FAIRFAX, Va, March 05, 2007-- Worldwide, an average 95.4 percent of LASIK patients are
satisfied with their new vision, according to the first review
of the world body of scientific literature, the American Society
of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) announced today.
With 16.3 million patients having had LASIK worldwide, and more
than a decade of clinical study and technological innovation
behind it, LASIK is considered among the most successful
elective procedures available today.
"We find that there is solid evidence in the world's scientific
literature to affirm that there is an exceptionally high level
of satisfaction in patients who have had LASIK surgery. While no
surgery is perfect, certainly the 19 peer-reviewed studies of
2,199 patients show extremely high satisfaction rates," said
Richard L. Lindstrom, M.D., president of the ASCRS. "While
patient satisfaction is extremely high, we recognize that there
are patients who have unsatisfactory outcomes. As surgeons, we
have taken the Hippocratic Oath. The well being of all of our
patients is central to what we do and what we are. As such, and
as the history of medicine has shown, we are committed to
advancing our technology, patient selection, and surgical
techniques so that we can continue to enhance the quality of our
patients' lives," Lindstrom added.
The meta-analysis, led by Kerry Solomon, M.D. at the Storm Eye
Institute of the Medical Center of South Carolina, examines
nearly 3,000 peer-reviewed articles published over the past 10
years in clinical journals from North America, South America,
Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The research employed the
Ovid and PubMed data bases using the term "LASIK" and similar
search terms. A total of 2,915 articles were identified. "We
wanted every article we could find, up to and including our last
search, which was done on January 8, 2008," Dr. Solomon said.
"This survey goes back to literature published 10 years ago. In
that time, there have been major technological advances, such as
wavefront-guided LASIK and the introduction of special lasers to
form a flap on the surface of the eye in preparation for the
laser treatment. Coupled with better surgical techniques, and
improved patient selection, we can say that modern LASIK is a
mature procedure. It is important to note that its reliability
and effectiveness have led to its adoption by the armed forces,
in particular the US Navy, and the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration for improving the vision of its front-line
pilots and astronauts," Dr. Solomon said.
Key Findings from "LASIK: A Global Perspective on Patient
-- 95.4 percent of LASIK patients worldwide report satisfaction
with the outcome of their procedure.
-- Approximately the same percentage would recommend LASIK to a
friend or would elect to undergo the procedure again.
-- More than 95.2 percent of LASIK patients in the U.S. are
satisfied with the outcome of their procedure.
-- Outside the U.S., studies from France, India, Iran, Ireland,
The Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, United
Arab Emirates, and The United Kingdom, report very similar
patient satisfaction rates of about 95.6 percent.
-- The total range of satisfaction rates in individual studies
was from 87.2 percent to 100 percent.
The first goal of the literature review is to assist in
quantifying and qualifying aspects of LASIK patient satisfaction
for a joint task force formed by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and including the ASCRS, the American
Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), National Eye Institute (NEI),
and other members of the health community.
"Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. As
ophthalmologists, historically the determining factor for
candidacy has been the health of the eye and the refractive
correction," said Dr. Solomon. "Along with continued technology
advances, exploring a more holistic approach to patient
screening, with considerations for both physical and
psychodynamic factors, may be the answer to further increasing
Breaking down the clinical history of LASIK:
-- Approximately 2,915 published and peer-reviewed articles with
a clinical focus on LASIK were identified from medical journals
published from 1998 to January 2008. Follow-up of patients in
these studies ranged from one month to 10 years.
-- Rigorous quality criteria assigned the studies into two
classifications: Level 1 (well-designed, well-conducted
randomized clinical studies) and Level 2 (well-designed control
or cohort case studies, either retrospective or prospective).
-- From the original 2,915 articles, 308 studies of primary
LASIK cases (patients who had LASIK performed to reduce
dependence on glasses or contact lenses) that included patient
satisfaction, patient quality of life post-LASIK and other
factors in their methodology were selected.
-- The meta-analysis aggregates the findings of 19 studies
(2,199 patients in total) that specifically address the question
of patient satisfaction. The remaining 289 articles are being
studied to determine if and what additional valuable data can be
The final results of Dr. Solomon's literature review will be
presented at the annual Symposium and Congress of the ASCRS,
April 4-9, in Chicago. His presentation will provide more
specific data from the meta-analysis, including the factors
associated with patient dissatisfaction.
"Once a technology matures to this point, a profession committed
to continual improvement will naturally focus on improving
patient satisfaction," said Dr. Lindstrom. "As the number-one
elective procedure in the world, with one of the highest safety
profiles, LASIK has shown its appeal to patients, and, as a
profession, we look forward to continuing its advancement."