iLASIK eye surgery (laser assisted intrastromal keratomileusis) is a computer-assisted surgeon-controlled procedure that improves vision (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) by permanently changing the shape of the cornea with cool excimer lasers The procedure takes about five to ten minutes per eye depending on the type and amount of correction required, and is performed on an outpatient basis at Horizon Laser Vision Center. The surgeon determines the amount of the treatment (vision correction) required with the help of iDesign® technology and programs that into the computer prior to the procedure.
iLASIK eye surgery is performed with two main instruments. One is the IntraLase™ iFS Femtosecond Laser, a ground-breaking, 100% blade-free method to create the LASIK flap. The other is the FDA-approved VISX Star S4 IRTM Excimer Laser System.
Immediately preceding the procedure, numbing drops are placed in the eye. A small instrument called a lid speculum holds the eyelids open to prevent blinking. The eye is secured with a suction ring to prevent movement.
Using the IntraLaseTM, tiny pulses of laser light, a quadrillionth of a second each, pass harmlessly through the outer portion of the cornea and form a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles just beneath the surface of the eye.
The exact dimensions of this layer of bubbles are determined based on what’s best for the eye, and are computer controlled for maximum precision – things that are not possible with a hand-held blade. The IntraLaseTM flap creation process takes about 13 seconds per eye.
The surgeon then lifts the flap, folds it back on its hinge, and dries the exposed tissue. The patient is now ready for the laser treatment.
To position correctly for the procedure, the patient is asked to focus on a flashing light within the machine. While looking through the microscope, the surgeon aligns the eye in the correct position, and then starts the laser to reshape the cornea. This is achieved by vaporizing an ultra-thin amount of the exposed corneal tissue. This step takes 10 to 60 seconds.
When iLASIK is complete, the flap is uniquely able to “lock” into place. The eye begins to rapidly heal. Generally, keeping the flap in position requires no stitches (sutures) because a natural suction mechanism within the cornea holds the flap in place. A thin scar will form around the edge of the flap increasing the adhesion. Because this healing is in the periphery of the cornea, it does not affect vision.
Proper pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery eye care are keys to the success of this procedure. Most patients achieve reasonable vision the day following the surgery.
The IntraLaseTM Method is a 100% blade-free approach to creating your iLASIK flap – the thin flap of tissue that the doctor folds back in order to perform your iLASIK procedure or creating the pocket for your KAMRA Vision procedure. It can only be performed using the IntraLaseTMFemtosecond Laser.
Traditionally, doctors have used an instrument called a microkeratome – a hand-held blade that moves across the eye – for the creation of LASIK flaps. Regular Lasik is very safe, but if complications do occur, the microkeratome is frequently the cause. The IntraLase removes this possible source of complication.
The IntraLase emits tiny pulses of laser light, a quadrillionth of a second each, that pass harmlessly through the outer portion of your cornea and form a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles just beneath the surface of your eye.
The exact dimensions of this layer of bubbles are determined by your doctor based on what’s best for your eye, and are computer controlled for maximum precision – things that are not possible with a hand-held blade. The IntraLase flap creation process takes about 15 to 20 seconds per eye.
When it’s time for your iLASIK treatment to be performed, you doctor easily lifts the flap and performs the customized laser correction. The flap created using the IntraLase is uniquely able to “lock” back into place. Your eye begins to rapidly heal. Using the IntraLase to create the flap, patients may experience fewer flap-related complications and fewer induced higher order aberrations that contribute to visual disturbances, such as glare and halos. It’s the most advanced treatment available and millions of procedures have been performed safely and effectively.
Additional information on LASIK eye surgery is available from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.