LASIK vs. Bladeless LASIK: What’s the Difference?
LASIK eye surgery has been around since 1999 when it was first approved by the FDA. Since its inception, we’ve seen plenty of evolution in tools, procedures, and outcomes. One of the biggest advancements in the field of LASIK is bladeless surgery. Blade and bladeless surgeries are both still available in Canada, although most clinics prefer the bladeless option.
At Clearview Vision Institute, our experienced team offers customizable bladeless LASIK. We understand that no two patients are the same, even if your eye test suggests otherwise. For this reason, we tailor your LASIK to fit your individual needs. Mapping your cornea, we get to know which portions of your cornea need to change for 20/20 vision. We then program our laser to perfectly tailor your cornea to your vision needs.
To help our patients better understand their options before undergoing LASIK eye surgery, we’d like to shed some light on the process. Here’s everything you need to know about LASIK and bladeless LASIK.
What is LASIK eye surgery?
LASIK eye surgery is a pain-free, minimally invasive eye procedure to repair the cornea. It treats vision problems, promoting 20/20 (or higher) vision following a successful surgery. LASIK is a popular treatment because the downtime following the procedure is minimal, and little follow-up care is required.
LASIK eye surgery has a high success rate with few side effects. It is a common procedure in Toronto, and is a great alternative to glasses and lenses if you’re looking for permanent vision improvement.
There are two main types of LASIK to choose from; these are:
Blade LASIK: Blade LASIK uses an automated device called a microkeratome to cut a flap opening in the cornea of the eye. A laser is then used to remove tissue at the corneal level via UV light. This carefully carves and shapes the cornea to increase vision. Following the procedure, the corneal flap is replaced and heals on its own.
Bladeless LASIK: Bladeless LASIK, as the name suggests, foregoes the microkeratome blade. Instead, it uses a laser called a femtosecond. This slices the corneal flap using a high-energy laser. The rest of the treatment is the same, including replacing the flap for natural healing post-surgery.
In both types of LASIK, the cornea is reshaped to treat individual vision needs. For example, someone with nearsightedness will have their cornea shaped to be flatter, while those with farsightedness may need a more convex corneal shape. The shape of the cornea dictates how your vision progresses following the procedure.
LASIK requires no in-patient care and is considered a day surgery treatment. Patients may leave the clinic following the surgery as long as everything runs smoothly, and their eyes look healthy.
If you get LASIK eye surgery, you will be asked to have a friend or family member pick you up, as you will be unable to see for the first day following surgery. This makes getting home a little difficult. It also makes maneuvering in your home complicated, so be prepared to ask for help.
Which LASIK procedure is a better option?
While it’s up to you whether you prefer a blade LASIK or a bladeless LASIK eye surgery option, there are some factors to consider. Both treatments offer improved vision and minimal healing requirements. As you choose between the two procedures, think about factors such as:
- Better vision: Bladeless LASIK eye surgery tends to have a higher success rate with a better rate of vision, post-surgery. While standard blade LASIK will still help you ditch your glasses, bladeless could provide better vision improvement.
- Easy on the cornea: Bladeless LASIK is a better option, in general, for cornea health. The process is less harmful to the cornea and, therefore, could have fewer side effects.
- Comfort: Blade LASIK is considered by some to be more comfortable. This could be because it is a shorter procedure with less suction. Suction is used to hold the cornea flap in place during the LASIK procedure. In bladeless LASIK, more suction is needed to steady the corneal flap, causing more discomfort.
- Cost: The value of each LASIK treatment is the same, improving vision through a long-term solution. However, blade LASIK tends to run cheaper by about $300 less per eye. This could change by clinic and physician. For some Canadians, this is an incentive to choose the blade surgery option.
- Follow-up care: The follow-up timetable for both blade and bladeless procedures is the same. You should see your doctor the day after surgery, one week later, one month after this, three months later, and, finally, a year after surgery.
- Recovery: Some say that recovery is quicker with bladeless LASIK because it’s easier on your cornea. In general, both LASIK options have the same quick recovery time. Most patients feel better the following day, but may experience dry or irritated eyes for a month afterward.
Speak to your ophthalmologist to determine which is the better approach for your eyes. Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, but at Clearview Vision Institute, we perform successful LASIK eye surgeries on candidates of all ages and with a variety of vision concerns.
Availability and Modern LASIK
As you determine which type of LASIK procedure you’d prefer, you may find yourself limited by availability. Many modern practices no longer offer blade LASIK eye surgery. With many benefits leaning toward bladeless options, Canadian ophthalmologists often choose bladeless. There are fewer moving parts, and healing times are quicker.
Some surgeons still choose to use the blade, especially if there are special circumstances preventing a bladeless surgery. If bladeless LASIK isn’t an option for you, your ophthalmologist will find you a healthy and safe alternative.
Contact Clearview Vision Institute
Interested in learning more about LASIK eye surgery? Clearview Vision Institute is happy to talk about our custom bladeless LASIK procedures. We also offer a dual treatment process called LASIK Xtra. This works with your LASIK eye surgery to optimize longevity and accuracy. Call 647-493-6371 to book a consultation with our experienced team today.