If you cringe at the idea of a blade coming into contact with your eye, you’re certainly not alone. Many people considering LASIK are hesitant to move forward with the surgery because of the flap that must be created in the cornea. Traditionally, this flap has been created with a blade called a microkeratome, and most LASIK surgeries are still performed using this cutting device. While LASIK is certainly safe on the whole, the creation of a corneal flap does entail some risk of complications. Thankfully, advanced surface ablation offers patients an excellent laser eye surgery alternative.
Sometimes referred to as “bladeless LASIK,” advanced surface ablation is quite similar to LASIK with one basic difference: there is no need to create a corneal flap and, therefore, no need for a blade ever to come into contact with the eye. Instead of creating a flap, the eye surgeon uses an alcohol solution to loosen the outermost cells of the cornea. This allows for their gentle removal so that the surgeon can have perfect access to the underlying layers of the cornea.
At this point, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea, just as it is in LASIK. Flaws in the shape of the cornea are responsible for refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. By correcting these flaws, vision is improved dramatically and sometimes restored to 20/20. Higher order aberrations can be addressed through a custom advanced surface ablation procedure, as well. Custom laser eye surgery takes into account the smaller, more unique flaws in the shape of the cornea, allowing the procedure to be fully tailored to the patient’s needs.
To learn more about the advanced surface ablation procedure and how it might benefit you, please contact The Laser Vision Institute of the Virgin Islands.