Laser flap enhancement 5 to 9 years and 10 or more years after laser in situ keratomileusis: Safety and efficacy

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2019 Oct;45(10):1463-1469. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2019.05.030.


Purpose: To study the safety and efficacy of refractive enhancement by flap lifting 5 and 10 years after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).

Setting: Vissum Alicante, Spain.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Methods: Eyes with a flap lift at least 5 years after primary LASIK with a 3-month follow-up were evaluated. The primary outcome measures were safety and the complication rate. Moderate epithelial ingrowth was managed with Nd:YAG laser treatment.

Results: The primary LASIK procedure was myopic in 45 eyes, hyperopic in 22 eyes, and presbyopic in 3 eyes. The mean time from primary LASIK to the flap lift was 12.3 years ± 3.45 (SD). In 57 eyes, the primary LASIK flap was created at least 10 years before the enhancement. The mean pre-lift spherical equivalent was -1.29 ± 1.23 diopters (D) in the myopia group and +0.65 ± 1.72 D in the hyperopia group. Three months later, 88% of eyes and 74% of eyes, respectively, had an uncorrected distance visual acuity of 20/20 or better; 100% achieved at least 20/25. No eye lost 2 lines or more of corrected distance visual acuity. In the myopia group, the efficacy index was 0.94 and the safety index was 0.98 at 6 months. Mild epithelial ingrowth developed in 31.43% of eyes and clinically significant epithelial ingrowth in 11.42% of eyes; 4.28% required a relift for severe epithelial ingrowth.

Conclusions: Late flap lift for refractive enhancement 10 years or more after LASIK provided good efficacy and safety with fast visual recovery. The rate of surgical intervention for significant postoperative epithelial ingrowth was low.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting*
  • Humans
  • Hyperopia / physiopathology
  • Hyperopia / surgery*
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / methods*
  • Male
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Treatment Outcome