Blade Free LASIK FAQs
Here are some of the common questions regarding bladeless or
The San Diego LASIK Institute is
proud to offer San Diego's first Fifth Generation Intralase Laser, the iFS! Click Here to Learn More
about this revolutionary laser!
What is the blade free or Intralase LASIK
The Intralase method is a revolutionary
advance in LASIK eye surgery. The Intralase method is also known as IntraLASIK. It enables a LASIK surgeon
to use a laser rather than a blade (microkeratome) to make a corneal flap. There are multiple lasers now
approved by the FDA for all laser LASIK but Intralase is the first with the most upgrades and longest
duration of use. The first company that has developed the laser is Intralase and the second is the 20/10
Perfect Vision system from
. There is another new all laser LASIK
system that has been developed from Ziemer as well. However, Intralase is by far the industry leader at this
point with over 5 million procedures performed. We are pleased to offer all laser LASIK surgery in
Over 5 million Intralase LASIK procedures performed
lets the surgeon make your flap with a laser instead of a blade.
safety and efficiency.
How does the Intralase method work for LASIK surgery?
laser is a focused infrared laser system that uses ultrafast pulses in the femtosecond range (100 x
10-15 second). This remarkably fast laser makes a plane in which a flap is created. This laser
control allows Dr. Pham to make a LASIK flap that has unique and accurate specifications. Dr. Pham has control
of the LASIK flap parameters such as the LASIK flap's thickness and diameter. Studies have shown that the all
laser Intralase LASIK flap is within +/- 10 microns accurate! A micron is one millionth of a meter!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an all laser
LASIK or blade free method instead of a microkeratome (blade) method?
LASIK was first performed with a blade or microkeratome. The blade was safe for many people but most
complications that occurred were during the creation of the LASIK flap. The microkeratome may also not have been
able to deliver a high level of accuracy and uniform create a flap as modern all laser technology. It was
also highly dependent on the shape of the eye, the assembly of the device, and the cleanliness of the unit. It
did not offer the LASIK surgeon precision control of many of the LASIK flap's characteristics. The flap
thickness, size, and orientation would sometimes be irregular. Traditional microkeratome LASIK was safe for many
patients and many LASIK surgeons use it today. However, Dr. Pham firmly believes in the increased safety of the
Intralase LASIK surgery flap.
When the Intralase method was initially approved by the FDA in 2001 it was
initially associated with inflammation. Many experts believed this may be due to the slower lasers used at the
time. The newer lasers are up to 4 times as fast and we rarely see inflammation now. Although no surgery is 100%
free of complications, we believe the Intralase procedure greatly increases the safety of LASIK.
Intralase surgery is a significant development in LASIK surgery. It allows the LASIK surgeon to precisely create
a flap with unparalleled safety and reproducibility. It is quite remarkable to watch a flap being made. The
newer Intralase also uses less energy. This greatly increases the speed of your recovery.
How is Intralase LASIK different than PRK or
In order for the LASIK laser to be able to
reshape your eye, the middle portion of your cornea needs to be made available. During LASIK and Intralase
LASIK, a flap is made to access this inner portion of your cornea.
PRK or photorefractive keratotomy is a procedure in which the
surface cells of your eye are removed instead of making a flap. These cells grow very quickly and heal
within 1-2 weeks for most people. The disadvantage of the procedure is that the healing can be slower
than with Intralase all laser LASIK. There may be mild discomfort during the procedure. Vision
tends to fluctuate more initially after
PRK. Epi-LASIK is actually a modification of
PRK. Instead of removing the superficial cells of your eye, an
attempt is made to keep them together in a sheet like fashion and then replace them onto your eye. It is
done as an attempt to bridge the slower healing of
PRK but can often have slow visual recovery times.
How fast is flap creation with the blade free IntraLASIK
The new all laser LASIK Intralase system that we use for our San Diego LASIK patients used
to be the fourth generation Intralase laser. It ran at 60 kHz which allows the LASIK surgeon to make a flap
in as little as 15 seconds. However, the newest fifth generation Intralase is a 150 kHz laser that can
make flaps in as little as ten seconds. By running at a faster rate, it actually allows less energy to be
used during the creation of a LASIK flap. For more information about the newest Intralase please
Does Intralase method LASIK hurt? What is the recovery
Both LASIK and
all laser LASIK are associated with a very brief pressure like sensation during the creation of the flap.
Most patients will describe the sensation as pressure like and not pain. There may be mild discomfort right
after the procedure. Dr. Pham recommends that you take a short nap. Most patients who have LASIK surgery in
will awaken from their nap with no discomfort
and clearer vision.
The recovery for
the all laser method Intralase LASIK surgery is very fast. By the next morning, patients are generally very
happy with their vision. Dr. Pham does want you to be careful the first few days after your LASIK surgery and
avoid strenuous activity, dirty environments, and rubbing your eyes. He will recommend that you wear an eye
shield to protect your eye when you sleep for the first 5 days. However, by 2 weeks most patients are able to
resume all of their normal activities.
Is blade free LASIK or IntraLASIK right for
If you are a candidate for LASIK, you
are likely a candidate for Intralase or all laser LASIK. As a matter of fact, many patients that do not
qualify for LASIK surgery with a microkeratome in
may qualify for all laser LASIK. This is because
Intralase allows your LASIK surgeon to make a thinner flap. This may preserve more of your cornea's
thickness and make you a candidate for Intralase method LASIK surgery when you may not qualify for LASIK
with a blade. Patients with thinner corneas, higher levels of refractive errors, mixed astigmatism, and
larger pupils may benefit even further. No website can give you all the information to determine whether you
are a candidate. Dr. Pham would love to have the opportunity to discuss with you your blade free LASIK
surgery options in
Step 4 - Things to know before Blade Free
LASIK Eye Surgery
Please Call for Your Blade Free and IntraLASIK
Consultation ($250) Value!