Updated LASIK Research Yields Continued Positive Results

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According to a May 20, 2016 article appearing on the American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC) website entitled: “New Research: LASIK Safety and Performance Continue To Impress”

Like any surgical procedure, LASIK is continually researched to ensure patient safety and effectiveness. Recent high-profile studies show LASIK earning high marks for safety, outcomes and patient satisfaction, according to a May 20, 2016 article on the American Refractive Surgery Council website (ARSC).

Two studies were of particular note: “Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK” (PROWL), sponsored by the FDA, and “Modern LASIK Outcomes: A Review,” conducted by American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) president Kerry D. Solomon, MD.

The ARSC article states:“Ultimately, these studies support the overwhelming body of clinical evidence proving LASIK is a safe and effective vision correction option for those who qualify. Remarkably, these studies report the procedure is more likely to help symptoms of dry eye, glare, halo, starbursts and ghosting than it is to cause symptoms.”

The following are highlights of the studies findings:

  • Patient Satisfaction Rate: Up to 98%.
  • Patient Vision: Nearly 100% achieved at least 20/40 vision with more than 90% achieving 20/20 vision; less than 1% lost two or more lines on the eye chart of best corrected visual acuity.
  • Dry Eye Symptoms: In the FDA PROWL research, 59% of patients with symptoms before surgery reported none 3 months after surgery. Those with residual (lingering) dry eye symptoms reported a decrease in severity 3 months after surgery. Approximately 30% with no symptoms before surgery reported dry eye symptoms post-LASIK, which is common and typically improves over time.

How Each Study Was Conducted
FDA PROWL Research: This included 262 subjects who were active military personnel, and 312 civilians from 5 investigational sites. All were asked to complete an online questionnaire before LASIK, and 3 months after LASIK. Research was conducted as prospective, post-market, observational studies designed to develop and evaluate a patient reported outcome questionnaire for use post-LASIK.
ASCRS Research: “Modern LASIK Outcomes: A Review” included 97 high-quality studies representing a combined 67,893 procedures. This updated previous research published in 2009 analyzing the impact of femtosecond laser keratomes and wavefront diagnostic/guidance.

While LASIK patients today experience better outcomes than ever before, LASIK isn’t for everyone. While the risk of side effects is extremely low, LASIK is a surgical procedure. And while LASIK isn’t permanent, it’s been proven to provide years of quality vision for people looking to be less dependent on glasses or contacts. Choosing a quality LASIK surgeon, with a clear understanding of all risks and benefits are the most important considerations. Ongoing research helps to further improve technologies to make this simple procedure a continually viable and valuable option for those who are cleared as candidates after a thorough examination.