What Is All-Laser LASIK, How Does It Work, And What Are The Risks/Benefits?

Question: What is all-laser LASIK, how does it work, and what are the risks/benefits?

Answer: In LASIK surgery, the surgeon needs to create a corneal flap. And this can be accomplished using a mechanical instrument called a microkeratome, or a femtosecond laser. When the femtosecond laser is used, that is sometimes referred to as all-laser LASIK. A femtosecond is a millionth of a billionth of a second, which refers to the ultra-short duration of the femtosecond laser pulses. When the femtosecond laser is applied to the cornea, it generates a small bubble of gas. When many pulses are applied, the gas bubble will coalesce and thereby surgically create the flap. It is thought that there may be more precision in some patients using the femtosecond laser as to the thickness of the flap and to the universal form contour. All surgical procedures, including LASIK, will have certain risks that you should discuss with your ophthalmologist, regardless of how your flap will be created.