BARCELONA - Regardless of how thick or thin LASIK flaps are made, the flaps cause a considerable reduction in corneal biomechanical stability compared with surface ablation procedures, according to a study presented here.


"Taking into account biomechanical properties but also visual recovery time and quality of vision, the best option is epi-LASIK, according to our results," Jorge Cazal, MD, said at the winter meeting of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.

In a study conducted at CIMA Eye Clinic, two groups of 25 patients were randomly assigned to undergo epi-LASIK with the Moria Epi-K epikeratome in one eye and PRK or thin-flap LASIK in the other eye.

"At 6 months postoperatively, the LASIK eyes experienced a 48% reduction in corneal biomechanics, while the eyes that underwent surface ablation had only a decrease between 10% and 14%," Dr. Cazal said.

"At 6 months, the LASIK group had the highest induction of high-order aberrations, with [root mean square] of 0.73, compared with 0.25 for the epi-LASIK group," he said.

However, visual recovery was fastest with LASIK, followed by epi-LASIK and PRK. Pain scores were also lowest with LASIK, followed by epi-LASIK and PRK, he noted.