With traditional LASIK, a precision instrument called a microkeratome is used to create a thin corneal flap. The cornea is the clear front part of the eye, and the flap is a thin protective layer created on the surface of the cornea. The protective layer is then lifted to allow for the application of laser energy beneath it. The laser reshapes the cornea for vision correction. After laser treatment, the protective flap is replaced for healing.
An alternate method of creating a LASIK flap is through the use of a femtosecond laser, also known as “IntraLase,” “blade-less,” “blade-free” or “all-laser.” This technology represents an innovative technique used to prepare the cornea for laser vision correction surgery.
The Use of All-Laser LASIK
In the majority of LASIK procedures, the microkeratome is used to create the corneal flap. This method is utilized on patients whose corneas and pupils are of average thickness and size, and has been used on millions of people for over 20 years.
All-Laser LASIK allows for wider applications while maintaining the excellent outcomes and safety of a microkeratome.
For patients with thinner-than-average corneas, larger-than-average pupils or greater-than-average prescriptions, All-Laser LASIK is sometimes put into practice. In addition, some patients may feel more comfortable with All-Laser LASIK as the procedure does not involve the use of a blade. Your doctor will recommend the procedure that is best suited for your eyes.
PRK or All-Laser LASIK?
The Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) procedure is typically used where opportunities for flap creation are less than ideal: the corneas may be too thin, pupils too large, or prescription too high to safely create a flap. The procedure involves polishing away the surface skin and then applying the laser. With PRK, corneal tissue is saved by not creating a flap. All-Laser LASIK, in certain cases, may provide an alternative to PRK as this technique allows for the creation of an ultra-thin flap.
At LASIK MD, our clinics use the latest femtosecond technology from the world leaders in laser vision correction, including the IntraLase laser.