Refractive Lasik - Intralase Surgery

Lasik (Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a precise and secure visual correction technique used to treat refractive impairments such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. It main aim is to reduce the reliance on corrective lenses.

Lasik refractive surgery is performed using advanced Excimer laser technology that reshapes the cornea and reduces and in some cases, eliminates the reliance on corrective glasses and contact lenses.

Lasik has a number of benefits over other laser correction techniques of the sight given that this technique is performed under a protective layer of the corneal tissue.

What are its advantages?

  • Less corneal surface to heal.
  • Less risk of scarring.
  • Less risk of corneal clouding.
  • Greater postoperative comfort.
  • Less need for medication after treatment.
  • Fast visual recovery.

What does treatment involve?

After applying anaesthetising drops, the surgeon places a suction ring on the eye to hold it still and avoid involuntary blinking. The next step is to slice a tiny flap in the cornea’s surface. Two techniques can be employed for this:

  • Conventional surgery: using a precise surgical instrument known as a microkeratome.
  • Intralase: the Intralase technique replaces conventional surgery (microkeratome) with a femtosecond laser that reduces all of the hazards involved with the use of the microkeratome’s scalpel. With Intralase, all of the steps involved in refractive surgery for myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism are performed with laser; conserving more corneal tissue and allowing patients who are not candidates for Lasik due to thin corneas to be treated.

At this stage, the ophthalmologist will ask the patient to look directly into a focused beam while the laser reshapes the cornea. This whole procedure usually takes no more than a minute. The protective flap is then repositioned where it safely adheres to the corneal bed without the need for suturing.

The procedure has an approximate duration of 10 minutes for each eye. Immediate postoperative discomfort is reduced to an irritation that is easily controlled with anti-inflammatory eye drops.

Excimer laser eliminates microscopic layers of corneal tissue to change its shape, allowing the rays of light to focus more directly into the retina. Therefore, to treat myopia or poor far away vision, the cornea should be flattened. This is achieved by eliminating tissue from the central region of the cornea. To treat hyperopia or poor close up vision, the central parte of the cornea should be elevated. This is achieved by guiding the laser to eliminate the tissue surrounding the central region of the cornea.

To treat astigmatism, the cornea should be made more spherical. By changing the shape of the beam, tissue is eliminated more in one direction than another.

What are its applications?

Reshaping of the cornea corrects myopias of 1 to 10 diopters and hyperopias of 1 to 4 diopters, either with or without associated astigmatism. In order to have this procedure perform, the patient must be over 20 and have healthy corneas. The candidate should have had a stable vision prescription for at least 12 months before the procedure. Certain medical conditions and pregnant women may not be good candidates for Lasik.

In the event that your visual impairment is beyond the boundaries of the Lasik technique, the specialist physician in ophthalmology at IML will inform and recommend the possible alternatives. There is a personalised treatment for each visual impairment.

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