Most patients are surprised to hear that there are different types of LASIK offered in the Denver Metro area. Patients generally believe that all LASIK is the same everywhere. This is very far from the truth. One of the best analogies to help explain the advancements in LASIK is cellular telephone technology. Remember the old “brick” cell phone? What a difference between that and today’s ultra-thin and fast smart phones! Similarly, significant advancements in technology to improve speed, safety and efficacy have happened in LASIK since its introduction nearly 20 years ago.

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Before discussing the technology behind LASIK further, it is important to understand the LASIK procedure and how it is performed.

LASIK is a 3-step, roughly 15-minute outpatient procedure

  • Step 1 – A thin flap of the cornea is created and gently moved out of the way to expose a lower layer of the cornea for treatment in Step 2…
  • Step 2 – An excimer laser’s cool pulses of light are applied to the exposed lower layer of the cornea, which reshapes its curvature. This step is where the patient’s prescription is treated, and therefore is the most impactful step in terms of the patient’s visual result from LASIK.
  • Step 3 – When the laser corneal reshaping is complete, the surgeon lays the corneal flap back down into its original position. It self-adheres with no need for stitches. You go home to relax and nap for several hours. Your eyes will heal on their own with the help of prescription eye drops.

Most patients achieve 90% of vision correction overnight and can return to work the very next day. Further healing and vision correction takes approximately 2-3 weeks. It is common that patients are asked by the doctor to use artificial tears to wet the front surface of their eyes for approximately 30 days. In some cases the use of artificial tears is needed for a longer period of time.

While there have been many advancements in LASIK technology over the years, the two most important are the advent of Bladeless LASIK and the availability of Wavefront (Optimized or Guided) Custom LASIK.

Major LASIK Advancement Number One: Bladeless Flap Creation LASIK

In the early days of LASIK, the first step of the procedure, creating the flap, was done with a surgical device called a Microkeratome. This older Microkeratome is a device that contains a razor blade. Today, modern LASIK uses a laser to create that flap on the surface of the cornea, adding the extra peace of mind that comes with removing a blade from the procedure.

Major LASIK Advancement Number Two: Wavefront (Guided or Optimized) LASIK

Step 2 of the procedure, re-shaping the cornea with a laser. Wavefront LASIK treats nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism (low order aberrations) while at the same time accounting for some of the unique imperfections or attributes of each person’s visual system (high order aberrations). Most experts agree that in general, Wavefront LASIK provides the patient with a better visual result and a better quality of vision than the conventional (standard or traditional) LASIK. Night vision is where a patient usually benefits the most from Wavefront (Guided or Optimized) LASIK as compared to the older, “standard” technology.

Bladeless Wavefront LASIK (Guided or Optimized) is considered to be the most advanced type of LASIK available.

Which technology will 20/20 Institute use for my LASIK procedure? Click here to find out.