Prospective evaluation reaffirms high satisfaction of LASIK patients

April 4, 2009

San Francisco-Results of a prospective clinical evaluation undertaken at the Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, are consistent with the world literature in showing a very high rate of patient satisfaction after LASIK. Importantly, the data also indicate that dissatisfaction may resolve if the underlying issues are identified and addressed, said Kerry D. Solomon, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the institute.

San Francisco-Results of a prospective clinical evaluation undertaken at the Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, are consistent with the world literature in showing a very high rate of patient satisfaction after LASIK. Importantly, the data also indicate that dissatisfaction may resolve if the underlying issues are identified and addressed, said Kerry D. Solomon, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the institute.

The prospective study enrolled 103 patients, of whom 84 completed a satisfaction questionnaire preoperatively and at 3 months postoperatively. Six patients who were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied were excluded from the analysis. Five patients who were initially dissatisfied underwent an enhancement and four patients became satisfied. The remaining patient continued to be dissatisfied because of dry eye. Two other patients were dissatisfied because of undercorrection and one patient complained of glare and halos.

Trying to learn more about reasons for dissatisfaction other than refractive error, the features of the patients with dry eye and glare/halos were examined more closely and compared with the characteristics of the satisfied patient population. No red flags emerged, however, according to Dr. Solomon.

"[Although] the patient with dry eye was a female with a history of dry eye prior to LASIK, 70% of our satisfied patients were female, 11% also had a history of dry eye, and 10% had a Schirmer’s test result worse than the dissatisfied patient," he said. "The patient with visual symptom complaints was a male with no night vision symptoms before surgery. Among the satisfied males, 86% had no history of glare and a pupil size at least as big as the dissatisfied patient."

Dr. Solomon said that although glare/halos and dry eye may affect patient satisfaction after LASIK, there also is evidence those problems may improve after surgery.

"Patients were twice as likely to have their night vision symptoms and halos made better than worse after LASIK and four times more likely to have dry eye symptoms made better than worse," he concluded.

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