VISX Claims Credit for Manufacturing a Competitor's Laser

Prospective LASIK patients are not the only recipients of misleading information from LASIK corporations.  Sometimes their own investors are also the recipients of misleading information, as was the case on Thursday, July 11, 2002, when VISX held a conference call for investors.

During the conference call, Elizabeth Davila, CEO of VISX, made comments to investors regarding the capabilities of the VISX laser with regard to "All Laser Lasik". Here is a transcript of the statements:

Investor:

On the radio this morning or this week I heard the first advertisements for "All Laser Lasik". Do you guys have anything to do with that?

Elizabeth Davila

That is simply the doctors' way of doing the procedure and it requires a laser like the VISX laser to do it, and it is obviously the technique that a particular doctor is using.

Investor:

Ok, thank you.

The statements were made at the following point of time in the conference call: 1:04:36 -- 1:05:03. An audio recording of conference call was available for one week at http://biz.yahoo.com/cc/9/18409.html

The statements were misleading because a proprietary laser manufactured by Intralase is required to perform "All Laser Lasik".  There are two major steps used in performing lasik:

  1. Cutting a flap in the cornea.
  2. Removing tissue from the cornea with a standard laser.

For many years the flap was cut with an instrument known as the "microkeratome".  However, a newer method of cutting the flap has been developed by Intralase.  This method uses Intralase's proprietary laser to cut the flap.  The theory behind the use of the Intralase laser is that there is reduced risk to the patient when the flap is cut with a laser. http://www.intralase.com/documents/salesbrochure.pdf

Therefore, we can see that the "All Laser Lasik" method requires two lasers:

  1. The Intralase proprietary laser to cut a flap.
  2. A standard laser such as VISX, NIDEK, Bausch & Lomb, LaserSight, etc., to remove tissue from the cornea.