Blade Versus Bladeless- Which LASIK Center?

There is so much to discover when one begins to research the science of LASIK eye surgery. There are questions on what to expect before, during and after the procedure, money concerns, and even questions regarding which opthalmologist to choose. However, one of the less frequently asked, but worthwhile questions, is “which type of LASIK procedure is right for me?”

There are different types of procedures performed and the difference between two of the largest competitors is blade versus bladeless. LASIK center options opting for the traditional method, use the blade of a device called a microkeratome. This device creates a microscopic incision around the cornea, so the thin outer, protective layer can be lifted, like a flap, and then the procedure can be performed and the flap can be replaced for faster, easier healing times.

Essentially the same thing is done in the bladeless version, except that the microkeratome is replaced with an IntraLase- high energy laser- to make the incision.

Those that prefer the use of the blade argue that there is less suction on the eye and that which is used is used for much less time than with the new bladeless procedure. The suction, which is used to hold the eye in place while the incision is made, lasts approximately three seconds when a microkeratome is used, but can last twenty seconds or more when the IntraLase is used. This is considered one of the most uncomfortable portions of the procedure. It is also thought that IntraLase can increase the chances of temporary edema (swelling) of the eye after surgery. However, those in support of the newer version of LASIK, coined iLASIK, prefer the laser cut method, citing that it provides less opportunity for miss-cuts, resulting in damaged or unattached flaps. Though these mistakes are made very, very rarely, they can occur and those who favor laser cuts cite that when they do it can cause serious issues. Because the laser cuts at a precise thickness regardless of the shape of the cornea, it is less likely to cause these problems. One final point of favor for the laser cut procedure is that the bladed version is thought to raise intraocular pressure to a higher degree, which means that those who have glaucoma or have recently undergone glaucoma surgery Austin, the laser is likely the better option.

There are obviously pros and cons to each procedure. Another thing that may weigh into your decision is the cost. Though it is not always recommended to choose an ophthalmologist, optometrist Austin, or eye surgery based on price alone, there is a significant difference in cost when comparing these two procedures. The bladed surgery can be as much as three hundred dollars per eye less expensive. If you are unsure, then speak to friends or loved ones who have had the procedure; speak to doctors who perform both. In time the answer will become clear or the field of eye medicine will decide for you when one or the other ultimately reigns supreme.
About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field