Epithelial removal with the excimer laser (laser-scrape) in photorefractive keratectomy retreatment

Ophthalmology. 1999 Jan;106(1):29-34. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(99)90002-7.


Objectives: To retrospectively evaluate refractive and topographic outcomes after excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) retreatment using the laser-scrape technique for epithelial removal.

Design: Retrospective clinical study.

Participants: Thirty eyes of patients who had PRK retreatment for undercorrection after primary PRK were examined.

Intervention: The PRK retreatment was performed using a laser-scrape technique in which the excimer laser was used to remove the majority of the epithelium overlying the anterior stromal surface before additional PRK ablation.

Main outcome measures: Uncorrected visual acuity, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), surface regularity index (SRI), and surface asymmetry index were measured.

Results: Primary PRK was performed for myopia of -5.1 +/- 1.7 diopters (range, -1.1 to -7.5 diopters). Mean spherical equivalent (SE) was -1.3 +/- 0.4 diopters (range, -0.6 to -2.0 diopters) before retreatment. Mean SE 6 months after retreatment decreased to +0.1 +/- 0.4 diopter (range, +1.25 to -0.75 diopters; P < 0.0001). Four eyes (15%) were more than +0.5 diopter overcorrected at 6 months. Ninety-six percent of eyes achieved mean SE within +/- 1 diopter and 77% within +/- 0.5 diopter of emmetropia after retreatment. Visual acuity improved significantly 6 months after reablation (P < 0.0001) with 100% 20/40 or better and 73% 20/25 or better without correction. Final BCVA also improved compared with before retreatment (P = 0.02). Twelve eyes gained 1 line of BCVA and no eye lost more than 1 line of BCVA. The SRI before retreatment was 0.6 +/- 0.3 (range, 0.0-0.9) and remained the same 0.6 +/- 0.2 (range, 0.1-1.0; P = 0.8), 6 months after retreatment.

Conclusion: Excimer laser PRK retreatment using the laser-scrape technique for epithelial removal is an accurate and safe procedure for treating undercorrection of eyes after PRK for low-to-moderate myopia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Corneal Stroma / surgery*
  • Corneal Topography
  • Epithelium, Corneal / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Excimer
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy*
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity