In a multicenter clinical trial, more than 90 percent of patients, when measured binocularly, had uncorrected visual acuity of 20/16 or better.
LASIK is better than ever, despite reports that have highlighted poor outcomes, most from years ago. Data actually shows that LASIK results are better than ever, and patients can expect outstanding results, with few side effects. In our practice, LASIK is thriving.
While I never promise patients a particular outcome, I am up-front that our goal is to get to better than 20/20 vision. I can say this with confidence because my colleagues and I recently reported on a multicenter clinical trial in which more than three-quarters of eyes, and more than 90% of patients when measured binocularly, had uncorrected visual acuity of 20/16 or better.1
Patients are interested to hear this. The idea of “better than 20/20” is the part of a consultation that gets them excited. Refractive surgery results have reached this point because we have seen consistent, incremental improvements in laser vision correction technology.
Wavefront-guided procedures, tighter control of laser energy and laser beam angle, and other technical improvements have greatly increased the proportion of 20/20 or better outcomes and reduced the variability in results. Newer platforms have also nearly eliminated the quality-of-vision complaints related to optical aberrations (e.g., double vision, hazy vision, disabling glare) that we sometimes saw after LASIK.
Patients have an unerring radar for a surgeon’s level of confidence. Based on my own data and what is in the published literature, I don’t have to give patients a lot of qualifiers about the results they can expect. Of course, I always warn them about possible side effects, but the numbers—and the confidence I feel—communicate that my level of concern is low.
Robert K. Maloney, MD
E: [email protected]
Dr. Maloney is director, Maloney Vision Institute; clinical professor of ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles. He is a consultant to Johnson & Johnson Vision.
1. Maloney RK, Kraff CR, Coleman SC. A prospective multicenter post-approval study of wavefront-guided LASIK for myopia using a high-def Hartmann-Shack averrometer. ASCRS, 2019.