The excimer laser has been undergoing rapid development for clinical use since the early 1980s. The authors report 2-year follow-up results from studies in 31 eyes (15 women and 14 men) to evaluate the excimer laser in performing photokeratectomy. Patients were divided into two groups: 27 eyes (group 1) underwent phototherapeutic keratectomy, and 4 eyes (group 2) underwent photorefractive keratectomy. Visual function improved in 21 of 27 eyes in group 1 and in 2 of 4 eyes in group 2. Complications were minimal and manageable. The authors describe a procedure to minimize induced hyperopia in phototherapeutic keratectomy patients, and, although not statistically significant, less induced hyperopia was noted in these patients. Photokeratectomy may be an alternative to penetrating or lamellar keratoplasty and more invasive refractive procedures, but the long-term effects must be carefully observed.
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