To lift or recut: changing trends in LASIK enhancement

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2003 Dec;29(12):2306-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2003.08.013.


Purpose: To report serious complications caused by recutting laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) flaps for enhancement and reconsider the current preferred method of LASIK enhancement.

Setting: Multiple surgeon practices.

Methods: This retrospective noncomparative nonconsecutive case series comprised LASIK patients in the private practices of 9 experienced refractive surgeons and those reported in a survey of refractive surgeons. Case histories, refractions, corneal topographies, slitlamp photographs, and measurements of uncorrected and best corrected (BCVA) visual acuity after recutting LASIK flaps were collected. Surveys of refractive surgeons and an analysis of changing practice trends among the authors and these surgeons were assessed.

Results: In 12 cases, significant loss of BCVA and subjective visual difficulties resulted from recutting LASIK flaps. Most surveyed surgeons had changed their practice from recutting to lifting flaps even 9 to 10 years postoperatively with good results.

Conclusion: Recutting flaps for enhancement should be avoided unless other alternatives are unavailable.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Corneal Stroma / surgery*
  • Corneal Topography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / adverse effects*
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / trends*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / surgery
  • Visual Acuity