There are a number of advantages to using a mechanical microkeratomes over a laser created flap. With a mechanical microkeratome the LASIK
treatment is one continuous process; there is no need to move the patient or the equipment to move from one laser machine to the next.
The mechanical microkeratome is also faster at producing the flap, so there is less drying of the eye, which can affect the accuracy of the laser procedure.
When using a mechanical microkeratome suction is engaged for only 10-15 seconds rather than the longer periods of up to 100 seconds or more required for laser treatment; less time under this suction further reduces the very small risk of a severe vascular event of the retina or optic nerve.
When using a specialised mechanical microkeratome, there is no need to perform a manual dissection of the flap, which carries a risk of flap tears.