Wavefront analysis is a technique that can provide an objective refraction measurement (see also discussion of this topic in Chapters 1 and 5). Certain excimer lasers can use this wavefront analysis information directly to guide the ablation, a procedure called wavefront-guided, or custom, ablation. Some surgeons use wavefront analysis to document levels of preoperative higher-order aberrations. Refraction data from the wavefront analysis unit can also be used to refine the manifest refraction. If the manifest refraction and the wavefront analysis refraction are very dissimilar, the patient may not be a good candidate for wavefront treatment. Note that a custom wavefront ablation generally removes more tissue than does a standard ablation in the same eye.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 13 - Refractive Surgery. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.