Should you wait for the newest technology to have laser eye surgery?
In our technology-crazed culture, where today’s “it” product everybody has to have is tomorrow’s “boat anchor,” it is sometimes prudent to wait and see if that gadget you’re salivating over has staying power. However, this does not really apply to vision correction surgeries. The current technologies we have for vision correction procedures are excellent, and are not likely to change significantly over the next five to ten years. Waiting for eye surgery because of new technology is much like saying you will wait to buy a computer because software and hardware is constantly evolving. While this is certainly true, current computer technology works well and future changes should not stop you from purchasing a computer.
LASIK and ICL are not likely to change significantly for the average patient.
As a member of the editorial board of our refractive surgery scientific journal, and by looking to foreign countries that have access to technologies long before they become FDA approved, I can look into the future of our field. While there may be some minor changes in the laser and lens delivery systems and microkeratomes, LASIK and ICL have been very safe and effective treatments since they were developed in the mid-1990s and will not likely change significantly for the average patient. The successful LASIK procedure I had on my own eyes in 1997 is only minimally different from the LASIK procedure that is offered today, some fifteen years later. If there is a technology that will be available in the future that will make a significant difference to a patient, I will certainly make the recommendation to wait for that technology—but this represents less than 1% of the patients I encounter, typically those who have had issues with previous eye surgery or have the disease keratoconus.
Dr. Paul J. Dougherty
Medical Director – Dougherty Laser Vision