How Does LASIK Work?


At Pacific Eye Specialists, we perform All-Laser LASIK procedures (also called iLASIK or bladeless LASIK) utilizing Wavefront and IntraLase® technology. Our doctors believe these advanced technologies provide the best chance for improved vision for qualified LASIK candidates. If you are new to LASIK, these terms may be new to you. The following is more detailed information about the high-level technology that we use for our patients.

Steps in LASIK

First, you should know the steps in a LASIK procedure.

  1. A thin incision is made to form a flap in the surface of the cornea. We use the IntraLase laser to perform this intricate step. The flap is folded back to reveal the cornea’s midsection, called the stroma.
  2. An excimer laser, controlled by both the physician and a computer, is used to remove a thin layer of the stroma to the exact specifications for your unique eye problem. We use the VISX STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser System with VSS and Iris Registration & Tracking technology for this step.
  3. The flap is repositioned.

In most cases, the procedure is performed quickly (just minutes per eye) using only eye drop anesthesia. For the typical patient, the procedure is virtually pain-free and only minimal discomfort is experienced during the first evening after surgery. Most patients drive themselves to their appointment the day following surgery.

How Wavefront Technology is Used in LASIK

Using Wavefront technology, we can obtain a virtual “fingerprint” of your eye by measuring optical distortions (aberrations). This method calculates how light is changed as it enters and exits the eye. This calculation is then used to produce a precise 3D map, or Wavefront, of the visual system of your eye, including the cornea.

The surgeon uses this Wavefront map to program the laser for the refractive surgery (LASIK or PRK). The VISX STAR laser with CustomVue allows us to use this information to perform a completely customized treatment, which is especially helpful in treating patients with unusual prescriptions such as high astigmatism.

Wavefront technology is often the only way to detect and correct aberrations, which may cause glare, haloes, distortion, and blurry images.


Tracking and Iris Registration

Along with the wave scan imaging system, the laser now tracks your eye by locking into microscopic details of your iris. This gives more accurate results than ever before.

Refractive surgery using Wavefront technology is FDA approved for only a defined range of refractive errors. Therefore, not all patients eligible for LASIK or PRK are eligible for Wavefront technology. If you’re interested in finding out if you are a candidate who can take advantage of this new technology, contact us to schedule a LASIK Consultation.

Fun Fact: Wavefront technology was used to fix distorted images from the Hubble Space Telescope and was FDA approved for use in 2003.

How IntraLase Technology is Used in LASIK

The IntraLase method is a blade-free approach to creating the corneal flap in LASIK by applying tiny, rapid pulses of laser light. Each pulse of light passes through the top layers of the cornea and forms a microscopic bubble at a specific depth and position within your cornea that is determined by your doctor. Your doctor creates your corneal flap by gently separating the tissues where these bubbles have formed. Over 1 million procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the IntraLase method.

Click here to view a video on Refractive Surgery using IntraLase technology.

Schedule your LASIK Consultation with us today!




All-Laser LASIK