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Lasik: Blade and Blade-free LASIK

Are you also a person who is wearing spectacles?

Imagine, waking up in the morning, NOT searching for your glasses, imagine enjoying the rain, WITHOUT getting your glasses fogged or drenched in water, imagine your wedding day where you WON’T HAVE to worry about changing your contact lens.

This need not be left to imagination anymore, because LASIK can revitalize your vision where simple minimally invasive procedure can bring an entire lifetime of blur into focus.

Treatment options available for eye conditions have been growing by leaps and bounds over the last decade, where the latest, advanced technology has immensely contributed to overall surgical field including those done for the eyes.

LASIK is the latest advancement of the eye surgeries and as the name itself sounds, it definitely ownsa wow factor in it which will give you the gift of saying bye to spectacles or contact lenses, you have been using for a long period of time.

LASIK is the abbreviated word used for ‘Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis’ LASIK is a day care procedure, in which a very fine LASER is used to reshape the cornea in such a way that one’s eye power gets corrected and one can carry out daily activities without glasses or contact lenses throughout their lives. The LASER used is invisible and compatible to human eye.

How is LASIK surgery performed?

Your eye surgeon uses a mechanical surgical tool and creates a thin circular flap in the cornea. He then folds back the flap and accesses the surface underlying cornea. Highly specialized laser is used to remove tiny tissues from the surface and reshapes it to accurately focus. Flap is then laid back covering the area where the tissue was removed and then cornea is allowed to heal naturally.

This is a painless surgery completed within 15 minutes for both eyes and you can experience the difference in your vision in as short as 24 hours.

Blade LASIK and Blade-free LASIK

The basic difference in these two methods arises in what surgical tool is used by the eye surgeon or in other words how the flap is created in the cornea.

In Blade LASIK, a thin blade called Microkeratome is used to create the flap whereas in Blade-free LASIK, this is done using high energy laser.

Selection between Blade LASIK and Blade-free LASIK

The word blade-free would impress anyone that it is a safer method and anyone would prefer this method. However, both methods have advantages and limitations compared with the other.

Dr. Brain Boxer Wachler of Wachler Vision Institute in Los Angeles expresses blade LASIK procedure is much faster and comfortable for the patient. This is because the pressure on the eye lasts about three seconds, whereas it lasts for about 15-20 seconds in laser. However, Dr. Vance Thompson an Assistant Ophthalmology Professor says flap predictability is better with laser procedure. Dr. Woolfson, another skilled surgeon states that with a healthy eye history, both are equally effective and safe to create the flap.

While there are discussions on pros and cons of both methods, it all depends on which procedure is right for you. The first step of the eye surgeon would be to decide whether you are a good candidate for vision correction. He will look at your medical history, shape and thickness of cornea, moistness of your eyes, your present health condition, medications, specific situationsand conduct a complete eye examination before he suggests the right procedure for you. Both methods of LASIK are expected to provide same vision result. You need to be concern only on choosing an experienced and skilled eye surgeon for you andhe will look after rest of it.

Before and After LASIK

Prior to the Day of surgery

  • You may have to make some transportation arrangements for the next day. It will be difficult to drive back as you may feel slightly dizzy.
  • All facial makeups such as eye makeups and facial creams should be removed at least one day prior. Your eyelids must be cleaned properly before the surgery.
  • If you are contact lenses user, make sure to remove them one day prior to surgery since it has a possibility of altering the shape of cornea.

The Day of surgery

  • Make your meal light (breakfast/lunch) just prior to the surgery.
  • Do not use perfumes, cologne or hair sprays which contain alcohol.
  • Avoid wearing stockings like materials or nylon garments.
  • You will be taken to the Eye Surgery Unit on an outpatient basis. The procedure will take only about 15 minutes (variesperson to person) and you will be allowed to go home just after the procedure.
  • The eyes may be excessively watery and irritating, just after the surgery and this will last for about 2 to 4 hours.

After the surgery

  • Use protective glassesfor 24 hours and then switch to sunglasses for a week when dealing with outdoors
  • No eye patch or shield required
  • Follow exactly and all the instructions given by the surgeon regarding the medicines, eye drops and all do’s and don’ts.
  • Do not rub or squeeze the eyes for a week.
  • Avoid eye makeups, soap or water activities, sports or smoky and dusty surroundings for about a week
  • Getting back to normal routine activities (showering, travelling, laptops, mobiles, TV) can be done after 48 hours.

LASIK dramatically improves your vision and most people get 20/20 vision after procedure. However, rarely results vary.

Side Effects and Complications of LASIK

Listed below are few reported complications after LASIK. It is advisable to contact your eye doctor immediately if one or few of these changes are noted.

  • Excessive tearing or dry eyes
  • Night glare when looking at lights
  • In growth of outer layer of cornea under the flap
  • Inflammation under the flap ,
  • Significant under correction or over correction.

Most of these are transient and don’t have and permanent effect. These can be rectified using eye drops, corrective lenses, surgical rinsing, oral medicines or LASIK enhancement (touchup) procedure few months later.

However, do not fear of LASIK surgery . According to a worldwide review published in 2009 on people had LASIK Treatment between 1995 and 2003, 95% of them were satisfied with the outcome of the surgery.

*LASIK and bladefree surgeries are performed by Dr. Hardik Parikh himself. Details about surgery will be given during consultation.

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