Wavefront-optimized excimer laser offers excellent outcomes, low enhancement rates

October 25, 2004

New Orleans-The Allegretto Wave excimer laser (WaveLight Laser Technologie AG) is a wavefront-optimized platform that provides surgeons with the ability to minimize induced spherical aberration with the creation of a prolate ablation profile.

The end result is better refractive outcomes, a lower enhancement rate, and improved patient satisfaction, according to proponents of the system.

The excimer laser, which received FDA approval in October 2003 for both myopic and hyperopic LASIK, is a flying spot laser that uses a Gaussian beam, the fluence of the beam is above the ablation threshold of the cornea, and has an active eye tracker with a quick response time. In addition, the laser has the fast treatment speed of 200 Hz of any refractive laser on the market, according to Michael Gordon, MD, who spoke about transitioning to this new technology during a breakfast session at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting.

"Why is speed important?" said Dr. Gordon, "We know that hydration factors enter into our outcomes. No surgeon likes to have a procedure go on for 1.5 to 2 minutes. It is a quick laser that gives excellent results."

This wavefront-optimized ablation produced by the Allegretto Wave creates a prolate shape after refractive surgery.

"With an aspheric cornea, you see the rays of light coming into focus. Patients have said that they see better at night (after the procedure) than they did before surgery. With the other laser treatments, one produces more oblate-shaped corneas," noted Karl G. Stonecipher, MD, who focused on integration of the technology into one's practice.

Physicians also commented on the low enhancement rates with the Allegretto Wave, as low as 1% of cases treated, remarked Guy M. Kezirian, MD, who explained the company's new DataLink project to help physicians improve outcomes.

Other speakers during the breakfast session included Alan R. Faulkner, MD, who spoke about increased patient satisfaction; Herman D. Sloane, MD, who covered the optimization of patient flow; David T.C. Lin, MD, who spoke about future technologies; and Michael Malley, MD, who stressed the importance of a marketing strategy.