Who has the best laser on the market and where can I find it?
In the United States the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in charge of approving any medical equipment and/or new treatments, including LASIK. In fact, the FDA has a list of FDA-approved Lasers for LASIK.
This rigorous testing and clinical trials that a company must undergo before FDA approval can take several years before new treatment, including laser machines or procedures become available in the United States.
This means that the United States is about 5 years behind in terms of technology for LASIK treatments, elsewhere in the world like Europe or Asia you will find the newest and fastest Excimer laser in the world, the Schwind AMARIS 1050RS.
Does this mean the lasers available in the U.S. are bad?
Not necessarily, the FDA approved Wavelight EX500 Excimer Laser is currently the fastest FDA approved excimer laser, it operates at 500Hz and if you’re considering LASIK in the United States you should prefer this laser over all others.
In contrast, If you are able to travel to Europe or Asia to get the procedure done using the Schwind AMARIS 1050RS (operates at 1050Hz) – the laser is twice as fast and would provide more predictable results. Recall my point about the cornea hydration and the faster the excimer laser the better clinical results are achieved.
After all this research I think I may consider traveling outside the United States to get my LASIK procedure done using the latest technology and the fastest laser on the market.