Blade vs. Blade-Free LASIK Surgery – What is the Difference?DrSegal
Before we enter into the intricate differences between blade and blade free LASIK surgery, it will be helpful to know the basics of LASIK and its applications in eye surgery. In the past, eye surgeries used to be quite painful and the quest for pain-free surgery led to the discovery of the Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis process which is termed as LASIK. This procedure is now widely used for all surgeries related to vision correction and improvement. The minimally invasive procedure enhances the eye’s ability to change the contour of the cornea thereby helping people to regain lost vision. The procedure that was discovered with the purpose of making eye surgeries pain-free has now been modified even further to make it safer, and to enhance the ability of surgeons to perform surgeries with more precision. The modified version is known as Blade-Free LASIK Surgery.
The Basics Are Similar
The procedures of the surgeries are not much different as it is based on the same principle. Since the objective of the surgeries is to correct the vision, both procedures use laser beam that is directed to the cornea to improve vision. Both procedures involve two primary steps. In the first step, the surgeon creates an ultrathin tissue flap to access the cornea. By folding back the tissue flap, the cornea gets completely exposed. In the second step, the treatment is carried out in the inner layer of the cornea by using laser beam. In order to achieve the desired correction of vision that is predictable and reliable, it is necessary to customize the flap. The inherent limitation of the procedure does not allow complete customization and this affects the extent of vision correction, which also gets restricted.
The Use of a Blade
The limitation discussed stems from the technique of creating the flap. A handheld mechanical device fitted with a metal blade is used to create a minute incision on the cornea. Since a metal blade is used, it limits the capabilities of surgeons in creating the most precise and customized flap and this affects the extent of vision improvement. In order to overcome the impediment, the advanced method of Blade-Free LASIK Surgery has been introduced.
Blade-Free LASIK Surgery
Blade-Free LASIK Surgery is an advanced surgical procedure that does not use the metal blade thereby improving the customization options that leads to more precise vision correction. Instead of using a mechanical cutting device with metal blade, a laser beam is used to perform the cutting of the cornea and the creation of the flap. Owing to the unobstructed view of the cornea, surgeons are more comfortable in achieving the level of customization that they want which leads to better vision.
Two different types of laser beams are used in Blade-Free LASIK Surgery as compared to the use of a single laser beam in the traditional LASIK procedure. The cutting action is performed by using femtosecond laser and an excimer laser is used to create the flap and create a smooth and uniform surface of the cornea that is necessary for better vision.