IntraLase is new technology that provides a less invasive, more precise alternative to using a microkeratome for flap creation in laser vision correction. A computer-controlled laser is utilized to create a thinner, cleaner flap.
The Shiley Eye Center believes that the IntraLase system is worth the extra cost to the patient. While the standard microkeratome technique has been extremely successful, we believe IntraLase provides the best standard of care for our patients. This technology can make LASIK laser vision correction more precise, less invasive, and safer.
The Intralase laser directly acts upon the stromal layer of the cornea after passing through a disposable glass lens. In this way, the outer surface of the cornea is not affected, and the procedure is pain-free. It has been demonstrated through testing that the IntraLase laser provides greater flap stability, as well as better accuracy in the size and depth of resections.
By replacing the microkeratome with an unobtrusive beam of laser light, this new technique reduces the risk of complications associated with corneal flaps. In addition, more people may qualify to have laser vision correction performed. The precision available with IntraLase makes it possible to create a flap for patients with thin corneas, who otherwise may have been inoperable.
The Shiley Eye Center is dedicated to helping you achieve your best possible vision. By combining IntraLase with CustomLASIK, we can now offer our patients totally customized laser vision correction.
Frequently Asked Questions about IntraLase
- Why IntraLase?
Traditional LASIK is a very good procedure. While the risk of complication is very minimal, all surgery carries some degree of risk. Now, an advanced computer controlled laser technology is available that significantly reduces the risk of complications. It is known as IntraLase.
The IntraLase laser is uniquely safe, uniquely precise and offers patients predictably better visual results. The advanced IntraLase technology has given many patients more confidence when considering laser vision correction. Our surgeons prescribe the INTRALASE® FS laser for all of our patients because it provides micron level accuracy and significantly reduces the possibility of risk and unpredictable outcomes.
- How is IntraLase different from traditional LASIK?
LASIK is actually a 2 step process. First, a flap of corneal tissue must be created and then folded back. The cornea is the transparent dome-like structure that covers the iris and pupil of your eye. By creating a flap in the cornea, the surgeon is able to perform the laser vision correction treatment on the inner layer of the cornea, which practically eliminates any patient discomfort and allows for a rapid visual recovery.
Traditionally, the surgeon has created the corneal flap with a hand-held mechanical device called a microkeratome which utilizes a surgical blade. This method has worked well over the years; however, the performance of these devices can be unpredictable. And although LASIK complications are rare, this mechanical device is frequently the source for many of the reported complications.
With the IntraLase laser, the surgeon uses the precision of a laser to create the corneal flap. The accuracy of the laser (100 times more accurate than a blade) is unparalleled by any other technology in vision correction surgery. This advanced technology allows the surgeon more control during the procedure, and even allows customization of the corneal flap for every individual patient. Because of its consistent accuracy, IntraLase now makes it possible to treat many patients who were dismissed as candidates for laser vision correction due to thin corneas. Is this the same as the customized procedure I have heard so much about?
It’s the critical first step of the customized procedure. There has never been a combination of technologies that have allowed for this type of personalized vision correction. The most exciting part is that while offering the ability to get the best results, we are doing it all with unprecedented safety and precision.
Our surgeons know that every patient’s eyes are different and therefore need to be evaluated independently and uniquely treated. We now have fully customized all steps of the laser vision correction procedure: custom diagnosis (before the procedure), custom flap (to start the procedure), and custom treatment (to complete the procedure).
- Is IntraLase safer?
Most surgeons acknowledge that the main safety issues in laser vision correction are related to the use of the mechanical device used to create the corneal flap. Multiple studies which compare the incidence of complications when using the IntraLase laser versus the microkeratome device have shown a significant decrease in the events that adversely impact safety.
The IntraLase laser provides a unique level of safety because of its micron level precision. Clinical studies establishing the precision and accuracy of the INTRALASE® FS laser have led researchers to proclaim IntraLase technology as 100 times more accurate in creating the flap (the first step of the LASIK procedure) than the traditional approach with a surgical blade. The statement is founded upon comparative studies that report the likelihood of inaccuracy with the mechanical device as compared to that of the INTRALASE FS laser.
