Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Blade v/s Bladeless boxing match for the trophy of Lasik Surgery Champion. First in the ring is the veteran – Blade. Blade enters the ring and acknowledges the cheering crowd.
Blade LASIK, also called traditional laser vision correction has been around for quite a few years. In this spectacle removal surgery, the surgeon uses a Microkeratome (a blade like device used on the cornea) to make a thin hinged flap on the transparent front surface of the eye called the cornea. This flap is then lifted for the application of laser to reshape the cornea and bring about correction in vision.
Next to enter the ring, we have the rookie, Bladeless.
(Bladeless receives a thunderous applause)
He nods and does a mock military salute to the crowd.
Bladeless LASIK, also called FemtoLasik is a newcomer in the field of laser vision procedures. (Since the year 1999 to be precise.) FemtoLasik comes from a family that boasts of many similar bladeless cousins: zLASIK, IntraLase, Femtec and VisuMax. It uses a femtosecond laser in place of the Microkeratome to cut a thin flap in the cornea.
The stadium is teeming with people. Everyone is eager to see these two Lasik proponents battle it out. They have since long seen the wonders of Blade. For years, it seemed as if no one could match up to Blade. And then, Bladeless came into the scene. His smooth moves and new-gen charm had people eating out of his hand. And now, for the first time, they would get to see these two giants in a face off.
Soon the bell rings. The match begins!
Blade (to the utter surprise of the public) is the first to make a move. He rapidly throws in a punch.
Suction using the Microkeratome lasts for about 5-10 seconds. Whereas, that using an IntraLase takes a little longer (20-30 sec). Also, there is more risk of oedema (swelling) when a Femto Lasik is used as extra laser energy is applied to the cornea.
Bladeless soon recovers and lands a shot in Blade’s face!
The Microkeratome may cause more complications like flap deformities like free caps (which are unattached flaps), partial flaps or button holes (which are improperly formed flaps). The more curved the cornea, the thinner is the flap in the centre. The opinion of some surgeons is that this increases the chances of flap deformities.
With a Femto Lasik, the chances of flap deformities are near negligible as the laser creates the same thickness of the flap whatever the curve of the cornea be. Also, the incision made during the Bladeless Lasik is computer calibrated which ensures more precision.
Blade is not taking a backward step. Bam! A right hook by Blade finds its target.
With Femto Lasik, the issue of light sensitivity is seen temporarily for a few days after the surgery. This is much lesser with a Microkeratome, thus making it more comfortable for patients apart from being cheaper.
Bladeless throws a straight right to the body.
A study published in the Journal of Refractive Surgery in November 2007 assessed visual quality in people who had undergone LASIK using microkeratomes as well as bladeless. It found that those who had undergone bladeless had fared better.
But Blade ducks the shot…
However, a report published in May 2010 issue of American Journal of ophthalmology found no significant differences in vision quality outcomes with the two methods. It seems like the two are very equally matched.
Thus, traditional blade LASIK is cheaper, faster and more comfortable, while bladeless is safer, more precise and less risky. However, ultimately these are just tools in the hands of a surgeon. How he uses them will depend on his skill and experience. When surgeons are dealing with normal eyes, a lot of times safety is an utmost concern!
The Match has come to an end! The fight is declared to be a tie! A few people wince, but no one is really complaining, because they all agree that the match was such a delight to watch!
At Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital both the conventional Lasik Surgery and Laser vision correction using Bladeless Lasik (Femto lasik) are done regularly and with good results. As in the match which we just read about, each type of Lasik Surgery has its own place in a surgeon’s and patients particular scenario. If someone can afford, then using the latest Femto Lasik may more sense but that said; conventional Lasik has shown excellent results lasting over last two decades. But the best results come when a trained Lasik eye specialists use the best eye technologies for different cases.