LASIK and Wavefront Technology

Wavefront Technology is with out question the best guide for Excimer Lasers, but not all the Laser can work with it, besides unfortunately is not for everyone.

Many people confuse this technology with Excimer Laser technology, while wavefront is actually what guide the Excimer laser in the procedure. In other words a device called Topographer take a very accurate map of the cornea in order to guide the Excimer laser treatment. Obviously the Excimer laser need to understand the reading from this device in order to proceed with the correction, So there must be a mutual compatibility between these two medical devices, but no all the Excimer laser are able to work with this technology and many consumers don't really know that, which create a misunderstanding. How can we tell? very easy, because they are saying even on the web (Custom LASIK alias Wavefront), and so lets clarify a bit about this particular technology.

Understanding where the Technology comes from

Wavefront guided Laser Vision Correction technology was originally developed for use in high-powered telescopes to reduce distortions when viewing distant objects in space. Using this technology, doctors can detect and measure the optical distortions unique to the entire optical system of your eye. Light travels in a procession of flat sheets known as wavefronts. Gentle wavefront lights enter the eye, pass through the entire optical system (cornea, lens and retina) and are then reflected back into the wavefront analyzer.

The wavefront analyzer compares the reflected wavefront with the original unaltered wavefronts. This produces a fingerprint of your vision. This information is then transferred to the excimer laser and is used as a guide to reshape the cornea during the laser vision treatment.

Advantage of the Tech

In the past, laser vision correction patients have occasionally complained about their night vision. Of course, these symptoms can even be present in people without LASIK or PRK whose vision is corrected with glasses or contact lenses. However, in the wavefront guided LASIK clinical studies, more people were satisfied or very satisfied with their night vision after their wavefront guided LASIK or PRK as compared to their prior level of satisfaction using glasses or contact lenses.

As we mentioned before, your eyes and vision are as unique to you as your fingerprints. For instance if you have the same diagnosis with the same prescription than others, you will be probably corrected with the same glasses or contact lenses prescription. But vision is more complex than that, and thanks to wavefront technology today Ophthalmologies are able to explore depeer about vision. To be more presise (Lower-order aberrations and Higher-order aberrations).

Lower-order aberrations can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses and conventional LASIK surgery. These types of corrections can treat Hyperopia, Myopia and Astigmatism.

Higher-order aberrations which are unique to every eye can result in visual symptoms such as halos, starbursts and glare.

Additional Information


The technology is contraindicated in patients with collagen vascular, autoimmune or immunodeficiency disease, signs of keratoconus or abnormal corneal topography, patients taking isotretinoin (Accutane®*) or amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone®†) or are pregnant or nursing.


The technology is not recommended in patients who have diabetes, a history of Herpes simplex or Herpes zoster keratitis, significant dry eye that is unresponsive to treatment, or severe allergies. For the treatment of low to moderate myopic astigmatism, lower uncorrected visual acuity may be anticipated in the treatment of higher degrees of myopia with and without astigmatism ( >-5.0 D).


Long term risks of wavefront-guided LASIK beyond 12 months have not been studied. The safety and effectiveness of wavefront-guided LASIK surgery has ONLY been established with an optical zone of 6 mm and an ablation zone of 8mm for myopic treatments, and an ablation zone of 9mm for hyperopic and mixed astigmatism treatments.

Page updated February 01, 2010