Customized LASIK provides measurable clinical and economic benefits

September 13, 2005

Lisbon, Portugal - A shift from conventional to wavefront-guided LASIK has resulted in reduced enhancement rates that translate into significant cost savings to the practice, said Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, adjunct professor emeritus, department of ophthalmology, University of Minnesota, and founding partner, Minnesota Eye Consultants, Minneapolis, United States.

Lisbon, Portugal - A shift from conventional to wavefront-guided LASIK has resulted in reduced enhancement rates that translate into significant cost savings to the practice, said Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, adjunct professor emeritus, department of ophthalmology, University of Minnesota, and founding partner, Minnesota Eye Consultants, Minneapolis, United States.

To evaluate the clinical and economic impact of wavefront-guided LASIK at Minnesota Eye Consultants, Dr. Lindstrom performed a retrospective study evaluating outcomes for two cohorts of patients treated over a 12-month period. The first group underwent conventional LASIK with a VISX laser between August 2001 and July 2002, and the second group was treated with customized LASIK using the VISX CustomVue system from August 2003 to July 2004. All patients treated during each period were included, and enhancement rates were calculated based on procedures performed during the 13-month period after the primary surgery.

For the conventional LASIK group, 62% of eyes achieved uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) of 20/20 or better and the enhancement rate was 9.8%. With customized ablation, 91% of eyes achieved UCVA of 20/20 or better and the enhancement rate was cut nearly in half to 5.2%. Dr. Lindstrom estimated the reduced need for enhancement resulted in an approximate $100,000 savings for the practice.

“We believe there are many ways to reduce the enhancement rate still further. However, the enhancement rate for a more contemporary group of patients is probably even lower than 5.2% taking into account the current availability of customized treatment for patients with hyperopia, mixed astigmatism, and higher levels of myopia. Based on our experience, we have now become a 100% custom practice and perform the CustomVue procedure for any patient who is qualified for it,” said Dr. Lindstrom. He is a consultant to VISX.