As a top ophthalmologist providing care to patients in the New York City and New Jersey metro area, Dr. Cohen offers both traditional and bladeless LASIK.
LASIK eye surgery offers the potential for vision correction by reshaping the cornea in a comfortable procedure that lasts less than 30 minutes for most patients.
For patients who are candidates for LASIK, you can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses. Side effects are rare, and most patients (over 91%) experience a full recovery within 24 hours, but sometimes it can take a few days depending on the specific procedure used.
Is LASIK right for you?
Use this page to get your LASIK eye surgery questions answered, and then book a free vision consultation with Dr. Ilan Cohen, one of the few LASIK eye surgeons in New York or New Jersey who personally consults with all his patients before finalizing your personalized Vision Correction Plan.
What is bladeless LASIK?
LASIK is performed by making a small flap in the cornea (the clear covering of the eye) using a special cutting instrument called a microkeratome. In bladeless LASIK, a laser makes the incision in the cornea instead of a microkeratome. Hence the name “bladeless” LASIK.
Is bladeless LASIK better than “regular” LASIK?
Not necessarily; healing and recovery are similar, and both techniques can achieve significant improvement in your vision. Once the incision is made, the rest of the technique is the same – the corneal flap is lifted, and a laser is used to gently reshape the cornea and remove defects and aberrations. Some doctors believe that using a microkeratome results in a faster procedure and greater patient comfort; others find bladeless LASIK has fewer potential risks and offers greater precision. You can go home the same day, no matter which technique is used. Dr. Cohen is experienced in both bladeless and “traditional” approaches. During your consultation, he will review all your treatment options so you can feel confident you are making the best and most informed decisions about your care.
What issues can bladeless LASIK treat?
Bladeless LASIK can address the same issues as traditional LASIK, correcting vision problems including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (blurry vision that occurs because the cornea is irregularly shaped).
Now that I am getting older, I need glasses to read. Can LASIK help me?
Presbyopia is a common condition affecting people over the age of 45, making it difficult to read or perform other close-up work without glasses. Some patients can have presbyopia corrected by using a lens for distance vision in one eye and near vision in the other eye. Not every patient can adapt, so the technique is usually “tried out” with contact lenses first.
What is LASIK?
LASIK is a surgical procedure designed to help correct specific types of vision problems and reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. The LASIK technique reshapes the cornea, which is the clear dome-shaped covering over your iris and pupil. The cornea helps focus light on the back of the light-sensitive retina where images are transmitted to the brain for interpretation. When the cornea is not perfectly shaped, it can result in difficulty seeing far or near or cause blurry vision. By reshaping the cornea, LASIK helps people see more clearly without relying on corrective lenses.
How is LASIK performed?
LASIK begins by making an incision in the cornea, creating a flap that can be gently lifted backward to expose the tissue beneath. Once the flap is made, a special laser is used to shape the cornea, gently removing tiny amounts of tissue so the corneal shape is normalized. Dr. Cohen uses a state-of-the-art mapping system that scans the surface of your eye so adjustments are more precise and accurate. Once the cornea is reshaped, the flap is put back in place and serves as a bandage to help encourage healing. Most patients find their vision is much clearer soon after the procedure is completed.
Which LASIK Eye Surgery Procedure Is Best For Me?
There are four basic types of LASIK eye surgery: bladeless LASIK, standard LASIK, PRK and LASEK, with some additional variations beyond these. Below is a quick rundown of what each procedure does and who it’s ideal for.
Both bladeless LASIK and LASIK have helped millions of people correct their myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea causing blurry vision). In most cases, the correction is so complete that the patient no longer needs to wear glasses or contact lenses. If the causes of your vision problems are fairly typical, bladeless LASIK or LASIK is one of your best options.
With Bladeless LASIK eye surgery, an eye surgeon uses a laser to make an incision in the cornea, rather than a blade. The laser makes a tiny incision in the cornea, creating a flap that peels back to expose the cornea beneath. Another laser is then used to reshape the cornea according to precise calculations worked out beforehand.
Most doctors believe bladeless LASIK has fewer potential risks and offers greater precision than LASIK performed with a blade. Whether you choose standard or bladeless LASIK is mostly up to you. Dr. Cohen has performed both procedures hundreds of times.
Standard LASIK with Microkeratome
Standard LASIK uses a disposable blade called a microkeratome to create the flap in the cornea. Once the flap is created and peeled back, the rest of the procedure is the same as bladeless LASIK eye surgery.
If the causes of your vision problems are fairly typical, LASIK is one of your best options. Some doctors believe that LASIK eye surgery with a microkeratome is the fastest and most comfortable form of LASIK offered today.
In your free vision consultation, you’ll be given a complete explanation of both procedures so you can make the most informed decision of which one is right for you.
PRK – For Thin Corneas, Large Pupils, and Corneal Scarring
PRK (photo-refractive keratectomy) is the original form of LASIK eye surgery and although it's not as common today, it’s still a better option for patients with certain conditions.
It is the safer alternative for patients with thin corneas or large pupils, because it preserves more of the corneal tissue, in part because it doesn’t create a flap like LASIK or bladeless LASIK. PRK is also often preferable for patients who’ve had previous LASIK procedures or other eye surgeries done and might have scarring on their corneas.
With PRK, there is also less risk of over-correcting your vision, which again is a concern for thin corneas.
However, PRK requires more time to recover from, and your stability of vision will also take more time to return.
PRK works by removing the central portion of the corneal coating, or epithelium. Once that layer is gone, a laser then works to reshape the cornea. Afterward, you must wear a special contact lens for a few days to protect your corneas while your epithelium regrows.
LASEK – the Alternative to PRK
In addition to PRK, a similar procedure called LASEK was created. The main difference is that LASEK doesn’t remove the epithelial flap. It just peels it back during the surgery, and then replaces it when finished. You still have to wear the protective lenses for a few days.
The outcomes and recovery times are similar for both PRK and LASEK, so like LASIK and bladeless, the choice of which procedure you use comes down mostly to your informed preference.
Because Dr. Cohen doesn’t see a distinct benefit to LASEK, he prefers PRK, though he can do either one if the patient has a strong preference.
If I have LASIK, will I still need to wear glasses?
While LASIK can eliminate the need for glasses for many patients, others may still need glasses for certain tasks. Dr. Cohen will review your vision needs and the possibility you may still need to wear glasses occasionally so you know what to expect following surgery.
Is LASIK a good option for all patients?
While LASIK has a very high satisfaction rate, it's not ideal for every patient. Dr. Cohen will perform a thorough eye examination prior to your procedure and review all your treatment options so you can feel confident in the decision you make.
What If LASIK Eye Surgery Can’t Correct My Vision?
Some people are not good candidates for any of the four versions of LASIK listed above.
The most common reason is because your myopia or hyperopia is too severe.
So what should you do?
The options for people with extremely high prescriptions include refractive lensectomy, (also known as Clear Lens Exchange) and implantable contact lenses. Dr. Cohen also performs these procedures and can tell you if they are better options for you at your consultation.
Clear Lens Exchange does exactly what it implies – you receive an artificial lens to replace your natural one. The procedure is very similar to cataract surgery, and just as safe, requiring no stitches and having relatively quick recovery.
Implantable contact lenses (ICL) give patients who don’t qualify for LASIK a way to improve their vision that is also reversible. In this procedure, contact lenses get surgically implanted in the eye itself, and the patient walks out the door in less than 30 minutes with permanently improved vision.
Ready for the Quick Path to Better Vision?
Have more questions about LASIK eye surgery?
Click here for a few of the most common ones, with links to resources with answers.