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Atlantic Canada

Bargain LASIK Fees: Are they for real?

Posted on by Wanda in Bense

Believe it or not, about a 1/3rd of North American LASIK centres, and especially discount LASIK centres, still use a metal blade instead of a laser to create the LASIK flap, despite the fact that blade-free Femtosecond laser technology has been shown to be much safer, more predictable, and can achieve superior outcomes.

Dr. Bense is the only centre in Atlantic Canada that has an iFS Femtosecond laser (for the past several years). We have totally abandoned the use of outdated steel blades in all our LASIK surgeries several years ago despite the fact that Dr. Bense introduced bladed LASIK to Eastern Canada over a decade ago.

So, why would any laser centre today still offer this outdated blade technology that has been shown not to be as safe as blade-free technology? The answer should be obvious: cost. The price of a new Femtosecond laser exceeds $400,000, which does not include an annual maintenance fee of over $60,000. A new microkeratome that carries a steel blade used in discount LASIK surgery, costs less than $40,000, and there are no annual maintenance fees. A steel blade is around $50 and is used for cutting the flap in both eyes. This explains the magic of using cheaper technology that allows for significant savings to a laser centre, which offers this outdated technology with a microkeratome.

At Bense Vision, we acquired the first very latest, 5th generation blade-free IFS laser in Eastern Canada, which has a much faster (2.5X) speed of speed of 150 KHz. In addition, the new iFS technology can create a tailored flap of almost any configuration, which leads to a more stable flap position.

Our new iFS laser, is likewise used in our advanced KAMRA Corneal Insert procedure, which can replace reading glasses as well as in the FSAK procedure that gets rid of astigmatism in many situations.

Despite using cheaper technology, we have discovered that bladed LASIK procedures offered at some discount LASIK centres are priced but an average of only $100 – $200 cheaper than our safer and more advanced iFS blade-free iLASIK procedure.

So, are those ‘low’ advertised prices for real? Go find out for yourself.

LASIK/PRK Xtra™ Surgery now available in St. John’s and Eastern Canada

Posted on by Wanda in Bense

We are pleased to announce that Bense Vision is the first centre in Atlantic Canada to offer LASIK/PRK Xtra™ Surgery with the corneal crosslinking system from Avedro®. Internationally this revolutionary technology has shown a remarkable efficiency in reducing the risk of developing secondary keratoconus or corneal ectasia after refractive eye surgery in selected patients, and an enhanced precision and outcomes for many refractive errors like hyperopia, high myopia, high astigmatism cases, and in patients previously thought to be poor candidates for refractive eye surgery.

Although Traditional LASIK or PRK Surgery is considered to be one of the safest and most successful procedures performed in medicine today, there are definite risks involved with these surgeries. Important examples applicable to this discussion include the development of corneal ectasia (a type of keratoconus) one to two years following surgery, and regression of treatment effect in many cases especially in hyperopia and high myopia patients.

Although some of the steps are still performed manually with a steel blade (microkeratome) by about 30% of North American surgeons, the majority of surgeons have now abandoned the use of this outdated technology and have now adopted the use of blade-free Femtosecond Laser technology instead. Despite these advancements, there remains a certain percentage of patients that are not ‘suited for surgery’ because of thinner corneas, abnormal topographic assessments, and other outliers or are at a higher risk of developing the two above-named coplications.

This is where LASIK or PRK Xtra™ is totally and undeniably of great use. By adding a simple 2- minute painless procedure to the standard LASIK or PRK procedure, Bense Vision can virtually guarantee a profoundly better and safer outcome in the type of patient we recommend to undergo the Xtra™ procedure. The procedure involves saturating the corneal stroma beneath the flap with Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) for about a minute then irradiating the stroma with UV light after the flap has been replaced for a minute or two.

The Avedro System is the only such system in St. John’s and can now automate many of these steps, adding a greater amount of precision to the entire crosslinking procedure and potentially make surgery even safer and more predictable.

A reproducible precise procedure, improves the predictability of the final visual and refractive outcome. This procedure may allow ophthalmologists to meet the demands of a certain segment of their refractive patient base that desire a safer LASIK or PRK procedure, and to obtain the same results that have been accomplished with other laser vision correction procedures.

All patients that are seen at Bense Vision who meet the recommended criteria will be offered this new technology. If they decline this treatment option, the Traditional Blade-free LASIK/PRK options are still available if no contra-indication exists. The fee is $500 per eye in addition to the LASIK or PRK procedure fee.