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VIENNA, Austria — Five-year results of the FLEx treatment with the Carl Zeiss Meditec VisuMax femtosecond laser confirm the superior stability of this refractive procedure compared with femtosecond LASIK, according to a study presented here.
FLEx, or femtosecond lenticule extraction, is an all-femtosecond laser procedure used for the correction of myopia. After the flap is created and lifted, a lenticule of stromal tissue is removed to reduce the curvature of the cornea, and the flap is then replaced.
"We have now the 5-year results of an early group of 25 eyes treated with the 200 kHz prototype of the laser. Since then the technology has evolved. The procedure has been approved in Europe and is now used routinely," Walter Sekundo, MD, the first user of FLEx, said at the meeting of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.
Over the years, uncorrected visual acuity has improved due to smoothening of the epithelium. No loss of lines has been seen in 96% of the eyes. All eyes have best corrected visual acuity of 20/20, and 16% of the eyes have a visual acuity of 20/12. Stability is good, with a regression of 0.03 D between 1 month and 5 years.
"Predictability is poorer compared to femtoLASIK because these were the very first eyes. We didn't aim for plano but for low myopia because in those days we didn't know how accurate the procedure would be. Refraction is, however, quite satisfactory, with 90% of eyes within 1 D of intended correction," Dr. Sekundo said.
Patient satisfaction is still high, he noted.
- Disclosure: Dr. Sekundo is a member of the scientific board of Carl Zeiss Meditec.