Hoopes Vision Blade-Free LASIK

One of the first important advances in LASIK technology was the 2003 introduction of the femtosecond laser. This laser, branded Intralase, allowed for the blade-free creation of the corneal flap used in LASIK. When compared to the microkeratome, a spinning surgical blade used in conventional LASIK, the Intralase was faster, more precise, and safer, virtually eliminating most of the flap-related complications in the conventional procedure. Hoopes Vision was an early adopter of this revolutionary new technology and the first LASIK practice to bring blade-free LASIK to Salt Lake City. In the decade since becoming blade-free, Hoopes Vision has continued to refine the procedure, upgrading to newer, faster lasers.

Blade-Free LASIK Hoopes Fact:

Our surgeons have performed over 60,000 blade-free LASIK procedures, more than any other practice in Utah. We have continued to upgrade our laser keratomes; the two currently in use at Hoopes Vision, the iFS IntraLase (5th generation) and the Wavelight FS200, are nearly ten times as fast, and far more precise, than the original IntraLase.

The iFS IntraLase™ laser is the most recent upgraded version. It can now create the flap in just 16 seconds. The most significant advantage of this laser is safety. It eliminates major complications that can occur with a bladed microkeratome, such as button-hole and incomplete flaps. Eyes heal quicker and stronger, and patients experience less dryness. Studies comparing this laser to the blade have demonstrated better visual acuities with IntraLase™.

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Blade-Free LASIK Before Your Procedure

Before you undergo LASIK, our surgeons will have several tests run on your eyes to provide all the information needed to determine if you are a candidate for vision correction surgery. These include, among other tests, mapping the front and back curvature of your cornea and checking the higher and lower order aberration present in your vision, measuring your refractive error and corneal thickness and assessing how your eye produces tears (since LASIK causes temporary dry eye). Many of these measurements may be taken multiple times by separate devices to ensure accuracy. This examination serves to further evaluate whether you are a good candidate for LASIK or if another refractive procedure would better serve your needs.

If you wear contact lenses, you will need to stop wearing them anywhere from a few days to a couple of months before the pre-surgery examination and the procedure, depending on whether you wear hard or soft lenses, the amount of time you wear them, and how long you have worn contacts. This is so the curvature of your cornea can return to its natural shape and yield an accurate measurement for correction. Our LASIK counselors can tell you over the phone what will be necessary for you prior to coming in for your complimentary LASIK evaluation.

On the day of surgery, patients are advised not to wear makeup or lotions as they increase the risk of infection. You should also arrange for transportation after the surgery as you will not be able to drive until you adjust to the change in your vision.

Blade-Free LASIK Step One

The surgeon creates a button-sized corneal flap on the surface of the eye using the iFS IntraLase™ laser. It takes only 16 seconds for the laser to make the flap by creating microscopic cavitation bubbles underneath the surface of the cornea. The flap created is thinner and more uniform than those created by the razor blade microkeratome method.


Blade-Free LASIK Step Two

The surgeon carefully folds back the flap, exposing the part of the cornea that will receive the vision-correcting treatment. The surgeon applies excimer laser pulses to reshape the cornea according to specific measurements. For LASIK, as well as PRK, Hoopes Vision uses the Wavelight EX500™ excimer laser, the newest, fastest, and most precise vision correction laser in the United States. Laser treatment and reshaping of the cornea takes only a few seconds.

Blade-Free LASIK Step Three

Once the laser treatment is complete, the corneal flap is carefully put back into place, completing the procedure.


Blade-Free LASIK After Your Blade-Free LASIK Procedure

Your vision will begin to improve quickly, and you will be able to resume your normal activities soon thereafter. Most people see improvement within a few hours and are usually seeing very well by the next morning; however, each patient heals differently, and your progress will be checked on your one-day follow-up appointment. Our surgeons will prescribe eye drops to improve your comfort after surgery and help speed recovery.

Upon returning home, you should take it easy and relax. A short nap is advised. You will be given clear, protective plastic shields to wear when sleeping so you won’t inadvertently rub your eyes, which could cause wrinkles and folds in the flaps. You will be given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to put in your eyes every few hours while awake. You will also use moisturizing or artificial tear drops to help lubricate your eyes.

