Collom & Carney Eye Institute


   Laser Vision Correction





Over six million people have had their vision successfully corrected with conventional laser vision correction procedures, such as PRK and LASIK. However, in spite of its overwhelming success in eliminating one's dependence on glasses and contact lenses, the risk for glare, halos and night vision problems has kept many people from having this life changing procedure.


Today, the potential for these unwanted side effects has been significantly reduced with the advent of WaveScan technology. Now, Advanced CustomVue Laser Vision Correction is setting the standard for laser vision correction.


Just like a fingerprint, each person’s vision is 100 percent unique to their eyes.  Before these recent advancements in technology, doctors were only able to use standard measurements to correct vision, meaning that prescriptions could only provide a certain level of correction regardless of an individual’s needs. 


Advanced CustomVue can measure and correct the unique imperfections of each individual’s vision and provide them with the potential to experience better vision than is possible with glasses or contact lenses……. their Personal Best Vision.


Since the mid-1800s, doctors have been measuring vision by recording how well a patient could read letters on a standard Snellen Eye Chart. Doctors consider your vision "normal" if you can identify the letters on the 20/20 line from a distance of 20 feet. But, scoring 20/20 on your vision exam

doesn't necessarily mean you have good quality of vision, if the letters are not crisp and clear. Until recent years, conventional laser vision correction, like glasses and contacts, could only correct the visual distortions caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, there are other imperfections in your eye's optical system that may affect the quality or clarity of your vision at night or in low light. Doctors call these visual distortions "higher order aberration," and they can cause glare, shadows, halos, and other annoying visual effects. Unless the distortions are addressed along with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, the quality of your vision after laser vision correction may not be ideal, even if you have measurable 20/20 vision.



In FDA clinical study trials using the Advanced CustomVue WaveScan System, most people were satisfied or very satisfied with their night vision after their Advanced CustomVue LASIK procedure, as compared to their prior level of satisfaction using glasses or contact lenses.

Night Driving...With
Higher Order Abberations
Night Driving...Without
Higher Order Abberations


WaveScan-based digital technology was originally developed for use in high- powered telescopes to reduce distortions when viewing distant objects in space. Using this technology, Dr. Northam can detect and measure the optical distortions unique to your entire optical system.

Light travels in procession of flat sheets known as wavefronts. Gentle wavefront lights enter the eye, pass through the entire optical system (cornea, lens and retina) and are then reflected back into the WaveScan sensors.

WavePrint Map

The WaveScan System compares the reflected wavefronts with the original unaltered wavefronts. This produces a fingerprint of your vision, or WavePrint map. This information is then transferred to the VISX STAR S4 IR excimer laser and is used as a guide to reshape the cornea during your laser vision treatment.

Dr. Northam performs both PRK and LASIK procedures at Collom & Carney Eye Institute. Prior to either procedure the patient will be placed through a very extensive, (3 hour) pre-operative dilated laser evaluation. The findings during this evaluation (topography maps, pachemetry readings, refractive error, fundus/retinal exam), will better help Dr. Northam make a decision regarding which procedure will give the patient the best possible visual outcome.
Laser vision correction was first performed using a procedure called Photo-Refractive Keratectomy or PRK. PRK has undergone much advancement since 1995. Vision correction with PRK is accomplished by removing tissue from the surface of the cornea.
Laser Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK, is the most popular form of Laser vision correction and corrects vision by removing tissue from the inner cornea. Making a corneal flap and then reshaping the inner tissue provides a more rapid return of functional vision and less postoperative discomfort.

On the day of the procedure, anesthetic drops are placed into the eye. If the patient is a candidate for Advanced CustomVue, their unique correction information is transferred from the WaveScan to the VISX Star S4 IR excimer laser and guides the laser throughout the procedure. Often, in less than a minute, the cool beam from the laser gently reshapes the cornea, removing microscopic amounts of tissue - less than the thickness of a human hair in most cases - to create a new curvature. During the procedure, the 3D ACTIVEtrAK eye tracker follows the eye’s tiniest movements, and

automatically repositions the laser to keep the laser beam focused where Dr. Northam wants it, so one can completely relax during the procedure.
Many patients notice immediate results after Advanced CustomVue with their vision continuing to improve over several days. Routine follow-up visits complete the process. VISX lasers have been used to perform more than six million laser vision correction procedures in the U.S. and around the world. Every year, more doctors use VISX lasers to perform laser vision correction than any other system



In general, the ideal patient is of the age of consent, has healthy corneas, and must not have had a significant increase in their prescription in the last year. People with certain medical conditions or pregnant women may not be good candidates either. Advanced CustomVue has been approved to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and mixed astigmatism. As a result, more than 92% of the eligible population are candidates for this procedure. Recent advancements in treatments for the patients with mixed astigmatism are especially encouraging. Until recently, these people faced unique challenges because their vision is often difficult to correct with glasses and contact lenses. They now have the potential to achieve better vision than was ever possible before. Advanced CustomVue is the first U.S. approved wavefront-guided laser treatment with the broadest range of wavefront-guided treatments in the United States.


The decision to have Laser Vision Correction is an important one that, ultimately, only you can make. It is important that you have realistic expectations and that your decision is based on facts, not hopes or misconceptions. The goal of Laser Vision Correction is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. Laser Vision Correction does not always create 20/20 or better vision. Dr. Northam will provide you with the information needed on your laser evaluation that will help you make an informed decision.


Finding out more about the unique details of your eyes and your refractive error is your first step toward being closer to living your best life with your Personal Best Vision. This is accomplished by scheduling a FREE LASER SCREENING at Collom & Carney Eye Institute with out Refractive Coordinator Gayla Bohn. She is a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (C.O.A.), and has been working with Dr. Northam for 11+ years. At this visit she will check your vision, perform a corneal topography, and evaluate your refractive error. She will also answer any questions you may have concerning the procedure and go over any financial questions, (financing options, cash discounts, flexible spending accounts, ect…) you may have. All eyes have some level of higher order aberrations so chances are, you have the potential to see better with Advanced CustomVue Laser and will probably be a great candidate. Of course, a very comprehensive dilated laser evaluation with Dr. Northam will be necessary to determine if the procedure is actually a perfect match for your eyes.


Dr. Northam is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio, TX and served her Ophthalmology residency at Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, LA. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive surgery, among other organizations. While completing her residency at Tulane University she began doing refractive surgery (RK and PRK), where she had the privilege of working on the FDA study trials for the excimer laser. She returned to Texarkana, and has proudly served her community ever since. Always in the forefront, she continues to bring the latest available advancements in technology to the ArkLaTex.. Having performed refractive procedures for 20+ years (including LASIK 14+ years), on thousands of patients, she remains Texarkana’s most experienced refractive surgeon.

Wanda Northam, M.D.


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