Today, most advanced laser eye surgeons perform blade-free LASIK using a femtosecond laser.
The LASIK eye correction surgery begins with anaesthetic drops applied to numb your eye and prevent pain during the procedure. A lid speculum is placed in the eye to hold the lids apart for the procedure, eliminating possibility of blinking. The cornea is marked with water-soluble ink to guide replacement of the flap.
The suction ring is placed on the eye and your vision will go dark for about 20 seconds. A precise flap-making instrument, the microkeratome is used to create a thin flap of the corneal tissue. The eye surgeon raises the epithelium layer of the cornea to expose the portion beneath and is lifted and reflected to the side.
Blade-free femtosecond LASIK or ‘all-laser LASIK’
While conventional LASIK is a safe and effective procedure, many patients prefer the idea of blade-free LASIK. Many clinics market blade-free LASIK as ‘IntraLASIK’. With that said, femtosecond laser manufacturers often claim that femtosecond lasers can reduce complications and improve accuracy of treatments.
At The Custom Vision Clinic, blade-free femtosecond LASIK is the standard of care.
Advantages of LASIK over other procedures
- Quick healing (driving vision the next day in most cases)
- Little chance of haze
- Enhancements can be easier
- Generally back to work or school within 48 hours
- Generally able to drive a car within 24 hours
Benefits of LASIK to the laser eye surgery patient
- Vision correction
- Minimal healing time
- Maximum convenience
With LASIK eye surgery the healing process is significantly reduced, in comparison to surface laser eye surgery, patients can typically return to routine work and leisure activities within a couple of days of treatment. In addition, vision correction is virtually instantaneous (the so-called “wow effect”) and both eyes can usually be treated on the same day.
Disadvantages of LASIK against other procedures
LASIK is one of the most successful surgical procedures invented. With that said, it’s not right for everyone. Here are some examples:
- Patients with thin corneas
- Patients with chronic dry eyes
- Patients who engage in contact sports or dangerous work
In the past we might have recommended surface laser eye surgery to people with thin corneas because these procedures are less invasive and leave more corneal tissue intact. Today, however, we offer ReLEx SMILE ™ to these patients, which enables us to perform keyhole laser eye surgery.
For these patients we may recommend lens replacement surgery to remove their natural crystalline lens to exchange it for an artificial lens. This lens can be specifically chosen to correct your refractive error (including astigmatism) or conditions associated with ageing eyes (presbyopia and/or cataract).
Patients with keratoconus or other contra-indicated conditions
For some patients, certain pre-existing eye or other conditions make any type of laser eye surgery an unsafe option. For patients with keratoconus, we might recommend corneal cross-linking or Kerarings ™ to halt the progression of keratoconus.
The most common alternative to LASIK is to remain wearing spectacles or contact lenses. Surgical options of laser eye surgery include: