Many people know that LASIK is a refractive surgery that utilizes laser technology to correct vision. However, not many people realize that LASIK has undergone some technical changes throughout the years in order to improve accuracy, safety, and reliability. The LASIK Los Angeles surgeon informs us that there are varying methods and techniques within the general LASIK procedure that are utilized depending on the patient’s eye condition, the eye surgeon’s experience, and the clinic’s available technology.
Not many people are aware of the more specific variation of the procedure called bladeless LASIK. This strategy is a more recent alternative to traditional methods that more and more surgeons are utilizing at the LASIK eye center in Los Angeles. According to these eye surgeons, bladeless LASIK is an alternative to the traditional LASIK procedure that has the potential to be more precise, customizable, and promote a faster healing time. In order to understand the distinction between bladeless and blade LASIK, this article will answer some commonly asked questions about the LASIK process and explain why bladeless LASIK is a good option for some patients.
What is the traditional LASIK process?
Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis, otherwise known as LASIK, is a surgical procedure that reshapes the cornea in order to allow light to better focus on the retina and, therefore, improve vision. Since the cornea is such an important aspect of optic functions, the ability to correct this can achieve unbelievable results for someone with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The LASIK process has been around for over twenty years and used by eye surgeons to successfully achieve vision correction for patients around the world.
According to a LASIK Los Angeles surgeon, the traditional LASIK method includes two stages:
Stage 1: LASIK surgeons apply numbing drops to the patient’s eye in order to make the procedure more comfortable. Surgeons utilize a bladed instrument called a microkeratome to create a fine flap on the cornea. This opening is used to access the eye tissue underneath.
Stage 2: The LASIK surgeon utilizes an excimer laser to remove excess tissue and reshape the surface of the eye in order to achieve better vision. Once the surgery is complete, the corneal flap is replaced in order to ensure a smooth and quick recovery.
What makes bladeless LASIK different?
Bladeless LASIK differs from traditional LASIK methods particularly in the first stage of the process. Instead of using a bladed instrument to create the corneal flap, surgeons will utilize a femtosecond laser. This is why bladeless LASIK is sometimes called “all laser LASIK.” Every other part of the process is pretty much the same. You will sometimes hear bladeless LASIK also called Femto-LASIK, Femtosecond-Assisted LASIK, and blade-free LASIK.
What does the femtosecond laser do?
The femtosecond laser is a machine that utilizes far infrared waves to generate fast-moving energy that can be used to make microscopic incisions. This high-powered energy creates bubbles of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen within the cornea and, thus, decreases the temperature of the particles in the field. Since bladeless LASIK does not use heat to manipulate tissue, it is generally known as a non-thermal treatment. Corneal bubbles allow eye surgeons to keep track of the microscopic flap in LASIK surgery and find the desired area below, where correction takes place.
What does the excimer laser do?
The excimer laser is a computer-guided machine that helps surgeons create a customized strategy for reshaping a patient’s eye tissue. Customization depends on the patient’s individual eye condition. The laser works by utilizing far UV light to break chemical bonds within the eye. This technology allows surgeons to reshape the cornea without causing heat damage. Within the field, the excimer laser is known as the “cool” laser.
Why would bladeless LASIK be a better option?
Since bladeless LASIK uses a femtosecond laser instead of a bladed instrument to create the flap in the cornea, this process is inherently more precise. Many LASIK Los Angeles surgeons believe that bladeless LASIK provides a smoother operation which leads to more accurate vision correction and faster recovery. The femtosecond laser allows surgeons to control the thickness, diameter, and exact location of the flap as well as the properties of its hinge. With this improved ability to control the process, surgeons can further customize LASIK procedures to the needs of the patient.
Bladeless LASIK is generally a safe bet for patients that have thinner corneas, dry eye conditions, or high refractive errors. These patients might not qualify for traditional LASIK methods, which is why bladeless LASIK is such an important innovation in the practice.
Am I a good candidate for bladeless LASIK?
Bladeless LASIK has provided surgeons with the opportunity to offer more precise, safe, and comfortable laser eye surgery to patients around the world. This alternative has allowed people who could not qualify for regular LASIK to safely achieve vision correction through this innovative technology. Many surgeons are beginning to recommend this alternative to patients over traditional blade LASIK because of its track record for success. This newer, focused technology ensures a more accurate procedure and a quick healing time, making a happier patient.
While many more people qualify for a bladeless LASIK procedure, there are still limitations to who can receive this type of laser eye surgery. Patients who have received previous refractive surgery, had complications with traditional LASIK, or have corneal scarring may not be eligible for bladeless LASIK. The degree of your eye condition may also affect a surgeon’s recommendation. There are so many different types of laser eye surgery that can achieve the same goal: vision correction. In order to determine if you are a good candidate for bladeless LASIK, schedule an appointment with a LASIK specialist to have an eye examination and consultation. They will be able to evaluate your particular issues, whether it is nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, and guide you to the right treatment.
If you want more information about LASIK surgery, do not hesitate to give Excel Laser Vision Institute a call at (818) 907-8606, or fill out our contact form today!