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Topic: What is the IntraLase Method? The IntraLase Method is a 100% blade-free approach to creating the corneal flap, the thin layer of tissue that the surgeon folds back in order to perform your LASIK procedure. The IntraLase Method can only be performed using the IntraLase FS Laser. Millions of procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the IntraLase Method.
Topic: How is the IntraLase Method different from other methods of creating a corneal flap? The IntraLase Method is the most advanced technology available—and the first blade-free way to create a corneal flap.
Prior to the IntraLase Method, doctors relied on an instrument called a microkeratome for the creation of corneal flaps. The microkeratome is a hand-held steel blade that creates a cut as it travels across the cornea. While LASIK complications are rare, when they do occur they are primarily related to the use of the microkeratome. With the IntraLase Method, a blade never touches your eye.
Topic: How does the IntraLase Method work? How does it create a corneal flap without making a cut? Instead of using a blade, the IntraLase Method uses tiny, rapid pulses of laser light to create your corneal flap.
Each pulse of light passes harmlessly through your cornea and forms a microscopic bubble at a specific depth and position within your eye that is determined by the doctor. The IntraLase laser moves back and forth across your eye, creating a uniform layer of bubbles just beneath your corneal surface.
Just prior to LASIK surgery, the doctor creates your corneal flap by gently separating the tissue where these bubbles have formed. The corneal flap is then folded back so the doctor can perform your LASIK treatment.
Topic: What is the difference between a corneal flap created with the IntraLase Method and one created with a microkeratome? The IntraLase Method is 100% blade-free, exceptionally advanced, and has been shown to improve outcomes for more patients.1 And patients report better quality of vision overall, particularly in terms their ability to see well in low light such as at dusk or at night.2
The reason for this lies in the way the IntraLase Method works.
A microkeratome is only capable of making a single, one-dimensional cut across the cornea. As it cuts, the blade creates “drag,” which can leave a rough surface after the flap is lifted. This can affect the quality of your postoperative vision.
Because of the unique way in which the IntraLase Method creates a precisely positioned layer of bubbles just beneath the surface of your eye, it creates a smooth surface after your flap is lifted. This may translate to better vision.
Topic: Is the IntraLase Method better for the eye? Unlike the one-dimensional cut made by a blade, the IntraLase Method gives your doctor the ability to tailor the dimensions of your corneal flap based on what’s best for your eye. Everything from the circumference of your flap to the angle of its edges can be precisely determined. This is important because everyone’s eyes are shaped a little differently. Having a corneal flap that’s individualized to the patient contributes to excellent postoperative vision. A corneal flap created with the IntraLase Method also “locks” back into position after the LASIK procedure is performed and rapidly begins to heal.
Topic: Is the IntraLase Method proven, or is it still being tested out? IntraLase technology has been in existence since 2001. To date, it has been used in over millions of LASIK procedures around the world.
Topic: How long does it take to create a flap using the IntraLase Method? The creation of the flap itself takes only 15 to 20 seconds per eye. Including preparation time, it takes about 10 minutes total.
Topic: Is it painful? Prior to creating the flap, the doctor applies drops to numb the eye, then applies a special ring and an instrument that gently flattens your cornea in preparation for the IntraLase Method. This part of the process takes about 10 minutes and is not painful—patients report feeling only slight pressure.
Topic: What’s the reaction of patients who have experienced the IntraLase Method? In a clinical survey, the vision in the IntraLase-treated eye was preferred by LASIK patients 3-to-1 over the vision in the microkeratome-treated eye (among those who stated a preference).3
REFERENCES: 1. Tanzer DJ, Schallhorn SC, Brown MC, et al. Data on file, IntraLase Corp. 2005. 2. Durrie D. Data on file, IntraLase Corp. 2005. 3. Durrie DS. Randomized prospective clinical study of LASIK: IntraLase versus mechanical keratome. Subsets presented at: Meeting of the International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; November 14-15, 2003; Anaheim, Calif; American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Symposium; May 1-5, 2004; San Diego, Calif; Refractive Surgery 2004: International Refractive Surgery: Science and Practice; October 22-23, 2004; New Orleans, La; American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Symposium, April 15-20, 2005; Washington, DC.
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