Background: We evaluated the safety and efficacy of laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) for the correction of low to moderate amounts of myopia (-1.25 to -6.00 D).
Methods: Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was performed on 432 eyes and LASIK on 137 eyes with a Chiron Keracor 116 excimer laser. Uncorrected and corrected visual acuity, corneal sensitivity, contrast sensitivity, and corneal topography were examined before and after surgery.
Results: One-year follow-up of 307 eyes in the PRK group and 103 eyes in the LASIK group was achieved. At 1 year, 83% (85 of 103) of LASIK eyes and 72% (221 of 307) of PRK eyes had an uncorrected visual acuity of 1.0 or better. Eighty-nine percent (92 of 103) of LASIK eyes and 83% (255 of 307) of PRK eyes had a refractive error within +/- 1.00 D of emmetropia; 71% (73 of 103) of LASIK eyes and 61% (188 of 307) of PRK eyes were within +/- 0.50 D of emmetropia. Contrast sensitivity and corneal sensitivity were reduced in both groups at the early postoperative stage but gradually returned to preoperative values; their recovery took about 3 months in LASIK eyes and 6 to 12 months in PRK eyes.
Conclusion: LASIK is safe and more predictable than PRK to correct low to moderate amounts of myopia. Recovery from LASIK is faster than after PRK.