What is the IntraLase Method?
The IntraLase Method is a 100% blade-free
technique used to perform the critical first step in the
LASIK procedure: creating the corneal flap. The creation of
the corneal flap prepares the eye for the second step of the
LASIK procedure, where an excimer laser is used on the inner
cornea to correct vision.
How does the IntraLase Method work?
The IntraLase Method uses tiny, rapid pulses of laser light
to create your corneal flap—instead of using a metal
blade—during the first step of LASIK. Each pulse of light
passes through the top layers of your cornea and forms a
microscopic bubble at a specific depth and position within
your eye that is determined by the doctor. The IntraLase®
laser moves back and forth across your eye, creating a
uniform layer of bubbles just beneath your corneal surface.
Just prior to applying laser vision correction, the doctor
creates your corneal flap by gently separating the tissue
where these bubbles have formed. The corneal flap is then
folded back so the doctor can perform the second step of
your LASIK treatment.
What is the difference between a corneal flap created with
the IntraLase Method and one created with a microkeratome?
The microkeratome is a hand-held instrument, which contains
a steel blade that moves back and forth and creates a cut as
it travels across the cornea. A microkeratome is only
capable of making a single, one-dimensional cut across the
cornea. As it cuts, the blade oscillates back and forth,
which can leave an irregular surface after the flap is
lifted. This can affect the quality of your postoperative
Because of the unique way in which the IntraLase Method
creates a precisely positioned layer of bubbles just beneath
the surface of your eye, it creates a smooth even surface
after your flap is lifted. With the IntraLase Method, a
blade never touches your eye..
How is the IntraLase Method different from Epi-LASIK
or photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK)?
These procedures differ from one another in the way they
prepare the surface of the cornea for the second step of
LASIK. Epi-LASIK uses an epikeratome—a blunt separator—to
make a superficial flap. Similarly, photo-refractive
keratectomy (PRK) is performed by gently scraping the
surface layer of the cornea, which may lead to corneal
scarring. Both the Epi-LASIK and PRK procedures can be
painful and require more postoperative medication. In
addition, healing times may be longer than with procedures
performed with the IntraLase Method.
Are there other benefits to using the IntraLase Method?
There are several benefits to using the IntraLase Method:
More patients in clinical trials achieved
vision that was 20/20 or better when their LASIK procedure
was performed with the IntraLase Method.(1) And patients
report better quality of vision overall, particularly in
terms of their ability to see well in low light such as at
dusk or at night.
Ability to tailor the procedure to your eye.
IntraLase Method gives your doctor the ability to tailor the
dimensions of your corneal flap based on what’s best for
your eye. Everything from the diameter of your flap to the
angle of its edges can be precisely determined. This is
important because everyone’s eyes are shaped a little
differently. Having a corneal flap that’s individualized to
the patient contributes to excellent postoperative outcomes.
In addition, a corneal flap created with the IntraLase
Method also “locks” back into position after the LASIK
procedure is performed.
Is the IntraLase Method painful?
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.
Is the IntraLase Method safe?
More than 600,000 procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the IntraLase Method.
How long does it take to create a flap using the IntraLase Method?
The creation of the flap itself takes only about 15-30
seconds per eye. Including preparation time, the entire
LASIK procedure takes about 10 minutes.
What’s the reaction of patients who have experienced the IntraLase Method?
In a clinical survey of LASIK patients who had their corneal flaps created using a microkeratome in one eye and the IntraLase Method in the other, the vision in the IntraLase-treated eye was preferred 3-to-1 (among those who stated a preference).
Is the IntraLase Method right for me?
If you are looking for a 100% blade-free LASIK experience
that virtually eliminates almost all the most severe,
sight-threatening complications, the answer is yes.
The Boynton Eye Institute is a comprehensive ophthalmology practice
offering a full spectrum of vision correction and treatment services.