The term “traditional” or “conventional” Lasik typically refers to the type of Lasik that was popular years ago. Basically this means using a metal-bladed microkeratome to create the Lasik flap and a symmetrical corneal reshaping process that is based entirely on a glasses prescription. In its time, this method of performing Lasik was heralded as the best-of-the-best.
Traditional Lasik has two primary disadvantages over Wavefront guided Bladeless Lasik. First, despite precision and safety improvements in microkeratome technology over the past decade, the microkeratome remains one of the most common sources of complications during the Lasik procedure. Even though serious complications are not common, ophthalmic surgeons would prefer to reduce or eliminate the incidence of any complications by using a more advanced technology such as a femtosecond laser.
The second primary disadvantage of traditional Lasik is that because it is using purely spherocylindrical correction algorithms, the eye is at greater risk for post-operative glare or halos.
As a result, just as jets have replaced biplanes, computers have supplanted typewriters and smart phones have reconfigured our entire lives – with time, technologies frequently change for the better. The same is true for traditional Lasik which can best be described today as a legacy technology used only in cases where wavefront measurements cannot be obtained. With newer wavefront aberrometers such as the CustomVue and iDesign, the challenge of capturing highly aberrated eyes is rare. Although not entire gone, traditional Lasik is definitely in the rear-view mirror.