Blade-Free LASIK FAQ

We’ve listed some of the most commonly asked questions about our blade-free LASIK procedures to help you learn more about your surgical options.

Are You a Candidate for blade-free LASIK?

Patients who make the best candidates for LASIK include those who are in good health, are at least 18 years of age, and have healthy eyes with no diseases of the cornea or retina. It is also necessary to have a prescription that has been stable for at least one year.

As with any surgery, there are risks and complications associated with the LASIK procedure. Patients uncomfortable with the possible risks and complications, and those with unrealistic expectations about how LASIK can improve their vision, should consider other treatments that have comparable results. Our qualified surgeons at Hoopes Vision will be able to assess whether you are a candidate for LASIK or another refractive surgery. If you live in Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah and beyond, contact Hoopes Vision for a free evaluation.

Will my blade-free LASIK procedure hurt?

The procedure itself is not painful since medication is administered to make you feel comfortable. Postoperatively, most patients experience little or no discomfort. After the procedure, your eyes may feel scratchy, gritty, or watery. These are temporary symptoms and not a problem for most patients.

Can both eyes be done at the same time?

Because of the advanced technology associated with laser vision correction, both eyes are most often treated at the same time. It is possible that the second eye may be done anywhere from one day to a few days to months after the first eye. This can be discussed with your eye doctor.

How soon after the surgery will I be able to see?

Visual recovery varies from one day to one week. The majority of patients resume normal activities one to two days following surgery but it may take one to two months for your vision to fully stabilize.

Can I wear my contacts before my surgery?

Because contact lenses can alter the shape of your cornea, you will need to remove your contacts prior to your pre-operative exam. If you wear soft lenses, they should be removed a minimum of five days before your exam. If you wear rigid/gas permeable lenses, remove them at least three weeks prior to your exam. By removing the lenses, the cornea will be restored to a more natural shape before measurements are taken. Following your pre-operative exam, if you are a soft lens wearer, you will be able to wear your lenses up to 24 hours before your surgery. If you wear rigid/gas permeable lenses, you may be asked to leave your lenses off until your day of surgery.

Do you have financing plans?

Hoopes Vision offers financing through CareCredit. We have several different payment plans available, including no-interest financing for 18 and 24 months, or extended terms of up to 60 months. Plans are available to make your blade-free LASIK fit into nearly any budget.

Hoopes Fact:

Bladed Microkeratomes
With the introduction of lamellar refractive surgery in the early 1980s, mechanical microkeratomes have been used to create the corneal flap. Although three generations of mechanical microkeratomes have evolved, their mechanical principles are similar. The device consists of a fixation device, a suction ring, and a cutting device, which consists of a steel razor blade that oscillates at speeds between 1,000 and 20,000 cycles per minute. It is advanced across the cornea at speeds of 1 mm to 8 mm per second.

There are a number of complications that can and do occur with bladed microkeratomes. These can be related to the suction ring, the microkeratome advancement system, blade abnormalities, and improper and poor surgical technique. In spite of significant advances in microkeratome head design (internalization of the advance system, higher quality blade design, and numerous electronic console feedback safety mechanisms), there still exists an ever-present risk of a serious complication every time a microkeratome flap is created.

In summer of 2009, Hoopes Vision became the first Utah LASIK center to receive the newest upgraded version of IntraLase™: the new iFS IntraLase™ laser. This completely redesigned fifth-generation laser offers many advantages over older forms of IntraLase.

IntraLase™ allows the surgeons at our Salt Lake City-area practice to:

  • Provide our patients with a safer procedure by eliminating the more serious complications caused by the bladed microkeratome.
  • Provide an all-laser surgery for better precision and predictability.
  • Reduce dryness after surgery. Several reports have demonstrated less dryness after laser flap creation.
  • Reduce the amount of pressure buildup in the eye when compared to the bladed microkeratome. Doing so increases patient comfort and safety.
  • Create thinner flaps, freeing up more tissue so that we can operate on patients with thinner corneas.
  • Increase the chance of 20/20 vision or better.

