PRK and femtosecond-assisted LASIK have equally mild and transient effects on the ocular surface, according to a study.
Taking into consideration contemporary advances in refractive surgery, the authors undertook the prospective clinical trial to compare “the effect on the ocular surface of current femtosecond laser-assisted LASIK and PRK techniques over a 1-year follow-up.”
Forty-four eyes of 44 myopic patients were divided in two groups of 22, receiving either PRK or femtosecond-assisted LASIK. The LASIK flaps were performed with the Intralase iFS 150-kHz femtosecond laser (Abbot Medical Optics), with a 9-mm superior hinge and 100-µm depth. Excimer laser ablation was performed in both groups with the Allegretto 500 (Alcon). Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire, tear osmolarity (Tearlab Osmolarity System), corneal sensitivity (Cochet-Bonet esthesiometer), corneal fluorescein staining, tear breakup time (TBUT) and Schirmer I test were performed before and at 3, 6 and 12 months after the procedures.
In both groups, corneal sensitivity was significantly lower at 3 months postop, more so in the LASIK group (P = .02). However, at 12 months all patients had recovered baseline values.
At 12 months, the LASIK group had a significantly higher TBUT than the PRK group (P = .02). Tear osmolarity remained within normal values throughout the follow-up in both groups and no other differences or significant changes were seen in the other variables of the study.
The results of this study suggest that both techniques are safe with the current advances and cause minimal disturbance of the ocular surface, the authors concluded. – by Michela Cimberle
Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.