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LASIK Surgery & Laser Vision Correction News

FDA LASIK Quality of Life Study
FDA Press Release: October 2009
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to conduct a collaborative study with the National Eye Institute and the U.S. Department of Defense to examine the potential impact on quality of life from Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK). The goal of the LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project is to determine the percentage of patients with significant quality of life problems after LASIK surgery and identify predictors of any problems. Funded by the government agencies, the project is composed of three phases. The objective of Phase 1, which began in July 2009, is to design and implement a Web-based questionnaire to assess patient-reported outcomes and evaluate quality of life issues post-LASIK. Phase 2 will evaluate the quality of life and satisfaction following LASIK as reported by patients in a select, active duty population treated at the Navy Refractive Surgery Center. Phase 3 will be a national, multi-center clinical trial and will study the impact of the procedure on quality of life following LASIK in the general population. Patient enrollment in Phases 2 and 3 have yet to begin but plans are underway. Phase 3 is expected to end in 2012. The results of the project will help identify factors that can affect quality of life following LASIK and potentially reduce the risk of adverse effects that can impact the surgical outcome. If any of these factors are related to the safety or effectiveness of the lasers used in LASIK surgery, the FDA will evaluate whether any action is necessary. The project is part of the FDA’s ongoing effort to better monitor and improve the safety and effectiveness of the lasers used in LASIK surgery.

Use of Refractive Surgery in Pediatric Patients
OSNSupersite: September 2009
At presentation by Laurence Lasueur, M.D. at the French Society of Ophthalmology in Paris, information on the appropriateness and results of Laser Eye Surgery and vision correcting Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL)s was reported. Dr. Lasueur shared favorable clinical results in the use of Excimer Laser Vision Correction and Phakic Lens Implants such as the Visian ICL for the correction of significant unequal refractive errors and prescriptions between eyes that were causing amblyopia or "lazy eye" as well as high degrees of nearsightedness in both eyes. "Refractive surgery such as Laser Vision Correction and phakic lens implants (IOL)s has become a reasonable option in the treatment of selected options in the pediatric age groups, remarked Paolo Nucci, M.D. of the Milan University School of Medicine."

Wavefront Guided LASIK Produces Excellent Vision and Contrast
Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery: July 2009
Clinical researchers at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry reported on a study of Wavefront LASIK evaluating visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. The researchers found that 84% of patients achieved 20/20 vision or better with Wavefront LASIK vision correction and reported statistically significant improvement of contrast sensitivity. The improvement in contrast sensitivity is thought to translate into better overall vision performance in dim illumination and under poor lighting conditions.

Monovision LASIK Success
Current Opinions in Ophthalmology: June 2009
Researchers reported on factors that can effect the success and patient satisfaction with monovision LASIK including age, sex, ocular dominance, amount of monovision correction and degree of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism and concluded that overall the most successful group are nearsighted women however the study concluded that monovision LASIK is quite suitable for farsighted patients as well.

ASCRS Literature Review Study Confirms LASIK Patient Satisfaction: March 2008-The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery reported on the results of a retrospective literature review of approximately 3000 peer reviewed articles in which attributes of patient satisfaction with LASIK surgery were examined including clinical outcomes and safety. Reporting on behalf of the ASCRS, its President Richard Lindstrom, M.D. relayed that over 16 million patients worldwide have undergone Lasik Eye Surgery and of those some 95% are satisfied with the results. He conveyed that the scientific evidence in the worldwide medical and scientific literature supports the overall positive patient satisfaction. Dr. Lindstrom reiterated that outcomes have continued to improve with improvements in technology and that the positive outcomes and patient satisfaction are still very much dependent on careful selection of LASIK candidates based on clinical, vision and eye health criteria.

Dry Eyes & LASIK Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science: January 2008
Researchers at the Schepens Eye Institute reported that it was possible to predict those patients who would not have optimal LASIK results due to a tear film deficiency that would promote dry eye problems after LASIK surgery. The use of the Schirmer Test appears to be a good indicator for those potential LASIK patients who should be treated for dry eye syndrome on a prophylactic basis before their LASIK Eye Surgery as well as to identify those potential patients who should simply not have LASIK at all.

