Making Sense of Refractive Surgery in 2001: Why, When, for Whom, and by Whom?

Department of Ophthalmology, University of California Davis, Sacramento, USA.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Impact Factor: 6.26). 09/2001; 76(8):823-9. DOI: 10.1016/S0025-6196(11)63227-8
Source: PubMed


Surgical alteration of the focusing or refractive properties of the eye has been performed on millions of patients. An array of procedures to correct myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia have been introduced over the past 25 years with varying degrees of success. Improved technology has increased patient and physician satisfaction and enthusiasm. Currently available surgical procedures can be categorized as incisional, surface-altering, lamellar, and intraocular. The choice of procedure depends on individual patient indications and contraindications based on results of ocular examinations, eg, corneal pachymetry to measure corneal thickness, keratometry to measure the corneal curvature, basal tear secretory rate, and dark-adapted pupil size. The postoperative uncorrected visual acuity depends, in large part, on the quality of the preoperative evaluation and refraction. Before scheduling a patient for surgery, the ophthalmologist must ensure that the patient understands the potential risks of the procedure and has realistic expectations for the postoperative level and quality of uncorrected visual acuity. Postoperative complications include corneal flap displacement, undercorrection and overcorrection, and epithelial ingrowth under the corneal flap and inflammatory keratitis. Postoperative dry eye, infection, and inflammation are usually treated medically. Ongoing technological innovations to customize the surgical approach to an individual patient's eye continue to improve outcomes.

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