Contoura LASIK FAQ

What is topography-guided LASIK?

Topography-guided LASIK is a form of laser eye surgery that treats your vision error (i.e., prescription) while also smoothing variations, or irregularities, in the surface of your cornea.  These variations are micro differences in elevations across the surface of your cornea, similar to elevation differences in a natural landscape (e.g., hills and valleys), and collectively represent the topography of your corneal surface, which is a unique map of your eye.

What are the advantages of topography-guided LASIK?

All forms of laser vision correction are designed to correct your prescription and produce clear distance vision (typically measured as a quantity, such as 20/20 or 20/16), reducing or eliminating the need for contact lenses and glasses.  But topography-guided LASIK goes one step further: by smoothing out variations in the surface of the cornea, topography-guided LASK can help improve vision quality, including contrast sensitivity and night vision performance.

What is Contoura LASIK?

Contoura LASIK is Alcon Corporation’s proprietary implementation of topography-guided LASIK. Contoura is an application software environment that executes on the operating system of the Alcon EX500 excimer laser.

Is Contoura LASIK FDA approved?

Yes, Contoura LASIK was FDA-approved for the treatment of nearsightedness and astigmatism in 2016.

How does Contoura LASIK work?

The Contoura LASIK treatment process starts with multiple scans of your cornea using our Alcon Vario topographer, which provides detailed measurements of the shape of your cornea. For example, the Vario can measure up to 22,000 elevation points across the surface of your cornea, and then generate a map that precisely represents that topography.

The coordinates of this Vario topography map are employed by the Contoura software environment to generate an ablation profile that the Alcon EX500 excimer laser follows (essentially a “roadmap” that instructs the laser where to go on the cornea and for how long to fire). In one treatment, the laser corrects the patient’s prescription and also smooths the surface irregularities of the cornea.

What are Contoura’s visual results?

Based on the FDA studies, Contoura’s clinical outcomes for distance vision and vision quality were excellent, with 98.4% of the study patients satisfied with their Contoura vision results.

What are Contoura’s risks?

Like all elective medical procedures, Contoura LASIK is not without risks or alternatives, which you learn more about here.

What is the Contoura post-op recovery like?

Since Contoura LASIK treatment is a form of LASIK, the post-op recovery profile is similar, with most patients able to resume their normal lifestyles the day following their Contoura LASIK treatment, and with their vision sharpening to its best correction over the next several weeks.

How does Contoura LASIK compare to other topography-guided LASIK procedures?

There are several proprietary implementations of topography-guided LASIK in the U.S. market, each executing on a different excimer laser. A recent report summarizes the performance of these platforms based on their FDA clinical study results.

How will I know if I’m a candidate for Contoura LASIK?

First, you’ll need to meet the FDA-approved prescription range for treatment, which is up to -9.00 diopters (D) of nearsightedness with astigmatism, up to -8.00 D of nearsightedness, and up to -3.00 D of astigmatism. You’ll also need to meet the medical qualifications for treatment, which Dr. Hyver himself will decide based on the diagnostic testing at your consultation. Finally, we’ll need to generate acceptable scans of your cornea using the Alcon Vario topography, since these data are required to program the EX500 excimer laser for Contoura treatment.

What if I’m not a Contoura LASIK candidate?

If you’re not a candidate, then it’s likely because of one of the reasons above. Instead, you may qualify for another type of LASIK, such as Wavefront-Optimized LASIK or SMILE LASIK, or another form of laser eye surgery, such as Customized PRK.