The procedure widely known as LASIK has gone through tremendous technological change over the past ten to
fifteen years and continues to do so. The word bladeless had a positive impact on the reputation of LASIK
refractive eye surgery and with good reason. With bladeless eye surgery, lasers have replaced the blade, also known
as microkeratome. Metallic cutting blades ended up being associated with imperfect or incorrectly
created "buttonhole" flaps that could possibly result in vision-threatening scarring of the cornea. LASIK doctors
report these particular problems are usually less probable when it comes to laser-created flaps. A wide range of
eye doctors believe that there may be reduced risk of additional complications when the flap and hinge is created
with a laser rather than the microkeratome.
What is Bladeless LASIK?
This state-of-the-art form of LASIK makes use of two distinct laser devices. The first is known as a
femtosecond laser which is used to create the corneal flap at the beginning of the procedure. The
second type of laser is known as an excimer laser. The computer guided excimer laser is used to reshape and correct the
underlying corneal tissue. Unlike microkeratomes, bladeless LASIK creates the flap in the cornea by means of an
infrared laser which is a more precise method. The femtosecond laser beam is useful because it does not
negatively impact or damage the surrounding tissue.
The laser is used to precisely produce a tiny, hinged flap, which is lifted briefly during the procedure from
the surface of the cornea. A large number of eye surgeons think that the bladeless technique facilitates better
control and therefore enables surgeons to produce a more effective flap that may be a lot more even in dimensions
as well as depth. This could possibly lessen complications linked to flap irregularities. The implementation of a
technologically advanced femtosecond laser rather than a physical cutting tool to produce the corneal flap in
bladeless LASIK alleviates a substantial amount of fear and anxiety a lot of people already have with regard to eye
surgery in general.
Recent clinical research has found some significant benefits associated with bladeless LASIK when compared to
standard LASIK procedures that create the flap using a bladed microkeratome. The advantages may include a greater
percentage of patients achieving 20/20 vision as a result of all-laser LASIK and more effective adherence of the
flap to the cornea as a result of this advanced technology.
The Bladeless LASIK Procedure
The thin flap of tissue, precisely cut out of the cornea, is made by the femtosecond laser. The flap stays
connected to the cornea on one end by a minuscule hinge-like piece. When it is gently folded back it exposes the
cornea to be reshaped and repaired with a different type of laser known as an excimer laser. The next step involves
the laser re-shaping during which the LASIK surgeon positions the excimer laser close to the eye and commences the
actual corneal re-shaping process.
The advanced excimer laser treatment method typically lasts approximately a minute
or two and generates a sequence of computer-guided pulses of ultraviolet light onto the surface of the cornea.
The laser vaporizes, or ablates microscopic parts of the cornea to restore and reshape the lens of the eye,
making it possible to focus light and images better and more accurately. Afterwards, the surgeon will
reposition the corneal flap back into its original position on the eye. After a successful operation the flap
will heal and bond fairly quickly, without requiring stitches. Following surgery, the doctor will prescribe
medicated eye drops to reduce swelling and itching, as well as to minimize the potential risk of
Despite the fact that LASIK refractive eye surgery complications are generally pretty rare, in some cases they
can be related to the oscillating blade employed by conventional microkeratomes. Metal blades could possibly
produce irregular flap edges, resulting in abnormal surfaces on the cornea combined with vision problems. Blades
can also result in imperfect buttonhole flaps which in turn can lead to vision-threatening scarring. These
particular kinds of side effects are usually a lot less common with laser-created flaps.
With a laser created flap, the danger associated with an irregular or uneven flap will be reduced. In the event
the laser detaches from its position on the eye while in the cutting pass, the laser would be reattached by the
doctor and the pass would be able to be initiated again in most instances. It is expected that a good percentage of
flap related challenges could possibly be averted when using the blade free LASIK technique. No matter which method
is used for making the flap, the probability of these problems is very small.
Recent clinical case studies suggest that it does not necessarily make a difference whether the actual flap
happens to be created by means of a blade or created utilizing a laser as in bladeless, the visual
improvement--which is the ultimate goal--is generally well worth the expense and time spent by the patient to have
Nonetheless, there is absolutely no surgical procedure, including all-laser LASIK that is without risks. The
following complications have also been experienced subsequent to all-laser LASIK: dry eyes, varying degrees of blurred vision, fluctuating vision, glare
and/or halos around lights, and conditions known as overcorrection or under correction which in turn will most
likely result in diminished quality of vision.
Bladeless Vision Correction is Available to More People
Due to the fact that high speed femtosecond lasers have the ability to create ultra thin flaps, a person whose
corneal thickness is considered to be borderline for standard LASIK could be a suitable candidate for bladeless.
Just like earlier forms of LASIK, the best candidates for advanced bladeless is at least twenty-one years of age,
with relatively healthy eyes and stable eyesight. Those considering the surgery must also maintain realistic,
reasonable expectations regarding the goals of the surgery that is to improve one's eyesight and decrease or
eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. People should also thoroughly understand and also accept the
risks that come with eye surgery.