Background: The aim of this study is to evaluate three refractive procedures: LenSx® (Alcon, Fort Worth, TX, USA) femto-laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), FEMTO LDV Z4® (Ziemer, Port, Switzerland) femto-LASIK, and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) in terms of refractive outcome, perioperative complications, pain, and patient satisfaction.
Materials and methods: Data of 168 eyes (myopic n = 84) were included in this retrospective study. Of these, 54 eyes (n = 27, 33.85 ± 7.64 years) were treated with LenSx® femto-LASIK, 60 eyes (n = 30, 35.03 ± 7.46 years) with FEMTO LDV Z4® femto-LASIK, and 54 eyes (n = 27, 33.24 ± 8.52 years) with PRK. Photoablation was induced by a MEL80 Excimerlaser (Zeiss, Oberkochen, Germany). The corrected (Vsc) and uncorrected (Vcc) distance subjective visual acuity, corneal topography (Pentacam® HR; Wetzlar, Germany), and objective astigmatism (ARK-760A Refractometer ; Nidek, Fremont, CA, USA) were measured preoperatively, and 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months postoperatively. Subjective pain (verbal rating scale) and patient satisfaction were also recorded.
Results: Subjective Vsc showed significantly better results in both femto-LASIK cohorts compared to PRK (p < 0.05) 1 day and 1 week postoperatively. There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of spherical equivalent and astigmatism 3 months postoperatively. The LenSx® femto-LASIK caused flap complications. The highest patient satisfaction results were shown in the LDV Z4® group, followed by the LenSx® and PRK cohorts (p = 0.072). LDV Z4® femto-LASIK showed the lowest pain score 1 day postoperatively (p < 0.001). There was no significant correlation between target refraction and preoperative corneal thickness and astigmatism.
Discussion: Femtosecond laser-assisted LASIK is an effective procedure enabling rapid rehabilitation of visual acuity with low postoperative pain compared to PRK. There is no difference between the three techniques regarding refractive outcome after 3 months follow-up. LDV Z4® femto-LASIK can be recommended, if available, due to its low intraoperative complication rate and higher patient satisfaction compared to LenSx® femto-LASIK.
Keywords: Corneal surgery; Laser in situ keratomileusis; Laser therapy; Photorefractive Keratectomy; Refractive surgery.