iLASIK and Z-LASIK Eye Surgery: What’s the Difference?

Before you decide on the best route to improve your vision, it is essential to discuss and review your options with your eye doctor. Here is a look at the key differences between iLASIK and Z-LASIK.


iLASIK is an all-laser vision correction procedure that uses wavefront-guided technology to measure the unique characteristics of your eye. Capturing over 1,200 points of data, iLASIK creates a highly accurate and extremely personalized 3D map.

Z-LASIK is a corrective surgery in which a thin layer of the cornea is sectioned, lifted and moved aside to allow a laser to reshape the cornea.

Risks and Benefits of iLASIK and Z-LASIK

Both iLASIK and Z-LASIK have common goals and similarities in strengths. While both utilize painless blade-free technology, each has its unique set of benefits over the other.

iLASIK is known to treat mild to severe nearsightedness, mild to moderate farsightedness, and all types of astigmatism. It is one of the most convenient and affordable vision correction procedures available, and offers several unique benefits including:

  • 100% customized vision correction
  • Consistent flaps regardless of corneal anatomy
  • Increased corneal and advanced capabilities

Technology-wise, iLASIK creates a highly accurate and personalized 3D map. It is customizable to each eye and the procedure is based on your individual vision dynamics.

Z-LASIK is a safe and predictable procedure recommended for patients with severe prescription, astigmatism, or thin corneas. Your doctor may recommend Z-LASIK for these reasons.

  • Faster recovery of vision
  • Thinner flaps — correcting higher degrees of refractive visual errors
  • Reduced risk of post-operative dry eyes

Technology wise, Z-LASIK emits less energy than other femtoseconds lasers, reducing side effects like sensitivity and inflammation. It also has a higher pulse repetition, making it faster and reducing overall procedure times.

How Do iLASIK and Z-LASIK Work?

iLASIK uses several key technologies to create quality and customized outcomes:

  • WaveScan Wavefront 3D Mapping precisely maps the anatomy of the eye, identifying the unique visual “fingerprint” of your eye.
  • IntraLase FS (femtosecond) Laser utilizes the mapped measurements to create a customized laser driven corneal flap with micro-precision while simultaneously preparing an optical corneal surface below the flap for better visual results.
  • Iris Registration (IR) provides an automated, non-contact method of providing precise alignment and measurements to best prepare for the laser correction treatment.

During this process, your eyes will be electronically measured in detail — capturing over 1,200 points of data to create an accurate multi-dimensional image of your eye’s surface. This information is used to uniquely map and guide the laser treatment to best correct your refractive error.

The measurement is painless and will be touch-free. The precision minimizes potential risks and complications.

Z-LASIK is a blade-free laser treatment used to create a highly precise, very thin tissue flap on the most superficial layer of the cornea. This procedure allows your surgeon to correct any irregularities in the layers of cells within the cornea. These irregularities result in a change in the focal point on the back of the retina, which negatively impacts your eye health and vision. This problem is typically resolved by reshaping the corneal stroma, which is located in the second layer of cells.

During the procedure, an ultra-thin flap is created on the surface of the cornea by applying millions of tiny laser spots. Once the flap is created, your surgeon uses an excimer laser to remove layers of individual cells in the corneal stroma within seconds. When the re-shaping is completed, the tissue flap is gently placed back over the area, leaving this external layer of the cornea untouched.

Schedule a Consultation

Women and men pursue laser eye surgery to achieve near-perfect vision without glasses or contacts. There are several innovative vision correction treatment options available and it can be difficult to decipher which procedure is best for you.

Join Dr. Ghosheh and the team at Advanced Eye Medical for an expert consultation on our services. We will discuss and review your options in order to help you find the perfect fit for your eye care needs. Get in contact with us today to better your vision for the future.