Many improvements have been made in LASIK procedures, among the newest and most advanced is iLASIK, which is the exclusive combination of IntraLase and CustomVue technologies to produce the best possible vision enhancement for patients.
- Uses wavefront diagnostic technology
- Creates custom-designed corneal flaps
- Provides an accuracy for ablation
IntraLase® has redefined the world of LASIK vision correction. Also known as blade-free LASIK, the IntraLase® all-laser procedure eliminates the need for a metal blade during surgery, helping bring clear vision to many people who feel uneasy about going “under the knife” during LASIK.
The state-of-the-art IntraLase® laser technology replaces the microkeratome blade that has traditionally been used to create the corneal flap needed for the LASIK procedure. The IntraLase laser applies rapid pulses of laser energy to the top outer layers of the cornea. The IntraLase laser moves back and forth across the cornea creating microscopic bubbles at a specified depth and position just below the corneal surface. The bubbles under the cornea eventually create a perforation which is then lifted aside by the surgeon. The surgeon is then able to continue with the next step of the laser vision correction procedure.
The Advanced CustomVue laser combines the technologies of the WaveScan WaveFront with the STAR S4 Excimer Laser system to provide patients with a high-definition, high-accuracy LASIK vision correction. Advanced CustomVue technology makes it possible to perform customized refractive surgeries using information gathered from the patients eyes. This allows for the correction of the very specific refractive errors so patients can enjoy the best post-operative vision quality possible. The FDA has approved both the STAR S4 Excimer Laser and the WaveScan WaveFront for the following refractive errors:
- Myopia – up to -11.0 diopters, with or without astigmatism, up to -3.0 diopters
- Hyperopia – up to 3.00 diopters, with or without astigmatism, up to 2.0 diopters
- Mixed astigmatism – up to 5.0 diopters
The Benefits of iLASIK
Because of the low risk of complications and high level of precision it provides, blade-free LASIK treatment has become the standard of care among leading LASIK surgeons and ophthalmic teaching institutions worldwide.
Compared to methods that use a microkeratome blade, this minimally invasive and incredibly precise procedure decreases the occurrence of partial flaps, holes in the flap, and other traumatic flap complications.
Other benefits of the iLASIK procedure also include a faster treatment time and no need to dilate the pupils.
Candidates Eligible for iLASIK
A thorough medical eye examination is required to determine if you are a candidate for laser vision correction. Candidates must be at least 18 years old to ensure that their eyes have matured. Also, vision must have remained stable without an infection or injury for one year prior to the surgery.
Patients not eligible for iLASIK include those with the following conditions:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Autoimmune disorder such as lupus or Sjogren’s syndrome
- Corneal edema or lesions
- Corneal implant
The iLASIK Procedure
The laser uses quick pulses of laser energy to create a flap in the cornea that is needed for the second step of the procedure. The computer-guided laser pulses travel through the outer layers of the cornea, moving back and forth across the eye to create microscopic bubbles at a specified depth. The bubbles under the cornea eventually create a perforation which is then lifted aside by the surgeon.
With computer guidance, the laser procedure is carried out with extreme precision to create the optimal depth, position, and diameter for the flap specific to each patient. The entire process of creating the corneal flap takes about 15 seconds for each eye.
After the iLASIK Procedure
Discomfort is usually minimal following iLASIK. You can expect to notice a significant improvement in vision the very next day. Most patients are able to resume normal daily activities, including driving and returning to work, at this time. You should, however, avoid using any eye makeup following the procedure and avoid swimming and rubbing your eyes for two weeks.
Some patients experience increased sensitivity to bright light in the weeks following iLASIK. Patients sometimes also report seeing halos around lights at night. On occasion, patients may experience dry eyes and require eye drops to increase moisture. These symptoms typically decrease shortly after the surgery.
Follow-up visits are required to make sure that the procedure went well and your vision remains crisp and clear.
Risks and Complications of the iLASIK Procedure
The iLASIK procedure has proven to be extremely safe and effective. Nevertheless, no surgery is entirely free from risks and complications. Some patients experience light sensitivity. This is often temporary and can be successfully treated using eye drops for a few weeks. Inflammation can occur in the cornea. While microscopic, this swelling can lead to blurred vision. This should correct itself over time. Dry eyes may also be experienced, in which case eye drops or ointments may be recommended to lubricate the eyes.