The Wavelight Allegretto Laser
The Wavelight Allegretto laser is the most modern, latest-design laser for vision correction. This laser performs wavefront treatment by design, rather than as an 'add-on' or 'up-sell' as in other laser systems. It is manufactured by Wavelight, based in Germany. Wavelight's goal is to combine the best of brilliant German engineering and advanced optical design in making vision-correcting lasers with unparalleled precision and accuracy. To be sure, this is an ambitious and lofty goal.
Wavefront technology is impressive, but wavefront terminology as used in the marketing of vision-correcting laser care is extremely confusing. We've written a specific page on Wavefront Terminology to help explain and clarify what can otherwise be bewildering to a prospective consumer.
Dr. Wallace, LA Sight's Medical Director, sees certain similarities between the manufacturing of vision-correcting lasers and the manufacturing of automobiles. Excimer lasers, like the automobile, were first successfully developed and mass-produced in America. However, over the past several decades the auto industry has witnessed the emergence of Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen -- all German auto makers -- dominating the top end of the world market . They bring a distinct dedication to engineering, performance, design, safety and comfort.
The Allegretto is the fastest and most precise laser system for vision correction available in the U.S. The laser employs what is called "PerfectPulse Technology" to safely and accurately control every single laser pulse from start to finish.
The Wavelight laser was designed much later than other laser systems including the Visx, LADAR and Technolas lasers. As a result, imperfections and design deficiencies in other systems were avoided, and advanced optical treatment methods (including wavefront optimization) were incorporated from the outset, rather than as afterthoughts, patches, "upgrades" or post-fixes. Wavelight's Allegretto represents a new generation of refractive technology referred to as High Performance Vision Correction, that allows patients to achieve exceptional visual results under all lighting situations, day and night.
The Wavelight Allegretto laser system received US FDA approval in October, 2003. It offers the ability to treat a very wide range of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, incorporating wavefront-optimized treatment principles.
Dr. Wallace points out that, "A professional driver needs to have an extensive appreciation and understanding of his car, even though he may not be an engineer or mechanic. The same applies for a pilot and his airplane, or for a LASIK surgeon and his laser."
This portion of our site is devoted to explaining why we feel this laser has certain advantages and benefits over other technology. Some of the discussions on the following pages may resonate more with people who have engineering, mathematics, science, optics or an IT systems background. It is not our intent to present information in a 'geeky' or overly technical manner, but to share some of the technical innovations of this laser system in language that the intelligent lay person can appreciate. If you're reading this, there is little doubt that you are considering laser treatment for either yourself or someone close to you; our goal is to provide you with the best information possible.
Some of the features that help differentiate and distinguish the Allegretto laser from the competition include the following:
- Exceptionally stable laser engine, affording very stable performance over typical laser treatment time intervals;
- Extremely precise calibration;
- It's the only laser system to address the cosine correction offset problem (see Advanced Laser Optics);
- It's the only laser to take into account the starting curvature radius of the cornea being treated, with the intent to preserve the naturally aspheric ("prolate") corneal shape after treatment;
- Clinical data presented to FDA showed that quality of night vision after treatment was better than night vision quality before treatment, best corrected, with either glasses or contact lenses;