What is IntraLase SBK?

With the IntraLase SBK procedure, also known as All-Laser LASIK, blade-free LASIK, or Femto-LASIK, the eye surgeon uses two types of lasers for the vision correction procedure.

First, a femtosecond laser is used to create a thin flap in the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye). Then, an excimer laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue to correct the refractive error or prescription. The flap is then returned to its original position and left to heal.

Since its approval in 1999, IntraLase SBK has a demonstrated record of safety, delivering strong visual outcomes. The procedure is virtually painless and takes just under five minutes per eye to complete. The recovery period is short, and patients typically return to their day-to-day living in just 24 hours.

What is the difference between LASIK, PRK and IntraLase SBK?


LASIK consists of creating a flap in the cornea with a microkeratome (a mechanical bladed surgical tool) and using an excimer laser to reshape the underlying cornea. The microkeratome approach to flap creation is suitable for patients whose corneas are of average thickness and whose prescription is not too high. LASIK is quick, virtually painless, as well as safe and effective.


With PRK, no corneal flap is created, as the cornea’s epithelial layer (the outer layer) is partially removed to expose the underlying corneal tissue. PRK is typically used where opportunities for flap creation are less than ideal: The corneas may be too thin or the prescription may be too high to safely create a flap. With this procedure, visual improvement is more gradual, and functional vision is achieved within the first one to two weeks. But because a flap is not created, more tissue is preserved which is better for patients with thinner corneas or higher prescriptions.

IntraLase SBK

IntraLase SBK is often used for patients with thinner-than-average corneas, larger-than-average pupils and greater-than-average prescriptions because it allows for the creation of thinner flaps, as needed, while maintaining the excellent outcomes and safety of a microkeratome. There is less discomfort with this procedure than with PRK and the recovery is as quick as with LASIK. In addition, some patients may choose IntraLase SBK because they feel more comfortable with this procedure, as it does not involve the use of a blade.

All three procedures are safe and effective and carry a very high rate of patient satisfaction. Choosing between LASIK, PRK and IntraLase SBK is a decision best made in consultation with a Coal Harbour Eye Care professional.