Bladeless LASIK may be preferable for patients older than 40

This past spring, the International Journal of Ophthalmology published a study focusing on how patient age affects visual and refractive outcomes after performing laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) with the femtosecond laser versus the mechanical microkeratome.

The researchers examined a total of 3826 myopic eyes, 1725 of which were treated with the microkeratome. Three months postoperatively, patients received a complete ocular examination including corneal topography.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that has focused on the effect of age on the refractive results after both procedures when correcting myopia,” they write.

The researchers found that the femtosecond laser provides significantly greater efficacy, safety, and predictability in patients older than 40 when compared to the mechanical microkeratome. They also found that increasing age led to a slight tendency towards under-correction as well as less predictability in both traditional and bladeless LASIK.

Full findings are published in the March 2019 issue of the International Journal of Ophthalmology.