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Microkeratome vs. Intralase Flap

There are two different flap making instruments – the microkeratome and the Intralase laser, and each has its own unique advantages.

Nationwide, the majority of flaps are made with a microkeratome. In fact, the term LASIK now days refers specifically to a microkeratome based procedure. However, flaps made by the Intralase laser are becoming more popular, even though the technology costs more for both the doctor and patient. Intralase based procedures are commonly referred to as IntraLASIK or All-Laser LASIK.

The debate between microkeratome and Intralase proponents is ongoing. The controversy is not a question of which method is better, as most surgeons concede that the Intralase method is superior overall. The question is a matter of degree. Some surgeons believe that Intralase is significantly better, while others find little practical, real-world difference between the two.

Surgeons in favor of Intralase are quick to point out that Intralase is safer. What they are referring to is the generally held consensus that the Intralase laser is less likely to create an imperfect flap. This is an important issue, because an imperfect flap usually leads to cancellation of the laser treatment and a three month wait for the eye to heal before treatment can be reconsidered. Also, depending on the nature of the imperfection, treatment can be more difficult the second time around.

Surgeons in favor of Intralase also frequently point to an Armed Forces study that found patients actually see slightly better with an Intralase flap. However, microkeratome proponents counter with a Mayo Clinic study that showed no difference in vision between eyes with microkeratome versus Intralase flaps.

Q Vision's Take

We have found that outstanding results can be achieved with both microkeratome and Intralase created flaps. If you truly want your eyes treated with the most premium, state-of-the-art flap making technology available, then an Intralase flap is the best money can buy.

However, our success rate in making flaps with the microkeratome is so high (greater than 99.8%) that a microkeratome based flap is likely your best value. Keep in mind, too, that you can avoid any possibility of a flap problem whatsoever by choosing a flapless procedure.

Microkeratome Flap Intralase Flap

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