Blade-Free LASIK

Contoura ™ Custom LASIK, Advanced iLASIK™ or Blade-free LASIK for Enhanced Vision-Service the Boston Area


Though conventional LASIK eye surgery and the Visian ICL has helped millions of people achieve clearer, sharper vision, there are countless more candidates who have not had the advantage of undergoing these procedures. Undoubtedly, many of these people remain untreated because they are apprehensive about surgery and also the mechanical blade once used to create the hinged corneal flap during the first step of LASIK. Thankfully, our refractive surgery center and Dr. Helen Wu, offers blade free custom LASIK on both the Alcon and Abbott Technology platforms. Both- state-of-the-art procedures do not require the use of a bladed microkeratome and can provide patients vision, in many cases, better than they were seeing in contact lenses and glasses. By using these ultra-precise lasers and advanced computer software, our patients now routinely undergo safe, effective vision correction surgery without the risks associated with a mechanical blade. Post procedure surveys and outcomes reports tell us patients are experiencing high satisfaction with their visual outcomes. While some patients still report some experience with halos or dry eyes post operatively, they are reporting these symptoms have decreased post operatively and are less significant than they  were prior to surgery.

Femtosecond Blade Free Technology

The outstanding results and safety of blade-free LASIK is in large part due to IntraLase® and WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser technologies. These systems consist of two components: the software and the extraordinarily precise femtosecond laser.  A femtosecond laser uses energy pulses to create tiny bubbles of air and water to separate the corneal tissue so there is no cutting involved. These lasers allow Dr. Helen Wu the ability to truly customize the first step of the LASIK procedure without the use of a blade.

The Blade-Free LASIK Procedure

The blade-free LASIK procedure begins with the first step of LASIK, the creation of the corneal flap. The computer-guided femtosecond laser focuses its beam on a pinpointed location beneath the surface of the cornea in order to create a tissue separation from the inside out. Operating at an amazing speed of thousands of laser pulses every second, the IntraLase® and WaveLight® FS200 laser technology both create countless microscopic bubbles which link together and create the corneal flap. The surgeon will then lift back this very thin opening to access the deeper corneal tissue and then apply the excimer laser to reshape the corneal contour thereby eliminating your refractive (focus) error plus any ocular surface irregularities. Remarkably, the flap-marking portion of the procedure takes about 20 seconds, and the corneal reshaping typically requires less than a minute of actual excimer laser application!

The Blade-Free Advantage

There are many advantages to blade free technology. In addition to putting a patient at ease, this technology does help the surgeon make the procedure more predictable and more precise, ultimately making the procedure safer as it is eliminating any risks that have been associated with the bladed microkeratome. Some advantages include:

  • Ability to program corneal thickness, thus allowing patients who were previously considered non- LASIK candidates, the ability to now have LASIK
  • Decrease in dry eye symptoms that are associated with LASIK and the microkeratome
  • Decrease in corneal abrasions and what we call "epithelial ingrowth" which is basically when the outer epithelial layers of the cornea begin to grow underneath the flap
  • Better positioning of the corneal flap which increases faster recovery and healing

To learn more about Femtosecond Technology click here.

Excimer Laser Technology with the WaveLight® EX500 and the Visx Star S4 with Iris Registration

The excimer laser technology, used in the second step of LASIK, is what allows surgeons to reshape the cornea to achieve your desired personal best vision. These lasers are so advanced that they can now treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and any combination of the three. Through these years this technology has advanced and improved the safety, efficacy and predictability of corneal surgery. This means, the time has never been better to has LASIK or PRK. These lasers are cool beam lasers and are so precise that the amount of tissue needed to be removed to achieve your desired visual result is usually about the thickness of three strands of human hair (give or take a bit). The FDA has approved many excimer lasers to be used in LASIK and PRK. Dr. Wu chooses to use the most advanced excimer lasers with the widest range of FDA approvals to offer her patients a truly customizable procedure.


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The New England Eye Center is proud to be one of the first practices in the Boston area that offered iLASIK™. Approved by NASA to correct vision for its own astronauts and the United States Department of Defense for its Air Force and Navy pilots, the iLASIK™ procedure is one of the most exciting developments in bladeless laser vision correction. Dr. Wu is excited to offer such safe, precise laser vision correction treatments with extraordinarily successful results, such that the majority of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better without need for glasses or contact lenses.

The Blade Free LASIK Procedure

The iLASIK procedure is a brand name associated with the combined use of the IntraLase Femtosecond laser and the Visx Star S4 excimer laser with Iris Registration. Contoura™ is the brand name associated with the use of the WaveLight® EX500. These lasers are made by two different medical device manuafacturers. The most important information you need as a patient is knowing that your surgeon will choose the technology that will offer you your best personal vision. You will be in the hands of a superior surgeon who will provide you a truly customized approach. The first step of a blade free procedure involves the mapping of the eye using  either the WaveScan® technology or the Alcon Topography guided technology. The technology can be used to create a three-dimensional map that allows our surgeons to identify the corneal imperfections wholly unique to each patient's eye. The data from both pieces of testing equipment is subsequently reviewed by the surgical team and then entered into a data outcomes program and the computer that guides the excimer laser.

After the eyes are mapped, the femotsecond laser is used to create the corneal flap. The use of a computer-guided laser to create the button-sized flap makes this portion of the procedure exceptionally safe and precise. The vast majority of patients who undergo a blade free procedure are able to avoid any of the complications associated with flaps made with the mechanical microkeratome.

During the final step of all laser LASIK, the patient undergoes "Custom LASIK." Using the measurements taken from all of the pre-operative testing, the computer guides the laser to make pinpoint corrections in the corneal tissue.

Interested in iLASIK™ or Blade-free LASIK? Contact Our Refractive Vision Correction Center in Boston at (617) 636-7800 today!

At New England Eye Center, we strive to bring the latest advancements in vision correction to our Boston-area patients. By offering blade-free LASIK our patients can undergo vision-enhancing procedures that offer unparalleled safety and exceptional results. Patients who are hesitant to undergo a surgery that requires a mechanical blade can now put their fears aside and achieve the crisp, clear vision they deserve. Learn more about blade-free LASIK  by contacting our practice today.

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