Post-LASIK patient dissatisfaction

February 11, 2008

People who are dissatisfied with the results of LASIK are more likely to be referred to a cornea service by their doctor than by their LASIK surgeon.

People who are dissatisfied with the results of LASIK are more likely to be referred to a cornea service by their doctor than by their LASIK surgeon, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

Brett Levinson and colleagues from the Wills Eye Institute, Pennsylvania, USA conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients seen for consultation between January 2004 and December 2006, who had had LASIK performed elsewhere.

A total of 157 eyes of 109 patients were included in the study. Twenty-eight percent of subjects were referred by their LASIK surgeon, 54% by another eye doctor and 17% were self-referred. The most common complaints were poor distance vision (63%), dry eye (19%), redness/pain (7%) and glare/halos (5%). Forty-four eyes (28%) had surgical complications or enhancements. The most common diagnoses were dry eye or blepharitis (27.8%), irregular astigmatism (12.1%) and epithelial in-growth (9.1%). Medical management was offered in 39% of cases, surgical intervention in 27% and observation only in 7%. Non-surgical therapy was offered in 73% of cases.

The results of this study demonstrate that poor distance vision, dry eye, redness/pain and glare/halos are the most common reason for a referral to a cornea specialist after LASIK and that patients are more likely to be referred to such a service by a doctor other than their LASIK surgeon.