LASIK Research Shows Impressive Safety and Performance

Several high-profile LASIK research studies on safety and performance, including the FDA PROWL study, have been showing consistently high marks for the procedure. Notably, the surgery has rated high in safety, outcomes and overall patient satisfaction. What does this mean for people considering LASIK?

Well, for one, these studies support the idea that LASIK is a safe, long-lasting, and satisfying eye treatment for patients. For those who qualify, it is becoming increasingly clear that the efficacy of this surgery is only getting better as long-term studies release their data. Interestingly, many of these studies have reported that the procedure is more likely to help symptoms of dry eye, glare, halo, starbursts and ghosting than it is to cause symptoms.

The results of one study in particular, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-sponsored “Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK (PROWL)” has been much anticipated by vision correction surgeons. What makes this study particularly important? Read on to find out.

Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK (PROWL)

The FDA PROWL research was designed to develop and evaluate a patient-reported outcome questionnaire for use post-LASIK surgery. Approximately 574 subjects (262 active duty military personnel, 312 civilians from five investigational sites) were enrolled and asked to fill out an online questionnaire before LASIK and three-months post-surgery to account for recovery time.

The results of this study revealed great news about side-effects and potential for recovery post-LASIK. Symptoms of dry eye for over half of the patients (59%) cleared up after the three-month recovery time. Those who continued to report dry eye symptoms saw a statistically significant decline in the severity of their symptoms at the three-month mark.

For patients with no symptoms of dry eye prior to surgery, approximately 30% reported experiencing symptoms at three-months after LASIK. The typical clinical experience with dry eye post LASIK is a gradual improvement of symptoms throughout the healing process up to one year after surgery. This means that over time, most dry-eye symptoms are expected to either disappear completely or be significantly reduced.

Those with visual symptoms such as glare, starbursts, ghosting and halos before surgery benefited from LASIK. More than twice the number of patients reported their preoperative visual symptoms were gone at three months than those who reported an increase in symptoms at three months. These results spell good tidings for the future of LASIK.

The Future of LASIK

The findings from this highly anticipated study have affirmed the consensus of previous research into LASIK performance:

  1. LASIK has a satisfaction rate of up to 98%. Generally speaking, side-effects or not, the procedure is well-regarded by patients.
  2. Nearly 100% of patients achieve at least 20/40 vision, and more than 90% achieve 20/20 vision.
  3. Less than 1% of patients lose two or more lines of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA)

As more data comes forward from long-term studies of LASIK, the future of the procedure looks bright. If you’re wondering whether you’re eligible for LASIK, try taking this quick 5 question quiz or talking to your ophthalmologist about your options.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, reach out at

What to Expect From ICL

The Implantable Collamer Lens, or ICL, is a popular option for people seeking clear vision but who are ineligible for LASIK. Are you curious about ICL? Wondering whether you should be nervous? Here’s what to expect from your ICL eye surgery.

The procedure:

Before you enter the operating room, your ophthalmologist will use anesthetic drops to numb your eye before performing the operation. This will ensure that the procedure is completely painless. Then, a small incision will be made to allow the insertion of the contact lens which will sit on top of your natural lens and below the colored iris. The incision is self-sealing and does not require any sutures to be placed. The lens works by bending light so it can be focused in your retina, just like a contact. The ICL lens will stay in place and work to give you clear vision until you develop cataracts later in life. ICL eye surgery gets rid of the daily maintenance and hassle of regular contacts while still aiding your vision. The whole procedure should take 20-30 minutes.


After the surgery, your vision may be a tad blurry for a few days as your eyes heal and adjust to the lens implant. Eye drops will be prescribed to help clear any residual blurriness.

For the first 24 hours after the procedure, try to take it easy. You will be given an eye shield to wear for protection to leave on overnight. Avoid any strenuous activities such as swimming or heavy exercise for 2 weeks after the surgery. You should expect to make a full recovery within a few weeks.

If your eye becomes swollen, sticky, or especially painful, you should consider contacting your doctor.

What may make someone ineligible for ICL?

  • Being under 18 years old
  • Having cataracts
  • Having glaucoma
  • Recurrent inflammation
  • Being currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not having a stable prescription
  • Not having enough room in front of the eye for the lens

Who IS eligible?

The ideal candidate for the EVO Visian ICL is between 21-45 years old and has nearsightedness with or without astigmatism. An estimated 100 million U.S. adults ages 21 to 45 who have myopia (nearsightedness) are potential candidates for ICL surgery.

Why ICL?

For patients unable or unwilling to get LASIK, ICL is a great option. Since it does not require the shape of the cornea to be altered, it preserves the natural shape of the eye and can be removed if there are any complications. Also, unlike LASIK, ICL does not cause or worsen dry eye issues.

What does ICL treat?

ICL can treat myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. Since it effectively functions as a permanent contact lens, most people with a permanent contact prescription are eligible for ICL.

So… what now?

If ICL sounds like the right procedure for you, contact your eye doctor today! With ICL, you could have clear or mostly clear vision without having to deal with the daily hassles of cleaning your contacts or keeping track of your glasses. For more information about ICL, click here to read our blog post about the EVO Visian Implantable Contact Lens.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Salisbury, visit