Patients with mixed astigmatism can be challenging to treat with LASIK. The recent FDA approval of a new indication for wavefront-guided technology (iDesign Advanced WaveScan Studio System, Abbott) could make treatment for this patient segment a little easier.
Used in tandem with an excimer laser system (Star S4 IR, Abbott), the wavefront technology provides surgeons with detailed information for precise and individualized treatment. Previously approved for hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism, the approval with mixed astigmatism helps reach another potential group of patients, said Robert K. Maloney, MD, Los Angeles. He was involved with FDA trials for the system and has used it for about 4 years.
About 5% of his patients have mixed astigmatism. Though this may seem a small percentage, it is a large enough chunk that surgeons would not want to turn them away, he noted.
“It’s not terribly common, but if you want to be a comprehensive refractive surgeon, you have to be able to handle those patients,” he said.