Incidence of vitreoretinal pathologic conditions within 24 months after laser in situ keratomileusis

Ophthalmology. 2000 Feb;107(2):258-62. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(99)00078-0.


Objective: To report for the first time a case series of vitreoretinal pathologic conditions after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and to determine its incidence.

Design: Case series.

Participants: Five refractive surgeons and 29,916 eyes that underwent surgical correction of ametropia (83.2% were myopic) ranging from -0.75 to -29.00 diopters (D; mean: -6.19 D) and from +1.00 to +6.00 D (mean: +3.23 D) participated in this retrospective study.

Main outcome measures: Vitreoretinal complications after LASIK.

Results: The clinical findings of 20 eyes (17 patients) with LASIK-related vitreoretinal pathologic conditions are presented. Fourteen eyes experienced rhegmatogenous retinal detachments (RDs). Two eyes experienced corneoscleral perforations with the surgical microkeratome when a corneal flap was being performed (one experienced a vitreous hemorrhage and the other later experienced an RD). In four eyes, retinal tears without RDs were found. In one eye, a juxtafoveal choroidal neovascular membrane (CNVM) developed. Retinal tears were treated with argon laser retinopexy or cryotherapy. Corneoscleral perforations were sutured, and the RD was managed with vitrectomy. The remaining RDs were managed with vitrectomy, cryoretinopexy, scleral buckling, argon laser retinopexy, or pneumatic retinopexy techniques. The CNVM was surgically removed. The incidence of vitreoretinal pathologic conditions determined in our study was 0.06%.

Conclusions: Serious complications after LASIK are infrequent. Vitreoretinal pathologic conditions, if managed promptly, will still result in good vision. It is very important to inform patients that LASIK only corrects the refractive aspect of myopia. Complications of the myopic eye will persist.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cornea / surgery*
  • Corneal Injuries
  • Cryosurgery
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / adverse effects*
  • Laser Therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Refractive Surgical Procedures*
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / surgery
  • Rupture
  • Sclera / injuries
  • Scleral Buckling
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreous Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Vitreous Hemorrhage / surgery