The Intralase laser is the latest advancement in technology that is making the LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) procedure safer and more accurate. The Intralase laser is now used to make the corneal flap during the LASIK procedure instead of the traditional microkeratome instrument.
LASIK is a two-part procedure. First, a thin flap of corneal tissue is created. Then, the flap is pushed back and an excimer laser is used to reshape the corneal tissue, correcting refractive errors.
Until recently, a microkeratome was the only option available to create the corneal flap. A microkeratome is a highly engineered instrument with an oscillating blade that cuts the corneal tissue. While complications associated with LASIK procedures are few and far between, most of the complications are associated with the use of the microkeratome.
The Intralase laser has been developed to perform the same function as the microkeratome, but with greater safety and accuracy. After using the Intralase to create the corneal flap, the second part of the LASIK procedure can be performed with the excimer laser.
The Intralase works by using a computer to direct pulses of near infrared laser energy to create overlapping space (one micron sized bubbles) below the surface of the cornea. The precision of the Intralase technology produces the same results as the microkeratome, but more precisely and with less chance for complications.
Another advantage of the Intralase LASIK procedure is that patients who were once considered unsuitable candidates for LASIK can now undergo the procedure. This is because the Intralase laser can create a thinner flap, spare more tissue and allow the laser to reshape more of the corneal tissue underneath. Additional advantages of an Intralase corneal flap include a decreased chance of having dry eyes and less chance that the flap could dislocate after surgery.
If you are considering having LASIK performed with the Intralase laser, contact Cherry Creek Eye Physicians and Surgeons to schedule a free initial consultation. Dr. Lewis and our LASIK team can answer all your Intralase questions.