Refractive Procedures at Baylor College of Medicine

Our team of physicians are board certified and have specialized fellowship training in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. Together, they provide the safest and most effective procedures tailored to each individual’s needs. In addition to providing elite care, our team is dedicated to advancing the science of vision through leading-edge research and education. Our physicians have played an important role in several major clinical and scientific advances, including:

  • Scanning excimer laser technology
  • Devices used to measure and treat the eyes with lasers
  • Methods to treat astigmatism
  • New surgical instruments
  • Clinical evaluation and the development of devices required for measuring the cornea

Laser Vision Correction Surgery

Laser vision correction surgery involves the use of lasers or other devices to treat the refractive errors of the eye. For laser eye surgery, our physicians use the newest technologies that are available for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. All of these refractive procedures for laser vision correction have one goal in mind: to reduce one's need for glasses and contact lenses.

See our patient information page for benefits, risks, cost, frequently asked questions and more.

Our Lasers

The Alkek Eye Center houses two of the lasers used for laser vision correction: the VISX STAR S4 excimer laser and the IntraLase® FS laser.

VISX STAR S4 Excimer Laser

The VISX STAR S4 laser is FDA approved for treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This laser uses a scanning delivery system that produces an extremely smooth corneal surface. It features superb optics, an accurate calibration mechanism and a unique infrared tracker that ensures that the laser treatment is properly centered on the eye.

VISX CustomVue Technology

The VISX STAR S4 laser has the capability of performing customized treatments with the CustomVue technology. CustomVue uses wavefront technology that was originally developed for measuring optical imperfections in high-powered astronomical telescopes.

Wavefront technology has been adapted to measure optical distortions or aberrations in the eye. These aberrations, like fingerprints, are unique for each individual eye and they characterize focusing error well beyond the conventional methods that are used to prescribe eyeglasses. The VISX Wavescan technology measures light reflected off the inner surface of the eye to generate a map of the eye's optical aberrations. These measurements are 25 times more precise than the standard methods used for prescribing glasses and contact lenses.

This information is used to generate a customized laser treatment based on the optical properties of the patient's eyes. The Alkek Eye Center was one of six centers in the United States that were involved in the FDA clinical studies of the VISX CustomVue wavefront system.

The results of CustomVue LASIK for nearsightedness have been outstanding with 98 percent of patients seeing 20/20 or better without glasses or contact lenses one year after surgery. Compared to standard LASIK and PRK, CustomVue LASIK offers the potential for improved quality of vision, as well as a reduction in nighttime visual difficulties such as glare and halos.

IntraLase® FS Laser

The IntraLase® femtosecond laser introduces new high precision laser technology for creating the flap during the LASIK procedure.

During traditional LASIK, a mechanical microkeratome uses an oscillating metal blade to cut the corneal flap prior to laser treatment. Though rare, complications may occur during flap creation with a microkeratome that can adversely affect the surgical outcome.

Blade-free LASIK with the IntraLase enables our physicians to create very precise flaps with improved safety and reliability, providing a more comfortable patient experience with a significant reduction in risk.