Purpose: To assess the effects of laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) on the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL).
Method: In a prospective study, the RNFL thickness of 35 eyes of 20 consecutive patients was measured before and 1 month after LASIK by scanning laser polarimetry.
Results: The postoperative integrals and averages of RNFL thickness were statistically significantly lower than preoperative values, except in the temporal quadrant.
Conclusion: LASIK has a significant effect on RNFL thickness determined by scanning laser polarimetry. Further studies are needed to determine whether the corneal compensation algorithms are affected by the keratome flap, whether the decreased averages and integrals of the RNFL thickness are reversible, and how to protect the RNFL.