Lasik surgery is an advanced eye surgery designed to help people to get a better vision. Although the rationale of the surgery is the same for all practitioners, the equipments used to perform the surgery may vary from surgeons to surgeons. Indeed, the terminology used also differs from doctors to doctors. For some surgeons Lasik is an “all-laser" surgery whereas for others they used a microkeratome, a surgical knife.
At first, the IntraLase system was created to increase the reliability and the safety of the Lasik surgery. This can be explained by the fact the IntraLase system makes use of the laser energy to remove the thin flap in the eye's cornea instead of the microkeratome. The microkeratome is just a knife which is designed not to use this advanced technology.
After the removal of the flap, the energy of the excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. This process aims at building a sharper corner. Having completed the process, the flap is restored and now acts as a natural “bandage" during the healing process.
Advantages of Intralase
Although problems during Lasik surgery are scarcely reported, sometimes things go completely wrong especially with the fluctuation of the blade of microkeratomes. Indeed the metal part of the blade can bring about distorted edges on the flap. This of course can only lead to distorted surfaces on the cornea which in turn leads to anomalies such as astigmatism.
The same metal part of the blade of microkeratomes also responsible of malformation and incomplete flaps leading to distorted vision. This anomaly can be easily be avoided by IntraLase system.
The IntraLase system builds flaps with the energy of laser by introducing an adequate pattern of several small overlapping spaces. This pattern is created underneath the cornea. The laser of the IntraLase system can work at a very high frequency in the order of quadrillionth hertz. With this it is now easier to locate the tissue and reduced it at the molecular level instead of using the heat or looking for surrounding tissues.
Another benefit of the IntraLase system is the possibility for people with thin corneas to undergo the Lasik surgery. Recall that the thinness of the cornea was a criterion for the surgery. Indeed people with a cornea whose length is over 5OO microns were not allowed to undergo the surgery. This was a limitation of microkeratomes which can only cut around 100 or 200 microns. An obvious drawback of this is the huge amount of cornea that was wasted. With the IntraLase system, it is now possible to cut off a flap as thin as 100 microns without any unnecessary waste and this is because of the consistency, reliability and safety of the system.
The ability to follow the cornea's shape is another noticeable advantage of the IntraLase system. Indeed this alleviates the creation of flaps with more accurate vertical edges instead of the thin and sometimes incorrect edges created by the microkeratomes. These heavy edges are less likely to rip apart. These also reduce the possibility to find cells growing directly underneath the flap and pushing it up. This phenomenon could have created a distorted surface of the cornea. With the IntraLase system, it is very unlikely to find these issues. It is also impossible to get an eye infection because of the sterility of the IntraLase system.
Possible Complications of IntraLase
Like every system, the IntraLase is also prone to complications even if it was reported that these complications were less noticeable than those associated with microkeratomes. Unfortunately, some surgeons found that patients undergoing Lasik surgery with the IntraLase system may have a further complication consisting of an unusual sensitivity to light. Some reports even claim that this anomaly was found in 1-20% IntraLase patients and it was also found that only one surgeon found a single case of 20%.
The good news is that many practitioners have also claimed that this anomaly is absolutely temporal. That is it lasts only for a short amount of time. This anomaly was cured by eye drops during a couple of weeks.
Practitioners using the IntraLase system claim that side effects of the IntraLase system are temporal whereas the anomalies bring about by the microkeratomes are more serious and may last longer.
An overview of the cost of IntraLase
Because the IntraLase system is safer and more reliable than microkeratomes, there is an overhead in the costs associated with the IntraLase system. According to a report, it is believed that using IntraLase increases 300 dollars per eye. Patients are asked to choose between IntraLase and microkeratomes. However, it should be noted that some practitioners only offer IntraLase and automatically include the overhead in the fee.
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