How Does Topography-Guided LASIK Work? - Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute

How Does Topography-Guided LASIK Work?


LASIK is one of the most popular elective procedures you can undergo. It’s a minimally invasive vision correction procedure with a high success rate. 

After correcting their vision, over 95% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. LASIK can be life-changing for anyone with a refractive error who has to rely on contact lenses or glasses if they qualify. 

But there’s something even better than traditional LASIK surgery, and that’s topography-guided LASIK. To understand what topography-guided LASIK is, how it works, and why it’s superior to conventional LASIK methods, you must first understand how LASIK works. 

Keep reading to learn more about LASIK and how topography-guided LASIK works!

Conventional LASIK Procedures

LASIK is a procedure designed to correct refractive errors by changing the shape of your cornea. Your cornea is the clear, frontmost part of your eye. 

Light passes through your cornea and then refracts, bending to hit the right part of your eye at the correct angle. This is how you’re able to see. 

When you have a refractive error, your cornea is shaped in a way that makes light refract imperfectly, resulting in blurry vision. If you’re nearsighted or farsighted, light doesn’t refract correctly when looking at something too far away or close to you. 

If you have astigmatism, your vision is likely blurry at all distances. LASIK uses an excimer laser and a femtosecond laser to create a flap in the cornea and reshape tissue to correct your vision. 

Creating the flap in the cornea gives your surgeon access to the cornea. After LASIK, they replace the flap. It acts as a natural bandage that protects your eye as it heals.

Creating a flap in the cornea makes LASIK an advanced laser vision correction procedure. LASIK is more advanced than earlier refractive laser vision correction procedures, allowing patients to see immediate visual improvement. 

But topography-guided LASIK takes the original concepts of LASIK and improves on them further for a more evolved, precise procedure. 

Topography Guided LASIK

A conventional LASIK procedure uses a femtosecond laser and an excimer laser programmed to remove the right amount of tissue in the right places using the patient’s refractive error as a guide. But topography-guided LASIK uses more advanced equipment to program the excimer laser. 

This imaging equipment is called a topographer, and it creates a detailed topographic map of the patient’s eye. You may be familiar with the idea of topography. 

In geography, topography maps varying elevations in a given area. A topographical map of the eye is essentially the same thing. 

Like an area of land, your eye contains tiny mountains and valleys. The topographer uses 22,000 points of your cornea to make a detailed topographical map of your eye. 

The excimer laser is programmed using this data to precisely remove tissue in the correct areas. Programming the laser with this data allows your LASIK surgeon to tailor each procedure to every patient’s needs and corneas. 

Benefits of Topography-Guided LASIK

Topography-guided LASIK has several advantages over conventional LASIK procedures. Topography-guided LASIK is more precise, meaning fewer complications and potential risks occur during the procedure. 

LASIK already has a very low rate of complications. However, topography-guided LASIK lowers this rate even further. Patients that undergo topography-guided LASIK significantly reduce the risk of postoperative visual aberrations like glare, halos, and light sensitivity. 

The results from topography-guided LASIK are also even better than those seen with conventional LASIK procedures. Traditional forms of LASIK already came with an excellent success rate. 

Higher Success Rates

Most patients have 20/20 vision or better after a traditional LASIK procedure. But topography-guided LASIK builds on this and has an even higher success rate. How is this possible? 

A significant number of patients that undergo topography-guided LASIK achieve 20/15 vision. 20/20 vision is excellent, but 20/15 is even better. 

20/20 is considered normal vision, meaning you can see things that are 20 feet away from what you should usually be able to see at a distance away from you. If you have 20/15 vision, you can see an object 20 feet away as clearly as someone with normal vision could see it if it were only 15 feet away.

Along with giving you better vision, topography-guided LASIK is also easier to recover from. There’s a lower risk for post-surgical side effects like dry eye, so recovery tends to be faster and more comfortable. 

These patients have improved visual results and can enjoy their new vision even faster than those that undergo traditional LASIK procedures.

Who Should Get Topography-Guided LASIK?

Most people who make good LASIK candidates can have topography-guided LASIK. If you already qualify for LASIK, this will help you in your candidacy for topography-guided LASIK, like if you have a stable prescription, you’re at least 18 and you have thick enough corneas. 

However, you can only have topography-guided LASIK if you’re nearsighted or have astigmatism. Topography-guided LASIK is not available for farsighted patients.

Patients that may benefit the most from topography-guided LASIK are those with astigmatism, as every case of astigmatism is unique in how it combines with the rest of your vision. Having a precise map of your eye can be very helpful in correcting refractive errors that include any degree of astigmatism.

But you can benefit from topography-guided LASIK even if you’re nearsighted. To learn more, schedule your LASIK consultation today at Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute. It’s time to get your best vision ever!

Those who know choose Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute

Beautiful office. Amazing and caring staff. Getting my surgery done Saturday and the Doctor and the staff helped choose the right option for me and I didn't feel pushed to commit. One of the only few who commits the patient to a dry eye treatment as per my research. Post-surgery I hope to keep my 5 star rating because I have nothing bad to say!

Yogi Nayyar (Google), February 2020

I recently did my LASIK procedure about 1 week ago and was completely blown away from beginning to end with the SERVICE received from the entire staff at Herschel LASIK. The office is beautifully decorated and the staff was always professional, personable, knowledgeable and friendly. I particularly enjoyed the way that everything was explained clearly before, during and after my procedure and questions were always encouraged and answered. My experience was the best encounter to date with a physician. Excellent doctor + excellent support staff +excellent service = excellent experience and a happy customer. Thank you so much Dr. Herschel, Doris and Francesca.

Vernicia Sturrup (Google), September 2019

Great service, sometimes a bit of a wait, but I take a full lobby as a sign of a well recommended doctor. Staff is friendly & quick to answerphones & squeeze me in when I got an eye problem. Would definitely recommend them to anyone wanting to get LASIK. Doctor even personally called to check on me the night after my procedure.

Stephanie G. (Yelp), January 2020

I got my LASIK procedure done here. I was apprehensive, mostly because anything to do with my eyes kind of freaked me out.
I went under a free consultation. The nurses/assistants were very nice and they answered any questions I had. Then I met Dr. Herschel and he was very nice and understanding. He explained all that would happen, how everything works, how long recovery will be, everything.
So, I agreed and start the process. I love the fact you always meet with Dr. Herschel at every appointment.
I now have 20/20 vision.
I'd highly recommend going to him for all of your vision needs.

Kelsea K. (Yelp), November 2019

Great surgeon and great staff. Do your research, Dr. Herschel is more than just a LASIK surgeon. He is certified and specializes in all areas of eye surgery so have peace of mind that you are getting one of the best. They use current technology and machines. More so, if your eyes aren’t ready for surgery he has no problem delaying 1-2 weeks until they are 100% good-to-go. He will not risk your health for the sake of money.

Dave T. (Yelp)
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