Which is the BEST LASIK Technology?

This can sometimes be a confusing area, with statements made by competing laser manufacturers and their supporters often conflicting with each other.

Compared to the very first lasers used back in the 1990s, today’s lasers are significantly advanced and tomorrow’s lasers will be even more so – but it’s also important to realize that millions of patients were treated with technology that has since been improved on and who are still delighted with their results.

Blade Free or Microkeratome?

This refers to the technique used in the first flap-creation step of the procedure:

  • Microkeratome means a blade is used to create the flap.
  • Blade-free or bladeless means a ‘femtosecond’ laser is used.

The debate as to whether one technique is better than the other still rages. Some doctors will swear the bladeless technique results in a better flap – others insist the microkeratome does.

The femtosecond bladeless technique is the most high-tech and the US Armed Forces and NASA have approved LASIK for their personnel using this technique.

Which is the Best Excimer Laser?

Other technology issues can arise over which excimer laser (the one actually used to sculpt the cornea) yields the best results.

Again, this is an advancing field technologically, however the greatest impact of the more recent refinements has been in permitting some patients who would not have been candidates to now qualify for the procedure. Newer technology has expanded treatment zones – the areas of the cornea that can be effectively treated – meaning that some patients with larger pupils who may not previously have been accepted for LASIK can now have it.

Conscientious surgeons have strict parameters for treatment and will necessarily reject up to 20% of applicants for LASIK. If your doctor tells you he can’t approve you for the procedure, ask if it is due to your pupil size or another factor that relates to the technology he uses. If so, you can seek a doctor who uses more advanced equipment.

Bearing in mind that LASIK would NOT be possible at all without the technology, concerns over which brand of technology is best are a little like worrying what kind of drill your dentist is going to use.

The simple solution to this puzzle is this: choose a surgeon you feel comfortable with, one with a very good track record and one who will still be at the center even months after the procedure. A local surgeon is best because he will feel an obligation to you as an individual not just a number – and then trust him to choose the right tools for the task.