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Beyond supervision

The ophthalmologist who pioneered customized LASIK surgery supervision now aims to further improve patients' eyesight and minimize the risk of side effects. Patients should benefit from several recent discoveries, Scott MacRae, M.D., told an audience of eye doctors in a keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology last month.

The techniques appear crucial for minimizing unwanted side effects and allowing patients, most of whom now have vision of 20/16 or better, to enjoy the full effects of a type of enhanced vision that wasn't even a twinkle in the eye of doctors 20 years ago.

"We're trying to improve upon something where people already come out and say, "Wow, I've never seen that well." We're learning how to make an extremely effective surgery even better," says MacRae, professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Rochester Medical Center and medical director of Strong Vision.

The field of supervision or "customized ablation" had its genesis in laboratory work in the early 1990s at the University of Rochester, where a team led by David Williams discovered how to use a laser beam to take the best images ever of the inner eye in people, then used the new technology to discover dozens of defects "higher-order aberrations" in our vision that were previously unknown.

Around the same time, the popularity of refractive surgery, where surgeons use a laser beam to sculpt the cornea to improve vision, was beginning to take off. Williams' research helped bring to Rochester MacRae, a pioneering refractive surgeon, and the two teamed up at the University of Rochester Eye Institute in an effort to improve eyesight to a degree previously unheard of.

Using Williams' laboratory work as a road map to the intricacies of the inner eye, MacRae developed customized ablation, a custom version of refractive surgery that corrects for the previously unknown nuances of a person's vision
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Contact: Tom Rickey
tom_rickey@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-7954
University of Rochester Medical Center
15-Nov-2004


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