To compute and compare visual acuity, refractive outcomes, and anterior corneal aberration changes after myopic laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) with flap creation by a mechanical microkeratome and by a femtosecond laser.
Private practice refractive surgery center, Valencia, Spain.
Comparative case series.
Patients were assigned to have LASIK flap creation with a mechanical microkeratome (Carriazo-Barraquer) or a femtosecond laser (IntraLase). The Visx S2 excimer laser was used for myopic ablation in all cases. Main outcome measures included uncorrected and corrected distance visual acuities and the defocus equivalent. Higher-order aberrations (HOAs) were computed from the anterior corneal surface measured with topography for 4.0 mm and 6.0 mm pupil diameters before and 48 months after surgery.
The study evaluated 50 patients (98 eyes). The root mean square of HOAs increased postoperatively by a factor of approximately 1.9 in both groups and with both pupil diameters. There were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups in the increase in anterior corneal aberrations, mean postoperative visual acuity, or residual refraction. All visual and optical performance metrics remained stable throughout the 4-year follow-up. There were no complications with flap creation and no postoperative complications.
The increase in anterior corneal aberrations after myopic LASIK was similar after mechanical microkeratome and femtosecond laser flap creation. Visual acuity, refraction, and the optical quality of the cornea after LASIK remained stable through 4 years postoperatively in both groups.
No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.