Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness, predictability, and safety of laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) in 143 eyes with myopia from 8.00 to 20.00 diopters (D).
Setting: Alicante Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Alicante School of Medicine, Alicante, Spain.
Methods: This prospective study comprised 143 eyes (94 patients) that had LASIK with the Chiron Automated Corneal Shaper and the VISX 20/20 excimer laser using a multizone profile and a sutureless hinged corneal flap technique.
Results: Uncorrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better in 45.0% of eyes 3 months postoperatively and in 46.4% at 6 months. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) improved by 0.07 at 3 and 6 months and was stable after 3 months. Mean spherical equivalent was -13.19 diopters (D) +/- 2.89 (SD) preoperatively and +0.51 +/- 1.63 D at 3 months and +0.18 +/- 1.66 D at 6 months postoperatively. At 3 months, spherical equivalent was within 1.00 D of emmetropia in 57.5% of all eyes, 71.0% of eyes with a baseline refraction from -8.00 to -11.99 D (n = 59), 44.4% with a baseline refraction from -12.00 to -15.99 D (n = 54), and 53.0% of eyes with a baseline refraction from -16.00 to -20.00 D (n = 30). The respective 6 month percentages were 60.0, 72.4, 46.0, and 50.0%. The regression of effect was similar in all groups (approximately 0.50 D) between 1 and 3 months, although the high myopia group had further regression. Significant corneal steepening and an increase in corneal thickness occurred between 1 and 3 months. Flap thickness was always less than predicted with both the 130 microns plates, and achieved laser ablation was deeper than programmed. The relationships between postoperative refraction and preoperative keratometry and postoperative refraction and the difference in achieved versus programmed ablation were significant. Complications at 6 months included epithelial ingrowth, corneal flap melting, decentered ablation, and irregular astigmatism with loss of BCVA, although none was vision threatening.
Conclusion: In this study, LASIK was effective and predictable in the correction of high myopia but was more accurate for myopia up to 12.00 D. Current surgical algorithms must be modified to improve predictability in higher corrections. Longer follow-up is necessary to evaluate long-term incidence of vision-threatening complications.