Is bladeless LASIK better? Everything you need to know

Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) laser eye surgery is one of the most effective and popular methods of vision correction.1 This minimally invasive procedure lets you break free from a lifetime of corrective lenses and regain self-reliant sight.

If you’re considering LASIK, you should know that there’s more than one type to choose from. The original version uses mechanical incisions, but a newer bladeless approach offers equal results with greater precision.2

Is bladeless LASIK better, and are you making the right decision by paying more for it than other types of LASIK eye surgery?

In many cases, the answer is yes.3

Let’s dive into the details to help you understand why.

How bladeless LASIK works

The main difference between blade vs bladeless LASIK is how the major incision is made.

In traditional LASIK, the surgeon uses a tiny automated blade called a microkeratome to cut a three-sided shape in your cornea, the clear outer layer on the front of your eye. They then fold this shape—called the corneal flap—back on the fourth side like a hinge to access the lens for reshaping.

In contrast, bladeless LASIK is an ultra-gentle, touch-free, all-laser procedure. Instead of using a microkeratome, your surgeon will use an extremely precise femtosecond laser to make the corneal incision.

Is bladeless LASIK better?

While both types of eye surgery provide great results, bladeless LASIK is still the better option for many patients. Research shows that this procedure is safe, effective, and provides stable long-term results.4

Some of the most significant bladeless LASIK benefits include:

  • The surgeon has greater flexibility and control during the procedure
  • Greater ability to customize the operation to each patient’s needs
  • Higher-quality corneal flaps with even thickness
  • Lower chance of flap-related post-op complications
  • Safer for patients with thin or abnormally curved corneas
  • Able to repair more severe or complicated refractive errors

The only two downsides of bladeless LASIK are that the procedure takes a bit longer and can cost slightly more than the traditional version. If you’re concerned about either of these factors, talk with your ophthalmic surgeon about your options.

Why doesn’t everyone offer bladeless LASIK?

If bladeless LASIK works so well, why doesn’t every eye surgeon offer it? There are quite a few possible reasons for this. For one, the startup costs for advanced femtosecond lasers are high, and some providers don’t want to invest in them. Also, some surgeons use outdated lasers that work well to perform the internal portion of the operation but aren’t capable of cutting a corneal flap. Finally, performing LASIK surgery with a blade is easier. Bladeless laser eye surgery requires specific expertise, equipment and training.

Talk to your LASIK eye surgery specialist about your eye surgery options

You can take a suitability self-test to get a preliminary answer as to which treatment is best for you. Still, the only way to know for sure is to get an assessment from an ophthalmic surgeon.

Are you ready to start enjoying a life free of the hassle of glasses and contact lenses? If you’re looking for an eye surgeon in Brisbane, Dr Matthew Russell at VSON Laser Vision Specialists can help. Call us at 07 3188 6624 or contact us online to book your free assessment today.

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The best way to find out if lens surgery is right for you is to have an in-person assessment. You’ll get a clear answer from our experts on your suitability and vision correction options


Every type of laser eye surgery aims to achieve freedom from glasses, the only difference is eligibility and convenience

Quality LASIK TransPRK PRK
Recovery time Fastest (1 day) Fast (3-4 days) Fast (5-7 days)
  • Short-sightedness to -10D
  • Long-sightedness to +4D
  • Astigmatism to 4D
  • Short-sightedness to -8D
  • Long-sightedness to +3D
  • Astigmatism to 6D
  • Short-sightedness to -8D
  • Long-sightedness to +3D
  • Astigmatism to 6D
Cost More expensive (3500 per eye) Middle option (2750 per eye) Least expensive (2376 per eye)
Procedure All laser treatment All laser treatment – no touch Mainly laser treatment
  • Shorter recovery than PRK
  • Totally touch free procedure
  • Faster visual outcome compared to PRK
  • Faster procedure than PRK or Lasik2The ELZA Institute. 2021. PRK vs LASIK : Choosing The Right Laser for Surgery. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 28 June 2021].
History First performed 1991 First performed 2007 First performed 1987
Learn more
More about Lasik
More about TransPRK
More about PRK
Headshot of Dr Matthew Russel, laser eye surgery specialist at the VSON laser eye surgery clinic in Brisbane

Dr. Matthew Russell


Laser eye surgery specialist

I have a passion for helping my patients enjoy the clear, high-definition vision they need to live rich and active lives. Now, I’ve hand-picked a team of professionals for my laser eye surgery clinic in Brisbane that shares my passion and commitment to exceptional care. With my combination of education, training, and experience, I aim to provide the best possible results for patients of all ages.

More about Dr. Russell