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Blade Free LASIK Surgery - The Intralase® Method

IntraLase is a registered trademark of IntraLase Corp.

Ever since the inception of refractive surgery ophthalmologists have been refining procedures and creating new ones. One of the most recent technogical breakthroughs in LASIK eye surgery comes with the all NEW Intralase® Method. Intralase® laser vision correction has been growing with popularity in the refractive surgery community since its commercial inception in late 2001. The Intralase Corporation originally released this laser at the 2000 American Academy of Ophthalmology and it has been revolutionizing LASIK ever since. Many of the leading ophthalmologists around the United States have adopted this technology and results have been quite successful.

Maurice John, M.D., was quoted on the website as stating this would become a standard of care in years to come. This amazing technology, commonly referred to as the IntraLase FS laser provides a less invasive, computer controlled, no-blade approach to the important first step of the LASIK eye surgery. Traditionally the first part of lasik involved creating a thin corneal flap with a device known as the microkeratome. LASIK with microkertomes is still a standard of care and does provide a platform for very good results. With the new Intralase procedure this blade-cutting machine is eliminated and the LASIK flap is made with a laser. The outcome as stated by Intralase is a more predictable outcome for LASIK patients.

As you may already know from your lasik research the LASIK procedure is a 2-step process. The first part involving the previously mentioned microkeratome that makes the corneal flap and the second part involving the actual vision correction with an excimer laser. The Intralase method makes the corneal flap with a laser thus adding a new level of safety. Although LASIK with a microkeratome is often successful most of the LASIK complications occurred due to the flap or issues related to the flap after surgery. The Intralase method makes step one better by replacing the hand-held microkeratome blade with a laser. The precision of the IntraLase FS laser now enables patients to have a safer flap creation and post-operative experience.

Creating The Flap.

  • How do you make a flap with a laser?
  • What is intrastromal photodisruption?

Many people wonder how is it possible to make a LASIK flap with a laser. It seems almost impossible. The IntraLase FS laser technology uses infrared light to precisely cut the cornea tissue by a process known as photodisruption. photodisruption also called intrastromal photodisruption, involves using infrared laser pulses inside the actual cornea. The laser actually forms a cavity inside the cornea, which is much different than the surface blade cutting of the microkeratome. The IntraLase FS laser directs the focusing the laser beam into an extremely small, 2-3 micron spot of energy. The laser beam moves delicately through the outer layers of the cornea until it reaches its exact focal point. When the laser beam reaches this focal point, the beam forms microscopic bubbles of carbon dioxide and water vapor. Many thousands of these bubbles are placed at a precisely controlled depth to define a dissection plane. By using the fast fired IntraLase laser and then interconnecting these tiny bubbles very tightly, a corneal flap can be created with remarkable precision and accuracy.


The advantages of Intralase technology are still coming to fruition but the earliest advantage was a drastically diminished chance of flap complications. IntraLase actually presented greater flap stability in studies for FDA evaluations. Many patients will find value in the safer flap, capable through Intralase LASIK eye surgery.

Additional Advantages:

  • Predictability – Safety – Precision
  • Better vision with Intralase! “More patients in clinical trials achieved vision that was 20/20 or better when their LASIK procedure was performed with IntraLase.” Intralase Corporation

A. Flaps made by The IntraLase FS can be calculated and determined by the ophthalmologist and customized to meet the patient’s visual parameters. This level of predictability was not possible with traditional microkeratomes.
B. The integrity of the corneal biomechanics is a critical parameter in the success of the refractive procedure. IntraLase® technology can produce minimal disruption of corneal biomechanical architecture and as a result very rapid visual recovery.

A. During the Intralase procedure there is no need to abandon surgery because of inadequate flap dimensions.
B. Certain studies are surfacing related to fewer instances of dry eye after Intralase versus a microkeratome cut. (SEE Intralase website)

A. Intralase enables precision in flap development with extremely accurate flap dimensions.
B. Speed – The recently released 4th Generation IntraLase® FS laser, procedure times are drastically faster. (Flap creation time 15 seconds)

Frequently Asked Intralase Questions

Q: There is a lot of discussion about Intralase safety. Is the IntraLase Method actually safe?
A: More than 600,000 procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the IntraLase Method. Patient satisfaction is overwhelming and reduced amount of dry eye cases have been reported after lasik surgery

Q: Is the IntraLase Method painful?
A: 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.

For more information on IntraLase
Visit the Intralase Facts website at:

When considering this new technology, please make sure to get the expert opinion of your ophthalmologist. Only your ophthalmologist will be able to make a proper assessment of what type of vision correction you may need.

Page Topics Include: Intralase® Method, Intralase safety, Intralase advantages, All-LASER LASIK or blade-free LASIK, intrastromal photodisruption, Intralase laser vision correction, microkeratome Lasik

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