Blade Free LASIK - IntraLASIK
Here are some of the common questions regarding bladeless or IntraLASIK:
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 method?
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 Germany. 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 San Diego.
* Over 5 million Intralase LASIK procedures performed
* Intralase lets the surgeon make your flap with a laser instead of a blade.
* Increases safety and efficiency.
How does the Intralase method work for LASIK surgery?
The Intralase 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?
Traditionally, 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.
However, the 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 Epi-LASIK?
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 system?
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 click here.
Does Intralase method LASIK hurt? What is the recovery like?
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 San Diego 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 me?
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 San Diego 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 San Diego today!
Step 4 - Things to know before Blade Free LASIK
LASIK Eye Surgery San Diego
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