When it comes to providing patients with the best possible experience, we take safety seriously. We are always trying to stay at the forefront of laser vision correction to ensure that our patients experience all of the safety and quality benefits that are out there.
One question that many of our laser eye surgery patients ask us about involves the possibility of infection from LASIK surgery. This is a very reasonable question given that all surgeries carry some risk of infection. We’d like to address this matter right now and discuss what we’ve done and what you can do to minimize the chances of infection during and after LASIK.
About Traditional LASIK
It may help if we look at traditional LASIK surgery first so you understand how the surgery was performed and where these concerns with infection came from.
During traditional LASIK surgery, a flap is created in the topmost layer of the cornea (the epithelium). Through this flap, a laser is used to reshape the cornea, improving the passage of light through the eye en route to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye.
How the Corneal Flap Was Created During Traditional LASIK
In the past, this corneal flap was created using a tool called a microkeratome. This metal tool was carefully placed on the surface of the eye to create the flap, and very few complications arose from it.
Was infection common in traditional LASIK?
No. Infection was not common even with traditional LASIK surgery that used the microkeratome. That said, it was still possible for it to occur for a variety of reasons.
Today, thanks to advanced in technology, the microkeratome is no longer part of the LASIK surgery treatment at many practices. Instead, the majority of LASIK doctors perform bladeless, all-laser LASIK surgery.
Bladeless, All-Laser LASIK Surgery
Bladeless, all-laser LASIK is just what it sounds like. Instead of using a physical tool like the microkeratome to create the epithelial flap, a laser is used instead. This laser is extremely accurate and quite safe.
How Bladeless LASIK Is Performed
In essence, bladeless LASIK is performed just as a normal LASIK procedure would be, simply without the use of the microkeratome. Instead, surgeons carefully use a laser to create the corneal flap, making no direct physical contact with the surface of the eye.
Advantages of Bladeless LASIK
By eliminating the microkeratome from LASIK surgery and limiting direct physical contact with the eye, the chance of infection goes down immensely. In addition, human error and the potential for surgical mistakes during the creation of the epithelial flap is greatly reduced.
Avoiding Infection Thanks to Good Pre-op and Post-op Care
While we do a lot to limit the possibility of infection, patients can also do a lot to avoid risk of infection. LASIK surgeons provide patients with stringent do’s and dont’s for pre-operative and post-operative care. Not only do these instructions help prevent infection from the actual surgery and surgical recovery, they also help patients heal fast and efficiently. It’s imperative that these instructions be followed to the letter.
Learn More About LASIK Surgery
For more information about LASIK surgery as well as your many other options out there for advanced eye care, be sure to contact our Chicago area vision correction centers today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make the best decisions about your overall well-being and the wellness of your eyesight.