Prospective study reaffirms high satisfaction with laser vision correction

November 8, 2008

Results of a survey administered to patients who underwent laser vision correction surgery indicate that the procedure is associated with some inconveniences, but ultimately delivers true value that patients appreciate, said Stephen G. Slade, MD, director, Laser Center of Houston, Houston.

Results of a survey administered to patients who underwent laservision correction surgery indicate that the procedure isassociated with some inconveniences, but ultimately delivers truevalue that patients appreciate, said Stephen G. Slade, MD,director, Laser Center of Houston.

To investigate the impact of laser vision correction on qualityof life, Dr. Slade undertook a prospective evaluation of patientsundergoing PRK or all-laser LASIK. Patients were asked to keep adaily diary for 3 months documenting any social events or workdays missed because of their surgery and then to rate theiroverall experience, quality of vision, and satisfaction.

The results showed that 88% of PRK patients missed at least oneevent versus only 30% of the LASIK group. The average LASIKpatient missed less than 1 day of work after surgery comparedwith 5 days for the average PRK patient. Of note, 13% of PRKpatients indicated that their level of postoperative pain wasgreater than expected compared with only 5% of LASIK patients.All of the patients, however, indicated they had made the rightdecision by having laser vision correction and 96% said theywould recommend the surgery to a friend or family member.

"There is a school of thought that an individual's willingness torecommend something to a friend or family member is the ultimatemeasure of success and satisfaction, and by that metric, laservision correction is doing quite well," Dr. Slade said.

"However, one learning point from this study is that what may bemost upsetting to patients is if their postoperative sequelae arenot expected," he added. "Therefore, we need to be especiallycareful in our preoperative counseling so that patients areprepared for the postoperative recovery."