Efficacy and Safety of Surgically Managed Late Traumatic LASIK Flap Displacements in a Study of 66 Cases

J Refract Surg. 2022 Apr;38(4):270-276. doi: 10.3928/1081597X-20220128-01. Epub 2022 Apr 1.


Purpose: To evaluate safety and efficacy in the management of flap displacement after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and subsequent complications.

Methods: This was a retrospective study performed using data recorded at the center's database from October 2002 to August 2021. Efficacy and safety were both converted to binary outcomes (loss of one or more lines and no change or gain in lines of visual acuity). The effects of time from surgery to complication and from complication to repair were assessed and the odds ratios and probabilities were calculated. The same procedure was applied to investigate the effect of these temporal variables on complications.

Results: A total of 66 eyes with late traumatic LASIK flap displacements were studied. Efficacy remained unchanged in 48 patients (64 eyes, 75%), and safety remained unchanged in 53 patients (59 eyes, 90%). Sixty-six patients (64 eyes, 100%) achieved visual acuity values of 20/40 and 45 patients (64 eyes, 70.3%) achieved values of 20/20. The flap displacement was resolved in the first 24 hours (SD ± 0.1 days). Surgery was performed in 58 patients (65 eyes, 90%). Epithelial ingrowth was the most frequent complication. Patients who underwent surgery tended not to lose lines (P = .05). The risk of developing epithelial ingrowth increases with time after LASIK surgery until traumatic flap displacement (odds ratio: 1.001; P < .001). The prevalence of dislocation during the study period was 0.012%.

Conclusions: Visual safety values were favorable after resolution of the flap complication. Immediate surgical management leads to better visual efficacy, and the time between LASIK and trauma increases the risk of epithelial ingrowth after flap displacement. [J Refract Surg. 2022;38(4):270-276.].

MeSH terms

  • Corneal Stroma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ* / adverse effects
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ* / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Treatment Outcome