Using a 193-nm excimer laser, we produced wide-area, refractive keratectomies on 18 cynomolgus monkey corneas and followed them up for up to 18 months. All corneas developed some subepithelial haze by one month. Electron microscopy disclosed epithelial thickening, absence of Bowman's layer, and subepithelial activated fibroblasts surrounded by disorganized collagen. By six months, the haze faded to a variable degree, the epithelium regained normal thickness, and the collagen was more organized. Persistent corneal haze at 12 months in some corneas correlated with electronlucent spaces in the subepithelial zone. Corneas were 90 microns thinner centrally two weeks after myopic ablation, but returned to preoperative thickness by six months. Myopic flattening and hyperopic steepening of 6 diopters were targeted, and over 7 diopters of each were achieved initially. Regression of induced curvature stabilized over several months. At 18 months, 4.4 diopters of myopic flattening and 5.2 diopters of hyperopic steepening remained.