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A Review of the History of Customized Corneal Ablation (Custom LASIK)

Posted Jul 09 2009 4:33pm
With the recent announcement by Technolas Perfect Vision of the FDA approval of its iris-tracking laser to improve LASIK outcomes, it reminded me that I was among the first to report on customized ablation (or Wavefront Driven LASIK), from its birth at the 1998 AAO Meeting, and subsequent blossoming at the 1999 ASCRS Meeting.

I was also the first to write about LASEK, the technique of pushing aside the epithelium and performing PRK on the surface of the cornea – as opposed to first making a flap with a microkeratome or laser, and then zapping the cornea to reshape it.

Here, in chronological order, is a series of writeups on these techniques that were first published in Ocular Surgery News, under my “Technology Update” byline:

1. I’ve Seen the Future....and its Custom Cornea, OSN, June 15, 1999.

I first learned about custom ablation at the 1998 AAO meeting, but it was at the 1999 ASCRS meeting that I came to realize that it was the future of refractive surgery.

2. Customized Ablation: the Future is Close, OSN, February 15, 2000.

Here is my report on my first encounter with wavefront and ray tracing diagnostics as a pre-cursor to customized ablation.

3. Customized Ablation: Getting Closer Yet, OSN, August 1, 2000.

At the 2000 ASCRS meeting I learned first-hand of the early results on the initial human clinical trials using wavefront combined with LASIK.

4. Customized Ablation: The Wave Moves Forward.....but Keep an Eye on a Newly Developed Technique....LASEK!, OSN, January 1, 2001.

My first exposure to LASEK – laser epithelial keratoplasty, as I explained it in detail.

5. AAO Report: LASEK, Customized Ablation Draws Interest, OSN, January 1, 2002.

More results from the ongoing custom LASIK trials and a new technique for performing LASEK.

6. AAO Refractive Pre-Meeting Focuses on LASIK, LASEK, OSN, January 15, 2002.

An overview of what was reported at the 2001 Refractive Surgery pre-AAO meeting.

7. ASCRS Report: Customized Ablation, Hyperopia & More, OSN, August 1, 2002.

An overview from the 2002 ASCRS meeting.

8. An AAO 2002 Update: Classic vs. Custom LASIK -- The Battle Continues, OSN, January 1, 2003.

And finally, my last report for OSN, reviewing the latest developments occurring at the 2002 AAO meeting.

9. Custom Ablation #9: Questions......and Answers

An update and answers to the question – Custom vs Classic Lasik.

Along with its April 2006 issue, CRS Today published a supplement (sponsored by an unrestricted grant from Advanced Medical Optics) that answered the questions I had raised in previous columns on customized ablation concerning whether wavefront-optimized LASIK was as good as wavefront-guided ablation. (And, were either better than conventional LASIK?)


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