LASIK still surgery of choice for refractive correction

December 1, 2005

Chicago—Results of the 2005 International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS)/American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) survey highlight some interesting trends in refractive surgery across the United States, said Richard J. Duffey, MD, at the refractive subspecialty meeting sponsored by the ISRS/AAO.

Dr. Duffey and his co-investigator, David Leaming, MD, mailed the survey to 1,500 U.S. members of the ISRS/ AAO in August 2005. He presented analyses based on 246 responses received by Oct. 1.

"This is our ninth year of data collection," said Dr. Duffey, in private practice in Mobile, AL. "We are continuing to focus on characterizing practice patterns with respect to standard of care issues."

Comparisons with years past showed that since 2001, there has been a progressive drop-off in the percentage of survey respondents indicating they were doing very high-volume refractive surgery. At the peak in 2001, 27% of respondents indicated they were performing >75 cases per month compared with only 14% currently.

Questions to gain insight on preferred procedures for different types of refractive errors showed that for a 30-year-old, –10 D of myopia, LASIK was the surgery of choice for 40% of the respondents, while 35% said they would implant a P-IOL and 13% would wait (Figure 1).

"The related question we asked last year described a 30-year-old patient with –12 D of myopia, and in that situation, only about 20% of the respondents said they would perform LASIK compared with 32% who would wait and 40% who would implant a P-IOL," Dr. Duffey observed.

For a 45-year-old patient with 3 D of hyperopia, LASIK continued to be preferred by the vast majority of respondents (76%), whereas for someone of that age with 5 D of hyperopia, RLE was enjoying growing popularity. In the 2005 survey, 57% of respondents would choose RLE compared with only 12% who would do LASIK while 20% said they would still wait (Figure 2).

Responses to questions about doing bilateral simultaneous surgery showed a clear dichotomy between extraocular and intraocular procedures.