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iLASIK Frequently Asked Questions

A list of commonly asked questions about the iLASIK Method.

What is the iLASIK Method?

The iLASIK Method is a 100% blade-free technique used to perform the critical first step in the LASIK surgery 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 iLASIK Method work?

To begin the iLASIK procedure, the surgeon directs tiny, rapid pulses of laser light to the surface of your eye to create your corneal flap. 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 your Boise LASIK eye surgeon. The IntraLase laser moves back and forth across your eye, creating a uniform layer of bubbles just beneath the 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 iLASIK 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 vision.

Because of the unique way in which the iLASIK 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 iLASIK Method, a blade never touches your eye.

How is the iLASIK Method different from Epi-LASIK or photorefractive 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, PRK is performed by gently scraping the surface layer of the cornea, which may lead to corneal scarring.  Both the Eip-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 iLASIK Method.

Are there other benefits to using the iLASIK Method?

There are several benefits to using the iLASIK Method:

  • Better vision.  More patients in clinical trials achieved vision that was 20/20 or better when their LASIK procedure was performed with the iLASIK Method.   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.  The iLASIK Method gives the 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 iLASIK Method also "locks" back into position after the LASIK procedure is performed.

Is the iLASIK 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 iLASIK Method.  This part of the process is not painful - patients report feeling only slight pressure.

How long does it take to create a flap using the iLASIK Method?

The creation of the flap itself takes only about 15 to 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 iLASIK Method?

In a clinical survey of LASIK patients who had their corneal flaps created using a microkeratome in one eye and the iLASIK Method in the other, the vision in the IntraLase-treated eye was preferred 3-to-1 among those who stated a preference.

Is the iLASIK Method right for me?

If you are looking for a 100% blade-free LASIK experience that virtually eliminates almost all of the most severe, sight-threatening complications, the answer is yes.  But to get this procedure, you must ask for the iLASIK Method by name.

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