Whenever any new technology is used in medical procedures the question of safety comes to the forefront. It goes without saying that all medical procedures are safe as it has to be cleared by the FDA. New technology is used in more advanced surgical procedures that are supposed to increase the level of surgical accuracy thereby giving better results and even improving safety. This is evident in the Lasik surgery that has been introduced as an improved surgical procedure for vision correction.  The Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis as it is formally known has been able to drive away inhibitions about painful eye surgeries. This procedure is widely used for improving vision of individuals by improving the eye’s ability to alter the contour of cornea.2

The standard process

The vision correction process that is known as Lasik is a two step process that focuses on the cornea and its correction that contributes to improved vision. But the decision to have the procedure done has to be taken by a surgeon who evaluates the condition of your affected eye and advises the best course of treatment. In the first step of the process, the surgeon gets access of your cornea by creating a tissue flap that is ultra thin. Once the tissue is in the surgaeons grip, it is folded back so that the cornea gets exposed. Vision correction by using laser is then performed on the inner layer of the cornea.  In this process of vision correction, the flap that is created has to be customized totally in order to make the correction more reliable and predictable. But there is an inherent limitation to this procedure that does not allow total customization thereby reducing the reliability of vision correction.

Flap creation technique

The customization options get restricted due to the technique used for flap creation.  A metal blade that is fixed to a hand held mechanical device is used to make a small cut in the cornea. The use of metal blade creates impediment for surgeons who are unable to achieve the desired customizations that facilitates more reliable vision.  Seeing no possibilities of betterment, a new system has been introduced that does not use the blade.

All Laser or no blade Lasik

In this new procedure, cutting of cornea is still done but in a different way that does not use any blade. The mechanical system of cutting has been replaced by laser beam that gives access to the cornea. A laser beam is directed across the cornea that completes the procedure that is necessary to create the flap. Since the surgeon can have unobstructed view of the cornea, better customization is possible that leads to better vision.

The new procedure is more safe than the earlier one because the laser does not travel across the cornea like the metal blade; hence possibilities of complications are much reduced. Two laser beams are used in the process – the femtosecond laser does the cutting needed for creating the flap and the actual treatment of the cornea is done by using an excimer laser.