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    Which is superior: LASIK or contact lenses?

    New Orleans—When compared with daily contact lens wear, wavefront-guided LASIK results in better binocular uncorrected visual acuity and comparable subjective outcomes, according to a study presented here during the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting.

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    Steven Dell, MD, and Steve Schallhorn, MD, compared the visual and subjective outcomes in patients who wear contact lenses with those who underwent wavefront-guided LASIK for the correction of myopia and astigmatism.

    This was a retrospective review, and all groups had similar baseline demographics, Dr. Dell said. With 1,232 contact lens wearers, 3,502 post-LASIK patients (1 month postoperatively), and 1,351 post-LASIK patients (5 years postoperatively), “this is one of the largest retrospective reviews,” Dr. Dell said.

    Patients included in the analysis were between 18 to 39 years of age, and had baseline myopia between 0.25 D and 6.0 D. There was no more than 1.5 D of corneal astigmatism in any group. The endpoints included monocular and binocular distance visual acuity at 1 month, and subjective outcomes at 1 month and 5 years.

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    All LASIK was performed on the iDesign (Abbott Medical Optics) platform, Dr. Dell said.

    “At 1 month postop, binocular distance visual acuity of 20/16 was achieved by 81% of daily wear contact lens wearers with best correction versus 96% of LASIK patients without correction,” he said.

    PROWL-1 study

    The PROWL-1 study, completed in 2014 with 262 participants, was conducted at the U.S. Naval Medical Center San Diego, and used a questionnaire to determine patient-reported outcomes (PRO) in a patient population undergoing LASIK, Dr. Dell said. The intent behind PROWL-1 was to develop a questionnaire to better evaluate patients’ reporting of visual symptoms and to assess the potential of those symptoms to impact a patient’s quality of life after LASIK.

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    “What PROWL taught us is it doesn’t take 5 years for LASIK complaints to abate,” Dr. Dell said. “There is an initial spike in complaints at postop month 1, but at 5 years those complaints are similar to what the preop levels were.”

    Further, after 6 months, 96% of patients in the PROWL-1 study were satisfied with the outcomes, and Dr. Dell’s study reinforced those findings.

    In PROWL, the majority of patients had gained ≥1 line of best-corrected visual acuity compared with preoperatively, no patient had lost >1 line of BCVA, 98% of patients were satisfied with the result of their surgery, and 97% were satisfied with their vision.

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    • Dr. Nancy Burleson
      Not Lasik My son, Max Cronin, age 27 years old, an Iraqi War Veteran and college student, committed suicide 1-14-16, as a direct result of complications he experienced from Lasik. He left suicide letters stating this and kept details of his complications. He experienced vision loss, constant eye pain, dry eyes, haze, and loss of quality of life resulting in depression and his suicide. He was unable to work or continue his life goals due to his eye complications. As a medical physician, I can definitely state that Lasik/PRK complications can lead to depression and suicide. For an elective procedure, the risks and long term complications are understated. The industry ignores the catastrophic complications from this elective procedure. The resultant complications and negative quality of life issues increase the risks of depression, attempted suicide, and suicide. Nancy L. Burleson MD FACOG Texas

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