For some patients, details regarding gadgets and gizmos can be confusing. For others, it is irrelevant. However, some patients love the technical details and relish the minutiae. This page is for those patients that want to know more about the technology offered at Focal Point Vision.
Another note regarding technology used in ophthalmology: Many of our colleagues use technology-related jargon to differentiate themselves in a crowded field. For example: if LASIK is good, is Z-LASIK better?
In reality, there is no difference. Z-LASIK is done with a laser from the company Ziemer (hence the Z), and LASIK is done with a laser from the company Abbott Medical Optics. The procedures are identical.
At Focal Point Vision, we do not use technology to confuse our patients. Below you will find a list of our surgical and diagnostic equipment along with a description of what they do in layman’s terms.
Technology Used in Cataract Surgery
LenSx Femtosecond Laser — This is the same type of laser used in LASIK, but in cataract surgery, it is used in a different way. Prior to removal of the cloudy lens, your surgeon docks the LenSx and uses it to make bladeless corneal incisions to reduce astigmatism. Then the laser “unroofs” the cataract and softens it, so that it can be removed more easily. The goal of this technology is to correct astigmatism more precisely than with a blade, reduce the amount of sound energy needed to remove the cataract, and center the new artificial lens as well as possible. We perform cataract procedures at Specialty Surgery Center, and it is the only hospital in San Antonio with this state-of-the-art machine.
ReSTOR, Toric, Crystalens, Trulign, nanoFLEX Intraocular Lenses — These are the different types of IOLs, or Intraocular Lenses, that can be implanted during cataract surgery. Many patients ask us, “do you HAVE to put in a lens at the time of surgery?” The answer is YES! Cataract surgery involves removal of the cloudy, natural lens and placement of a permanent, artificial lens. Please see the laser cataract surgery section of our website for a discussion of the different types of IOLs. The bottom line is that Drs. Maverick and Lehmann have experience with ALL types of intraocular lenses and will help you decide which one is best for you.
Technology Used in LASIK
Intralase iFS — LASIK takes part in two stages. The first part involves the creation of a very thin flap, and in the past, this was done with a blade called a microkeratome. The use of a laser such as the Intralase iFS makes this step much safer and more precise. With this laser, we are able to create reproducible, beveled flaps in about 10 seconds!
Visx S4, Allegretto Wavelight — These are the lasers that perform the second part of LASIK surgery: the reshaping of the cornea. Both of these lasers use infrared cameras to “lock” on to your pupil and center the treatment. Why would we have two lasers? No other center in San Antonio has two lasers, but we feel that certain prescriptions are better treated with certain lasers. For example, we like to use the Wavelight for far-sighted patients and the Visx S4 for patients with high astigmatism.
Pentacam and Orbscan — These machines are utilized to measure the shape of the cornea. Think of them as CT scans of the cornea. They help us to determine if a patient is a good candidate for LASIK, and they help us diagnose and treat astigmatism and corneal scars.
Marco 3-D Wave — This machine helps us to measure a patient’s refractive error, or “what their prescription is.” However, it does much more! It can measure higher order aberrations, which are visual disturbances such as halos, ghost images and streaks of light that can bother patients and can be difficult to detect with normal equipment.
Visante Anterior Chamber OCT — This machine can perform precise measurements of the front part of the eye, the iris and cornea. It helps us to measure patients for surgery and detect glaucoma.
Cirrus HD-OCT — This machine is so important that we have one at each office! It gives us high-resolution images of the posterior part of the eye, the retina and optic nerve. We use it to detect retinal problems and glaucoma.
Atlas 9000 Corneal Topographer — This machine measures the shape of the cornea by projecting rings and measuring the distance between the rings. It helps us determine if a patient is a good candidate for LASIK, and it helps us diagnose and treat astigmatism.
Lenstar and IOL Master — These machines are used to measure patients for cataract surgery. In the old days, we would use ultrasound, but these machines use a laser to measure the length of the eye (a much more accurate technique). They help us to help patients see clearly after cataract surgery.
Lumenis Select II Laser — This machine is used to perform SLT, or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, a procedure used to treat high pressure in the eye. SLT is a painless procedure that takes 10 to 15 minutes and is used on open-angle glaucoma patients to lower the pressure.
NIDEK Confocal Microscope — We are especially proud of this machine, the only one in South Texas. It is a “living microscope” that we use to image the cornea and look for rare dystrophies and infections. Many patients are referred to our practice suffering from corneal ulcers, and this machine helps us to diagnose and treat these dangerous infections.
To learn more about Focal Point Vision, or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (210) 614-3600.