FACT: LASIK is The Most Studied Elective Procedure in all of Medicine
July 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of LASIK’s approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Over 19 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the US alone, with 98 percent to 99 percent patient satisfaction. The evidence supporting LASIK is overwhelming, with over 6300 studies and reports as of July 2019, and a recent review of the best studies found them to be free of industry bias and in support of a better than 99% success rate.
Those who know best, vision correction surgeons themselves, have LASIK and similar surgeries 4 times more frequently than the general population, and they routinely recommend it to friends and family members.
Every surgical procedure, even LASIK, has risks, and all eyes do not have the same chance of success. If you are considering LASIK, you should discuss your specific situation with your surgeon.
Title: Laser vision correction in ophthalmologists
Article: “Prevalence of laser vision correction in ophthalmologists who perform refractive surgery.”
Authors: Kezirian GM, Parkhurst GD, Brinton JP, Norden RA.
Précis: Refractive surgeons have refractive surgery at a much higher rate than the general population. In this study, 62% of refractive surgeons who could benefit from and were good candidates for surgery had undergone it. That’s 4x the rate of the general population, amongst whom about 13% of eligible individuals have had the surgery.
Full reference: Kezirian GM, Parkhurst GD, Brinton JP, Norden RA. Prevalence of laser vision correction in ophthalmologists who perform refractive surgery. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery. 2015;41(9):1826–1832. doi:10.1016/j.jcrs.2015.10.027.
Keywords: LASIK, candidacy, prevalence, ophthalmologists
Title: LASIK vs Contact Lenses: Satisfaction
Authors: Price MO, Price DA, Bucci FA Jr, Durrie DS, Bond WI, Price FW Jr.
Précis: People who had LASIK three years prior were surveyed, and their responses were compared to similar people who had been wearing contacts for those three years. On average, LASIK led to more satisfactory vision, including better nighttime vision with less glare, than contacts, as well as a lower rate of dry eye. Three years after LASIK, 98% of LASIK patients who previously wore contacts were satisfied, and 99% of those who previously wore glasses were satisfied, compared with 87% of those who had continued to wear contacts. Importantly, the risk of a severe infection was twice as high in the contact lens wearers than those who underwent LASIK, as contact lenses pose a daily risk of infection.
Full reference: Ophthalmology. 2016 Aug;123(8):1659-1666. Epub 2016 May 18. Three-Year Longitudinal Survey Comparing Visual Satisfaction with LASIK and Contact Lenses. Price MO, Price DA, Bucci FA Jr, Durrie DS, Bond WI, Price FW Jr. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.04.003.
Keywords: LASIK, contacts, safety
Title: LASIK Outcomes From 2008 to 2015: Comprehensive Review
Article: “Modern laser in situ keratomileusis outcomes”
Authors: Helga P. Sandoval, MD, MSCR, Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, Thomas Kohnen, MD, PhD, FEBO, Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, Richard Potvin, OD, David M. Tremblay, MD, Kerry D. Solomon, MD
Précis: A review of 97 high-quality studies representing 67,893 eyes demonstrated 99.5% of patients 20/40 or better (driving vision) without glasses. In 99.39% of cases, vision was maintained or improved; this represents a complication rate of 0.61%. Out of about 10,000 patient surveys included in the review, 98.8% of patients reported satisfaction with LASIK.
Full reference: Sandoval, Helga P. et al. Modern laser in situ keratomileusis outcomes. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Volume 42, Issue 8, 1224 – 1234
Keywords: LASIK, outcomes, safety