2008 ISRS/AAO survey results track refractive trends

November 8, 2008

Results of the 2008 International Society of Refractive Surgery/American Academy of Ophthalmology (ISRS/AAO) survey show trends detected in prior years are continuing, including a demonstration of surgeon confidence in the safety, efficacy, and value of modern laser vision correction procedures.

Results of the 2008 International Society of RefractiveSurgery/American Academy of Ophthalmology (ISRS/AAO) survey showtrends detected in prior years are continuing, including ademonstration of surgeon confidence in the safety, efficacy, andvalue of modern laser vision correction procedures.

The 2008 survey represents the 12th consecutive year of datacollection. In August 2008, surveys were mailed to the 1,364members of the ISRS/AAO.

Richard J. Duffey, MD, a private practitioner in Mobile, AL,presented results based on analyses from surveys returned by 223surgeons.

Among the key findings was evidence of an increase in the use ofthe femtosecond laser for flap creation. In addition, phakic IOLscontinue to become a more popular choice for treating those withhigh myopia, and a preference for refractive lens exchange tocorrect moderate to high hyperopia also is increasing. Althoughbilateral simultaneous surgery typically still is not used forintraocular procedures, a notable increase from 2007 was seen inthe proportion of surgeons who felt bilateral phakic IOLimplantation was acceptable.

The results also showed a decrease in preferred flap thicknesswith a corresponding increase in preferred minimum residual bedthickness. No change was found in the total number of ectasiacases seen by the primary surgeon.

"Although we have become more cognizant of risk factors forectasia, it will take several years before we see an impact onthe number of new cases," Dr. Duffey said.

A new question asking surgeons if they or a family member hadundergone PRK or LASIK showed high penetration for theseprocedures among surgeons and their spouses, children, andsiblings.

"The penetration rate among the refractive surgeons is about four times that in the general public,” he said. "This data and the results for the proportions of family members reported to have undergone these procedures indicate that the more we know about the surgery, the higher the likelihood we are to have it ourselves and recommend it for our loved ones.”

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