The first step of LASIK eye surgery is to create a thin layer that is moved away to expose the underlying corneal tissue. Femtosecond laser such as IntraLase (by far and away, the most common platform in US), are used to perform the Blade-Free or All-Laser LASIK.
There are certain characteristics of these flaps that are very different than the metalic blade microkeratomes that play a big factor in the patient recovery.
The IntraLase flaps are
- Planar. That means the flaps have virtually equal thickness all along the flap.
- Flap edge is angled sharply. The flap edges presented are at 70 degree angulation.
The above is an IntraLase femtosecond microkeratome flap that exhibits a very planar flap. The flap tool in the Visante allows for editing of the locations of the tool, the epithelial surface, the flap interface, and the endothelial marker. Under high magnification, much greater accuracy can be achieved.
The same image as above but the flap is now demarkated by the red dots placed in an image editing software.
The above is an image of the flap edge created by the IntraLase femtosecond laser, demarkated by red dots. The 70 degree edge seen here is an important aspect of the success of this device.
The IntraLase laser used for LASIK result in significantly safer procedure, reduced dry eyes, and a stronger conreal integrity compared with the metalic blade microkeratomes.