Advanced Lasik Surgery On Astronauts Got NASA Approval

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The global leader in ophthalmic surgical devices and eye care products, Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Agency has approved the company's LASIK technologies for use on U.S. astronauts.

The NASA decision was made following review of extensive military clinical data using AMO's Advanced CustomVue(TM) LASIK with the IntraLase(R) Method, which showed the combination of technologies provides superior safety and vision.

"NASA's approval is further evidence that today's LASIK exceeds all established standards of safety and effectiveness," said Steven Schallhorn, M.D., retired captain of the U.S. Navy, investigator in multiple studies involving use of LASIK and other refractive surgeries for treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and Medical Director for Optical Express. "NASA followed the Naval Aviation clinical studies closely with a particular interest in both safety and quality of vision under extreme conditions. Wavefront guided and femtosecond lasers were proven to provide excellent safety with consistent visual results of 20/20 or better. LASIK was able to withstand even the most extreme rigors of warfare and flight. All surgical procedures have risks, but with this exceptional track record, the average consumer has nothing to fear from LASIK."

Though LASIK has been around for almost a decade, concerns about the harsh aviation environment prevented its use. To date, aeromedical professionals have been cautious of employing the procedure on military aviators who frequently encounter environmental extremes such as high altitude, dry air, wind blast and "G" forces. In space, these and other conditions add even higher levels of concern due to the extreme precision needed during flight and space walks.

"Today's news further validates AMO as the global leader in laser vision correction technologies," said Jim Mazzo, AMO chairman, president and CEO. "Our Advanced CustomVue(TM) LASIK with the IntraLase(R) Method is the only procedure in the U.S. to incorporate the technologies specifically approved for use by NASA."

In the U.S. laser vision correction market, the Advanced CustomVue(TM) LASIK procedure with the IntraLase(R) Method has become the new standard and is rapidly becoming the most widely performed laser vision correction procedure. In fact, the majority of premier ophthalmic teaching institutions, including Duke University Medical School, the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at University of Miami, and Stanford University, totaling over 16 domestic and international teaching institutions use Advanced CustomVue(TM) LASIK with the IntraLase(R) Method to train the next generation of LASIK surgeons.


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