Those who have had a Lasik technique done, and those who are investigating having a Lasik vision correction procedure, know that the first step of that procedure is to create a small flap in order for the Lasik physician to reshape the cornea. This flap is created by the surgeon, and can be done using a small blade or using a laser. Using the laser is generally called a bladeless Lasik procedure, or IntraLasik, or IntraLase.
For those that are considering a Lasik procedure, this review should be helpful in order to determine the pros and cons of the Lasik procedure using IntraLase. One comment to be made is that the risks and complications possible using the small blade are well known and documented, since that procedure has been done for years and has a database of millions of patients.
Granted, 90% or more of all Lasik patients have no serious side effects or even minor lasting side effects, but it is true that a large part of the complications from Lasik procedures stem from the flap made with the microkeratome blade. Over the years additional techniques have been developed to further minimize such problems from the standard Lasik procedure.
The introduction of the laser to create the flap is a new frontier in the Lasik procedure. The laser is used in combination with state of the art software to create a flap of a pre-programmed size at a specific depth and position. During this process, a soft suction ring holds the eye in place, but this causes no discomfort to the Lasik client. Generally the only effect noticed by most Lasik patients is a dimming of vision in the eye being worked on for the duration of the treatment of that eye.
The use of the laser creates very small bubbles of water and carbon dioxide that serve as a good buffer between the flap and the cornea itself, and so this Lasik procedure conserves the eye very carefully. The whole process of creating a flap for one eye takes approximately one minute.
The advantages of using a laser to make the flap for the Lasik vision correction procedure is that there is no way that the cornea can be abraded, nor any chance of the wrong size or depth of flap, since it is all pre-programmed with Lasik software. The exact vertical edges of the flap produced using this Lasik procedure help healing, and also decrease the possibility that the flap might slip or wrinkle if the eye is accidentally bumped or rubbed during the healing process.
There are very few cons to using a laser to create the flap during a Lasik procedure. One is that the process takes a bit longer, up to a minute. A second reason is that the low level suction during this phase of the Lasik operation does result in eye redness for about 5% of the patients, but this goes away within a few days. The last reason is that there is still a difference in cost between this and the traditional Lasik procedure, but hopefully that will decrease as the years progress.
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