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The surgeon uses computer software to guide the Intralase laser, which uses infrared energy to create a series of extremely small (3 microns) bubbles in the central layer of the cornea. The depth and diameter of the flap thus created are calculated with great precision, allowing the surgeon to customize the shape to the patient's eyes and the correction being performed.
One side of the shape being formed is left uncut, so that the surgeon can fold back the top layer after the correction is performed, placing it precisely where it belongs for optimum healing.
Unlike the blades (microkeratomes) in use in standard LASIK, the Intralase allows the surgeon to make corrections to the cut even when the surgery is in progress.