WFG is a procedure that uses detailed wavefront generated measurements to make a personalized laser treatment fit for the patient's eye anatomy and vision-correcting needs.
The introduction of wavefront-guided technology in 1999 was a significant improvement in the field of refractive surgery. Its development in ophthalmology aimed to reduce post LASIK effects such as difficulty in seeing at low light surroundings.
Besides dealing with post LASIK effects, the technique also has the potential to address both high and low order aberrations. Low order aberrations are refractive errors such as myopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia. On the other hand, high-order aberrations refer to eye irregularities that could result in glares, halos, and reduced contrast sensitivity.
Also Known As
- Wavefront-guided LASIK
- Custom LASIK
Before the Procedure
Like every other surgical procedure, it is essential to get detailed and reliable clinical data before the process. The doctor may conduct a medical exam to check if the eye is healthy.
The eye exam may also involve evaluating the patient's pupil size before commencing the procedure. If they are greater than the optical zone, which ranges from 6.00mm to 7.00mm, then s/he should inform the patient of the adverse effects the surgery may have on their vision.
The doctor may advise a patient to stop wearing contact lenses or any rigid gas permeable lenses a few weeks before evaluation. Since patients should not drive themselves, they should make arrangements on how to get home after the surgery.
On the day of surgery, the doctor will measure the eye's wavefront to determine the patient's specific correction. It is done by projecting light into the eye and measuring the light that is reflected out.
After installing eye drops to dilate the pupil, the doctor will then chose an optic zone that best suits the patient. While on the laser bed, the patient receives numbing drops in the eye to ensure they feel no pain during treatment.
Using an instrument called a microkeratome, the surgeon creates a thin flap of tissue from the cornea then folds it back. Below the flap, the doctor uses a laser to make the front surface of the cornea flat.
S/he then directs laser light to the eye to remove small amounts of tissue based on the patient's wavefront analysis. As this happens, the patient should keep still and focus on the red light.
When the laser treatment is complete, the flap is put back in its original position, and the patient receives some eye drops. The doctor then covers the eye with a bandage contact lens and leaves it to heal.
Risk & Complications
Wavefront technology, in general, comes about with different challenges. It may include the removal of more tissue than was necessary and is a problem where the cornea is thin. Other risks include:
- Temporary swelling
- Increase in pressure inside the eye
- Unstable vision for three to six months after surgery.
Patients may feel pain and a bit of discomfort a week after surgery. One may also have the sensation of something in the eye, light sensitivity, and a blurry vision.
Aftercare & Recovery
The eyes may be a little sensitive; therefore, wearing sunglasses, especially when outside, can help reduce this.
Due to pain after a few days from surgery, the doctor may prescribe pain relievers to ease the pain.
Lubricants, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications are also used after the surgery, as directed by the doctor.
Patients should avoid rubbing their eyes in the first 3 to 5 days, as this may cause the flap to move.
WFG is a permanent surgery that can successfully improve a patient's vision quality and quantity. A variety of factors contribute to the success of customized LASIK. Among them are:
- Accurate prediction and management of the possible issues that may develop during the recovery period.
- Appropriate selection of patients
- Excellent wavefront data
Most patients undergoing surgery do not require corrective wear for a couple of years.