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The LBV (Laser Blended Vision) procedure, or simply LBV is an advanced form of the LASIK technique.
In contrast to conventional monovision (i.e. the LASIK and PRK procedure), patients are once again able to focus on objects at near-distance, at far-distance and even at middle distances after treatment with LBV.
The LBV procedure is a safe, pain-free procedure that allows simultaneous treatment of age-related far-sightedness and other accompanying refractive errors.
The surgical LBV technique combines the principle of monovision – the dominant eye is corrected for far-distance and the non-dominant eye for near-distance – with a corneal profile correction, which allows a greater depth of field to be achieved, thereby optimising the 'middle-distance vision' (i.e. depth perception for middle distances). This 'blend zone' is calculated individually for each patient.
Due to the combination of these two methods and the resulting superimposition of the two pieces of information, it is possible to create a new image that allows both the far-distance and the near-distance to be sharper.
The LBV procedure is generally suitable for anyone over the age of 40 who suffers from age-related far-sightedness and can be carried out in relation to treatment of other refractive disorders such as far-sightedness, near-sightedness and astigmatism.
In order for the LBV procedure to be considered for a patient, he/she must have a sufficiently thick cornea (at least 500 μm or 500 micrometres). However, the LBV method is not suitable for people who are unable to see clearly because they suffer from eye diseases such as macular degeneration or cataracts.
It is important that patients stop wearing soft contact lenses two weeks before and hard (dimensionally stable) contact lenses four weeks before a preliminary examination. Otherwise, the correct measurement of the required values cannot be guaranteed.
First of all, the eyes are measured in detail. This is followed by a detailed ophthalmological examination. In this context, the doctor also informs the patient about the course of the procedure and about possible risks and side effects of the treatment.
The following measurements are taken as part of the preliminary examination:
In principle, the treatment of age-related far-sightedness with the LBV procedure proceeds in the same way as laser eye surgery using the Femto-LASIK technique. The only difference is in how the refractive error is corrected.
Laser eye surgery using an LBV procedure takes an average of 20 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis and using anaesthetic eye drops. During the procedure, the laser is positioned over the head and the attending ophthalmologist sits at the head.
To prevent blinking of the eye during surgery, the eyelid is fixed with an eyelid retainer or drape.
Immediately after LBV treatment, most patients' vision is a little blurred. As soon as the flap is firmly fixed again, which happens within the first day after surgery, patients can see clearly again.
To protect the eyes, the patient is initially give a normal dressing and a transparent eye patch. The first evening after the procedure should be spent in dim light. Getting to bed early also helps the eyes to recover more quickly.
The ophthalmologist draws up an eye drops schedule for administering the eye drops, which patients should adhere to in order to prevent possible inflammation. Check-ups at the eye clinic usually take place on the next day after the operation, a week, one month, three months later.
Make-up should not be applied and rubbing the eye should be avoided in the first few days after treatment. Sensitivity to light and dry eyes are not unusual in the first few weeks after laser eye surgery – sunglasses or eye drops prescribed by a doctor can help alleviate this problem.
The term 'LASIK' (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) refers to eye surgery performed with an excimer laser to correct optical refractive errors, which, in contrast to photorefractive keratectomy, is not performed on the surface of the cornea but exclusively in the inner part of the cornea.
The purpose of LBV treatment is to enable patients to see both near- and far-objects without glasses or contact lenses.
In an LBV procedure – as with a Femto-LASIK treatment – a 'flap' (corneal lamella) is formed before the actual laser eye treatment. The eyes are then corrected at different distances (near and far) using the excimer laser as part of the LBV technique. In contrast, the Femto-LASIK procedure always corrects the eyes at the same distance, i.e. either near- or far-distance. In the LBV method, the dominant eye is corrected to almost 0 dioptres and the non-dominant eye is under-corrected to minus 1.5 dioptres.