Purpose To compare the thickness and stromal optical density (OD) evolution of the flap and cap after femtosecond (FS-LASIK; Visumax) and small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE), respectively, for myopia correction.
Methods A prospective study comprising 78 eyes (n=39 per group) was performed. Anterior segment optical coherence tomography (MS39) images were collected at each postoperative visit (1 day, 1 week and 1 and 3 months) and flap/cap thicknesses were measured. Using ImageJ software, three regions were defined to measure OD (in grayscale units: flap/cap stroma, residual stromal bed (RSB) and all stroma (including flap/cap-stroma, surgical interface and RSB).
Results Mean central thickness significantly increased during the 3-month follow-up in both LASIK (5.43±4.23 μm; p=0.0118) and SMILE (2.76±5.61 μm; p=0.0118), with differences between both techniques statistically significant (p=0.020). All OD values showed a statistically significant reduction during SMILE follow-up: cap 48.96±5.55 versus 44.95±5.41 (p=0.19×10−6), RSB 50.26±7.06 versus 45.42±7.53 (p=0.00005), total stroma 50.34±6.49 versus 45.46±6.96 (p=0.5×10−5) at 1 day and 3 months, respectively, whereas no statistically significant changes were found during LASIK follow-up. No significant differences were observed in OD values between both techniques at any time point, although SMILE showed a tendency for higher OD values than LASIK within the first postoperative month. Visumax presented a tendency for thicker caps than target (11.48±7.85 μm), but not for flaps (2.73±8.93 μm) (p=0.00003).
Conclusions Both LASIK flaps and SMILE caps show a significant postoperative rethickening. SMILE corneas present higher optical densities than LASIK corneas in the early postoperative period, with a significant decrease thereafter and up to 3 months. These findings correlate with the delayed visual recovery observed after SMILE.
- Treatment Lasers
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