Dr. Andrew E. Holzman provides bladeless LASIK. This treatment is safer and involves a shorter recovery than the traditional method, which uses a blade. Dr. Holzman considers this a major step forward since he began performing LASIK 20 years ago.
This is not the same LASIK procedure that I started doing 20 years ago. This is called all-laser LASIK.
LASIK itself is a two-step process. In the first step of LASIK, we actually create what's called a corneal flap, where we make a cut, a gentle cut in the cornea and lift it back. So the analogy that I like patients to understand is think of the cornea, or the window of the eye, as a book of let's say 550 pages because the average cornea is 550 microns thick, so this analogy will work. In LASIK, what we do is we actually open the book to page 100. So we make a 100-page thick flap and lay it back.
And then, we use another laser to actually remove some of the corneal tissue, or pages of the book in this particular analogy. So let's say, for this particular patient, we have to remove 50 pages of the book. We remove pages 101 to 150, and then we close the book. So what we've done is we've thinned the book, or in this case, you know, in the analogy, the cornea under a flap, and that allows the patient to heal very quickly with very little discomfort and get back to work and normal daily activities by the next day.
In the past, we used to make that flap, that 100-page flap, with a device called a microkeratome, which had an oscillating blade. But approximately 14 years ago, a special laser was introduced that creates the flap, completely eliminating the need for the oscillating blade. And what that did was, it made the procedure safer and more predictable. So that's what's called all-laser LASIK.