Written on Dec 7, 2009 at 4:18 PM by LASIK Guider
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If you are interested in laser vision correction procedures to improve your eyesight, you probably heard about before. It is all over the place.



But what is All-laser LASIK?



And more importantly, do you need it?



First things first, what is All-laser LASIK?



All-Laser LASIK refers to a new type of LASIK eye surgery known as IntraLASIK or Bladeless LASIK. The IntraLASIK procedure employs two different types of lasers (Femtosecond laser and Excimer laser) to correct your vision.



The term All-laser LASIK may have a certain marketing appeal, since you may feel that if one laser is good, two lasers must be even better.



However, you should know that all LASIK procedures, including Bladeless LASIK, accomplish the same thing:

The Difference between All-laser LASIK and Conventional LASIK?

When we discussed , you have learned that the creation of the hinged corneal flap is the most critical step in LASIK eye surgery.


LASIK Microkeratome

The difference between All-laser LASIK and conventional LASIK is in how the LASIK surgeon creates the corneal flap.

In conventional LASIK, your surgeon will use a hand-held device known as a microkeratome to create the flap by cutting across your . The cutting action of the microkeratome is derived from a metal blade that is powered by an electromechanical system.



In All-laser LASIK, your surgeon will utilize a femtosecond laser microkeratome, rather than a blade microkeratome, to create the corneal flap during the LASIK procedure.



After creation of the flap in both types of LASIK, the flap is then folded out of the way; allowing the excimer laser to reshapes your cornea under the flap. Finally, the flap is replaced into its original position, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.




Bladeless LASIK Flap versus Conventional LASIK Flap

LASIK flap

The microkeratome flap is meniscus-shaped (i.e., thicker in the center, and thinner in the periphery). It is more variable in its dimensions, since its creation is influenced by many factors such as steepness and thickness of each individual cornea.



The IntraLase laser microkeratome is more accurate than the blade microkeratome. It can create a LASIK flap with the precise thickness, depth and diameter specified by the surgeon. So the IntraLase flap has the same thickness in the center and the periphery.




Types of All-laser LASIK (Bladeless LASIK):

The IntraLASIK name comes from a combination of the name of a femtosecond laser manufacturer (IntraLase, Inc. of Irvine, California) and LASIK.

The IntraLase laser was the first commercially available femtosecond laser, which gained the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Bladeless LASIK in 2001.



Since then, many laser manufacturers have introduced other femtosecond laser systems under different marketing terms. These terms have no special meaning other than being limited to the use of a particular lasers made by a particular laser manufacturer.



Types of All-laser LASIK (Bladeless LASIK)

Marketing Term

Manufacturer

FDA-Approval

FEMTEC

20/10 Perfect Vision, Germany

2004

VisuMax

Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc.

2007

iLASIK

Abbott Medical Optics

2007

zLASIK

Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems

2008


Many of these femtosecond laser systems can be combined with any approved excimer laser system to create a flap for bladeless LASIK.




Do You Need All-laser LASIK?

In general, both conventional LASIK and bladeless LASIK have comparable outcomes with few , as reported in the FDA clinical trials.



If you are an , All-Laser Lasik is an option for you. Most patients choose All-laser LASIK over conventional LASIK with a microkeratome when given the choice.



If you have a high , thin corneas, or other condition that disqualifies you for conventional LASIK, All-laser LASIK may be a requirement that give you a second chance to undergo the LASIK procedure. Find out if you are a good .

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