Intralase is an example of bladeless Lasik and is considered the Gold standard in Lasik eye surgery. During bladeless Lasik the flap is created using a laser (Femtosecond laser) as opposed to a microkeratome (surgical blade) during the standard Lasik procedure. Contrary to what most people believe, Intralase is in fact only one type of Bladeless Lasik and different clinics will use different systems. To gain a better understanding of Bladeless Lasik you should read the following guide: Intralase Lasik explained.
More and more clinics are using Intralase as their standard procedure owing to its many advantages over standard Lasik and you can read about these below:
The average cornea is about 500-600 microns thick and in order to maintain corneal stability it is essential to leave as much of the cornea intact as possible following laser eye surgery. It is generally agreed that to perform laser eye surgery safely the residual corneal thickness left after laser eye surgery should be a minimum of 300 microns.
If we take an example of a cornea which has central corneal thickness of 550 microns and the surgeon plans to create a flap of 120 microns thick. This means that the remaining corneal thickness will be 430 microns (550 - 120) after the flap has been created. From this 430 micron bed we then have to deduct the amount of corneal tissue that will be removed by the Excimer laser to correct your vision. The higher your prescription the greater the amount of corneal tissue will have to be removed. If 100 microns of corneal thickness has to be removed to correct your prescription then this would leave 330 microns of corneal thickness remaining. This is above the minimum residual thickness of 300 microns and therefore laser eye surgery would be safe to perform.
With standard Lasik however the flap created using a microkeratome is thicker, typically between 140-180 microns. In the example above standard Lasik would not be safe to perform which is why Intralase would be recommended.
As you can see from the above, Intralase Lasik can be offered to people with thinner corneas which is one of its main advantages. Even if your cornea is thick enough for standard Lasik, a flap created with the Intralase procedure is still recommended owing to the many advantages described above.
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