IntraLase Frequently Asked Questions

Is the IntraLase® LASIK Method safe?

Intralase LASIK Patient in CaliforniaYes, it has an excellent track record. If there are going to be any complications in a LASIK surgery, they'll usually stem from the flap creation stage. By using the IntraLase® Method, the chances of post-surgical complications are enormously reduced. All forms of refractive eye surgery are very safe, but the IntraLase® laser reduces the frequency of complications even further.

How long does it take to have an IntraLase® LASIK procedure?

About 10 minutes. It takes between 15 and 30 seconds to create the flap on each eye, and the rest of the time is treatment, plus a little preparation beforehand.

How does IntraLase® differ from PRK and Epi-LASIK?

These three ways of correcting vision prepare for the surgery itself in three different ways.

  • In PRK (photo-refractive keratectomy), the corneal surface is gently scraped to expose the underlying tissue for treatment.
  • In Epi-LASIK, a certain tool is used called the epikeratome. It's not a blade like the microkeratome that's used in traditional LASIK, but a blunt separator. It creates a more shallow corneal flap, which is why people with thinner corneas can have Epi-LASIK when they are not good candidates for traditional LASIK.
  • In the IntraLase® Method, the laser forms the flap by creating thousands of microscopic bubbles beneath the corneal surface, so that the corneal tissue can be separated at the molecular level.

In general, healing times are a little longer with PRK and Epi-LASIK than with IntraLase®.

Why does the IntraLase® Method allow very nearsighted people to have LASIK surgery?

When a person is very nearsighted, the cornea is steep. It curves forward at a steeper angle. The IntraLase® laser can follow that curvature and make a flap that's precisely the right thickness throughout. In contrast, the microkeratome, making the flap mechanically rather than by a computer-guided laser, opens the door slightly to a flap being too thin, or not completely cut, because the steepness of the very nearsighted cornea is outside the range of traditional LASIK.

My corneas are too thin for LASIK, but I've been told I could perhaps have it using the IntraLase Method. Is that true?

Yes, perhaps. Sometimes a person is a poor candidate for traditional LASIK because their corneas are too thin for the flaps to be created reliably and safely using a microkeratome. But the IntraLase® laser can be more precisely controlled than a hand-held device, and the laser beam is set to penetrate the cornea at a very shallow level. This enables the flap to be created more thinly to match the thinner corneas.

To learn more about IntraLase, or to view a LASIK procedure, please call or email us. You can schedule a complimentary LASIK consultation with Dr. Feldman, to ask your questions and voice your concerns, and Dr. Feldman will be glad to discuss options with you.

ClearView Eye and Laser Medical Center provides IntraLase LASIK procedures in the San Diego, California area. We offer this web page as general information. This information should not be considered formal medical advice. Please contact us today for formal advice during a complimentary IntraLase LASIK consultation in San Diego.