Improvements to quality of life after laser vision correction surgeries are ranked high by patients who have undergone them, and doctors are seeing a recent upswing in procedures.1,2 While that means more business for the eye surgeon, optometrists are still their patients’ primary eye care providers tasked with regular follow-ups. ODs continue to see and monitor patients who have undergone LASIK, LASEK, PRK or SMILE long after their recovery. But, according to a new study, they may not see much.

Contemporary LASIK and PRK procedures have a low incidence of serious adverse events, according to research published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.3 The University of California San Francisco–based study looked at 31,921 LASIK and 5,016 PRK patients who underwent the procedure between July 2014 and June 2016. Of the LASIK patients reviewed, only 1.3% experienced adverse events and, of those, only 0.4% were deemed serious. Of the PRK patients, 2.3% experienced adverse events and 0.7% of those were serious.3 Combining LASIK and PRK, only 0.37% of eyes experienced loss of two or more lines. 3

A study published in Clinical Ophthalmology earlier this year shows that patient-rated satisfaction at three and six months after LASIK is greater than 90%, with 1% to 2% of patients reporting dissatisfaction after surgery.1

1. Klokova O, Sakhnov S, Geydenrikh M, Damashauskas R. Quality of life after refractive surgery: ReLEx SMILE vs Femto-LASIK. Clin Ophthalmol. 2019;13:561-70.

2. Laser vision correction procedure volume increased in 2018. Ocular Surgery News. February 8, 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.

3. Schallhorn J, Schallhorn S, Teenan D, et al. The incidence of intraoperative and early postoperative adverse events in a large cohort of consecutive laser vision correction treatments. Am J Ophthalmol. October 18, 2019 [Epub ahead of print].