Excimer laser refractive surgery is an important adjunct to the subspecialty of refractive surgery. LASIK has improved the outcomes and stability of refractive surgery to the point where the results, although not guaranteed, are certain enough that the procedures have gained widespread acceptance in the field of ophthalmology and optometry, and with the general public.
What does the future hold? Currently in the United States, myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism have all been approved for treatment. The issue of presbyopia is still looming, and anyone over forty knows the frustration of losing their near vision. Perhaps it will be possible to reshape the cornea so that it can focus at variable distances, restoring near and distance vision in the aging eye. Research into scleral expansion bands and anterior ciliary sclerotomy are new developments that may enable the restoration of near vision in the vast majority of aging patients. We are currently working on methods to restore the focusing muscles of the eye and are hopeful that one day even reading glasses will be a thing of the past.
Newer laser programs offer custom ablations that enable doctors to treat patients with irregular corneas and patients outside the treatment capability of present technology. Tracking devices that lock the laser beam onto the patient's eye may be beneficial for patients who fixate poorly and who require particularly long treatments.
Refractive surgery is becoming more and more commonplace. Some speculate that children will get their braces at twelve, their driver's license at sixteen, and their refractive surgery at twenty-one. The future is now.
About the Author
Ming Wang, MD, PhD
Dr. Ming Wang, MD, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert and teacher in laser vision correction and in cornea research. He received an MD (magna cum laude) from Harvard Medical School and MIT in Boston, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park in laser spectroscopy and atomic physics. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and subsequently completed several fellowships, including laser atomic physics from the National Science Foundation, molecular biology at Harvard Medical School, ocular genetics at Wills Eye Hospital, and a clinical fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.
Dr. Wang is currently the Director of the Wang Vision Institute, a state-of-the-art world class center for laser vision correction situated at the heart of Nashville, TN. The center provides a complete range of FDA-approved laser vision correction treatment and is one of the busiest referral centers in the south for the management of refractive surgery complications. Dr. Wang has performed over 8,000 LASIK procedures and PRK, LTK and AK procedures.
Supported by an NIH grant, Dr. Wang's principle research effort is the development of a novel technology to prevent trauma-caused corneal scarring and blindness. Dr. Wang has published over 40 scientific papers including one in the world-renowned journal Nature. Based on his US patent on a new type of contact lens, the amniotic contact lens, he cofounded a biotech company with Vanderbilt University in 2001, EyeVU, to develop and manufacture this unique lens. The lens works based on the principle of "tapping the fountain of youth" and taking advantage of our understanding of the biochemical environment of scarless fetal wound healing process. EyeVU recently successfully made the world's first amniotic membrane contact lens.
Dr. Wang is a panel consultant for the US FDA Ophthalmic Device Panel that oversees and approves all laser refractive technologies in the United States. He was a primary reviewer for LASIK at the historic FDA hearing on LASIK in July of 1999. Dr. Wang is a board-certified ophthalmologist. His clinical expertise includes laser vision correction for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism; corneal disease and transplantation; cataract surgery; and anterior segment reconstruction using amniotic membrane grafts for chemical burns and surface diseases. Dr. Wang is an international teacher for LASIK and has personally certified over 1,000 LASIK surgeons worldwide since 1997.
Dr. Wang leads an active and diverse life, from competition ballroom dancing and music composition to worldwide lecturing and surgical teaching. He also serves as a member of the Nashville Ballet board of directors.
Dr. Ming Wang has built an international reputation for excellence in patient care, biomedical research, and teaching healthcare professionals.
To contact Dr. Ming Wang:
link to Wang Vision Center:
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