Purpose: To evaluate the long term clinical and confocal results of mechanical (Epi-LASIK) versus alcohol-assisted laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) for correction of myopia.
Setting: Gazi University Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology, Ankara, Turkey.
Design: Retrospective study.
Methods: Twenty-two eyes treated with LASEK and twenty eyes treated with Epi-LASIK were evaluated with a mean follow-up duration of 45 months. Mechanical separation of the epithelium was performed with Lasitome epithelial separator, and alcohol-assisted separation with 25s application of 18% alcohol. Laser ablation was performed with the ESIRIS laser. All patients were examined daily until epithelial closure; at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months; and every year subsequently. Main outcome measures were uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), manifest refraction, haze, and gray scale value in confocal microscopy, efficacy and safety indexes.
Results: Preoperative myopic spherical equivalent refraction was -4.65 ± 1.74 D in the LASEK and -3.87 ± 1.30 D in the Epi-LASIK-treated eyes (p=0.36). Of both LASEK and Epi-LASIK-treated eyes, 95% achieved 20/25 or better final UCVA. The grade of haze and mean gray scale value in confocal microscopy were similar in LASEK and Epi-LASIK-treated eyes at all postoperative periods. The efficacy index was 0.94 in LASEK group and 0.96 in Epi-LASIK group (p=0.44). The safety index was 1.01 in LASEK group and 1.02 in Epi-LASIK group (p=0.42).
Conclusions: Both LASEK and Epi-LASIK offer safe and effective correction of myopia in the long term.
Keywords: Epi-LASIK; LASEK; Long term results.
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