The New Shape of Vision
Laser Eye Center of Lubbock, the only West Texas provider of IntraLase (a uniquely safe, computer controlled, no-blade alternative to creating the corneal flap in LASIK)
IntraLase is rapidly becoming known as a key ingredient to optimizing visual results in laser vision correction surgery. This exceptional technology, known as the IntraLase FS laser provides a less invasive, computer controlled, no-blade approach to the important first step of the LASIK laser vision correction procedure. This step, traditionally performed with a surgical blade (microkeratome), has now been enhanced by the laser’s micron level accuracy, making every procedure more predictable. This remarkable precision, provided by IntraLase technology, makes laser vision correction a comfortable and confident choice.
Vision correction surgery is actually a two-step process. First, a thin flap of the top layers of corneal tissue is created and folded back. Then, an excimer laser reshapes the interior of the cornea, and the flap is replaced. In traditional surgery, the corneal flap is created with a microkeratome, a metal blade within a mechanical hand-held device. While this generally provides good results, the procedure can result in complications because it is difficult to ensure an accurate depth and consistent thickness of the flap with blade technology. By replacing the traditional microkeratome blade approach with a silent, tiny beam of laser light, the IntraLase FS laser reduces the risk of complication in creating the corneal flap; in fact, more patients may be candidates for laser vision correction due to this unique level of precision that was previously unavailable.
The IntraLase FS (femtosecond) laser creates the corneal flap with a precisely predetermined pattern and depth. This laser precision offers a unique level of safety in the creation of the corneal flap, and enables the surgeon to safely create a corneal flap of precise shape and thickness. In the past, people with corneas too thin, flat, steep or irregular weren’t considered good candidates for LASIK. With IntraLase’s high degree of accuracy now we are able to help many more people reduce their dependency on glasses and contacts.
The singular benefit is, by replacing the blade with the IntraLase laser, complications may be reduced leading to better vision outcomes. The result is a uniquely safe, uniquely precise and predictable corneal resection with customized excimer laser (LASIK) correction.
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. Surgeons frequently prescribe the INTRALASE FS laser 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 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. Every patient’s eyes are different and therefore need to be evaluated independently and uniquely treated. Now all steps of the laser vision correction procedure may be customized to the individual: 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 as100 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 all patients. The advanced IntraLase technology has given many patients more confidence when considering laser vision correction. Surgeons are recommending the INTRALASE FS laser for their patients because it provides greater precision and may significantly reduce the possibility of risk.
Another provider told me their technology is used more often. Who do I believe?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. Surgeons may 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?LASIK surgery may be elective but good vision is not. Advanced technologies are usually more expensive for the surgeon to employ in a practice. IntraLase surgeons are frequently key opinion leaders who continually evaluate all advances in technology. They 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. IntraLase surgeons believe that laser vision correction enriched with IntraLase is one of the most important advances in technology today. Because of its unique safety profile, these surgeons have invested in the technology in order to maintain their commitment to excellence in patient care.
For additional information regarding the IntraLase FS Laser please visit www.intralasefacts.com.