Boston IntraLase (Blade Free LASIK)

LASIK surgery has a well-documented history of safety and effectively eliminates patients' dependence on glasses and contact lenses. But some variations of LASIK surgery are superior to others. Dr. Kornmehl feels that blade-free LASIK with the IntraLase laser has numerous advantages over traditional LASIK, including the fact that it is safer and better tolerated. He provides only blade-free LASIK surgery in his Boston facilities.

Blade-Free LASIK versus Conventional LASIK

The first step to a LASIK procedure is to create a corneal flap so the excimer laser can ablate the underlying corneal tissue. During conventional LASIK laser eye surgery, the corneal flap is created using a hand-guided, oscillating blade (microkeratome). The IntraLase method, also known as all-laser or bladeless LASIK, uses a laser to create the corneal flap.


The IntraLase method, using a femtosecond laser, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and has been used in more the 5,000,000 procedures. The laser used in the IntraLase method moves back and forth across the cornea's outer layers, emitting short, rapid bursts of laser light that create a series of minute bubbles at a determined depth. The tissue where the bubbles have formed is then gently separated, exposing the portion of cornea to be ablated.


Advantages of Blade-Free LASIK

There are many advantages to blade-free LASIK as opposed to traditional LASIK. The precision of the femtosecond laser provides the surgeon and patient with peace of mind. Creating the corneal flap with a computer-controlled laser instead of a microkeratome leads to more predictable flaps. The laser also provides more options to customize the flap to the patient's specific need; the diameter of the flap and the angle of its edges can be pre-determined to exacting specifications. This level of customization normally results in better visual outcomes.

It's also important to note that blade-free LASIK has a lower risk of complications than traditional LASIK. Most of the common LASIK complications are related to the flap creation process with the microkeratome – no matter how sanitary the operating room is or how skilled the surgeon, there is always a risk of infection and other complications when using a handheld blade. Plus, there is room for human error, even when the best LASIK surgeon performs the procedure. But the risks are substantially reduced when the flap is made with the IntraLase laser.

Enhanced patient comfort is important as well. Since only the edge around the corneal flap needs to heal, visual recovery is rapid and patients report little or no post-operative pain. There is less need for post-operative medications with LASIK than with PRK. Patients are able to notice visual results and resume normal activities sooner after surgery because the healing time is accelerated. Additionally, there may be less risk of scarring or developing corneal haze.

Finally, the IntraLase iFS laser can create a thinner flap than a microkeratome. This not only makes it possible to correct high amounts of nearsightedness but also may make laser vision correction possible for individuals that otherwise aren't suitable candidates for traditional LASIK.

Blade-Free LASIK FAQs

How long does it take to perform blade-free LASIK?

Blade-free LASIK normally takes about 10 minutes per eye.

What is the typical recovery time following blade-free LASIK?

It usually takes 24 to 72 hours for vision to clear.

Are there any side effects of blade-free LASIK?

Patients may experience sensitivity to light, itchy eyes or a foreign body sensation in the eyes. Halos around lights are also common, immediately after surgery.

How is blade-free LASIK different from Epi-LASIK and PRK?

Blade-free LASIK involves the creation of a corneal flap, whereas with Epi-LASIK and PRK the outermost layer of corneal cells is altogether separated from the underlying cells and regenerates after surgery.

How do I know if I am a candidate for blade-free LASIK?

In general, most people that qualify for traditional LASIK also qualify for blade-free LASIK. The consistency of IntraLase can make it a good option for candidates with thinner-than-normal corneas. The best way to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for blade-free LASIK is to schedule an evaluation and consultation with Dr. Kornmehl.

Contact Dr. Ernest Kornmehl

Bladeless LASIK is one of several vision correction options, including Boston cataract eye surgery, offered by Dr. Kornmehl. He conducts a thorough examination of each patient to determine the best refractive procedure. To find out if you are a LASIK Boston candidate, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kornmehl by contacting Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates at (877) 870-2010.


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Dr. Kornmehl has surgical privileges at 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115 (617) 232-2090 is a HIPAA compliant web site