Intralase LASIK Surgery
IntraLase makes it possible to operate on many patients who were not considered candidates due to their thin corneas. LASIK an acronym for Laser in-situ Keratomileusis (ker''ah-to-mih-lu-sis) is currently the most common type of laser vision correction. It can correct nearsightedness farsightedness and astigmatism. During the LASIK procedure light is properly focused on the retina by permanently reshaping the central area of the cornea. The cornea is the transparent dome-like structure that covers the iris and pupil of your eyes. Normally the procedure uses an instrument called a microkeratome to create a thin hinged flap in the cornea. The surgeon folds back the flap and then removes a thin layer of corneal tissue using an excimer laser. Following the laser treatment the surgeon replaces the flap. It bonds naturally and securely into place without the need for stitches.
With IntraLase LASIK the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a precise corneal flap instead of using the traditional microkeratome. The femtosecond laser beams pulses at the speed of one quadrillionth of a second. By replacing the traditional approach with a silent tiny beam of laser light the laser dramatically reduces the risk of complications. This offers patients a safer computer-controlled alternative for creating the corneal flap since it provides the surgeon with greater precision and accuracy. (It is especially important because this is used during the crucial first step of the procedure and the precision of the equipment helps make each outcome more predictable.) Computer software is then used to guide the laser beam into the exact desired location on the cornea. The laser is programmed to leave an uncut section of tissue to form a hinge so the flap may be folded back. The surgeon then proceeds to reshape the cornea with an excimer laser as in traditional LASIK.
Advantages of IntraLase
The microkeratome uses a significant vacuum level through a suction ring while the femtosecond laser creates a flap under a low vacuum delivering the laser energy through a disposable glass lens. The lower vacuum level reduces the risk of complications arising from high pressure procedures. The outer surface of the cornea suffers no trauma and the procedure is painless.
The femtosecond laser produces a corneal flap with greater precision than the microkeratome. This reduces the risk of epithelial ingrowth corneal wrinkles and thick flaps all complications of traditional LASIK. In addition flaps made using the IntraLase laser appear to adhere more tightly to the corneal bed once the procedure is finished.
IntraLase makes it possible to operate on many patients who were not considered candidates due to their thin corneas. The femtosecond laser is able to make thinner more precise cuts in the corneal flap thus allowing surgeons to perform LASIK on people with thinner or flatter corneas. Many IntraLase surgeons report that the need to do a touch-up procedure commonly known as an “enhancement ” may be reduced. In addition IntraLase studies have shown the incidence of dry eye symptoms may be reduced with this laser. It is rapidly becoming known as the key ingredient to optimizing visual results in laser vision correction surgery. Overall IntraLase may help minimize risks and optimize results providing better vision.