Lasik: Bladed vs. Bladeless LASIK


When performing vision correction during LASIK surgery a number of issues have to be considered, one of the most important aspect is to know the difference between bladed and bladeless technology.

One significant difference is how the corneal flap is created during surgery. For the bladed procedure an instrument called microkeratome is used to cut a corneal flap. It is then folded aside to enable the excimer laser to do the job of reshaping the cornea. Following the procedure, the corneal flap is placed back to its original position. For the bladeless LASIK surgery, a device called femtosecond laser is used to create the flap.

Many side effects that can potentially occur with microkeratome can be avoided with femtosecond laser. These may include partial flaps, buttonhole, and flaps with inconsistent thickness and border. These and other potential complications are significantly reduced by the use of the bladeless laser procedure. In the bladeless, femtosecond LASIK, a perfect flap is created each time giving unparalleled consistency and accuracy during surgery. Now with newer VisuMax femtosecond laser, the patients experience much greater comfort during surgery.

The decision to use of femtosecond laser (bladeless) vs. traditional microkeratome (blade) is a matter of skill and experience which can significantly affect the outcome of the surgery. The While the newer microkeratomes offer a proven method of creating safe corneal flaps, the femtosecond LASIK represents a technology of the future which will set the standard in flap creation. However, it is important for patients to be well informed about the differences between  blades or bladeless LASIK so that they can choose a technology that they are comfortable with.