Advantages of the new iFS IntraLase™ laser:

  • Increased patient comfort.
  • Faster procedure (creates a flap in as little as 16 seconds).
  • Enhanced safety features.
  • Ability to make an inverted, bevel-in edge for the corneal flap. This modification allows the LASIK surgeon to tuck the edge of the flap underneath the periphery of the cornea rather than resting on top. This has been shown to create stronger flap adherence, with less chance of striae (wrinkles) post-LASIK.
  • The corneal flap can be created in an elliptical shape which has shown an added benefit for patients with astigmatism.

See Clearly Guarantee and Money Back Assurance Program

Our See Clearly Guarantee and Money Back Assurance Program reflects the confidence we hold in the effectiveness of our technologies and the skill of our surgeons. The combination of Hoopes Vision’s ongoing commitment to using the most state-of-the-art laser vision enhancement technologies and the extensive experience of our surgeons allows us to provide this See Clearly Guarantee to our patients.

The See Clearly Guarantee and Money Back Assurance Program is a free, full money-back guarantee if you fail to reach 20/25 vision or better within the 12-month LASIK post-operative period. We will also provide enhancements and touch-ups at no additional cost if your vision ever falls below 20/50.

Not all pre-operative prescriptions will qualify. To learn more about the restrictions and terms of our See Clearly Guarantee and Money Back Assurance Program, please contact Hoopes Vision today or download the document here.

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Proven Results

It has been over ten years since Hoopes Vision brought the first wavefront-optimized LASIK and PRK procedures to Utah, and the results have been excellent. Tens of thousands of patients have come to Hoopes Vision because of our outstanding track record of proven results.

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Wavefront-optimized LASIK is one of the many advances that has come during the years we have been in practice. Dr. Hoopes’ book, LASIK: A Guide For Patients And Their Families, details these advances, discusses the pros and cons of laser vision correction, and discusses some of the things that set Hoopes Vision apart.

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Schedule Your VIP Consultation

If you are interested in knowing if wavefront-optimized LASIK, or any of our other vision correction procedures, is a good option for you, please contact us. We would be happy to offer you a free VIP examination and consultation to help you determine your vision correction options.

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Hoopes Vision Learn More About Us

Our Experience

Our team of laser eye surgeons is by far the most experienced in Utah. Even more importantly, they are by far the most experienced team of blade-free LASIK surgeons in Utah, with the experience of over 60,000 blade-free procedures to draw on.

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Our Technology

The evolution of blade-free LASIK didn’t end with the introduction of the first femtosecond lasers over a decade ago. Laser flap creation technology has continued to advance and develop, and the newest lasers available today have enormous advantages over those from previous generations. Ultra-modern femtosecond lasers such as Hoopes Vision’s iFS Intralase and Wavelight FS200 are faster, safer, and more precise than earlier lasers, leading to improved outcomes for patients.

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Our Facility

Our facility was designed from the ground up for ophthalmology, delivering an eye care experience like no other. It is the embodiment of founder Dr. Phillip C. Hoopes’ longtime dream: to create an eye care destination that would combine the pinnacle of vision correction technology and surgical experience with a comfortable, welcoming, patient-focused environment.

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While the main advantages of blade-free LASIK at Hoopes Vision are safety and precision, patients who come to our center seeking the best treatment are often surprised at just how affordable the very best can be. We work hard to put blade-free LASIK within the reach of almost any budget with competitive pricing and affordable monthly payment plans, including no-interest financing.


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Patient Spotlight Jen Hudak

“As a halfpipe skier, I’m no stranger to risk. But when it came to surgery on my eyes, I was focused on safety and proven results. I had many questions – Who can I trust? Who has the most experience? Who has the most advanced lasers? The answers to my questions led me to Hoopes Vision. After the most extensive eye exam of my life, Dr. Hoopes, Sr. recommended All-Laser Custom LASIK. The results were incredible! At my checkup the next morning, I was already seeing better than 20/20! Now free from glasses and contacts, I can push harder and focus on the sport I love. Thanks, Hoopes Vision!”

Jen Hudak
Former Member of the U.S. Freeskiing Team
Two-time X-Games Gold Medalist and Ski Halfpipe World Champion

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