Epi-LASIK: preliminary clinical results of an alternative surface ablation procedure

Ioannis G Pallikaris, Maria I Kalyvianaki, Vikentia J Katsanevaki, Harilaos S Ginis
Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2005, 31 (5): 879-85

PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical results of epi-LASIK, a new surface ablation surgical technique for the treatment of low myopia.

SETTING: Vardinoyannion Eye Institute of Crete, University of Crete, Greece.

METHODS: Forty-four eyes of 31 patients had epi-LASIK for the correction of low myopia. Mean preoperative spherical equivalent was 3.71 diopters (D) +/- 1.2 (SD) (range -1.75 to -7.00 D) and the mean baseline logMAR best spectacle-corrected visual acuity was -0.01 +/- 0.06 (range 0.10 to -0.10). All the epithelial separations were performed with the Centurion epikeratome (CIBA Surgical). The enrolled patients were followed daily until the epithelial healing was complete as well as at 1- and 3-month intervals. On the operative day, patients filled out a questionnaire grading visual performance and pain score of treated eyes every 2 hours for a total of 5 records.

RESULTS: The mean epithelial healing time was 4.86 +/- 0.56 days (range 3 to 5 days). The mean logMAR uncorrected visual acuity on the day of reepithelization was 0.19 +/- 0.09 (range 0.40 to 0.10). At 1 month, the mean was spherical equivalent of the treated eyes (N=44), -0.3 +/- 0.6 D (range -1.0 to 0.87 D), and at 3 months it was (N=37), -0.10 +/- 0.4 D (range -0.75 to 0.75 D); 97% of eyes had clear corneas or trace haze 3 months after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary clinical results suggest that epi-LASIK is a safe and efficient method for the correction of low myopia. Further studies will establish this method as an alternative surface ablation procedure.

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