However, with a little investigation, I found out what other people have paid to get lasik vision correction from Emory Vision. Here’s a quote from a recent Yelp review of Emory:
I finally decided to have laser correction this year, and was able to put money pre-tax straight from my paycheck into a flexible health spending account to pay for it. I work at Emory U, so I got a 25% off discount, which at the normal rate of $2400 per eye means I saved $1200 having both eyes done. Expensive – yes, but I would have happily paid twice that had I known how it would turn out.
Based on this and other Emory Vision reviews, you can expect to pay a minimum of $2400 per eye, or $4200 total.
If you are considering lasik vision surgery from Emory, though, make sure you fill out the form here to get a coupon good for a $1000 discount.
This site made me laugh. Apparently lasik lasers have gotten so advanced you can buy your own Scal-Pal Scanning Adjusting Laparascopic Personal Laser and give yourself lasik surgery in the comfort of your own home.
The good news is your Lasik@Home kit only costs $99. The bad news is if you end up with worse vision than when you started you only have yourself to blame!
What cracks me up the most about this is the doctor in the photos is wearing glasses!
Somebody order this and tell me how it goes.
According to this Wictionary entry, nystagmus is “rapid involuntary eye movement, usually lateral.” It would seem that jerky eye movement would eliminate someone as a candidate for delicate laser eye surgery. But not always, at least according to this site:
“Refractive surgery is sometimes impossible for individuals with nystagmus, but not always. Newer excimer lasers used for conventional or wavefront custom Lasik, All-Laser Lasik, PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik have the ability to follow these movements.
An evaluation by a competent refractive surgeon can determine if a person with nystagmus is a viable candidate for any type of refractive surgery.”
So lasik vision correction may be a possibility for you, even if you have nystagmus.