Lasik & Phakic Iol | IntraLase

IntraLase® is a 100% blade-free technique used to perform the critical first step in the LASIK procedure: creating the corneal flap. The creation of the corneal flap prepares the eye for the second step of the LASIK procedure, where an excimer laser is used on the inner cornea to correct vision.

With this method, tiny, rapid pulses of laser light are used to create your corneal flap—instead of using a metal blade—during the first step of LASIK. Each pulse of light passes through the top layers of your cornea and forms a microscopic bubble at a specific depth and position within your eye that is determined by your refractive specialist. The IntraLase laser moves back and forth across your eye, creating a uniform layer of bubbles just beneath your corneal surface.

Just prior to applying laser vision correction, 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 the second step of your LASIK treatment.

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 even surface after your flap is lifted.

How is the IntraLase Method different from Epi-LASIK or photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK)?

These procedures differ from one another in the way they prepare the surface of the cornea for the second step of LASIK. Epi-LASIK uses an epikeratome—a blunt separator—to make a superficial flap. Similarly, photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK) is performed by gently scraping the surface layer of the cornea, which may lead to corneal scarring. Both the Epi-LASIK and PRK procedures can be painful and require more postoperative medication. In addition, healing times may be longer than with procedures performed with the IntraLase Method.

Benefits of using IntraLase include:

  • Better vision. More patients in clinical trials achieved vision that was 20/20 or better when their LASIK procedure was performed with the IntraLase Method.(1) And patients report better quality of vision overall, particularly in terms of their ability to see well in low light such as at dusk or at night.
  • Ability to tailor the procedure to your eye. 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 diameter of the 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 outcomes. In addition, a corneal flap created with the IntraLase Method also locks back into position after the LASIK procedure is performed.

IntraLase FAQs

Is the IntraLase Method painful?
Prior to creating the flap, the doctor applies drops to numb the eye, and then applies a special ring and an instrument that gently flattens your cornea in preparation for the IntraLase Method. This part of the process is not painful—patients report feeling only slight pressure.

Is the IntraLase Method safe?
More than 600,000 procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the IntraLase Method.

How long does it take to create a flap using the IntraLase Method?
The creation of the flap itself takes only about 15-30 seconds per eye. Including preparation time, the entire LASIK procedure takes about 10 minutes.

What advantage is there to choosing IntraLase over another type of refractive surgery?
IntraLase improves precision, and visual results of LASIK, whether you choose to have a standard or custom procedure. In addition, more patients get to 20/20 vision and beyond with the IntraLase Method.

Photo courtesy of Advanced Medical Optics.

For more information on the IntraLase procedure in the St. Louis area through Washington University Physicians or to make an appointment, please call 314-996-3300

Internal Links

DOVS Portal

Follow Us: