With LASIK, the eye surgeon remodels the cornea (transparent membrane located in the front part of the eye) structure optimizing its refraction capacity, which allows a better focus of the rays of light in the retina.
It is important that people who are considering using LASIK to correct their vision problems have realistic expectations.
While it is true that LASIK allows many people to perform most of their daily activities without the need to wear corrective lenses, those patients who hope to get a perfect vision after surgery is at risk of feeling disappointed.
Statistically speaking More than 90 percent of people who have LASIK achieve a vision between 20/20 and 20/40 without glasses. However, you should consider that you may need a second surgery (“retreat”) to obtain the desired results, or that you need to wear glasses for certain activities, such as reading or driving at night.
The higher your refractive error (that is, the greater your myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism), the more likely you will require retreatment or the use of glasses for certain daily activities. It is important that you consult with your surgeon about your daily activities (work, recreational and leisure activities) and your lifestyle since some activities are not compatible with LASIK.
Knowing the satisfaction of the patient with respect to a certain therapeutic measure is essential in health care. In the case of elective surgery such as LASIK, satisfaction criteria include whether the patients’ physical, emotional and financial expectations are met and the expected physical and psychological benefits are achieved.
Thanks to the great technological development and the clinical studies carried out in the last decade, LASIK has been deeply evaluated and perfected, which has allowed obtaining a greater number of patients satisfied with the results of the surgery.
In 2009, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) published a study that provides a systematic overview worldwide of LASIK patient satisfaction. The report notes that 16.3 million surgeries have been performed worldwide to date, and about one million LASIK surgeries are performed annually in the United States.
The research team conducted a review of 19 studies from 13 countries that included the USA. And in most areas of the world, these studies included 2,198 subjects who had LASIK between 1995 and 2003. In addition, an exhaustive search of international literature by a panel of the Storm Eye Institute identified 309 studies designed for primary (original) LASIK surgery of which 19 reported both quality of life and patient satisfaction. All of these investigations were randomized, controlled clinical trials or cohort studies or controlled cases.
In the study performed, a general patient satisfaction rate of 95.4 percent was evidenced. “This places LASIK among the most successful elective surgeries, and compares very favorably with other elective procedures,” said lead researcher Kerry D. Solomon, MD, Magill Vision Center and Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina. “Because this review process was systematic, transparent and based on carefully examined international and US research, the findings are highly reliable,” he added.
Researchers evaluated whether patient satisfaction with LASIK has changed over time when making a comparison between surgeries performed during the period 1995-2000 with those performed after 2001. The satisfaction rate found was 94.6 percent in the first period and of 96.0 percent in the last period, confirming that the patient’s high satisfaction remained constant over the years.
In this study, the satisfaction rates were also analyzed in relation to the characteristics of the questionnaire, the administration methods, the country and the type of refractive error of the patient (myopia or hyperopia, astigmatism). All the results showed very high patient satisfaction rates. The questionnaires used in all the studies are patients to rate their satisfaction on gradual scales, from “satisfied” to “dissatisfied”. Five articles offered to the category of “undecided” and patients who selected this option were not included in the review analysis:
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