IntraLase LASIK Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is the IntraLase Method?

A:  The IntraLase Method is a 100% blade-free technique used to perform the critical first step in the LASIK procedure: creating the corneal flap.

Q:  How does the IntraLase Method work?

A:  The IntraLase Method uses tiny, rapid pulses of laser light 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 Dr. Jeffreys. 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, Dr. Jeffreys creates your corneal flap by gently separating the tissue where these bubbles have formed. The corneal flap is then folded back so that he can perform the second step of your LASIK treatment.

Q:  What is the difference between a corneal flap created with the IntraLase Method and one created with microkeratome?

A:  The microkeratome is a hand-held instrument, which contains a steel blade that moves back and forth and creates a cut across the cornea. As it cuts, the blade oscillates back and forth, which can create an irregular 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 even surface after your flap is lifted. With the IntraLase Method, a blade never touches your eye.

Q:  How is the IntraLase Method different from Epi-LASIK or photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)?

A:  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, 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.

Q:  Are there other benefits to using the IntraLase Method?

A:  There are several benefits to using the IntraLase Method:

  • Better outcomes. More patients get better outcomes when their LASIK procedure is performed with the IntraLase Method. Patients report faster recovery, fewer LASIK flap-related complications, and fewer induced higher order aberrations. Higher order aberrations may contribute to visual disturbances such as halos and glare.
  • Ability to tailor the procedure to your eye. The IntraLase Method gives Dr. Jeffreys the ability to tailor the dimensions of your corneal flap based on what’s best for your eye. Everything from the diameter 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 outcomes. In addition, a corneal flap created with the IntraLase Method also “locks” back into position after the LASIK procedure is performed.
  • Experienced surgeon. As with any surgery, experience matters. It is vital for a LASIK patient to seek out an experienced surgeon. Dr. Jeffreys has been performing LASIK surgery for more than 15 years.

Q:  Is the IntraLase Method painful?

A:  Prior to creating the flap, Dr. Jeffreys 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.

Q:  Is the IntraLase Method safe?

A:  Millions of procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the IntraLase Method.

Q:  How long does it take to create a flap using the IntraLase Method?

A:  The creation of the flap itself takes only about 15 to 20 seconds per eye. Including preparation time, the entire LASIK procedure takes about 10 minutes.

Q:  Is the IntraLase Method right for me?

A:  If you are looking for a 100% blade-free LASIK experience that virtually eliminates almost all of the most severe, sight-threatening complications, the answer is YES!