An Introduction to All-Laser, Bladeless LASIK
Advances in technology have brought us all-laser, bladeless LASIK, also called IntraLASIK. Because this procedure is similar to traditional LASIK, you may be scratching your head as to the differences between the new procedure and its predecessor. If you have heard about all-laser, bladeless LASIK and wish to improve your eyesight, a little education may give you the push you need. The idea of doing away with prescription contacts and glasses probably seems too good to be true - but this treatment is effective. For answers to the initial questions that pop into your mind, become familiar with the basics of this groundbreaking procedure.
How Is this Different from Traditional LASIK?
All-laser, bladeless LASIK simply refers to the mode of creating the incision in your eye to improve eyesight. With traditional LASIK surgery, your ophthalmologist will create an incision with a handheld mechanical microkeratome, or specialized, thin blade. With IntraLASIK, your doctor uses a computer-controlled femtosecond laser microkeratome in place of a blade.
Conditions Corrected by All-Laser, Bladeless LASIK
Like most laser vision correction procedures, including traditional LASIK, all-laser, bladeless LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
What to Expect
Your cornea is the dome of tissue that covers your iris and pupil. This translucent structure refracts, or bends, light. As light penetrates your eye, your iris - the colored portion of your eye - helps control the diameter of your pupil, which regulates how much light enters your eye. The light passes through your lens, and onto your retina, which converts the light into an electrical signal processed by your brain. If your cornea is malformed, it improperly refracts light, resulting in vision problems, such as blurriness.
To begin the procedure, your doctor will use a computer-guided laser to create a flap on the cornea. Your doctor will pull back the corneal flap in order to access and improve the shape of your cornea. The following portion of the procedure is identical to traditional LASIK. Your doctor will use an excimer laser, which uses ultraviolet light for a re-contoured cornea and improved vision.
The Major Benefits
Because bladeless LASIK achieves the same goal as traditional LASIK, the general benefits remain the same, including improved vision, the potential for 20/20 or better vision, and the chance to do away with corrective lenses, such as contacts and glasses. However, the additional advantages of choosing all-laser surgery include the following:
- Some patients may be deemed poor candidates for traditional LASIK as a result of thin corneas - all-laser, bladeless LASIK includes a greater candidate pool, as it can effectively treat thinner corneas than the bladed procedure.
- The computer-guided laser may result in reduced human error, and therefore, a decreased chance for complications during flap formation.
Even if you have been told in the past that you were not a candidate for traditional LASIK surgery, you may find that you do qualify for all-laser, bladeless LASIK surgery. You will need to speak with your ophthalmologist for a professional determination of whether you make a good candidate. This may include a discussion regarding your health history and an examination. However, general terms of candidacy include the following:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You do not have an eye disease, infection, or injury.
- You are in good general health.
- You have had stable vision for at least one year before the procedure.
Find an Ophthalmologist
If all-laser, bladeless LASIK sounds like a good fit for your lifestyle and vision needs, contact a LASIK surgeon in your area today.
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