Conventional LASIK and blade-free LASIK are FDA-approved to safely and effectively correct your vision. Blade-free LASIK, also called all-laser LASIK, improves the technique for creating the LASIK flap, eliminating the margin of human error and offering more predictable, precise results. Our skilled LASIK surgeon, Dr. Ernest W. Kornmehl, offers the blade-free version using the IntraLase laser, which confers several benefits.
What is Blade-Free LASIK?
The first step in the LASIK procedure is to create a flap out of the cornea’s surface layer. This flap is folded back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue for laser correction. With conventional LASIK, the flap is made with an oscillating blade (microkeratome) guided by the surgeon’s hands. The IntraLase iSF laser used in all-laser LASIK moves back and forth over the outer cornea, shooting rapid, short bursts of light to make a series of tiny bubbles. These bubbles form at a precise depth and are used to separate the tissues and fold the laser-formed flap back. A laser then reshapes the cornea to improve vision, and the flap is folded back in place.
The Benefits of Blade-Free LASIK
Blade-free LASIK surgery creates a more precise corneal flap because a computer controls the laser and does not involve a handheld blade like the original procedure. Using a laser to create the LASIK flap allows for more customization of the flap diameter, angle and depth, for better visual outcomes. Blade-free LASIK provides exact and predictable flaps without human error and may lead to less post-surgical haziness and scarring.
A 2015 study evaluated the results of 120 eyes treated with conventional LASIK and 120 eyes treated with the blade-free technique. Researchers compared their vision results, higher-order aberrations (such as glare or halos around lights and difficulty seeing at night), visual contrast sensitivity and dry eyes. The participants were checked one week, one month, three months and six months after their LASIK procedure.
Researchers found that patients in the trial who received blade-free LASIK had markedly fewer higher-order aberrations than the group of patients who had a microkeratome-created flap. The all-laser LASIK group had more flap thickness predictability, fewer vision disturbances and improved contrast sensitivity. They also had better tear film stability at the one-month and three-month marks, but these levels returned to the pre-LASIK baseline at the six-month follow-up.
Contact Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates in Boston
If you’re interested in blade-free LASIK, contact Dr. Kornmehl in Boston to schedule your eye exam and consultation today by calling (877) 870-2010 or filling out our contact form.