What is Bladeless LASIK?Author: Dr. William Tullo
July 24, 2013
What is Bladeless LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery is a common procedure used to correct eye problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. All three are conditions that affect the eye’s ability to focus on objects near and far away. Part of the LASIK procedure requires an eye surgeon to create a hinged flap of tissue, which can be done with either a blade or a laser. The importance of this step in the LASIK procedure cannot be overstated.
So what’s the difference between Bladeless LASIK and traditional?
The first and most obvious difference is that traditional LASIK eye surgery uses a thin blade called a microkeratome to make an incision in the cornea, which creates the hinged flap. This thin protective flap of tissue allows the cornea to heal quickly and naturally once the procedure is finished, with little to no discomfort.
The Bladeless LASIK option utilizes a precise, high-energy femtosecond laser instead of a microkeratome blade to create the flap of corneal tissue. Since being invented in the 1990s, the femtosecond laser has been incredibly successful. This laser continues to provide LASIK patients and their eye doctors with a bladeless alternative to traditional laser eye surgery.
Is Bladeless LASIK safe?
Both Bladed LASIK and Bladeless LASIK are proven safe and effective, but the bladeless femtosecond procedure has a number of important advantages. Bladeless LASIK, for example, has a lower risk of corneal flap complications.
Some LASIK patients need a second procedure, which laser eye surgeons call a “touch up” or an “enhancement.” Bladeless LASIK allows for a safer enhancement should it be needed. In a recent study, patients whose eye surgeon used a microkeratome blade for their original LASIK eye surgery were shown to have higher risk for a serious complication, called epithelial ingrowth, than those whose eye surgeon had used a bladeless femtosecond laser.
Another study found that creating flaps of corneal tissue with a bladeless femtosecond laser resulted in faster visual recovery and better uncorrected visual acuity than did creating the corneal flap with a blade.
Is Bladeless LASIK better for me?
Laser eye surgeons, optometrists and their patients have come to find that both Bladed and Bladeless LASIK procedures are among the safest medical procedures in modern medicine.
Every patient is different. Although Bladeless LASIK has many advantages for many patients, it isn’t always the best option. Consult an experienced laser eye surgery center to find out which method is right for you.