LASIK: Intralase

Most people would be surprised to know that traditional LASIK is only partly performed by a laser. The first step, creating a corneal flap, is performed using a mechanical blade to cut into the surface of the eye. Only the second step, reshaping the eye under the flap, is performed using a laser. The Intralase (femtosecond laser) replaces the hand-held microkeratome blade with a silent, computer-guided laser. With the precision of a laser there is greater assurance of a safer procedure and an excellent result. Since Laser Vision Correction was introduced a decade ago, there have been steady advances in the safety and outcomes of the procedure. Dr. Hirsch has chosen to use the Intralase laser because it avoids the potential complications related to the microkeratome, mechanical devise and metal blade. The traditional microkeratome uses a very high level of vacuum to hold and flatten the cornea through a suction ring as the metal blade slices across to create the flap. The Intralase Laser creates the flap under very low vacuum, delivering the laser energy directly to the desired layer of the cornea through a disposable glass lens. The Intralase affords greater flap stability as well as a higher degree of accuracy in both depth and size of the flap. This stability and accuracy results in better results and quicker healing. Any flap related complications are a thing of the past. The procedure is completely painless.

How does Intralase Work?

The Intralase laser uses a long wavelength (1053 NM) that is not absorbed but instead can pass through the cornea with absolutely no effect on tissue until it reaches the pre-programmed target. The Intralase beam is optically honed into a 3-micron spot size and precisely delivered via computer software to the prescribed intracorneal location. The laser pulses are placed close together to create precise subsurface incisions . These femtosecond laser pulses separate the corneal cells at the exact desired location selected by the surgeon. The spots are placed close together to create a subsurface incision, and then are consecutively stacked along the periphery of the resection plane until a separation to the corneal surface is made. The Intralase laser's computer is programmed to leave an untreated section of tissue on the surface so that the flap may be folded back for the excimer treatment. The result is a remarkably safe.

Key Points of Interest:

  1. Traditional blade LASIK is only part-laser.
  2. The biggest advance in Laser Vision Correction since LASIK was introduced a decade ago.
  3. Virtually eliminates all complications caused by blades, the most common cause of LASIK complications.
  4. Improved surgeon control and flexibility translates directly into unprecedented safety for our patients
  5. Since flap stability with Intralase is provided by improved side cut architecture smaller hinge angles can be utilized, thereby increasing the effective bed diameter
  6. Intralase exceeds the performance standards of current mechanical microkeratomes (blades)
  7. Reproducibility of critical flap parameters (such as diameter, thickness and hinge width) has been clearly demonstrated to be far more predictable than mechanical microkeratomes
  8. The greater post-operative stability of the corneal flap created with Intralase greatly reduces the likelihood of post-operative flap complications