EpiLASIK efficacious 1 year after treatment with low patient discomfort, study finds

September 13, 2005

Lisbon, Portugal - EpiLASIK is a safe and effective alternative refractive procedure to treat patients with myopia. The 1-year data indicate that the patients have good refractive results and stable vision. Vikentia Katsanevaki, MD, PhD, described the study Tuesday at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons meeting.

Lisbon, Portugal - EpiLASIK is a safe and effective alternative refractive procedure to treat patients with myopia. The 1-year data indicate that the patients have good refractive results and stable vision. Vikentia Katsanevaki, MD, PhD, described the study Tuesday at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons meeting.

The investigators analyzed data from 234 eyes that had been followed for at least 1 year. The preoperative refractive error ranged up to –8 D of myopia.

“There are two important issues with EpiLASIK. The first is safety. We found that at 1 year, 53% of patients gained at least one line of vision. The second issue is the development of corneal haze. We found that 90% of patients had either clear corneas or clinically insignificant haze,” Dr. Katsanevaki reported. These results also applied to 20 patients who had reached the 2-year follow-up evaluation. Dr. Katsanevaki is from the Institute of Vision and Optics, University of Crete, Greece.

Postoperative pain is a consideration with epiLASIK. In this series of patients, the mean pain score in more than 200 eyes remained below the threshold of burning; 10% of patients reported pain that was worse than discomfort, Dr. Katsanevaki explained.

Seven patients had penetration of Bowman’s membrane. The patients were treated based on the location of the penetration. If outside of the visual axis, the patients were treated in the same session; in two eyes the penetration was within the optical zone and they were treated at a later date with LASIK, she explained. None of these eyes had visual loss.

“EpiLASIK provides a safe and effective alternative for treating our patients. The visual results were excellent 1 year after treatment. This procedure offers the advantage of a less invasive procedure compared with other refractive surgeries,” she concluded.