Custom Wavefront LASIK Surgery is a relatively new procedure that offers distinct advantages over traditional LASIK eye surgery. This procedure uses equipment that is capable of making more precise measurements of the eye than traditional LASIK. This results in customized LASIK procedure tailor-fit for each individual. The laser used for measuring is also faster than what is used for traditional Lasik procedures. This allows the laser to keep up with the quick and uncontrollable eye movements (saccadic eye movements), resulting in more accurate measurements that will greatly reduce the possibility of any LASIK side effects.
The equipment used is so advanced that it can measure the unique ability of a patient’s eye to absorb and reflect light. It is capable of making 200 unique measurements that create a three-dimensional topographic map of the cornea. When comparing this to the three measurements that traditional LASIK equipment makes it’s quite impressive.
As valuable as wavefront technology may be for patients, the advanced capability of wavefront guided LASIK only accounts for a small portion of the wavefront LASIK costs. The main reasons are more a matter of practicality.
TIME. Time is money. Custom LASIK requires that the LASIK surgeon and staff spend extra time for preoperative tests and analysis. They will need to spend approximately one hour more with each Custom LASIK patient than with a traditional Lasik patient. The extra time is spent evaluating your condition to assess whether you are a viable candidate for wavefront LASIK. The pre-operative analysis, operating and monitoring the equipment during the mapping procedure and the actual procedure all take longer due to its complexity.
EQUIPMENT COST. Wavefront equipment is more expensive than equipment used in traditional laser eye surgery. Purchase, lease and maintenance of the wavefront equipment are higher, as well as the additional supplies that are required. The additional investment that is required by Laser clinics that enables them to perform LASIK wavefront surgery is often in excess of $100,000.00
Other expenses associated with the typical surgery include the following:
- Gowns, masks, gloves and other items
- Microkeratome blades, surgical solutions and medication used during the surgery
- Overhead costs for the surgical center, including office and surgical staff salary and benefits, rent, office equipment, and office administration
- Patient acquisition costs, which include advertising, seminars, and fees paid to other eye care practitioners for co-management
- Insurance to cover the facility, equipment and malpractice law suits
- Equipment leasing or purchase costs for other pieces of equipment used for associated procedures
ROYALTY. A royalty fee is also paid to the manufacturer each time the wavefront equipment is used. The royalty is between $140 and $250 per use (where use is defined as a procedure on only one eye). The price usually depends on the clinic’s arrangement with the equipment manufacturer. The royalty fee allows the manufacturer to recoup the cost of research and development for the technology.
It is for these reasons that Custom LASIK wavefront is priced higher than traditional LASIK surgery.
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