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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Sub-surface Excimer Laser Treatment (LASIK)

Laser-assisted photorefractive keratectomy, more commonly known as LASIK, has been used in the United States since the mid 1990s. In this procedure, historically a thin surface layer of the cornea (called the “flap”) was first created with an instrument called a microkeratome. The flap is then folded to the side and the underlying corneal bed is treated with the excimer laser. The flap is replaced and reattaches itself without stitches. Most patients undergoing LASIK recover good vision overnight with only about four hours of postoperative discomfort. Most patients with low to moderate refractive errors undergo LASIK to correct their vision.

Surgeons at Bascom Palmer use the IntraLase laser, a highly specialized laser that creates the flap more dependably and safely than the standard blade microkeratome. The IntraLase laser uses extremely short bursts of light in the near infrared range achieving accuracy and safety that cannot be dependably matched by the standard blade microkeratome.