This precision was also documented in studies conducted for the FDA clearance of the laser, where the accuracy of flap thickness was demonstrated at +/- 10 microns. Precise flap thickness is critical to a successful LASIK outcome, and this degree of accuracy is unprecedented in flap creation technology to date.
Finally, greater flap stability was also demonstrated with the IntraLase laser in studies for the laser’s FDA submission. The assurance that the flap will be securely re-positioned without incident provides added peace of mind for many patients.
Is traditional LASIK unsafe?
No, but IntraLase reduces the risk of complications reported with traditional LASIK, and we feel that it is very important for our patients. The advanced IntraLase technology has given many patients more confidence when considering laser vision correction. Our surgeons recommend the INTRALASE FS laser for all of our patients because it provides greater precision and may significantly reduce the possibility of risk.
- The other provider told me their technology is used more often. Who do I believe?
We believe in providing the best technology to our patients and are generally the first to do so. Leading surgeons nationwide are now adopting the IntraLase laser, and approximately 100,000 eyes have now been treated with this advanced technology. IntraLase has become the standard of care in these practices.
- How would you compare the visual outcomes using IntraLase with those of traditional LASIK?
IntraLase is rapidly becoming known as the key ingredient to optimizing results in laser vision correction surgery. Comparative clinical studies confirm that patients see better following laser vision correction with IntraLase than with previous methods.
Our doctors can now offer a new level of predictability to each patient in all parts of the procedure: custom diagnosis (before the procedure), custom flap (to start the procedure), and custom treatment (to complete the procedure). We believe that IntraLase is the essential ingredient of this strategy to obtain your best vision while maintaining the highest standards for safety and patient care.
- I have seen several advertisements for “All-Laser LASIK.” Is this IntraLase?
Be sure to ask for IntraLase by name. Only the IntraLase® FS laser can provide the computer controlled, laser precision required for maximum predictability. Your doctor can explain the difference between other procedures that may be advertised as “all laser”, such as LASEK or PRK which are surface ablations that do not require the creation of a corneal flap. These procedures generally require longer healing time and frequently involve more discomfort.
- Is IntraLase more expensive?
We understand how valuable your sight is to you, and we keep our sights set on finding the most advanced technology and consistently striving to provide only the best for our patients. We do not let cost dictate our standard of care.
Advanced technologies are usually more expensive for the surgeon to employ in a practice. Our doctors continually evaluate all advances in technology and have found that the IntraLase computer-guided laser for flap creation is the most sophisticated and accurate system available today.
IntraLase technology provides greater precision, safety and predictability. We believe that laser vision correction enriched with IntraLase is one of the most important advances in technology today. Because of its unique safety profile, we have invested in this technology in order to maintain our commitment to excellence in patient care.
- A very close friend had traditional LASIK surgery with [Some Company] Eye Care, and today enjoys 20/20 vision. Why should I pay more for IntraLase?
Traditional LASIK is a very good procedure, and we have performed thousands of cases with very impressive results. However, the ability to replace the mechanical first step of the procedure with the computer precision of a laser is consistent with many other advances in medicine today.
One of the many reasons our surgeons choose the IntraLase laser is to avoid potential inaccuracies in the procedure. The laser provides greater control, and allows us to preserve corneal tissue.
- How is your clinic able to offer IntraLase when others in the area do not?
The INTRALASE® FS laser has been cleared by the FDA and became commercially available in 2001. The INTRALASE FS laser is the only system that provides computer controlled precision. To date, approximately 100,000 procedures have been completed with no significant complications reported. Our doctors are among an elite group of key opinion leaders in ophthalmology who continually evaluate advanced technologies and adopt them into practice as soon as they become available.
At Shiley Eye Center our commitment is to providing exceptional patient care. We believe that by replacing the surgical blade with a more advanced, less invasive technology, we are able to provide a higher standard of care for our patients.