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Flapless LASIK

Written by Dr. Shah

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Do you wear glasses or contact lenses but wish to see clearly without them? Though prescription eyewear can be helpful, for those of you that don’t want to depend on glasses and contacts to see, Beach Eye Medical Group has a more permanent solution. For those with refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, Flapless LASIK is an effective solution.

We feature this revolutionary technology as a safer and more efficient way to gain independence from glasses and/or contact lenses. This laser eye surgery corrects the three most common refractive eye disorders: myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism without the utilization of sharp instruments. A safe and popular technique, Flapless LASIK can dramatically improve vision, eliminating or minimizing the need for corrective eyewear. At Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach, Orange County our doctors specialize in Flapless LASIK, providing our patients with state-of-the-art care.

Flap vs. Flapless Surgical Procedure

When it comes to your eyes, you should be an informed consumer. Understanding the difference between a flap and Flapless LASIK procedures is important as you consider laser vision correction. The choice you make will impact your post-operative recovery, how soon you’ll achieve clear vision, your postoperative activity limits, and your risks of long-term complications.

During laser eye surgery, the doctors at Beach Eye Medical Group work solely on your cornea- the translucent layer on the surface of your eye. Your cornea is approximately 0.5 mm deep and consists of five layers. In LASIK, a precise cut is made in the cornea and a flap of 0.1 to 0.15 mm depth is created. The flap is then lifted up to reach the middle layer of the cornea. Using an excimer laser, this middle layer is meticulously reshaped to treat your refractive error, and then the flap is re-affixed to cover the treated area. During a Flapless LASIK procedure, instead of a cut being made in the cornea, the surface layer of the cornea is gently removed and the laser treatment is performed on the external layer of your cornea. No cuts are made to create any sort of flap.

While Flapless LASIK provides certain advantages when compared to Traditional LASIK, the latter offers quicker visual recovery, more efficient healing and a more comfortable overall experience.

However, Flapless LASIK can safely treat patients with thin corneas, because of the elimination of flap creation. This allows more corneal tissue to remain intact. Since no flap is made, Flapless LASIK patients benefit from the procedure with more structurally sound eyes. Many branches in the military actually prefer this treatment not only because of the visual accuracy but also the corneal strength it provides soldiers.

Benefits of Flapless All-Laser Lasik vs. All-Laser Lasik

  • Zero chance of an Intraoperative Flap Complication
  • Zero chance of a post-operative Flap Complication
  • Zero chance of Flap Striae, Debris, Wrinkles, or Epithelial Ingrowth
  • Improved night vision
  • Ease of enhancement
  • Better safety long-term
  • Less Induced Higher Order Aberration
  • Less dry eyes

The Flapless Lasik Procedure

Dr. Samir Shah, a board-certified Johns Hopkins-trained eye surgeon, places the laser directly onto the surface layer of your cornea to reshape your cornea. He then removes the surface layers of the cornea and reshapes it with the latest excimer laser technology. This treatment option provides excellent vision correction and you may feel discomfort and irritation in your eyes for up to five days following the procedure. A bandage contact lens is placed on the surface of your eye to protect the cornea for a week after your Flapless LASIK treatment.

Several medications are also recommended to promote your comfort throughout the experience. A short period of rest is also recommended to promote healing. In three to five days, your eyes become more comfortable and your vision should be back to normal within a couple weeks. The biggest advantage to Flapless LASIK is a simple fact that no flap is created. Though the final decision is up to you, the benefits of Flapless LASIK often outweigh the risks in the long-term.

All Laser LASIK Flapless All Laser LASIK
Faster Recovery Slower Recovery
Not an option for thin corneas Viable option for thin corneas
Complications can include flap dislocation
even years after the surgery and dry eyes
No short or long-term flap-related complications

For those that require a quicker recovery, Dr. Shah can also perform All-Laser LASIK where the flap is precisely created with a femtosecond laser to decrease the intraoperative risk of any flap complications.

Why Choose Beach Eye Medical Group?

Do you dream of clearer vision? The experts at Beach Eye Medical Group are highly trained and passionate about restoring your vision. Please contact us today for your consultation with our board-certified doctors. The Flapless LASIK process at the Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach, Orange County, begins with a consultation with a qualified physician to help determine the best course of treatment. Please contact our physicians for a comprehensive evaluation of your needs.