In-Depth LASIK Technology Description - St. Cloud LASIK

Using the most advanced technology is vital in getting your ideal vision outcome with your LASIK procedure. St. Cloud LASIK continues to offer the most innovative technology because we believe our patients deserve the best vision possible. Below is an in-depth look at our technology and how it improves your LASIK experience and your vision.

Custom LASIK technology is so precise that is has been approved and recommended to treat the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine personnel.  It is also the method approved by NASA to treat astronauts.

Oculus Pentacam HR

During your initial LASIK screening, there are many measurements that are taken to determine if you are a suitable candidate. One important part of performing a precise laser vision correction is the ability to accurately measure the contour, thickness, and shape of your cornea.  At St. Cloud LASIK, we utilize the Oculus Pentacam HR, which is the most advanced technology for corneal imaging.

The Oculus Pentacam HR, combined with our other diagnostic eye technology, gives us a complete understanding of the structure and function of your unique eye. This allows us to recommend the best procedure for your eyes and vision goals, including identifying if you are an ideal candidate for LASIK.

WaveScan Wavefront System


The Wavescan Wavefront System is an instrument that takes a 3D image of your eye, creating a “map” of your eye that is as unique as your fingerprint. An image from the Wavescan is able to pick up surface irregularities and variations that determine up to 200 different prescription points on your eye.  This data is downloaded into the laser, which uses the data to correct each of these 200 prescription points, giving you a completely personalized, customized treatment for your eyes.

The Z-LASIK Method: The Future of Blade-Free LASIK

Not all LASIK procedures are equal! There are a number of technology platforms and surgical techniques used by LASIK surgeons around the country, including central Minnesota. Understanding the technology used for your LASIK procedure is important when looking at your LASIK options.

LASIK primarily involves two basic steps – creating an ultra thin, protective “flap” on the cornea, and using a tiny laser beam to gently reshape the cornea.  In the past, the traditional method for creating the flap required a hand-held blade known as a microkeratome.  Millions of procedures were successfully performed with this technique.  As technology advanced, the mechanical microkeratome was largely replaced by the femtosecond laser to create the flap.   Many studies have shown femtosecond lasers to be a more precise and less traumatic technology for flap creation, the first part of your LASIK procedure.

St. Cloud LASIK is pleased to announce the arrival of the Z-LASIK method for creation of the corneal flap, the first step of the LASIK procedure. It is the most advanced blade-free technology in the world for laser vision correction.  The Z-LASIK method has maximized consistency and accuracy while reducing the possibility of complications.  St. Cloud LASIK is one of the first practices in the United States to acquire the Ziemer Z8 Power Plus FEMTO LDV Laser System for the Z-LASIK method.

The Benefits of the Z-LASIK Method

The Ziemer Z8 Power Plus FEMTO LDV Laser System, or Z8PP, is one of the best femtosecond laser platforms available today.  The Z8PP produces approximately 400 million tiny, overlapping bubbles at a predetermined depth of the cornea.  Compared to conventional femtosecond lasers, the Z8PP operates much faster and delivers less energy to your eye.

Specifically, the Z8PP provides the following benefits:

  • More Comfort: The energy per pulse delivered is less than 10% of that of other femtosecond lasers – this results in reduced discomfort and little inflammation or light sensitivity.
  • More Precision: Your surgeon can create precise flaps, which is helpful for patients with high corrections or thin corneas. This laser is also highly equipped to secure and track the eye during surgery. Your surgeon has full tactile and visual control of your procedure, as the built-in camera allows them to observe the procedure through the TopView camera and through the operating microscope.
  • Shorter Procedure Time:
  • The Z8PP delivers 5 million pulses per second compared to 60,000 to 200,000 pulses with other Femtosecond lasers – the procedure is 3 times faster, making it a more comfortable procedure for the patient. The Z8 laser is also set apart by its mobility and compactness. The laser comes to the patient, creating a seamless procedure.
  • Faster Visual Recovery: Small bubble technology with overlapping bubbles creates a very smooth surface resulting in quicker recovery and better quality of vision in a shorter period of time.
  • Less Chance of Dry Eye: Since the Z8PP is a gentler laser with less energy, the chances of dry eye are reduced.

The Z-LASIK Method Compared to other Conventional Laser Systems


Conventional femtosecond lasers, such as the IntraLase method, create bubbles in the cornea to create the flap.  These bubbles, however, do not overlap leaving tissues bridges between the bubbles.  The tissue bridges need to be broken in order to lift the flap.  This results in a less than perfect surface for treatment.  With the Z-LASIK method, the flap is formed by applying millions of laser spots in seconds that is accurate within one hundredth of a millimeter. The result is a less invasive approach to the initial step in the laser vision correction process.  St. Cloud LASIK’s investment in the Z8PP Femtosecond Laser System ensures your LASIK procedure will begin with the most advanced technology and precision available today.

Custom Z-LASIK

After creation of the corneal flap, your surgeon will use a second laser to gently reshape the cornea of your eye. At St. Cloud LASIK, we are pleased to provide the VISX STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser to deliver your customized vision correction.  This advanced laser technology integrates data collected from the WaveScan wavefront system to deliver precise customized treatments that are 25 times more accurate than conventional treatments.

The Benefits of Custom Z-LASIK

Eyes are like fingerprints. No two are alike, and our surgeon and laser team believe your treatment should be customized to your unique needs. Custom LASIK allows us to treat your eyes with an unprecedented level of personalization. In many cases, Custom LASIK does more than just restore your vision – it may actually improve your vision! In clinical studies, more than 90 percent of patients treated with Custom LASIK had 20/20 or better vision.

Custom LASIK aligns the overall LASIK procedure and treatment plan to your unique eye, ensuring an optimal vision outcome. The VISX STAR S4 with Iris Registration and 3D Active Eye Tracking helps to maintain centered ablations with a number of exclusive alignment technologies:

  • Iris Registration: the first FDA-approved, fully automated, non-contact method of alignment of the Custom treatment to the correct area of your eye.
  • 3-D Active Eye Tracking: locates and monitors your pupil location on the x, y, and z-axis to make sure that your treatment is precisely centered
  • ActiveTrak Automatic Centering: locates and automatically sets the treatment center to the center of the pupil
  • 1.5mm Passive Limits: if your eye moves 1.5 mm from the established center point in any direction, then the tracker pauses the laser only to resume after  your eye has returned to within acceptable limits
  • Virtual Reticle: a virtual grid overlay on your eye provides real-time, dynamic feedback to allow the doctor to monitor treatment progress and eye position

The Custom Z-LASIK procedure has made vision correction more exact and predictable, and its unique level of precision also makes it available to many patients who may not have been candidates for laser vision correction in the past. Through its increased accuracy, the Custom Z-LASIK procedure allows for correction even in cases of above-average pupil size, thinner corneas, and higher corrections.