Refractive Surgery

About Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgery involves modification of the eye’s focusing power, usually through laser treatment of the cornea, to reduce or eliminate a patient’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Surgeons at Cole Eye Institute use several laser platforms to perform corneal refractive surgery: the Alcon WaveLight® EX 500 excimer laser, which delivers the corrective photoablative profile, the Alcon WaveLight® FS200 femtosecond laser for flap creation, and the ZEISS VisuMax® femtosecond laser for flap creation and for performing a newer procedure called SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction).

This section reports outcomes of 906 eyes treated in 2022 with femtosecond laser-assisted surgery in situ keratomileusis (LASIK, also referred to as FemtoLASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), a flapless approach, also commonly referred to as surface ablation. Most treatments are performed using a wavefront-optimized (WFO) ablation profile with the EX500 excimer laser. Outcomes for all procedures are reported as the percentage of eyes with uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) of 20/20 or 20/25, eyes with an exceptional outcome (UCVA of 20/16 or better), and eyes with UCVA meeting the requirements for driving without glasses (20/40 or better).

Some patients are not candidates for laser vision correction by LASIK, or PRK, but may be candidates for lens implants (Visian® ICL and Visian Toric ICL phakic intraocular lenses for correcting high myopia or myopic astigmatism, respectively) or refractive lens exchange surgery. The results of these surgeries are not reported here. A VISX™ Star S4 excimer laser is used only for therapeutic laser treatments for corneal scars and dystrophies and therefore is not included in these refractive surgery outcomes.