What is All Laser or Blade Free LASIK Surgery ?
All Laser LASIK is the same as traditional LASIK except that the corneal flap is made with a femtosecond laser microkeratome instead of a microkeratome with a metal blade. “IntraLASIK” or” iLASIK” comes from the combination of the maker of a femtosecond laser Intralase and LASIK surgery. The first All Laser LASIK surgery was performed in 2000. This technique seems to be coming the more preferred way of performing LASIK.
Lasik Flap with Femtosecond Laser
A femtosecond laser is able to cut or form a flap in a precise manner with the computer in the laser designing the flap. The femtosecond laser works using very short pulses in cutting the flap. There is more control and more options with using the laser for making the corneal flap. There are still some studies that differ in whether there is a statistical difference in results with using a laser microkeratome or a conventional microkeratome. There are now several manufactures of femtosecond lasers.
Advantages of Femtosecond Laser Flap Formation
Thinner flaps have recently been shown to have superior results and femtosecond lasers are better able to perform the thinner flaps. There is more precise control of positioning the flap, control of the flap thickness, and shape of the flap. The precision of femtosecond lasers may help in people with larger pupils and thin corneas. Certain complications such as poor flaps with button holes, too thick or thin flaps, and damage to the flap are less with femtosecond laser flaps.
Disadvantages of Femtosecond Laser Flap Formation
Some patients develop edema of the cornea following femtosecond laser flap surgery. This can lead to blurred vision and photophobia or light sensitivity. This usually resolves in a period of a few weeks with treatment with additional eye drop medication.