Rochester, N.Y. - A patent has been issued to the University of Rochester Medical Center for a new technology that has boosted the eyesight for thousands of people around the world.
The Rochester Nomogram is an improvement on Lasik surgery.
That new technology was created by Doctor Scott MacRae, Director of the Refractive Surgery Center at the Flaum Institute and Doctor Manoj Venkiteshwar, a former post-doctoral researcher at the University’s Center for Visual Science.
Their work opened the door for the first time to not only fix three major flaws in the eye that reading glasses and contact lenses have corrected for decades but also about 60 imperfections that were never known about before.
“It gives people better night vision and allows them to function more,” Dr. MacRae said.
The Nomogram helps physicians determine how refractive surgery such as Lasik will affect a person's eyesight.
“Patients 20 to 30 years ago were lucky to get a thick pair of glasses after their cataract surgery and could barely get around,” Dr. MacRae said.
Now that's changing; 99.3 percent of patients who have this improved surgery see 20/20 vision or better, allowing patients to leave the glasses and contacts behind after having the operation.
That was the reason Rachel Aleese opted to have the surgery.
“I was tired of glasses and contacts, especially while traveling, going camping, having to bring everything,” Aleese said.
“I’m very happy, it's one of those things, I'm 26, had I known about this in college I would have said, ‘hey mom and dad, 21st birthday can I get this done?’” Aleese said.
Doctor MacRae says helping people see clearly is a privilege to be a part of.
“We've seen people literally get off the table and look at this clock and start crying because it's such an emotional experience for them,” Dr. Macrae said.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes and is not covered by insurance because it's elective.
The surgery can cost as much as $5,000.