Safe, Effective Vision Correction
IntraLase™ represents an improvement on traditional LASIK surgery. In the past, a LASIK procedure always involved the use of a blade called a microkeratome to create corneal LASIK flaps. Using IntraLase™, however, no blade is used. The doctor is able to create a LASIK flap without touching the eye. IntraLase™ uses laser energy to create an individualized corneal flap for the eye shape of the particular patient, providing excellent results and many fewer complications. IntraLase™ treatment results in such a safe, effective vision correction that it is routinely used for patients for whom clarity of vision is tantamount, such as military pilots and astronauts.
The Benefits Of IntraLase™
With a low risk of complications and high level of precision that IntraLase™ provides, bladeless LASIK treatment has become the standard among leading LASIK surgeons and ophthalmic teaching institutions worldwide. Compared to methods that use a microkeratome blade, this minimally invasive procedure reduces the risk of complications that may occur during the creation of the corneal flap and may, albeit rarely, impair vision. The benefits of IntraLase™ may include:
- Creating corneal flaps in a more precise way
- Treating patients with thin corneas previously ineligible for LASIK correction
Candidates For IntraLase™
Candidates for IntraLase™ treatment must be at least 18 years old to ensure that their eyes have matured. They must also have visual stability and be without eye infection or injury for one year prior to surgery. Patients not eligible for IntraLase™ surgery may include those with any or the following conditions:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, or another autoimmune disorder
- Corneal edema or lesions
- Corneal implant
- Keratoconus, a degenerative disorder of the eye
The IntraLase™ Procedure
IntraLase™ treatment applies rapid pulses of laser energy to the top outer layers of the cornea. These laser pulses move back and forth across the cornea, creating microscopic bubbles just below the corneal surface. Eventually, the bubbles under the cornea conjoin to create a flap. With computer guidance, the laser procedure allows the surgeon to be extremely precise, creating optimal depth, position, and diameter of the flap specific to each patient’s needs. Once the flap is created, it is lifted aside by the surgeon and the usual LASIK procedure continues. Creating the corneal flap with Intralase™ takes about 15 seconds for each eye.
Discomfort is generally minimal following IntraLase™. Significant improvement in vision is usually apparent the very next day. Most patients are able to resume normal daily activities, including driving and returning to work. Patients should, however, avoid the following activities for at least two weeks after surgery:
- Applying eye makeup
- Rubbing the eyes
Follow-up visits are required to avoid evaluate the success of the procedure and to ensure that the patient’s vision remains crisp and clear.
Risks Of The IntraLase™ Procedure
IntraLase™ has proven to be extremely safe and effective. Nevertheless, no surgery is entirely free from risks and complications. Following an IntraLase™ procedure, some patients may experience one or another of the following symptoms:
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Halos or glare around lights at night
Typically these symptoms decrease during the period immediately after surgery. For the problem of dry eyes, eye drops or ointments may be prescribed. While extremely rare, more serious risks after surgery may include:
- Overcorrection or undercorrection of vision
- Corneal swelling or thinning
- Hemorrhage or clotting
- Retinal detachment
- Infection of the eye
- Loss of vision
IntraLase™ is an advanced technique for LASIK surgery that uses laser energy instead of a blade to create the necessary corneal flap. The corneal flap provides access to the cornea for correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
IntraLase™ offers patients many benefits over the traditional LASIK procedure, including improved accuracy, shorter recovery time and a reduced risk of flap-related complications. The IntraLase technique also permits complete customization of the LASIK procedure, allowing the surgeon to accommodate each patient’s individual needs.
All elements of surgery, including the size, location and angle of the flap, can be customized for precise results. IntraLase™ may be of great benefit to patients on whom traditional LASIK surgery could not be performed, including those with thin corneas or large pupils.
IntraLase™ is appropriate for patients 18 years of age and older with stable vision. It is important that patients considering IntraLase surgery be in overall good health. Intralase™ is not appropriate for patients who suffer from eye conditions such as dry eye or glaucoma, or who have had corneal transplants. Patients who suffer from autoimmune disorders are also ineligible for the procedure.
For patients seeking laser vision correction who are hesitant about going “under the knife” with traditional LASIK IntraLase may be ideal. As mentioned, it may also be a fine alternative for patients who are not candidates for the traditional procedure because of the structure of the anatomical structure of their eyes.
IntraLase™ surgery is minimally invasive and takes place outpatient in the doctor’s office. The IntraLase™ laser uses rapid pulses of laser energy to the top outer layers of the cornea. The IntraLase™ laser moves back and forth across the cornea creating microscopic bubbles at a specified depth and position just below the corneal surface. The bubbles under the cornea eventually conjoin to create a flap.
With computer guidance, the laser procedure allows the surgeon to be extremely precise, creating optimal depth, position and diameter of the flap specific to the patient’s needs. Once the flap is created, it is lifted aside by the surgeon and the LASIK operation continues as usual.
Less discomfort is experienced after the creation of a corneal flap with laser energy rather than with a blade. The doctor applies anesthetic numbing drops to the eye, as well as a ring to flatten the cornea, reducing pain or discomfort during the procedure. Most patients report feeling slight pressure during the IntraLase™ procedure.
While IntraLase™ has proven to be an extremely safe and effective means of visual correction, like all surgeries it involves some risks. Patients may, in rare cases, experience hemorrhage, retinal detachment, infection of the eye, over or under correction or even loss of vision.
Most patients who undergo the IntraLase™ procedure are well-satisfied with their results, as well as with the entire treatment process, and would undergo it again if given the choice. IntraLase™ is preferred to the traditional LASIK procedure because of its improved accuracy, shorter recovery time and reduced risk of complications.