Which Is The Best Lasik Laser?
Each laser company touts that its laser is better than the rest. Different types of lasers do provide superior results in some circumstances, but not for all circumstances.
The type of laser beam may be very important or may mean very little, depending upon your individual circumstances. As a (very) general rule, the true flying spot laser (Alcon’s LADARVision, Bausch & Lomb’s Technolas, Allegretto, etc.) is considered superior to the variable spot (newer Visx), which is considered superior to the broad-beam (NIDEK, Summit, older Visx). Depending upon the circumstances, only a flying spot laser would be appropriate or maybe any laser would do. Depending upon the circumstances, it may be that only a broad-beam would be appropriate. The laser used is much less important than the doctor’s proven abilities. An inexperienced doctor with the fanciest equipment is worse than the best doctor with an older laser. All good doctors understand the limitations of their tools and techniques and will not perform surgery (no matter what the laser) if there is not a high probability of you receiving a good outcome.
Some doctors have very definite preferences about lasers, microkeratomes, testing equipment, etc. Using the "which laser" question to choose a doctor is filled with folly. Any doctor with a checkbook can buy the newest and latest. That doesn't mean the doctor knows how to use it.
Do you really know which laser is better for your individual needs? Do you know which will remove less tissue at the same ablation width? Is the amount of tissue removed going to be an important consideration for your corneas? Do you know which has an optical ablation zone larger than your naturally dilated pupil? Do you know which will accommodate astigmatism, if you have astigmatism? Do you know on which laser your doctor has enough experience to run it optimally?
Choosing a doctor based upon the tools s/he uses is filled with folly. Would you only take your car to a mechanic who uses Snap-On tools but never take it to someone who uses Craftsman? What is important is the experience of the doctor combined with the techniques and technology. The better doctor will either offer a high probability of providing you with the results you require, or will turn you down.
It may be that for you only one laser can do the job. It may be that any can. It may be that you would need to travel outside the US to find a laser that can do what you need. Refractive doctors do not agree on what is the best equipment, it is highly unlikely that the average consumer will be able to evaluate all of the nuances required to select the best technology. Even then, no amount of technology will make up for a lousy doctor.
Select the best doctor. Let the doctor select the tools.