LASEK Safe with Controlled Diabetes
European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Meeting
Stockholm September 2007
According to data presented at the ESCRS in Stockholm Sweden, Diabetic patients who wish to have Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction of nearsightedness can have LASEK safely, although they should expect to have longer epithelial healing times. Refractive results were good for myopic patients, however a significant number experienced epithelial healing times of greater than 4 days possibly increasing discomfort and slowing overall visual revcovery. Patients with evidence of Diabetic Retinopathy should not be treated.

Same Visual Outcome from Blade Free All Laser LASIK & Conventional LASIK Ophthalmology: August 2007-In a recent prospective LASIK study to compare the results of using a conventional microkeratome vs. a femptosecond laser (Intralase), researchers found that there was no clinically significant difference in high-contrast visual acuity, manifest refractive error, contrast sensitivity or Intraocular forward light scatter throughout the six-month followup.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approval of Monovision LASIK:
July 2007-
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vision correction option for nearsighted adults who also have trouble focusing on objects up close. This option called monovision LASIK, may reduce the need for reading glasses in some people over 40. The monovision LASIK procedure entails correcting all of the nearsightedness in the patient's dominant eye and only a part of the nearsightedness in the patient's non dominant eye. It is indicated for patients who are nearsighted, with or without astigmatism and are aged 40 years old or older with a normal age related loss of ability to focus on near objects-a condition called presbyopia.

Femptosecond Laser Flap Does Not Improve Dry Eye After LASIK
Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery: July 2007
-Manufacturers of femtosecond lasers used to create flaps for LASIK surgery have made numerous claims regarding the clinical benefits of laser flaps. The most common LASIK side effect is temporary dry eye. Researchers reported on the use of the femptosecond laser to create flaps in various hinge positions in order to evaluate whether dry eye was reduced after LASIK. The results demonstrated a significant increase in dry eye, consistent with LASIK surgery regardless of using the femptosecond laser and regardless of hinge position.      

LASIK and Air Force Vision Requirements
Associated Press: June 2007
-Up until recently, the Air Force and other United States military services did not permit the use of LASIK for Laser Vision Correction for those involved in certain high contact or specialized positions such as pilots due to environmental condition concerns or safety concerns during combat. This policy will soon change at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where cadets will not only be permitted to have LASIK prior to their enrollment and still be able to meet the vision requirements, but will  actually be able to have LASIK at the Air Force Academy eye clinic.

Epi-LASIK Safety and Efficacy
Ophthalmology: June 2007
-According to a study published is the June 2007 issue of Ophthalmology, Epi-LASIK can provide a safe and effective alternative to LASIK. Epi-LASIK is a type of Corneal Laser Eye Surgery in which rather than creating flap of tissue through the corneal stroma-which is a thicker flap-one is created by simply delaminating the corneal epithelium into a flap and replacing it after the application of the laser to achieve the desired correction. This is one potentially useful procedure option for those  who have thinner corneas.

Visual Symptoms and Aberrations After LASIK
Journal of Refractive Surgery: March 2007
- Investigators reported that LASIK patients who experience unusual symptoms such as halos, glare, double vision and blurry vision are typically found to have high order aberrations when evaluated with wavefront analysis. In addition these patients are likely to have reduced overall visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.

Keratitis Eye Inflammation and LASIK
Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery: March 2007
-Researchers at the Moran Eye Center of the University of Utah reported that the overall incidence of corneal inflammation after LASIK surgery approximates 3% of all LASIK Eye Surgery performed at their institution. The actual eye surface inflammation, called non infectious keratitis or diffuse lamellar keratitis is a well known LASIK complication that is a risk of LASIK surgery believed to be related to sterilization procedures for instruments. Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis is easily managed clinically with steroid eye drops and sometimes lifting the flap and rinsing the surface of the cornea so it is free of debris.

LASIK and Acne Medication Accutane
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: January 2006
- LASIK patients should avoid the widely prescribed acne medication Accutane as it induces dry eye and may cause difficulties with healing and vision. Those patients with acne patients should stop using Accutane at least six months before undergoing LASIK surgery and for six months after the LASIK procedure, to give the front surface of the eye sufficient time to heal and establish a normal and healthy tear film.

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updated 2/27/11