Conventional LASIK vs. iLASIK
Vision correction has come so far from the first eye glasses introduced in the 13th century, we have evolved from specs to surgeries. The first Laser Vision correction surgeries started with PRK in early 1990’s, followed by the LASIK procedure late 1990’s and then iLASIK in the early-mid 2000’s. If you are interested in LASIK eye surgery and have come this far, you’ve likely been doing some research on Blade vs. Bladeless. What do these terms really mean? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Is it worth it? We want to clear the air and answer some of these common concerns.
Let’s start by telling you what happens during the LASIK procedure, this will help you understand the difference! During LASIK, the cornea (the outermost layer of the eye) is reshaped to correct vision including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In order to get to the corneal tissue that needs to be reshaped, the LASIK surgeon must create a thin corneal flap. The flap is the very exterior layer, often described as thin as “saran wrap” or “skin on an onion”. The flap is then lifted for application of laser energy that reshapes the eye for vision correction. The flap stays connected to the eye, when the LASIK procedure is complete and the cornea has been reshaped, the surgeon “closes” the flap, which naturally starts to ahere right away.
What is Conventional or traditional LASIK?
In a conventional LASIK procedure, the surgeon will use a bladed instrument known as a microkeratome to cut a thin flap into the cornea. The hand-held blade comes in direct contact with the cornea in this type of procedure. The flap (door into the cornea) created by a microkeratome is not always precise and may be thinner toward the middle of the flap because of how the blade works. This has the potential to cause certain types of flap defects including buttonholes (where the flap is shaped like a button) and flaps that become detached from the eye or incomplete.
What does “Blade-Free” LASIK means?
In a 100% blade-free LASIK procedure (AKA bladeless or all-laser LASIK procedure), the surgeon will use the advanced technology of a laser to create the flap (door to the cornea). At Bense Vision, our iLASIK procedure exclusively uses the advanced IntraLase iFS™ femtosecond laser – the most advanced Laser Vision Correction used worldwide. This laser uses high-energy laser pulses to separate the corneal tissue. Using this advanced laser technology to create the corneal flap means a more consistent thickness throughout the flap and reduces the number of complications that can result from using the bladed microkertome instrument.
What are the advantages of blade-free flaps
It is a fact that iLASIK technology is 25 times more accurate that conventional LASIK. It is so custom, so precise, and so accurate that we are able to treat many more patients, those that would not have been candidates for “conventional” LASIK are more likely to be good candidates for iLASIK today. As well, using a laser to create the corneal flap during LASIK will lead to fewer flap complications, that we used to see when doing cornea bladed LASIK. This can translate to additional benefits in terms of long-term quality of vision following this iLASIK procedure. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of using a laser to create the corneal flap in a LASIK procedure. Some of the advantages compared with conventional LASIK include:
- Less flap complications
- Increased accuracy creating the corneal flap
- Unprecedented control and precision during the procedure
- Less patient anxiety without the “blade”
- Reduced occurrence of halos and glare associated with blade
- Better long-term vision quality
- Treat more patients
- Dry eyes more associated with blade
Is Blade-Free really worth It?
There are many advantages to blade-free LASIK, and there are certainly associated costs with this type of procedure. However, at Bense Vision we believe so strongly that the blade free iLASIK procedure, is the standard of care for today – we do not pass on that cost difference to our patients. It is our opinion that patients who receive the bladed LASIK for the same cost as Bense Vision’s iLASIK are simply overpaying. Did you know? The blade-free iLASIK procedure is the only approved laser vision correction procedure for use by NASA and US Military branches! Now that you understand the advantages compared with conventional LASIK, it’s up to you to determine if the benefits are important to you! When it comes to your vision, you decide what you want and deserve!
Don’t underestimate Surgeon Experience!
While blade-free iLASIK offers many benefits compared with conventional LASIK, the most important aspect is that the patient is in the hands of an expert surgeon. We are talking about tools, and tools are only as good as the surgeon who is using them. For example, a novice surgeon does not have the experience and skill as a seasoned surgeon who has been performing LASIK for many years. While both of these surgeons may use the same femtosecond laser, the seasoned surgeon would be more skilled at using the laser to provide patients with optimal vision outcomes. So don’t let the appeal of blade-free LASIK technology blind you to other important LASIK considerations, such as surgeon experience. We believe in the best, that is why we practice exclusively blade free for our LASIK patients – we are the only iLASIK certified provider in the province.
Experience Blade-Free LASIK from the Best!
At Bense vision you will receive 100% blade-free iLASIK technology in the hands of an experienced and skilled iLASIK surgeon who has performed almost 30,000 laser vision correction surgeries! Because we remain committed to using leading-edge technology and being Newfoundland’s most experienced and qualified iLASIK surgeon, we have helped 95% of our iLASIK patients see 20/20 or better following their procedure, with the majority seeing even better than that….20/15! At Bense Vision we are a “true centre of excellence” for LASIK eye surgery in the province.
To find out if you are a candidate, schedule a free evaluation with our doctors by calling 709.722.2020 or request an appointment via our contact page .