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R.A. Ferguson, Jr., C.D. Reilly M.D., E.J. Dudenhoefer M.D., R.E. Smith M.D., II; The Airforce Warfighter Refractive Surgery Study: Laser Assisted in–situ Keratomileusis vs. Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy Using the VISX Star Laser Platform . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):56.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the visual outcome of Laser assisted in–situ keratomileusis (LASIK) vs. Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK) performed at the United States Airforce Refractive Surgery Center, Lackland AFB, Texas.
1,310 eyes of 655 patients underwent refractive surgery. 668 eyes of 324 patients underwent LASIK and 662 eyes of 331 patients underwent LASEK by the VISX Star laser platform . Patients were followed for 12 months. The average pre–operative manifest spherical equivalent (MSE) was –4.69 D (+/– 1.88D) for LASEK and preoperative MSE was –4.26D (+/–1.78) for LASIK. UCVA, BSCVA, and MSE at 12 months were compared for each group.
At 12 months the LASEK group had an average UCVA of 20/19.3 and LASIK UCVA of 20/20.6 this difference was statistically significant with a p–value= < 0.001. BSCVA at 12 months was 20/16.5 in the LASIK group and the LASEK group averaged 20/17.6 this difference was statistically significant with a p–value=<.005. At 12 months the LASEK group had an average MSE of +0.026 D and LASIK had an average MSE –0.127 D which was statistically significant with a p–value=0.006. The complication rate was 0 for the LASEK group and the LASIK group had 2 patients needing additional treatment for DLK.
Overall LASEK and LASIK are safe and effectively treatments for eyes with moderate myopia. LASEK outcomes for UCVA were better than LASIK at 12 months. BSCVA was superior in the LASIK group at 12 months vs. the LASEK group. Both groups at 12 months had MSEs close to emmetropia. Both surgeries are attractive options for the correction of myopia and offer excellent results with LASEK offering superior UCVA at 12 months. This represents the largest comparison study to date in the literature.
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