Objective: To compare photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) in treating spherical hyperopia using the VISX STAR S2 excimer laser.
Intervention: Fifteen consecutive eyes of 15 patients underwent PRK, and 16 consecutive eyes of 16 patients underwent LASIK (follow-up: 12 months).
Main outcome measures: Postoperative pain, uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), deviation from intended correction, and loss of best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA).
Results: Mean preoperative spherical equivalent was + 2.18 diopter [D] for PRK and + 2.03D for LASIK. All PRK patients experienced significant postoperative pain that required systemic medication, whereas LASIK patients had minor and transient discomfort. Mean deviation from intended correction was -0.83D, + 0.01D, and + 0.18D at 1, 6, and 12 months after PRK, and + 0.22D, +0.30D, and + 0.40D at 1, 6, and 12 months after LASIK (P = 0.002 at 1 month). A higher proportion of LASIK eyes had a UCVA of 20/20 or better at all time points (P = 0.013 and 0.025 at 1 and 3 months, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between both groups in BSCVA loss.
Conclusions: LASIK and PRK are comparable in efficacy and safety. However, PRK was more painful, with an initial and temporary myopic over-correction that did not occur after LASIK. Stability was achieved between 3 and 6 months following PRK, and one month following LASIK.