The Difference between Intralase and Ultralase Surgery

Any surgery can be daunting, and it is essential to really understand the procedure you have to calm any fears you may have and to understand the risks that may be involved. It’s vital to go into any surgery, particularly when it is elective, that you know what to expect both during and after the surgery.

Laser eye surgery has become increasingly popular as millions of people attempt to rid themselves of their glasses and embrace a new way of life with improved vision. There are three different procedures used in the battle to improve eyesight and surgeons and experts are constantly working to improve the methods to limit the risks and create a greater long-term result.

The most common forms of laser eye surgery are known as Intralase (also known as LASIK) and Ultralase (also known as LASEK). Ultralase was the first and most commonly used laser eye surgery procedure but this has since been adapted due to the level of risk involved and the recovery time that was involved. Intralase was developed with the idea to dispel machine and human error and to speed up the healing process. Both procedures are still used in most eye clinics and will continue to do so as it means all patients are catered for. Ultralase is now used for those not deemed as appropriate candidates for Intralase.

An overview of the two procedures…
Intralase (LASIK)

This procedure does not require blades to make an incision within the eye
It is far more precise and pin points the exact point where a flap should be created within the eye
It is fiercely accurate
Serious complications are dramatically reduced
The risk factor is now minimal
There have been patients that have gained a 20:20 vision through this procedure
Short term and long term safety is greatly improved
The healing process is dramatically quicker

Instead of a blade, a laser is used to create the needed flap within the eye; the laser is then placed over the eye to rectify the poor vision. More clinics are now offering this procedure although it is still relatively new.
Ultralase (LASEK)

The top layer of the corner is not cut but moved to one side
This is done to gain access to the relevant parts of the eye so the laser can be brought in to repair the vision
The recovery time is around a week, sometimes longer
This is the procedure of choice if Intralase is not suitable for the patient
There are real risks of overcorrection or under correction and hazy and blurred vision

The fact that a piece of the eye is moved rather than lifted means it can increase the healing process although on the whole it works just as well as Intralase, the risk factors are the reason for its lack of popularity.

The main differences between the two forms of surgery are simply the methods used to prepare the eye for the vision correction laser. The new intralase laser eye surgery is proving increasingly popular and the success rate is phenomenal.