Laser eye surgery powered by windows

Discussion in 'Community' started by BrandonRP0123, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. BrandonRP0123 macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been to three different laser eye centers to check out the lasik procedure and such.

    To my surprise it's done via computer. To my horror, though, all of the laser eye software for the computer runs on Windows. What happens if it crashes in the middle of you being under the laser? Does it permanently damage your eye if it doesn't work right?

    This scares me to death. Would you really trust your eyes to a program running on windows? The eye doctors at these joints couldn't (and wouldn't) give me any information on what happens if the software crashes and what not, but did give me some information on the software company Has anyone else seen this/done this?
  2. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    Whoa! I find it really quite disturbing that whoever would write software for this procedure would pick Windows as the platform. I think my Mac is very stable but I wouldn't risk my eyesight on it. If they were writing a piece of propritary software, why would they choose any consumer-level platform?

    I've often wondered about why the people I know who had the laser surgery had good experiences, but there are (i've only heard) some that have had terrible outcomes -- I thought that those might have been urban legends, but now I'm not so sure.

    Who was the software vendor? What was the info you got?
  3. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    Re: Laser eye surgery powered by windows

    I don't know how many use windows or not, but I had the procedure. Even if it crashed in the middle of it, they could probably correct the damage so long as it didn't freak out and start randomly firing (won't happen I'm sure).

    Medical stuff isn't like personal computers. Windows probably doesn't crash that often just because of windows. it crashes because of the varying ahrdware and software out there. Here we are talking about a machine that does a single thing. There are no variables. the chances of it crashing are pretty remote.

    The procedure is worth it. Get a reputable person though. its worth paying someone a bit more. Mine cost 3500 bucksd but includes two years of free aftercare (appointments whenever I want if needs be) whihc is very important, as well as any adjustments I may need to be performed. Just be prepared to buy a lot of eye drops. your eyes will be very dry fior some time afterwards.
  4. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    I would prefer it to be on a specialized OS, preferably UNIX-based, made by the manufacturer of the laser mechanism.
  5. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    If people's vision was being screwed up all the time by this then I would be worried...

    but now days you hear very little about mistakes happening during laser eye surgery.

  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Well, we've all seen what happens when you make a BMW that's Windows based... namely, malfunction after malfunction. Cars need safety, but laser eye surgery needs it more... I would never trust windows for this.

    Thankfully I don't need it, and wouldn't have it anyway, until the risks and long-term effects are better understood. I'm a bit surprised we haven't heard of any crash-related injuries yet...

  7. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    This would be somewhere I would say that *NIX is definitley more suited to the task, a crash would not be cool....

    NOTE: ahahahaa! When I first started typing this post the Three Doors Down song I am listening to right now went "Now I'm blind and cannot see...." haha lol.
  8. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    3 Doors Down kicks ass!

    BTW: If a Windows machine is designed for the single and only purpose of laser eye surgery, do yourself a favor: Relax!

    I have to tell you that a working and sole-process PC using stable software has a near zero chance of crashing, more that likely, it will not crash at all. You are more at risk of the laser failing rather than the PC failing.

    I also have to ask: When was the last time such a case was reported resulting in legal issues for PC laser eye surgery?
  9. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    Yeah unless they:

    a) Use the PC for something else
    b) Installed the latest Windows Security Glitc... I mean Updates

    If both are no I doubt any problem at all.

    Understand most people aren't crashing with one App Open for One Specific purpoe.
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    My Windows XP doesn't crash. :) I would be as weary of a Windows computer as I would to a Unix system or MacOSX system.......I'd trust them equally.

    There is also an inherent risk in any surgery. Since all laser (eye) surgery is based on the accuracy of technology, any technological component adds to the risk inherent in the surgery. In surgeries involving a surgeon with a scalpel, the risk is mainly due to human factors, not technology. So all surguries have an inherent risk, and all technologically based surgeries such as laser eye surgery probably have a similar botch-up rate.
  11. razorme macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2002
    Calgary, AB
    Windows could merely be the front end of the process. It is possible that the PC is not actually controlling the laser. It could upload the program to the specialized hardware, and then the laser would proceed only once it had a complete, valid procedure loaded into its hardware.
  12. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Nov 22, 2002
    i had the laser surgery 3,5 years ago. for really bad eyes. my major concern was not whether they used windows but how the surgery would fit to my particular eyes. the surgery can be done up to 6-7 mm diameter, and that covers most people's eyes. in the dark my pupils are 9,5 mm. that made me hesitate and ask them more and postpone the surgery. i had it done though. i get a double image in the dark = the new and clear, and the old one - e.g. a traffic sign looks to have a huuuuge light behind it, as i saw it before. it's far less annoying though than wearing glasses.

    the hospitals have better systems than the cheap home pcs. and all powerbackups etc. be sure to choose a good doctor and not one of those 99$ offers. and if you'll do it, have 1 eye done and the 2nd in a month. if the system would freeze during the operation - really really really small possibility as the surgery will last from a few seconds to a few minutes, the correcting surgery will still be possible to be redone.

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