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Wound Healing After Keratorefractive Surgery: Review of Biological and Optical Considerations

Azar, Dimitri T. MD, MBA; Chang, Jin-Hong PhD; Han, Kyu Yeon PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31826ab0a7

Abstract: The introduction of the excimer laser for keratorefractive surgery in the 1990s permanently reshaped the treatment landscape for correcting refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Until that point, these treatments had relied on less predictable techniques, such as radial keratotomy and automated lamellar keratectomy. In recent years, other new technologies, along with increased understanding of the basic science of refractive errors, higher-order aberrations, biomechanics, and the biology of corneal wound healing, have allowed for a reduction in the surgical complications of keratorefractive surgery. Novel technologies, such as eye tracking, anterior segment imaging, the femtosecond laser, and asphericity-optimized and wavefront-guided custom laser in situ keratomileusis, have assisted refractive surgeons in achieving greater predictability of their laser vision correction procedures. Understanding the cascade of events involved in the corneal wound healing process and examination of how corneal wound healing influences corneal biomechanics and optics are crucial to improve the efficacy and safety of laser vision correction.

Author Information

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Reprints: Dimitri T. Azar, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, 1853 West Polk St, Chicago, IL 60612 (e-mail:

Supported by National Institutes of Health grants EY10101 (D.T.A.), EY01792 (D.T.A.), and EY021886 (J.H.C.) and an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.