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.

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