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.

Found this post useful? Please share!



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 treatment aims to achieve freedom from glasses, the only difference is eligibility and convenience

Quality SmartSight LASIK TransPRK PRK
Recovery time Fastest (1 day) Fast (1 day) Less fast (3-4 days) Least fast (5-7 days)
  • Short-sightedness from -0.5D to -12.5D
  • Astigmatism to 5D
  • Short-sightedness -0.5D to -10D
  • Long-sightedness to +4D
  • Astigmatism to 4D
  • Short-sightedness -0.5D to -8D
  • Long-sightedness to +3D
  • Astigmatism to 6D
  • Short-sightedness -0.5D to -8D
  • Long-sightedness to +3D
  • Astigmatism to 6D
Cost Find out here Find out here Find out here Find out here
Procedure All laser treatment without a flap All laser treatment All laser treatment – no touch Mainly laser treatment
  • No flap
  • Less discomfort during op
  • Ideal for those involved in contact sports or physically demanding occupations
  • Shorter recovery than PRK eye surgery
  • 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].
  • Best for low prescriptions (below -1.00) 2021. Depending on patient, LASIK is most common choice among doctors for low myopia. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 28 June 2021].
History Surgeons first performed lenticule extraction in 20074 First performed 1991 First performed 2007 First performed 1987
Learn more
More about Lasik
More about TransPRK
More about PRK

Dr. Matthew Russell


Laser eye and cataract surgery specialist

With over 15 years of experience, I enjoy the privilege of helping patients of all ages reclaim clear vision or preserve it for as long as possible.

Vision correction and high-precision cataract surgery hinge on the expertise and skill set of the provider who also has access to the most precise tools for the job. Ophthalmic surgeons like me know how to make treatment safe, comfortable and positive for the patient. They know how to minimise the risk of complications and maximise successful outcomes.

I understand that medical and surgical eye care is a serious undertaking. I take the time to address whatever questions and concerns you might have. I believe everyone’s eyes are unique and require a customised solution tailored to your needs and goals.

My combination of education, training and experience positions me to provide optimal results for patients of all ages. I have a passion for helping my patients enjoy the clear, high-definition vision they need to live rich and active lives. Now, I have hand-picked a team of professionals that share my passion and commitment to exceptional care.

More about Dr. Russell