Laser refractive surgery is a safe, effective way to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism

Hopkins researchers have found that patients experiencing vision problems following cataract removal and intraocular lens implantation (CE-IOL) may have better results from laser refractive surgery, which spares them potential complications of lens implant replacement and the inconvenience of glasses.

"Our study shows that laser refractive surgery is a safe, effective, and predictable way to correct residual refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism and is a non-invasive alternative to intraocular surgery and its potential complications," says Irene C. Kuo, M.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute and lead author.

The researchers examined 10 patients, 75 to 81 years of age, who needed glasses or contact lenses following their CE-IOL procedure and who underwent refractive laser surgery. Following them from one to 38 months, the physicians measured patient satisfaction, visual acuity and the length of time between CE-IOL and laser refractive surgery.

Kuo said that although all patients expressed satisfaction after laser refractive surgery and the median uncorrected visual acuity increased from 20/400 to 20/30, final uncorrected visual acuity was not as high as in general laser refractive surgery patients who did not have implants.

"The patients in our study were older than the average refractive surgery patient by approximately 30 years. Ultimately, our results support other studies that have found that refractive surgery in older patients is not as predictable as in younger patients. Additional research looking at how age affects corneal wound healing is important," said Kuo.

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